Tilt/Shift Photography

Posted on April 11, 2009 by UNITED PHOTO PRESS

This is a page of links to information about tilt/shift photography and to galleries of photographers who use t/s in their work. Tilt-shift photography as it applies to creating a 'toy-trainset' effect in scenery is catching on all over the world (mostly via flickr, the online photo sharing community) so I felt it would be a good idea to collect as much information about the technology as possible so people can find equipment and inspiration easily.

My own gallery of T/S photography - mentioned by Rannie Turnigan (Photojunkie)

Flickr.com tiltshift group

T/S Photographers

Miklos Gaal
- page at Herrmann & Wagner gallery (exhibit 04-05)
- page at Hermann & Wagner gallery (exhibit 08-03)
- book: Sightseeing Tour (another link here)
Toni Hafkenscheid - official site
- page at Marcia Wood Gallery
- inventory at MW Gallery
- pages at Aron Packer Gallery
- pages at Robert Birch Gallery
- page at Skew Gallery
- page at Summit Gallery of Fine Art

Olivo Barbieri
- Site Specific_Las Vegas 05 video (cinematography by Joshua Allen)
- BLDGBLOG: The City As Avatar of Itself

Jorg Fahlenkamp - mo art gallery site

Frank Van Der Salm - official site
- MK Galerie artist page
- MK Galerie page for FVDS monograph

Mark Rader
- article on his show and Miklos Gaal's (2003)
- tzr gallery of his "Mallorca: Island in Progress"
- EX.IN collection of his work

Tom Merilion
- BBC Birmingham in Pictures Slideshow
- Belfast Exposed review of Birmingham material

Bluejake - blogger has a small T/S gallery w/comments

Bitter*Girls (Japan) - page at so-net.jp

Cosmin Bumbut Photographer -
- :Tilted People - portraits done using T/S - very

- Graflex Super Speed Graphic gallery (Jon likes wide apertures!)

Gerard Petremand - Swiss photographer - really nice work!
- gallery

Primoz Jeroncic - Photo Slovenia Photographer
Jon Roemer - Shots with Canon 1D/1DsMkII and Canon t/s lenses

Claudio Edinger - official site - shoots with 4x5

Mark Tucker - official site
Marcus Spedding - click on "Toytown Japan slideshow" - very good Photoshop "fakes"
Kristofer Jansson- t/s photography with a Pentax K10d + Photex 2.8/35mm t/s lens.
National Geographic photographer David Burnett uses a modified Speed Graphic camera (known as the Burnett Combo, or "Aero-Ektar", due to the marriage of an 7" Aero Ektar lens to a Speed Graphic for superior image quality and wide angle.. He used the combination to shoot an awesome portfolio on the cleanup after Hurricane Katrina for the August, 2006 issue of NG. More images are available at David's website.
Little People - a tiny street art project - not tilt-shift per se but the end result is the same! Check it out! CITYshrinker is a new photography website featuring tilt-shift (or fake tilt-shift) photography by Ben ThomasCinematographer Joshua Allen worked on Olivo Barbieri's Site Specific: Las Vegas.Keith Loutit uses stop motion techniques to create short videos in tilt-shift.

Sample T/S Images (searches at pbase.com)
- Canon TS-E24mm f3.5 L
- Canon TS-E45mm f2.8
- Canon TS-E90mm f2.8
- Lensbaby 2.0
- Lensbaby Original
- Nikkor 85mm f2.8 PC Micro
- Nikkor 28mm f3.5 PC Ai-S

Related Articles and Artists

Lori Nix - constructs models and shoots them t/s

...so does David Levinthal!

BLDGBLOG: Landscapes of a World Gone Wrong
- not t/s photography but rather an artist (Lori Nix) who constructs models that end up looking the same way t/s shots do.

BLDGBLOG: Simulating, replacing or otherwise
- article on the work of Oliver Boberg

Technical Explanations of T/S Photography

- Using Tilt-Shift Lenses for Perspective Control (added March 2008)
- "Tilt-Shift Lenses or: Everything you ever wanted to know about some guy named Scheimpflug but were afraid to ask."
- photo.net: How Shift Lenses Change Your Life by Frank Sheeran
- eosdoc.com: Image Controls: Tilt and Shift
- Columbia University: Scheimpflug Imaging
- Photosafaris: Tilt Lenses
- Canon: Tilt-Shift Lenses
- ikon: Instruction Manual for PC-NIKKOR for Nikon F
- a good discussion on the background of Russian tilt-shift lenses (photography-on-the-net.com)

35mm-compatible T/S Lenses

Hartblei Hartblei has announced a premium line of t/s lenses, made using the SuperRotator barrel but with Carl Zeiss optics. They were introduced at Photokina 2006, and a select number of sample lenses will be sold immediately after the show (late September) for 15% off list before real production starts. Discussion about this with a Hartblei rep at fredmiranda; Hartblei is releasing three lenses with Zeiss glass - these are t/s versions of Zeiss lenses for Hasselblad.
Pricing estimates put them between $3-5000 ea. For more information see Hartblei's release page.
40mm Distagon T* IF 4/40 80mm Planar T" 2.8/80 120mm Makro-Planar T* 4/120Re: Zeiss Hartblei lenses - this is very interesting. According to his ebay listings, Mikhail Fourman over at kievcamera.net is offering conversions of Zeiss Hasselblad lenses - the 40, 80 and 120mm - to tilt-shift Hartblei SuperRotator versions. Two month turnaround. The 80mm and 120mm were $900US and the 40mm was $1300. What this means, to me, is that Hartblei may not have been able to find a market for the completed versions (too expensive?) but is willing to convert customers' lenses. They're pretty good at what they do, judging by the quality of their non-Zeiss lenses... I really want to hear some feedback from someone who's had the conversion done! The ebay listings indicate the conversions are NOT Hasselblad-compatible anymore - they will have CANON 35mm mounts. I would imagine they can do Nikon mount as well.

Standard Hartblei lenses available (Russian glass - made using old Zeiss machinery):
35mm f2.8 SuperRotator
- brand new, just started production Dec 2005 - Discussion on dpreview, some first reactions
- user review with samples - also at fredmiranda.com
45mm f3.5 SuperRotator
- luminous-landscape review
65mm f3.5 SuperRotator
80mm f2.8 SuperRotator
- user review with samples
- user review with samples
120mm f2.8 SuperRotator

MC 80mm TS
- user review with samples
MC 35mm TS- gallery of images taken with Arax TS 35mm & Nikon D70 1, 2, 3, 4
- user review with samples
24mm TS-E f3.5 L
- photozone review
- Northlight Images review (comprehensive)
- photo.net review
45mm TS-E f2.8
- the-digital-picture.com review
- photography-on-the-net mini review
90mm TS-E f.28
- fredmiranda.com review - includes examples
- Northlight Images review
24mm TS-E 3.5 II L - announced Feb 2008
17mm TS-E 4 L - announced Feb 2008
- PC-E Nikkor 24mm f3.5D ED (announced Jan 2008 45mm and 85mm to come as well - more details here. and here.)
- PC Nikkor 28mm f3.5
- PC Nikkor 35mm f3.5
- Micro-PC Nikkor 85mm f2.8 D
- Naturfotograf.com review
- Nature Photographers Online review

Nikon and Canon T/S Lenses Reviewed at Shutterbug

- 28mm f2.8 PC Super Angulon RUseful historical listing of various T/S lenses

Hybrid 35mm DSLR/Large Format Systems
Horsman LD Bellows for Canon & Nikon DSLRs
Northlight Images/Keith Cooper - conversion of Canon 1Ds for use as a digital back on a 4x5 view camera.
Medium Format T/S Cameras, Lenses and AdaptersHasselblad - Flexbody CameraMamiya
- Tilt/Shift Adapter for RZ67 use with Mamiya 75mm f/4.5 Short Barrel Lens
- 55mm f/4.5 PCS Super-Angulon - discussion at photo.net
Medium Format Lenses with the Pentacon Six Mount - a comparative test. (pentaconsix.com)
Retailers specializing in T/S lenses

- Kievcamera.net - based in Atlanta, imports Hartblei - Mikhail Fourman's site. - NEW SITE LINK (Aug08)
- Kievusa.com - Saul Kaminsky's retail site devoted to Kiev cameras and lenses.
- Hartblei.com - manufacturer of T/S lenses (based in Kiev)
site has lots of useful information although sometimes poorly translated from the original Ukranian.

Do-It-Yourself/Random Tilt Lenses

- orbit1 - very nice results
- Mark Tucker's Plunger-Cam
- DigiHack Plunger-Cam
- Lensbabies - frogbeater has a good gallery of LB images
- Lensbabies version 3G version has lockdowns for its adjustments, improving its abilities as a t/s option.
- Zork
- Novoflex BALPRO T/S Bellows
- PC Nikkor 28mm f3.5 Modified T/S

The Burnett Combo: Pacemaker Speed Graphic 4x5 press camera + Kodak Aero Ektar 178mm f2.5 - The Aero Ektar Project - Aero Ektar User Group- The Kodak Aero Ektar and The Speed Graphic - Jo Lommen's instructional pages on how to assemble the Burnett Combo

Achieving the "Tilt-Shift" Effect in Photoshop (sort of)

- There are any number of ways to achieve the t/s 'look' in Photoshop, but most of them produce images that are unique in themselves, and they don't look quite like a true t/s image. However some of them do look very good. There are a number of examples submitted to the tiltshift tag on Flickr.
- Receding Hairline has a good page on "Fake Model Photography", and goes in to great detail describing step-by-step how to approximate t/s in Photoshop CS.
- Tobias Hoellrich's blog has this technique suggestion:
o "If you're using Photoshop CS2 you can use the Filter -> Blur -> Lens Blur ... filter for that. Create an Alpha Channel with a reflected gradient (black areas will be in focus and white areas will be blurred). Then activate the lens blur filter, pick the alpha channel as the Depth Map source and you're set."
- This page has a PS action for achieving the "Lensbaby" effect. (sample)

Tinselman, (Myst co-creator Robyn Miller) has done a good bit of fake t/s work here. Nice aerials of Disney World.
semi related: Jeff Sacilotto has made a 'fake tilt-shift' movie' (Check out Barbieri's Site Specific Las Vegas video above for the real thing).Other Articles Industrial Brand Creative Inc. mentions the t/s 'phenomenon' in their Zeitgeist column. Links to both real and Photoshop tilt-shift examples. PingMag (Japan) has an article on 10 Tiny Tokyo Photos. (Photoshop effect)