Straight up and down

by Helen Hooker December. 20, 2018 478 views

For some time now I’ve fancied having a go at some architecture photography using a tilt shift lens. Sadly, there isn’t a wide angle tilt shift lens for micro four thirds cameras at the moment so it hasn’t been an option. Instead I’ve stuck with my trusty 7-14mm lens. Of course, to get tall buildings into the frame means tilting the camera upwards, resulting in vertical lines which converge and make it feel as though the building is about to fall over. The solution is a spot of Lightroom or Photoshop work to straighten things up, but that means cutting away valuable pixels.

Over time I’ve investigated the options and recently discovered a Metabones speedbooster adapter which would allow me to mount a Canon 24mm tilt shift lens on my camera. The optics inside the adapter also negate some of my camera’s crop factor, and give the lens a faster aperture too. To my mind that seems to defy the laws of physics, but that doesn’t matter if it works!

Of course, such wizardry is very expensive, so when I received a mailing from the folks at Hire a Camera offering eleven days hire for the price of two over Christmas it was too good an opportunity to miss! The lens and adapter arrived today so I had a quick play to familiarise myself with the complex array of knobs and dials before heading out to test drive it on some sizeable architecture.

I ended up at Finchingfield, in the village church. The light was fading fast, so I found myself working against the clock with unfamiliar equipment. My first impressions are positive. It was great to be able to shoot things straight and perfectly lined up in camera, rather than shooting wider to allow room for some post processing work. It’s a weighty setup and not altogether intuitive to use, but with practice it’ll get easier. Generally, it’s assumed you’ll always use a tilt shift lens on a tripod, but I discovered that careful hand-held shooting is also possible.

For most of my photos I just used the lens's shift capability to keep things straight. Here I dabbled with the tilt function to play with the depth of focus. A challenge in failing light but I'll be sure to experiment some more.

For most of my photos I just used the lens's shift capability to keep things straight. Here I dabbled with the tilt function to play with the depth of focus. A challenge in failing light but I'll be sure to experiment some more.

My plan for tomorrow is to give the lens and adapter a bigger workout in London so I’ll soon have more photos to share. One thing’s for sure – I’m going to have lots of fun with this beast of a lens before I have to send it back!

20 December 2018

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Russell Smith 11 months ago

I look forward to seeing the results :)

11 months ago Edited
David Allen 11 months ago

Looks really good.

11 months ago Edited
Jim Hooker 11 months ago

Lovely crisp set and all square where it should be.  Perhaps a picture of the set-up in a future post?

11 months ago Edited
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