Tilt/Shift Photography

Tilt–shift photography is the use of camera movements that change the orientation and/or position of the lens with respect to the film or image sensor on cameras.

Sometimes the term is used when the large depth of field is simulated with digital post-processing; the name may derive from a perspective control lens (or tilt–shift lens) normally required when the effect is produced optically.

"Tilt–shift" encompasses two different types of movements: rotation of the lens plane relative to the image plane, called tilt, and movement of the lens parallel to the image plane, called shift.

Tilt is used to control the orientation of the plane of focus (PoF), and hence the part of an image that appears sharp; it makes use of the Scheimpflug principle. Shift is used to adjust the position of the subject in the image area without moving the camera back; this is often helpful in avoiding the convergence of parallel lines, as when photographing tall buildings.
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.

T/S Photographers

- book: Sightseeing Tour (another link here)
Toni Hafkenscheid - official site

Olivo Barbieri
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.

Frank Van Der Salm - official site

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

Gerard Petremand - Swiss photographer - really nice work!

Primoz Jeroncic - Photo Slovenia Photographer

Mark Tucker - official site

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. 

Sample T/S Images (searches at pbase.com)

Related Articles and Artists

Lori Nix - constructs models and shoots them t/s

...so does David Levinthal!

- not t/s photography but rather an artist (Lori Nix) who constructs models that end up looking the same way t/s shots do.

- article on the work of Oliver Boberg

Technical Explanations of T/S Photography

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.

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


Hybrid 35mm DSLR/Large Format Systems

Retailers specializing in T/S lenses

- Kievcamera.net - based in Atlanta, imports Hartblei - Mikhail Fourman's site. - NEW SITE LINK (Aug08)
- 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
- Lensbabies version 3G version has lockdowns for its adjustments, improving its abilities as a t/s option.
- Zork

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