Lenses for Photographing Architecture

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(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 1,226
Lenses for Photographing Architecture

I have a professional interest in the "built enviroment", so naturally one of my photographic interests is architecture.

I like to mix the artistic side of photography with the technical side. So recently for the last couple of years I have started using shift and tilt shift lenses for my architectural subjects. I like this "slow photography" practice, especially playing with perspective effects.

I also do that very old fashioned thing when I want to learn something new seriously. I read textbooks.

There is a lot of heated debate concerning whether shift lenses are still useful, when the same sort of effect can be obtained in post processing.

Taking a look at the best book I have found about architectural photography: "Follow the Sun" by Erwin, I found this good explanation of why fixing in post is not a good solution.


"You might ask yourself: Do I really need an expensive tilt shift lens? Can't I just correct the prospective later in Photoshop? The answer is yes, you could correct it later but the tilt shift lens allows you to see and feel the perspective of the image as you are shooting. The final crop and ultimately the entire composition will be entirely different in a shot that is corrected in post. If you cannot see the image while you are shooting you cannot control the composition and therefore you cannot effectively interpret the building."

He later goes on to explain the image quality losses, but the compositional part is the most interesting.

I have found this to be broadly true myself, although for some situations where a hyper wide FL is needed, post is the only way to go.

There are some old Nikon and Canon shift lenses that are still very valid and can be found on EBay for the price of a cheap zoom lens.

24mm diagonal shift

45mm TS for a natural perspective.

Hand held with a Z7

Hand held.

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