19mm PC what?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
ARClark Veteran Member • Posts: 3,919
Re: Simpler & faster simultaneous two hand technique

just Tony wrote:

rumple wrote:

Kelvin L wrote:


To the OP: since you already own this lens, the quickest way to learn is to plonk your camera + lens on a tripod in front of a cereal box, turn on live view, and then tilt-shift away.

Just a caution for the OP: while one can learn shift easily enough, learning to put the plane of focus where one wants with a t-s without a system is an exercise doomed to fail after much frustration.

Here's how I focus a tilted lens; I almost never do steps 8-12:

1. Pick an arbitrary value for tilt
2. Focus on the far point
3. Look at the near point (zoom to 100% to see clearly, if using liveview)
4. Decrease the lens focus distance slightly and look what happens to the near point
5. If the near point becomes sharper, then you need more tilt (select a higher value for tilt and go to step 2)
6. If the near point becomes softer, then you need less tilt (select a lower value for tilt and go to step 2)
7. If the change in focus of the near point is difficult to see, then move to step 8
8. Focus on the far point
9. Look at the near point
10. Increase the focus distance slightly and look what happens to the near point
11. If the near point becomes sharper, you need less tilt (select a lower value for tilt and go to step 8)
12. If the focus point becomes softer, you need more tilt (select a higher value for tilt and go to step 8)

Iterative techniques take time, they just do. The long list above illustrates how that could become a lot of time. However by using both hands to adjust two controls at once the process can be sped up considerably. This requires a camera that supports Split Live View, such as what is available in my D810 and Z7.


Go into the Split Live View mode and set up the two views to near and far patches of the subject plane that is intended to become fully sharp. Magnification can be increased and each point can be moved independently of the other. There is a limitation here in that the Split Live View only works on the long axis of the sensor.


1. Continuously rack the focus ring back and forth across the in-focus condition of either patch, near side to far side and back again (it doesn't have to be a large turn), while observing both patches. They won't go in and out of focus at the same time on your first try.

2. While continuing with step 1 above, adjust the tilt until you do get both patches hitting and leaving focus at the same time. For best results use one of the high magnification levels.

In my experience this process takes no more than about half the time, and often very much less, than the 8 or 12 step method shown above. As with anything else it gets better with practice.

Alternative Setup:

Instead of Split Live View one could try to use focus highlighting on a view of the entire frame. However I have noticed that while this is initially quicker than the Split View method to get close to optimal focus, it often misses critical focus. This is because of it being difficult to obtain an appropriate focus highlight sensitivity. Having the intended subject plain be uniformly almost focused is a crushing blow after taking pains to get it right.

Great information. I don't currently own the lens, but might some day, and this would be very useful.


 ARClark's gear list:ARClark's gear list
Nikon 500mm F5.6E PF Nikon D850 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/4D ED-IF II +12 more
Post (hide subjects) Posted by
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow