Tilt Shift Lens For Product Photography

By | 14/07/2022

Besides making cool miniature city scapes and stopping converging lines, there are a host of reasons why yous should consider buying a tilt-shift lens.

Way back in about 2010, I bumped into a photographer with a wonky-looking lens. I was at the early stage in my photography where your confidence far outweighs your abilities and I idea I knew everything, nevertheless I hadn’t seen this before. Non being too proud to ask, I ambled over and inquired about this contraption. Thankfully, the lensman was a dainty guy and he set about explaining how cameras hadn’t always only focused forward and backwards and that he liked to be able to have a few more movements to mimic what he had when he shot large format. So I headed home, opened up the Google, and began to learn about the Scheimpflug principle. I then found a rental shop and rented a Canon TS-East 90mm f/2.8 Tilt-Shift Lens for the weekend.

The lens arrived all shiny and new, and I quickly attached it to my Canon 5D (the original one) and set about playing. First off, it has no autofocus, which is fine in 2019, but back then in a pre-live view globe, focusing a tilt-shift lens with a standard DSLR focus screen was a nightmare. I rapidly upgraded the ground glass to a manual focus one thanks to a speedy online delivery and went about testing it. That weekend, I managed to achieve absolutely nothing. I had no idea what was going on, and I felt pretty defeated.

Fast-forward nigh 5 years and I had a booking to shoot a billboard entrada on a pretty tight budget. If I rented a Phase Ane in that location would be no style that I would make any real coin from the chore. So, I decided to rent a tilt-shift lens and make a panoramic. I besides didn’t ain loads of 3,000-watt lights, so I needed to achieve a smashing depth of field at about f/8. A tilt-shift lens was the tool for the job. Suddenly, all of my previous confusions had vanished, and I had plant the purpose for these bright lenses. Over the years, they have been a permanent feature in my photographic camera bag, and I have often rented more niche focal lengths to achieve the images I wanted but previously could not achieve.

You Can’t Afford Medium Format

This was the original reason that I purchased the lens. I needed more than pixels, but my banking concern balance didn’t allow for medium format. Yes, you tin can make a panoramic with other tools, but this method is utterly brilliant. Information technology gives a medium format depth as well as offering a higher resolution for your final prototype. Evidently, you can’t utilise it in every situation, only even with people in shot, there are workarounds to get it to work.

You Are Short of Light simply Need a Big Depth of Field

The Scheimpflug principle is something that every photographer should familiarize themselves with. Existence able to increase or decrease your depth of field at a given aperture by changing the plane of focus is a valuable asset. This is oversimplifying it, but go have a read and find out what you have been missing out on for all these years. This is of particular interest to anyone into landscapes, withal life, or compages photography. Lenses don’t more often than not work very well at f/22, but at f/v.vi, with a carefully applied lens tilt you tin create an amazing depth of field while hanging on to the amazing lens eyes. I utilize these lenses for well-nigh all product photography, especially when the products become small. It negates the need to practise focus stacking in almost all instances and allows for a faster workflow without whatsoever loss in image quality.


The shot beneath I took at a recent portrait sitting. Information technology gives a existent 80s and 90s vibe from dorsum in the day when photographers were still using technical cameras. This uses the lens in the contrary way that it is designed to exist used, assuasive me to focus on just the eyes while the forehead and mentum cook away into the out of focus area. But I was still at f/5.6, so the prototype was tack precipitous where it is needed, and I didn’t have to remove my big studio lights to bring in something smaller allowing me to employ a standard lens at f/1.4, although even at this setting, I still would non accept had the same aesthetic. Although overusing this expect tin exist a bit tedious, it was very trendy a few years back in the nuptials photography earth with photographers chasing a standard focal length with tilt and shift options.

Brilliant Optics

These lenses are amazing. I recently used the Canon TS-E 135mm f/4L Macro Tilt-Shift Lens  and I would go every bit far as saying that it is optically the all-time lens I have ever used from this brand.  Even the older non-Fifty versions are up there with anything costing 3 times the amount. With there existence no autofocus, there is very fiddling to get wrong with them (although I still managed to break one). Even used equally a standard lens without any of the movements, the lens produces beautiful images and has the focus assist bleeps, and then it isn’t complete guess work trying to focus with DSLR ground glass.

You Desire Amend Control of Your Focal Plane

Sometimes, focusing forepart to dorsum isn’t what we need, a more diagonal airplane might be meliorate suited, or perchance a razor thin airplane of focus in the superlative third of the frame going from front to back. Either way, this opens up a lot more options for you. If overused, it can look a bit gimmicky, but a well-placed focus adjustment can really help with your prototype.

The describe back to these lenses is that they are nowhere nearly every bit good as a 4×5 camera. They are kind of a stop gap for those of u.s. who don’t desire to spend half an hour focusing a camera, but all the same want to have control over the way that we focus out cameras.

Source: https://fstoppers.com/education/five-reasons-why-you-should-own-tilt-shift-lens-394480