Tilt Shift Lenses?

Started Feb 7, 2013 | Discussions thread
just Tony Senior Member • Posts: 1,787
Larger image circle

In any rectangular format camera the part of the image we use is cropped out of a larger circle which is the full image that the lens projects. That circle represents the true angular coverage of the lens.

The image circle that a tilt/shift lens needs to project in order to accommodate the tilting and/or shifting must be significantly larger than the frame. You can think of them as allowing the sensor to move around inside the image. On the other hand a regular lens of the same focal length only needs to project an image circle just a little bit larger than the frame diagonal. T/S lenses approach what is needed from a medium format lens.

Let's add one more factor. The people who use them are usually hoping for extremely high sharpness across the entire frame no matter how much tilt or shift was used. Stacking up two difficult tasks leads to a big design challenge which then leads to a big price tag.

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