Question about tilt-shift lens use

Started Mar 1, 2013 | Discussions thread
Mike K
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Re:hand held tilt-shift lens use
In reply to dirkluchtman, Mar 1, 2013
 One question, can you shoot with tilt-shift lenses handheld, or do you really need a tri-pod?

I shoot with the Canon TS lenses quite a lot, for example to get really close to the ground I use an external monitor

http://www.fredmiranda.com/smallhd/

To reinforce the issues the others have said:

To really get accurate focus you need to use Live View 5-10X.  This can be really jiggly with handheld.

To adjust the tilt or shift lens movements you effectively need 2 hands free, one to loosen/tighten the appropriate lock knob, and one to move the tilt or shift knob and hold the position while you lock with the second hand.

Shift (for example to correct perspective distortion) can more easily done by a quick glance at the Live View on the camera LCD.

Tilt is much, much harder to do hand held as it usually means moving the 5X LV about in the image to adjust the foreground detail for tilt and the background detail for focus.  Thus you have to use the joystick on the camera back to move the LV magnification rectangle about in addition to loosening the tilt lock knob, moving the tilt knob, then retightening the tilt lock knob.

However it can be done hand held by using tilt tables to estimate the height from the focal plane (ground), dialing in the tilt angle taken from tables, manually focusing and shooting.  If you are not as anal about getting the absolute optimum focus/tilt adjustment this works fine.  That approach is described in this article

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/focusing-ts.shtml

I have successfully used this tilt angle estimate technique using focus confirm for focus of the TS lens.  Again its a bit of a compromise and works best at standing or kneeling heights, not lower.

Mike K

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