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Ranmoor Church

By AM74
I have owned this 17 mm tilt shift lens for sometime, but have been too scared to use it properly. I had a go today and took shots of this church in my neighbourhood, and used the shift function (although I am not 100% sure about its purpose). This is a fixed lens with manual focus only. I used a tripod. I am interested to know if you think the image is sharp enough and whether the shot is exposed properly. Thanks

Tags: Sky Building Church Architecture

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dudler Plus
17 1.3k 1698 England
27 Jan 2018 9:20PM
Hi, Annie -

I'll do the technical stuff...

The idea of the shift function of the lens is to allow you to take pictures of subjects without converging verticals, by having the camera back vertical, even though this points the camera at the base of the subject, not up at it (as you have here).

Think of taking a picture with a wideangle setting, pointing the camera level at a tall building. You have a load of wasted foreground, but the whole of the building is in shot, and the verticals are parallel. With a shift lens, you can use a longer focal length, and shift the field of view upwards, excluding the foreground.

The tilt function allows you to get extreme depth of field, using something called the Scheimpflug Principle. You can combine the functions...

You've actually shot from too close in for the lens to be effective here - but that doesn't particularly matter, as the quality is very high with any such lens (why cut corners on the quality, when the mount has to be so complex and expensive?)

But a tripod and a bit of mugging up will let you do things that are not noramlly the province of DSLRs. I now have an idea for my Silly Sunday picture, of my Cambo monorail camera in tilt/shift mode... Watch this space...
28 Jan 2018 9:14AM
Thanks John as usual for simplifying concepts. So what I am reading from your notes above is that if I was further away from the scene, the shift function would have been useful to exclude the foreground and get the verticals right?

I think easier for me at this stage of my progress to just treat it as a normal 17 mm lens, no?

I am already looking forward to your silly Sunday shot Smile
paulbroad 13 131 1289 United Kingdom
28 Jan 2018 1:44PM
John covers it. You are too close and tilt and shift lenses are designed to minimise or remove distortion. I had experience in my early photographic life of MPP and Sinar 5x4 cameras, both with bellows and inbuilt tilt and shift. Shooting technical images as a Metallurgist we sometimes had to get both ends of a long object in focus and that is what this type of gear is for. The lenses for SLR can't really match the old and technical bellows and monorail cameras though.

banehawi Plus
16 2.3k 4163 Canada
28 Jan 2018 2:58PM

Added video. This is a bit like finding a lump of gold under the bed and asking whats this yellow rock it for!

I added a mod of the original image, no perspective corrections, and its got exposure increased approx +2/3 over the +1 you applied.


28 Jan 2018 4:50PM
Thanks Willie!

Quote:This is a bit like finding a lump of gold under the bed and asking whats this yellow rock it for!

Grin Love your analogy!

I acquired this lens as part of a bundle deal with 5D4 on eBay. It was good value for money and I loved some of the shots on internet taken from this lens. However it is much easier to see other people's photos, read about them etc, but when it's just you and your camera all alone, it feels a bit daunting!

There are quite a few videos online re this lens, but it is good that I can now watch the one that you are personally recommending.

Thanks a million Smile
dudler Plus
17 1.3k 1698 England
28 Jan 2018 6:16PM
And you can also see how it looks with a simpler camera...

Specially taken for you. It's possible that seeing it without all the modern techology wrapped round it will make the principles clearer.
28 Jan 2018 10:46PM
Thanks for going out of your way John. I cannot express my gratitude enough.
Your shots make much more sense to my non-photographer brain ( but working hard on the transition Smile )
dudler Plus
17 1.3k 1698 England
28 Jan 2018 10:53PM
I don't think there are many people on this site working harder, Annie: and you will certainly get there!

leo_nid quote Henri Cartier-Bresson on his page here - your first 10,000 shots are your worst...
29 Jan 2018 9:35AM
That makes me feel better John! Still a long way to go before 10000 mark!

I do have a silly question, when I use the shift function and move side to side for example, the exposure varies widely- is that meant to happen?

dudler Plus
17 1.3k 1698 England
29 Jan 2018 5:33PM
Hmmm... A godo one.

It could be, partly, that you are changing the field of view, and that means the epxosure needed is different.

However, there are two things I can think of that are more likely.

One is that there's falloff towards the edges of any lens, making the corners darker. A shift lens will have a far bigger coverage than most, but there may be fall-off of illumination, especially at wider apertures (and yoru camera meters at full aperture, so the effect will be significant, perhaps).

Second is that there may be some sort of technical concern - both the sensor pixels and the metering mechanism may be designed to receive light from quite restricted angles, and the T/S lens may push this to the limit.

Others - especially Canon users with T/S lenses - may be able to say more, and with more authority.
29 Jan 2018 10:02PM
Thanks John, reassuring to know that you are not sure!
It feels like the lens and camera ignore the exposure meter when it is tilted or shifted, and not just by a little bit. So I shift a little bit and the pic is completely washed out.

Maybe it works in manual mode rather than AV?

I will do some research on the net.

Many thanks,


dudler Plus
17 1.3k 1698 England
30 Jan 2018 3:59AM
I'm surprised if it doesn't work in Av: looking at pictures of the lns, it has an electric diaphragm mechanism. But I'm not a Canon user...

However, a work-around is to take a reading with the lens centred, and hold that in Manual, or with exposure lock, as you shift. There's a very full review HERE , It mentions heavy falloff at maximum aperture, though, which was one of my earlier thoughts.

The review also suggests metering before shifting, just as I've described above. I think it may be worth scanning through it.
dudler Plus
17 1.3k 1698 England
30 Jan 2018 4:00AM
And the review includes a link to the instruction manual at:
30 Jan 2018 10:45PM
Thanks again John. I will look the links up.
dudler Plus
17 1.3k 1698 England
31 Jan 2018 7:58AM
My word, my keyboard's been having a bad couple of day for spelling...

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