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A perfect tool for fun photography: Kipon tilt-shift adapter

Started Aug 7, 2014 | User reviews thread
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Miki Nemeth
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Learning the shift function of Kipon tilt-shift adapter
In reply to Miki Nemeth, Aug 8, 2014

This is the second part of my continuing report/review of my learning progress with the Kipon TS adapter. I use the searchable DPReview forum as my photography home and blog page. I've learned so much from fellow photographers here, and now I try to share my experience in case someone is thinking on buying a tilt-shift adapter.

Today I had a chance to give a try to the shift function of the Kipon TS adapter just outside the main railway station

This is a photo taken with the Voigtlander 20mm/f3.5 (Nikon mount) without shifting

I had to rotate the adapter 90 degree (of course) to correct vertical perspective:

This one was taken from the same spot with shifting. The 20mm lens on the X-A1 has a FoV of 30mm on a full-frame.

I captured a fun photo with tilting the lens. Next time I'll try to make miniature effects and some video.

It's so great that for 270 Euros I have an adapter which I can use as a regular Nikon G adapter, a tilting adapter (an alternative to Lensbaby) and shifting for perspective correction. On the other hand, I recently met a guy who showed me a couple of photos that he took with cheap point-and-shoot and heavily processed with Photoshop, it was amazing. I think he would just laugh at my efforts to take these kind of photos that he can produce with Photoshop in 10 minutes from any photo.

Here is my tiltable and shiftable lens collection.

From left to right: Nikon 180mm/f2.8, Nikon 50mm/f1.4, Nikon 35mm/f2 on Metabones Speed Booster on Fujifilm X-A1, Voiglander 20mm/f3.5, Kipon TS adapter.

Here are a couple of question I received:

  • Q: Can I use a tilt-shift adapter on my Nikon DSLR?
    A: No. The flange is too long on a regular mirror DSLR. Tilt-shift adapters are available only for mirrorless cameras: Sony E mount, Fujifilm X mount, Olympus/Panasonic m43 mount.
  • Q: Can I use a tilt-shift adapter with a Speed Booster?
    A: No. You can use however a Lensbaby Composer with Nikon mount.
  • Q: Which lenses are best for tilt-shift photograpy?
    A: Nikon and Samyang AI, AF-D and G, M32 mount and Leica R lenses.
  • Q: Can I use Leica M lenses with the tilt-shift adapter?
    A: No.
  • Q: Is it meaningful to buy just a tilt adapter?
    A: Absolutely. For Lensbaby style fun photography, a much cheaper tilt adapter is perfect. Shifting is required only for perspective correcting architecture photography, if I am not mistaken.
  • Q: Does a tilt adapter completely replaces a Lensbaby Composer?
    A: If you have a mirrorless camera more-or-less yes. On a regular DSLR the only options are either dedicated expensive TS/PC lenses or Lensbaby.
  • Q: Can I use the Kipon tilt-shift Nikon - NEX adapter on the full-frame Sony A7?
    A: I have no experience, I have yet to buy a Kipon adapter for my daughter's A7. I think tilting should work fine, it should not depend on the sensor size. Shifting, though, will not work as nicely as on APS or m43 cameras. 

Take care, Miki

 Miki Nemeth's gear list:Miki Nemeth's gear list
Nikon 1 V1 Sony a5100 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Voigtlander 20mm F3.5 Color Skopar SL II +23 more
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