Tilt-Shift lenses can be utilized in many different ways throughout architectural, portrait, lifestyle, and tabletop photography to correct distortion, create a miniature effect and produce a dreamy, selective look. Both Canon and Nikon have their own versions, the TS-E and PC-E respectively, available in a variety of focal lengths. Vincent Laforet has compiled three wonderful videos that will introduce you to the basic functions and explain and demonstrate the different applications of this versatile lens. Just follow this link to his gallery of videos. Below are some helpful diagrams from our friends over at the Slanted Lens. These diagrams break down the different planes of focus based on the direction in which you are tilting or shifting: If you stand straight on to the subject and point the camera straight at the subject, then the background will fall out of focus equally on both sides. If you swing the lens to the right, the subject and the left side of the background will be in focus and the right side of the foreground will fall out of focus.If you swing your lens to the left, the subject and the right side of the background will be in focus and the left foreground will be out of focus.If you tilt the lens up, the background above the subjects head will fall out of focus and the foreground will come into focus. If you tilt the lens down, the background will come into focus and the foreground will be out of focus.
When it comes to using Tilt-Shift lenses, there’s a bit of a learning curve. Auto features do not work, which means you’ll need to use manual focus. A great tool for checking focus on your composition is the ‘Live-View’ feature. The best way to learn is through hands on experience, so if you’re inspired to give it a go, we have a variety of focal lengths for both Canon and Nikon available for rent. Be sure to show us what you capture by posting your images in the comments below!