Images of a Big Island

Mersey Bluff and a new purchase

I have always been a fan of the Tasmanian wilderness photographer Peter Dombrovskis, he would hike off into the Tasmanian Wilderness with a large format camera and return with beautiful images which he would publish in the renowned Wilderness Calendar.

Apart from his discerning eye for light, the images would nearly always have a very strong foreground leading the eye through the image and they were sharp! I  have tried with varying success to emulate that look at times but wide -angle lenses always introduced distortion as soon as they were tilted from a vertical axis. After thinking about it for a while I recently purchased a Canon 24mm Tilt Shift Lens (TS-E f/3.5L II) to see what they do.

Expensive,yes, but they are a very versatile lens indeed and sharp! They are a large lens because if the tilt/shift mechanism and manual focus only, they are also a little bit fiddly so a tripod is pretty much a given. No firing of a quick sequence with this lens.

What can you do with this lens? Panoramas both vertical & horizontal are a breeze using the shift function and because there is no rotation of the camera the stitching software loves it. With a crop sensor camera 3:1 ratio panoramas are normal.

As the shift function operates in 8 directions,large resolution square images are also possible but probably best used with static objects due to the time factor.

Combine the shift function with focus stacking and a low viewpoint camera and you have a wonderful combination!

They are not easy to use by any means and they are not for everyone, but if you are willing to spend time with one of these lenses it is well worth it! To get an idea of what is possible with these lenses there is a great e-book written by Darwin Wiggett available fom his website.

I have only used the tilt function of the lens a couple of times so far but I intend to get to grips with it soon, Stay tuned!


4 responses

  1. I rented one of those for a few days. They are awesome lenses, though truly difficult to come to grips with and a few days was no where near enough time. The extremely sharp distortion free 24mm lens, ignoring the t-s functions, is worth the money alone. I would own one if I could.

    November 4, 2012 at 9:11 am

  2. Yes, they are certainly difficult to get the most out of but worth it I think! Cheers

    November 5, 2012 at 9:34 pm

  3. Congrat’s on the new glass Tim it’s a fantastic lens! It’s the only lens I miss using after moving to Nikon. I’ve still got mine just incase:-)

    November 6, 2012 at 8:10 am

    • Just got myself a new 5DII as well, cant wait to see how they work together! Cheers Ben

      November 6, 2012 at 10:06 am

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