Tilt-Shift lens worth it?

Started 3 months ago | Questions thread
Colin Dutton Regular Member • Posts: 220
Re: Tilt-Shift lens worth it?

Ian L wrote:

I'm not much for superstition, but I have to say this week since i posted this thread I feel like someone is trying to send me a message. This past week I had multiple shoots where a tilt-shift would have been very useful - house with a high vaulted and uniquely painted ceiling, a historic high clock tower, a landmark storage silo, another set of vaulted roofs.

And I'm going to be taking a trip to NYC a couple of days...definitely a place to use a TS lens. Not to mention B&H is there. So, i think while I'm there I'm going to head to BH and pick up a TS lens for my canon.

I've been following this thread too and I just wanted to chip-in again.. if you do buy a TS lens you'll find it's useful for situations you've described here where you want to look up, but it also goes way beyond that. Nikon call these PC lenses for 'perspective control' for good reason.

For example I shot the exterior of a large villa here in Italy last week where the entrance was slightly to the right of centre so the building was not symmetrical. For the front view I stood in line with the entrance (which was nicely framed within some columns) and used a Nikkor 35mmPC lens shifting it 45° up and left at the same time. That allowed me to keep my eye centered on the front door and columns of the entrance while keeping the building centered in the frame and the verticals straight.

What I'm saying is that shifting left and right or other angles (not just up and down) can be really helpful in controlling perspective. Shooting this villa with a normal lens either the building would have been off-centre or the door would have been obstructed by the columns. These are little details but they do make a difference.

Having said that I usually spend at least a day shooting a property (two days in the case of this villa) so I guess I'm working at a different pace and budget to others here. In any case I'd still recommend a PC lens if you're shooting a lot of interiors or exteriors. If you're aiming to do your job well then you'll find it a useful tool.

Also, I'll just add that if I only had one PC lens it would be the 24mm. It's a field of view that doesn't exaggerate and let's you describe spaces with a certain elegance compared to wider lenses.

Hope that helps.

 Colin Dutton's gear list:Colin Dutton's gear list
Fujifilm X-Pro1 Nikon D800 Fujifilm X-Pro2 Nikon D850
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