Tilt-shift: the prequel

The other day I took delivery of a Nikon PC-E 24mm tilt shift lens, which I am looking forward to using to up the front-to-back-sharpness ante on some of my landscape work (keeping in mind that sharpness in search of a mission is not always a good thing). I’ve not had much time to get to know the lens and I am waiting for delivery of a high-quality Philips #000 screwdriver so I can make it fully landscape-useful by bringing tilt and shift onto the same axis.

I went out last evening and produced some technically very good images. But my, er, focus was far too much concentrated on the technical rather than the aesthetic. So, while I wait for the tools and the muse and the technology to come into balance, here’s an image from the same area that I made before my photographic life became that bit more complex.

This one is about light and emotion. It is taken from Seat Knott on the western edge of the Howgill Fells looking over the Lune Valley.

Did the lens move for you?

3 thoughts on “Tilt-shift: the prequel”

  1. Hi Dave,
    Thanks for your response in Flickr.
    If you are using live view, will that indicate that you have fron to back sharpness or will you have to adjust to hyperfocal distance?

    If you’re reading this then ‘no problems’ with the password, I copied & pasted it in. I tried to type in the password & that seems to be a problem, it would not go.
    Dave

  2. Hello Dave

    Remember that I am not an expert on this tilt-shift lens (although I do have plans to be as soon as possible). Live view just means that I can look at relevant areas of the composition really large and see how sharp they are—this is after I’ve set the tilt according to what the table says for the particular distance from the hinge point, and I’ll choose a smaller aperture if there are relatively tall things (even tall grass, I expect) at the front. The latter because the depth of field will tend to become more vertical than horizontal. Regarding hyperfocal, I’ve read (in those Cambridge in Colour five steps) that “if far subject is at infinity the [before tilting] focus will be at or near the hyper focal distance”. But I tried this approach today and didn’t find it as useful or as quick as setting the table prescribed tilt, then checking and adjusting focus until optimum (subjective) sharpness distributed between relevant near and far compositional elements. I’ll probably end up blogging in the method that suits me best.

What do you think? Please leave a comment.