Question about tilt-shift adapting a normal lens.

Started 2 months ago | Questions
HybridN New Member • Posts: 13
Question about tilt-shift adapting a normal lens.

Hey everyone, hope you are doing fine.

I had a question about adapting a Full Frame lens with a shift adapter on APS-C sensor of Fuji. Maybe it has been discussed many times, but I'm not getting my head around this.

I shoot architecture occasionally and would like to have an shift option to use more of the sensor, rather than just fixing the verticals in post. In fixing the verticals in post you lose a lot of the pixels in the top part and the image and the quality goes like a gradient from top(worse) to bottom(better).

Fuji as far as I know it doesn't have a shift option (I do not need the tilt), and only possible option is adapting another lens. But with shift adapters this opens other possible lenses. Like adapting a Full Frame lens made for Canon or Nikon and using the bigger circle of image to have a better shifted image.

But....I can not understand how the conversion in focal length would change. Does it mean a 15mm FF lens translate as a 15 mm in APS-C as it would stay the same . Because the cropped part of the 15 mm FF would be a roughly 23 mm in FF or 15 mm in APS-C. Or am I missing something and got it wrong completely.

If anyone has had any experience in this, would be nice to hear the advices.

Is it worth going in this path, or just stick with a Ultra wide lens in Fuji line and do it in postprocess?

Are there any better options maybe?

Thank you in advance!

ANSWER:
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Doug Pardee
Doug Pardee Veteran Member • Posts: 9,897
Re: Question about tilt-shift adapting a normal lens.

HybridN wrote:

I can not understand how the conversion in focal length would change.

It's the standard crop factor (1.5).

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michaeladawson Forum Pro • Posts: 14,890
Re: Question about tilt-shift adapting a normal lens.
1

There's nothing special about full frame lenses or tilt lenses in terms of focal length.  A 15mm lens is a 15mm lens regardless of whether it was made for medium format, full frame, APS-C, or m4/3.  Any crop factor calculations you do for APS-C are the same regardless of which lens you use.

If you bought a 14mm full frame lens (like a Rokinon for example) and a 14mm Fuji lens you would get the exact same field of view on your camera.

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michaeladawson Forum Pro • Posts: 14,890
I should add
2

I use full frame lenses on my Fuji using the Kipon tilt-shift adapter.  I believe they make a shift only adapter that is cheaper if shift is all you want.

Here's a bit of advice when selecting a lens.  Be aware that you will not get automated lens corrections when you attach a lens using these adapters.  On top of that, when you shift a lens you cannot even correctly apply a manual lens correction profile since the distortion shifts when the lens is shifted.

I suppose this is one reason dedicated tilt shift lenses are so expensive.  The optics have to be designed for almost zero distortion.  So when adapting a full frame lens for shift purposes you need to use a lens with low distortion.

I have used a Samyang 14mm lens with shift.  That's a 21mm FOV lens on APS-C.  Good FOV for buildings in a city setting.  I have used it inside churches.  The issue with the Samyang is a high level of mustache type distortion.  This is virtually impossible to get rid of entirely when you shift the lens.  Not a problem if you are photographing nature landscapes.  But not good for architecture.

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Truman Prevatt
Truman Prevatt Forum Pro • Posts: 11,645
Re: Question about tilt-shift adapting a normal lens.

A lens for a view camera or similarly any camera that uses a bellows to focus is a very simple lens compared to the internal focusing lenses required for a fixed lens camera like the ones most of us have.  However, a good view camera lens will be a very expensive lens. Why?  A lens has to project objects in the acceptance angle onto the film sensor.  The light projected onto the sensor is called the image circle. For a fix lens axis lens like the image circle only has to cover the sensor - nothing larger.  For a view camera the image circle has to cover the sensor but in this case the sensor is not fixed.  The reason a view camera lens is expensive is the image circle has to be large enough to cover all the camera movements, tilts, swings and shifts.

So if one wants to attached a tilt-shift adaptor to an APSC sensor camera, the image circle of the lens needs to be sufficient to cover the sensor at the most extreme movement.  An APSC lens is not designed to do that.  To get the best results a lens designed for a larger format would be preferable, i.e., FF for an APSC sensor, medium format for a FF sensor, etc.

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Truman Prevatt
Truman Prevatt Forum Pro • Posts: 11,645
Re: I should add

michaeladawson wrote:

I use full frame lenses on my Fuji using the Kipon tilt-shift adapter. I believe they make a shift only adapter that is cheaper if shift is all you want.

Here's a bit of advice when selecting a lens. Be aware that you will not get automated lens corrections when you attach a lens using these adapters. On top of that, when you shift a lens you cannot even correctly apply a manual lens correction profile since the distortion shifts when the lens is shifted.

I suppose this is one reason dedicated tilt shift lenses are so expensive. The optics have to be designed for almost zero distortion. So when adapting a full frame lens for shift purposes you need to use a lens with low distortion.

When you tilt a lens, the relationship between the focal plane and image plane change - that is they are not longer parallel. That is known as the Scheimpflug principle. Any lens distortions will be magnified because of this when the lens is tilted.  This is particularly true for field curvature.  View camera lenses (and tilt shift lenses) are expensive because not only do they need a large image circle but they also require minimal field curvature.

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OP HybridN New Member • Posts: 13
Re: Question about tilt-shift adapting a normal lens.

Thank you for your replies, and I specially appreciate your help michaeldawson. The part with the shifted distortions would never go through my mind, and only in experience you would stumble upon it. It was a great point, and maybe a tipping point that shift adapters are not the best idea. That would get other problems for the architecture photography that are not worth the hassle.  The simplest way seems like a wide angle lens meant for FUJI and correct the distortions in post. And maybe Fuji line is not the best choice in this line of photography.

Truman Prevatt
Truman Prevatt Forum Pro • Posts: 11,645
Re: Question about tilt-shift adapting a normal lens.
1

HybridN wrote:

Thank you for your replies, and I specially appreciate your help michaeldawson. The part with the shifted distortions would never go through my mind, and only in experience you would stumble upon it. It was a great point, and maybe a tipping point that shift adapters are not the best idea. That would get other problems for the architecture photography that are not worth the hassle. The simplest way seems like a wide angle lens meant for FUJI and correct the distortions in post. And maybe Fuji line is not the best choice in this line of photography.

The concept of camera movements is to give the photographer the flexibility to control the orientation of the focus plane and subject plane. This has two benefits. First it can prevent geometric distortion as often known as "keystoning." Second it can provide for large depth of field in for example landscape where the focal plane is tilted in space and the DOF is around that tilted focal plane. For examples of this see some of Ansel Adams magnificent landscape shots.

For say keystoning - by shifting the lens all lines will be prevented from converging. If one uses a regular lens and then relies on S/W only one plane in space can be corrected properly as the distortion differs on different planes slicked through the volume the image is projecting. That is while one might correct covering line in one plane - that will not fully correct them in other places.

A good high quality FF manual focus lens should be adequate for a Fuji using a good adaptor.

Probably the best option would be to pick up a Combo Actus for the X mount and a good used RZ/RB Mamiya lens or two to use with your X camera.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1131859-REG/cambo_99010708_actus_camerabody_black_fuji.html

It is the best solution but it is not inexpensive.

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OP HybridN New Member • Posts: 13
Re: Question about tilt-shift adapting a normal lens.

Truman Prevatt wrote:

HybridN wrote:

Thank you for your replies, and I specially appreciate your help michaeldawson. The part with the shifted distortions would never go through my mind, and only in experience you would stumble upon it. It was a great point, and maybe a tipping point that shift adapters are not the best idea. That would get other problems for the architecture photography that are not worth the hassle. The simplest way seems like a wide angle lens meant for FUJI and correct the distortions in post. And maybe Fuji line is not the best choice in this line of photography.

The concept of camera movements is to give the photographer the flexibility to control the orientation of the focus plane and subject plane. This has two benefits. First it can prevent geometric distortion as often known as "keystoning." Second it can provide for large depth of field in for example landscape where the focal plane is tilted in space and the DOF is around that tilted focal plane. For examples of this see some of Ansel Adams magnificent landscape shots.

For say keystoning - by shifting the lens all lines will be prevented from converging. If one uses a regular lens and then relies on S/W only one plane in space can be corrected properly as the distortion differs on different planes slicked through the volume the image is projecting. That is while one might correct covering line in one plane - that will not fully correct them in other places.

A good high quality FF manual focus lens should be adequate for a Fuji using a good adaptor.

Probably the best option would be to pick up a Combo Actus for the X mount and a good used RZ/RB Mamiya lens or two to use with your X camera.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1131859-REG/cambo_99010708_actus_camerabody_black_fuji.html

It is the best solution but it is not inexpensive.

Hey thanks for the advices, I appreciate them. I'm an amateur still in photography but I read quite on the practical uses of the cameras. The tilt and shift is not quite unfamiliar to me, as I watch a lot of photographers use Large format film cameras. Those are great!

As for the tilt option I do not need it much, as in digital you can use the focus stacking method I guess.

And the ACTUS solution I see is really nice, as it would basically turn a Fuji camera in a "large format" style option. I have a Hasselblad 500cm that I use it occasionally, maybe in a future it might be possible to adapt the lenses. Just the price is a little bit too high for now.

What would the 80 mm of the medium format be on the APS-C, as I still can not visualize how much of that lens would be used (the image circle)?

Truman Prevatt
Truman Prevatt Forum Pro • Posts: 11,645
Re: Question about tilt-shift adapting a normal lens.

HybridN wrote:

Truman Prevatt wrote:

HybridN wrote:

Thank you for your replies, and I specially appreciate your help michaeldawson. The part with the shifted distortions would never go through my mind, and only in experience you would stumble upon it. It was a great point, and maybe a tipping point that shift adapters are not the best idea. That would get other problems for the architecture photography that are not worth the hassle. The simplest way seems like a wide angle lens meant for FUJI and correct the distortions in post. And maybe Fuji line is not the best choice in this line of photography.

The concept of camera movements is to give the photographer the flexibility to control the orientation of the focus plane and subject plane. This has two benefits. First it can prevent geometric distortion as often known as "keystoning." Second it can provide for large depth of field in for example landscape where the focal plane is tilted in space and the DOF is around that tilted focal plane. For examples of this see some of Ansel Adams magnificent landscape shots.

For say keystoning - by shifting the lens all lines will be prevented from converging. If one uses a regular lens and then relies on S/W only one plane in space can be corrected properly as the distortion differs on different planes slicked through the volume the image is projecting. That is while one might correct covering line in one plane - that will not fully correct them in other places.

A good high quality FF manual focus lens should be adequate for a Fuji using a good adaptor.

Probably the best option would be to pick up a Combo Actus for the X mount and a good used RZ/RB Mamiya lens or two to use with your X camera.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1131859-REG/cambo_99010708_actus_camerabody_black_fuji.html

It is the best solution but it is not inexpensive.

Hey thanks for the advices, I appreciate them. I'm an amateur still in photography but I read quite on the practical uses of the cameras. The tilt and shift is not quite unfamiliar to me, as I watch a lot of photographers use Large format film cameras. Those are great!

As for the tilt option I do not need it much, as in digital you can use the focus stacking method I guess.

In some cases but what if there is a stream running down from the top of the frame to the bottom and you want the top of the frame and the big rock in front of you in focus? Now add a few Aspen trees and a little wind - focus stacking would fall apart. Many of the bracketing methods are wonderful in certain situations but most require stationary shots and out doors in the land scape such stationary is not at best a luxury not a given.

And the ACTUS solution I see is really nice, as it would basically turn a Fuji camera in a "large format" style option. I have a Hasselblad 500cm that I use it occasionally, maybe in a future it might be possible to adapt the lenses. Just the price is a little bit too high for now.

I spend a lot of time in my younger days lugging a large camera in the the CO back country. I had my Mamiya RB67 (which focused by bellows ) modified to support tilts and shifts and used it often as a view camera. Then I had my 4x5 field camera. Some times in summer sometimes on skies in the winter I would pack one into the CO backcountry. . I still have a 4x5 field camera, film holders and a couple of lenses. If I really got interested in landscape again - I pull out my 4x5, load up some film holders with good old TriX and head out. The beauty of camera movements with in landscape - there are no compromises. All the "digital bracketing options" are either compromises or only work under limited conditions.

What would the 80 mm of the medium format be on the APS-C, as I still can not visualize how much of that lens would be used (the image circle)?

The image circle on an Hassey 80 mm is designed to cover corner to corner a 60 mm by 60 mm negative. The equivalent FOV is about a 50 mm FF lens (the 80 is the "normal lens for the 6x6). So there is plenty of image circle to cover an APSC - only using the sweet spot of the of the lens. You might want to pick up an adaptor that uses the Hassey on the X mount (if one exist) and see how it works.

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michaeladawson Forum Pro • Posts: 14,890
Re: Question about tilt-shift adapting a normal lens.

HybridN wrote:

Thank you for your replies, and I specially appreciate your help michaeldawson. The part with the shifted distortions would never go through my mind, and only in experience you would stumble upon it. It was a great point, and maybe a tipping point that shift adapters are not the best idea. That would get other problems for the architecture photography that are not worth the hassle. The simplest way seems like a wide angle lens meant for FUJI and correct the distortions in post. And maybe Fuji line is not the best choice in this line of photography.

I wouldn't abandon the idea completely due to my caution.  All I'm saying is that you need to pick your lens carefully.  The Samyang/Rokinon 14mm would be a poor choice if you are in the least bit picky about straight lines in architecture.  The mustache type distortion doesn't help either.

Other lenses that have a much lower level of distortion may be perfectly usable for your purposes.  That's one of the problems with APS-C and wide angle.  To get a 24mm FOV you need to use a 16mm lens.  Longer lenses are usually better corrected but now you may not have enough FOV to frame a large building if you can't move far enough back.

I even found the Samyang to be somewhat OK for personal travel photo usage.  You just might not want to publish the images in an Architecture magazine.

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michaeladawson Forum Pro • Posts: 14,890
Re: Question about tilt-shift adapting a normal lens.

Truman Prevatt wrote:

What would the 80 mm of the medium format be on the APS-C, as I still can not visualize how much of that lens would be used (the image circle)?

The image circle on an Hassey 80 mm is designed to cover corner to corner a 60 mm by 60 mm negative. The equivalent FOV is about a 50 mm FF lens (the 80 is the "normal lens for the 6x6). So there is plenty of image circle to cover an APSC - only using the sweet spot of the of the lens. You might want to pick up an adaptor that uses the Hassey on the X mount (if one exist) and see how it works.

This goes right back to your original question.  80mm is 80mm.  It doesn't matter whether it's on a medium format, full frame, or APS-C camera body.  The image circle will change of course, but the focal length is what it is.

An 80mm lens coupled with an APS-C sensor is still an 80mm lens.  It doesn't matter what the image circle is.  If you put an 80mm lens on an APS-C camera it's going to give you a FOV that would be equivalent to having used a 120mm lens on a full frame camera.

And medium format lenses don't come that wide.  40mm in medium format lenses is considered ultra-wide (there are some wider ones) and that would still only be a 60mm FOV on APS-C.

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Truman Prevatt
Truman Prevatt Forum Pro • Posts: 11,645
Re: Question about tilt-shift adapting a normal lens.

michaeladawson wrote:

Truman Prevatt wrote:

What would the 80 mm of the medium format be on the APS-C, as I still can not visualize how much of that lens would be used (the image circle)?

The image circle on an Hassey 80 mm is designed to cover corner to corner a 60 mm by 60 mm negative. The equivalent FOV is about a 50 mm FF lens (the 80 is the "normal lens for the 6x6). So there is plenty of image circle to cover an APSC - only using the sweet spot of the of the lens. You might want to pick up an adaptor that uses the Hassey on the X mount (if one exist) and see how it works.

This goes right back to your original question. 80mm is 80mm. It doesn't matter whether it's on a medium format, full frame, or APS-C camera body. The image circle will change of course, but the focal length is what it is.

An 80mm lens coupled with an APS-C sensor is still an 80mm lens. It doesn't matter what the image circle is. If you put an 80mm lens on an APS-C camera it's going to give you a FOV that would be equivalent to having used a 120mm lens on a full frame camera.

And medium format lenses don't come that wide. 40mm in medium format lenses is considered ultra-wide (there are some wider ones) and that would still only be a 60mm FOV on APS-C.

Of course focal length is independent of sensor size.  That is freshman physics - not anything earth shattering there.  But for tilt shift - the issue is image circle and an 80 mm or 40 mm or 35 mm designed for a 6x6 cm sensor will have a image circle large enough to support the required image circle.  In reality we are talking specialized lenses and specialized applications and if you want the image circles requires for shifts and tilts and Fuji does not support this application then if this is a real requirement then one has to look otherwise - now don't you.

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michaeladawson Forum Pro • Posts: 14,890
Re: Question about tilt-shift adapting a normal lens.

I’m not sure what message you’re trying to get across Truman, nor to whom you are addressing it.  I’m fully aware of how tilt-shift lenses work, what role image circles play with tilt-shift, etc.

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Truman Prevatt
Truman Prevatt Forum Pro • Posts: 11,645
Re: Question about tilt-shift adapting a normal lens.

michaeladawson wrote:

I’m not sure what message you’re trying to get across Truman, nor to whom you are addressing it. I’m fully aware of how tilt-shift lenses work, what role image circles play with tilt-shift, etc.

I guess that I was equally unsure of your point that 80 mm is 80 mm since it always has been.

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michaeladawson Forum Pro • Posts: 14,890
Re: Question about tilt-shift adapting a normal lens.

Truman Prevatt wrote:

michaeladawson wrote:

I’m not sure what message you’re trying to get across Truman, nor to whom you are addressing it. I’m fully aware of how tilt-shift lenses work, what role image circles play with tilt-shift, etc.

I guess that I was equally unsure of your point that 80 mm is 80 mm since it always has been.

That was for the OP.  He seems to be having troubles working through focal length vs. sensor size.  You mentioned an 80mm medium format lens which seemed to cause confusion.  Maybe I answered a question he didn’t ask.

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OP HybridN New Member • Posts: 13
Re: Question about tilt-shift adapting a normal lens.

Hey guys I think something was mixed and created a confusion, as both of you were trying to help, just in different directions.

Maybe my question was not clear enough, but like I said, I'm still not an expert in the field. The Focal length I keep asking is not the distance of central axis of the lens from the sensor, I was asking for it as a number that I am (or we maybe) customed to define the wideness of that lens in a certain sensor size, or in other words the FOV that lens gives.

I did some tests on a virtual settings software with the cameras mentioned (APS-C, Full Frame, 6x6 Medium Format) and maybe these are basic things but I needed to clarify it to myself.

A 80mm lens on a 6x6 Medium Format has a FOV of 37.776 degrees, and if we use that lens in Full Frame (normally) the crop would bring it down to 24.808 degrees, and 16.477 degrees on APS-C.

Now I was wrong not to clarify that I wanted an equivalent FOV and didn't know how to express that. That is why I kept asking what Focal length it would be a certain lens in different sensors.

So if I know a specific FOV of a lens in a APS-C, what Full frame lens would it take to be able to reproduce the same image in APS-C ? Focal length should be the same to achieve same results in between sensors. Crop value of around 1.52 takes care of the FOV. And this is if you want to adapt a lens, not native lenses on native sensors.

I think that is pretty basic, but I couldn't make a difference on these separate calculations for adapted lenses.

Again thnx for giving advices that were valuable on a different take of this.

michaeladawson Forum Pro • Posts: 14,890
Re: Question about tilt-shift adapting a normal lens.
1

HybridN wrote:

Now I was wrong not to clarify that I wanted an equivalent FOV and didn't know how to express that. That is why I kept asking what Focal length it would be a certain lens in different sensors.

So if I know a specific FOV of a lens in a APS-C, what Full frame lens would it take to be able to reproduce the same image in APS-C ? Focal length should be the same to achieve same results in between sensors. Crop value of around 1.52 takes care of the FOV. And this is if you want to adapt a lens, not native lenses on native sensors.

I think that is pretty basic, but I couldn't make a difference on these separate calculations for adapted lenses.

It sounds like you have it straight.  Although I still can't tell from that paragraph.

If that's the thought process you're going through to figure out what lens to use I can see that things might get confusing.  If you're shooting with different format systems all the time you would want to know this.  And if this is the case the approximate conversion (crop) factors to yield the same FOV are:

APS-C focal length x 1.5 = FF focal length x 1.6 = Medium Format focal length

So if you've been shooting medium format with an 80mm lens and now you want to shoot the same scene with APS-C you'll need an approximate 33mm lens.

But if all you're doing is using APS-C cameras and adapting lenses from other formats you can skip all that if you know your APS-C lenses.  If you know that you use a 16mm lens on your APS-C camera to give you the right FOV then a 16mm full frame lens or 16mm medium format lens will give you the same thing if you adapt them to your APS-C camera.  If you've been using a 35mm APS-C lens on your camera then you'll need a 50 mm full frame lens or an 80mm medium format lens on your APS-C camera.

You can also see that for wide angle work on APS-C a medium format lens adapted to your Fuji is really not possible.

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OP HybridN New Member • Posts: 13
Re: Question about tilt-shift adapting a normal lens.

Yep, got it now Mike. Thanks a lot!

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