Tilt-Shift lens worth it?

Started 3 months ago | Questions thread
Ed Rizk Veteran Member • Posts: 3,462
Re: Tilt-Shift lens worth it?

JackM wrote:

AZBlue wrote:

You don't need TS lenses for real estate shoots. Software make it much faster, easier, and nobody will notice or care. Here's a great video on the topic:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epXjNDkmYdY

I watched the video and learned a good tip. Reverse-cropping or expanding the canvas larger than the picture allows the distortion correction tool to keep everything at the top of the image. Nice. I'm sure I will use that someday.

Of course the criticisms already stated are valid, but IMO in r/e photography it is pretty rare to need to include so much height in an image. Rare enough that I simply haven't been able to justify buying a TS lens, so post-processing tips like these are useful. No, it would not be cost-effective to shoot and post-process like this for any quantity of shots, but for occasional shots I'd say it's more cost-effective than buying a $2500 lens (and a FF camera to put it on) that you only really need for a small minority of images.

For me, shifting the lens is the rule, rather than the exception.

Unless the room is extremely mundane or extremely opulent, either the ceiling or the floor will be better looking and worthy of emphasis.

Same unit.   Shifted down from a high angle to show the staged living area and shifted up in the bedroom to catch the interesting light fixture.

For exteriors, I would rather show more sky than more street or parking lot, especially if there are tall trees decorating the sky or a nice sunset.

Ugly commercial and multi family buildings, which most are, typically have a nicely landscaped signage area or seating area.   A very low angle next to such an area allows one to create a beautiful picture of an ugly building, especially at sunrise or sunset.  Ugly houses will often have one good plant that offers a similar opportunity.

Here is one of my better ugly building shots.  That building is ugly.

Here's a trailer park with a detention pond; ugly trailers, nice sunset.

Any idiot can make a pretty picture of a great piece of architecture.   Some are much better than others, but I've never seen an ugly picture of great architecture.   That would be like an ugly picture of a beautiful woman.

Before the TSE lens, I just accepted the keystoning in many shots, rather than miss great light fixtures or a great sky.   Processing could have helped, but my clients are cheap and I am lazy when it comes to processing.

This is one of my favorite ugly shopping center pictures.   I had leasing and management on this building for five years.  The 16X20 of this one that I gave the owner hung in his office for years after I lost the job, and may still.   The only beautiful thing in sight 360 degrees around my position was the sky.   I promise you the building would not look that much better with straight vertical lines.   It would be a little better.   I wish I had the TSE at that time.

This is the world's ugliest small apartment building, but it's a cash machine.

Forget the $10,000,000 homes with the unlimited decorating budgets.   Show me your ugly buildings.

That said, if r/e photography was my full-time career, I would definitely have a TS lens.

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Ed Rizk

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