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Author Topic: Tilt/Shift Options.  (Read 1863 times)
Neeneko
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« on: February 13, 2012, 02:01:17 PM »
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Hello all.  I have a quick newbie question regarding tilt/shift solutions.  I apologize for this not being terribly specific...

I have always liked some of the pictures I have seen come out of view cameras and would like to experiment with this type of photography, but when looking into options I encountered a dizzying array of possibilities, many of which are expensive enough that I can only really try out one at most.  I have found many reviews (including here, dpreivew, and northlight images) but very little discussion comparing them to each other. 

So I am curious what people's takes on how good of an idea any of the solutions are for learning (using a Canon APS-C camera, maybe FF later).... things like:

Strait EOS options:
Canon's own TS lenses.

Medium Format adapters (using Mamiya 645 lenses since I might have access to a few of those already):
Mirex (or similiar) adapter
Zörk Panoramic+Pro Shift Adaptor
Novoflex's Balpro+Shift Adapter

Large Format repurposing:
Hooking up my Canon to a LF monorail via either a hacked plate or a professionally manufactured one with a slide. (I am still very unclear how much of an issue things like focus to infinity is in this case).

I do not have any particular use-case, other then flexibility would be nice and portability is not terribly important.

Thanks for any feedback that can be provided.
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bill t.
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« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2012, 02:48:21 PM »
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I have been working with various Canon TS lenses on a 5DII.  My basic conclusion is that I prefer focus stacking with Helicon Focus in almost every case where super-sharp, deep focus needs to be maintained.

TS solves a wide variety of receding plane problems  But in many situations such as when there is uneven ground very nearby, they can not offer a fully satisfactory solution and there is always a certain amount of image quality compromise even with the best TS lenses.  I feel that I can get significantly better looking high DOF images from stacking, versus using TS lenses.

In regards to re-purposing a classic view camera, note that DSLR sensors are located somewhat back from the lensmount opening, which can limit the amount of off-axis adjustment.  Also, DSLR sensors may have piping and other diffraction-like problems when light hits them at extreme angles.

Setting up a TS shot takes a certain amount of time.  So does processing a focus stack.  So one trades off time in the field for time in post processing.  But more significant for me is the fact that I can shoot a focus stack in the field simply by hitting the tape marks on my lens, without having to squint through viewfinder or poke some little magnifying window around on the liveview screen.  I feel I can always come away the field with a workable set of focus stacked images, but I would be much less confident about whether or not I had set up the TS lens in the best possible way, especially in marginal light conditions.

If you feel comfortable with view cameras, you might consider scanning camera backs.
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Neeneko
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« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2012, 02:59:52 PM »
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I have been working with various Canon TS lenses on a 5DII.  My basic conclusion is that I prefer focus stacking with Helicon Focus in almost every case where super-sharp, deep focus needs to be maintained.

*nod* I looked into the focus stacking technique but, and I know this is going to sound silly, but I really do not want to use software if I can help it.  I work with software for a living and really enjoy the mechanical elements of photography as a hobby, so I try to do as little post processing as I can since it sucks the enjoyment out of it for me.

I may, of course, change my tune on that after playing with it a bit.

Quote
In regards to re-purposing a classic view camera, note that DSLR sensors are located somewhat back from the lensmount opening, which can limit the amount of off-axis adjustment.  Also, DSLR sensors may have piping and other diffraction-like problems when light hits them at extreme angles.

Ah, I had not heard about the diffraction problems.  Thanks for the heads up.  And good point about the lensmount opening, I had not considered that issue.

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If you feel comfortable with view cameras, you might consider scanning camera backs.

*nod* I have been watching eBay for used scanning backs to get a feel for those prices, so that is indeed something I am pondering, though those have speed limitations that would make them unusable for some pictures I am pondering.  Wonderful for others though.

Thanks for your response ^_^
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