Tilt-Shift question

I have talked here before about tilt-shift lenses (search in the search field on the right). I love my 45mm TS-E tilt-shift lens, and I mentioned it in my talk to the Brampton Photo Club.

David H asks:

On Thursday at the BPG meeting you mentioned using tilt-shift lenses for architectural photography. But people have told me that given the price of the lenses, you are better off using photoshop or lightroom for correcting perspective. Now, I realize that tilt-shift lenses have other uses such as their control of focus, but for architectural photography are there other advantages of using them that you can get from using Photoshop or Lightroom?

Good question, David.

And yes, there are benefits to using one of these lenses.

First, the tilt-shift lens has other benefits than architecture. Moving the field of focus (tilting) is often important, rather than perspective correction (shifting).

Second, a Tilt-Shift lens is a prime lens, meaning it is sharp and has a large aperture – f/2.8 typically.

But even for perspective correction there are benefits to doing it in lightroom. Sure, Lightroom makes it easy to correct the convergence at the top you get with vertical lines when you aim a camera upward – a couple of clicks and you are done.

But this is at the cost of

  • Pixels. You draw out the center pixels, meaning that is an image is, say, 4,000 pixels wide, when you are done correcting the top may be only 3,000 pixels wide – meaning less resolution in the finished image. The tilt-shift uses your whole sensor – al 4,000 pixels in this example.
  • Space. By cutting, you are losing bits of your picture.

All these benefits of this type of lens means you may well consider renting one to see what they are all about. Read the articles I wrote here about them and then decide. Remember, you have to both expose and focus manually when using one of these – but that too can be a benefit. Humans know more than chips!


4 thoughts on “Tilt-Shift question

  1. Hi Michael,

    Love reading your articles.

    Quick question on the steering wheel pic (both the control buttons on the right side of the wheel and some knobs on dashboard behind are sharp) – which way did you tilt the lens? I can’t reason it out. Would you mind sheding some light?

    Many thanks.

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