I seem to have spent a lot of time in cold, dark churches lately. During the experimentation with my hired tilt-shift lens over Christmas we barely saw any sunshine (or even half decent light!) so I’ve ended up shooting loads of church interiors. Since I returned the fancy lens I’ve continued to ponder cost-efficient ways to shoot architecture while keeping things straight in camera. I could buy a Canon 17mm tilt-shift lens to use with a Metabones Speedbooster, but I need to win the lottery or rob a bank for that to happen! Instead I looked at cheaper alternatives.
A couple of weeks ago I came across a seven year old forum post by architectural photographer Gareth Gardner, who tried using a Voigtlander 12mm lens with a Chinese shift adapter on his M43 camera with some success. I contacted him, and he was kind enough to respond and give me some helpful advice. The combination I ultimately hit upon is a Samyang 14mm lens with a Kipon shift adapter, both of which arrived today. Total cost - well under £400, compared to getting on for £2000 for the Canon/Metabones alternative!
The light today was still incredibly dreary and uninspiring, but that wasn’t going to stop me getting out to see if my theoretical architecture setup would actually work! I popped down to our village church and started shooting, albeit slowly as I got to grips with the gear. I’m pleased to report it works remarkably well. The field of view is a bit wider than I had with the hired lens, which is handy, and with careful manual focusing I got some half decent results. If I hanker for something even wider in the long term, there is a more expensive 12mm lens I could upgrade to, but for now my budget setup seems a good choice!
10 January 2019