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Thread: Would a Tilt/Shift lens help in this scenario?

  1. #1

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    Would a Tilt/Shift lens help in this scenario?

    Hi All,

    Just after some info... I took some photos last night and their perspectives were all out of whack - making things look curved and in general just crooked. I have made some PP adjustments, however, in this first photo (even in the edited version), something just doesn't look right (it doesn't look straight for some reason) and I can't put my finger on it... Maybe someone can shed some light?

    Links to the fullsize photos are available - you just click on the image and it will take you to the location that they're stored at.

    Original:
    Would a Tilt/Shift lens help in this scenario?

    Edited (Lens Correction):
    Would a Tilt/Shift lens help in this scenario?

    Can someone shed some light on whether this is too much PP?
    Original:
    Would a Tilt/Shift lens help in this scenario?

    Edited (Lens Correction):
    Would a Tilt/Shift lens help in this scenario?

    Also, can anything be done with this image? I have a feeling there is too much perspective on this image and that nothing can be done, but who knows, maybe someone knows what to do... Would a T/S lens have helped in this situation or would it be too large an object to capture with a T/S lens at ground level?
    Would a Tilt/Shift lens help in this scenario?

    Thanks & as always C&C welcome too!
    Last edited by dan88; 26th April 2009 at 10:58 AM. Reason: Resized as per Dave's instructions - forgot to do this before...

  2. #2
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    Re: Would a Tilt/Shift lens help in this scenario?

    Hi Dan,

    No need to click to see the big pictures, that's what you have linked here!
    Unfortunately that means my browser all but siezes up for several sections of the page as I try to scroll past them. I doubt anyone would object if you had smaller versions, say 1200px width max, if you substitute those here, but still link to the big ones - which is probably what you intended.

    Anyway, on to the pictures;
    On the first one, I'd seriously consider cropping off the building on left, rather than using it as a reference to straighten against. The result of what you've done has not fully corrected the main subject building. I know that means losing a bit of the sweep of the roadway, which is unfortunate, but who wants the bin in shot anyway. If you could find a way to straighten without losing the tips of the building would be good too. I haven't got time for a play now to see if I can do better, but I'll maybe have a go this evening, unless someone beats me to it.

    On the second, you state you've used lens correction, presummably the perspective bit mainly. If you're using PS Elements or CS2 - CS4, rather than this, which I think is what's causing the top of things to disappear, I'd try Transform > Distort, or Transform > Perspective, with these you have control over such things. I'm no expert, but I did a fair bit on my Marlow Bridge pictures and didn't end up losing the top of anything I didn't want to. One thing I do struggle with though is judging whether I have the picture level before I start perspective correcting though, because if you haven't, this can cause problems and may be part of the problem with your #1 come to think of it.

    On the last (the church), you've already cropped the spire unfortunately, so I'm not sure you can, but you'd be surprised what can be done. If you look at the Eton College Chapel pic in my Around Windsor and Eton post (last one), that started life with a similar amount of lean as your church.

    Two things to give yourself a better chance with similar shots in future are;
    1) If there's nothing in the foreground, gets as far back as possible and reduce the upward angle of the camera's lens, waste the bottom half of frame and crop in PP, BUT
    2) Always be sure to leave enough space above the subject for a bit of loss in PP
    Would you find it useful to see a couple of my shots with both the before and after perspective corrections?

    To answer the question would a tilt/shift lens help; almost certainly, but I don't own one, so I shouldn't really say.
    What I can say is that I'm quite pleased with what I have achieved in PS Elements even on lowly 6MP images, they look fine on the web, but admittedly may not stand printing as I won't have sufficient resolution.

    Hope that helps,

  3. #3

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    Re: Would a Tilt/Shift lens help in this scenario?

    A tilt and shift lens or perhaps more commonly referred to as a perspective control lens would actually render your images more or less perfect. But, there's a catch. Firstly they're not cheap, secondly they do take a bit of fiddling with and lastly the exposure control in-camera can be fiddly.

    All in all a lens for those who like to tinker around on the scene preferably with a hand-held exposure meter, focussing manually and have plently of time.

    Having said that they are a fantastic piece of kit on a DSLR and you can create some amazing photos with extensive depth of field. I even know someone who shoots pictures of motorbikes (static display ones).

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    Re: Would a Tilt/Shift lens help in this scenario?

    No need to click to see the big pictures, that's what you have linked here!
    @Dave, my bad... I've now fixed this...

    The best way I found to fix the cropping of the top of the image was to expand the canvas say 100px more on each 4 sides... That way whatever I crop, I can choose where it comes from. I have re-done the first picture with the top of the picture NOT missing this time ... I also figured out why it seemed a bit off - it seems I must've been not vertically inline with the front of the building (even though I thought I was) because I tried straightening the image to make the steeple things match both sides, which then threw the sides of the building askew. I then went into PS3 and did the Horizontal (only very slightly) correction as well as the previous Vertical corrections and the image seemed to line up a bit better. The fence poles are crooked so there's not much that I can do in regards to that.

    Here it is. I think it's a much better image this time thanks to your C&C
    Would a Tilt/Shift lens help in this scenario?

    I'll have to re-take that shot of the church - it's just that there's not really much further I can go back without having shrubbery in the way or getting run over (as it's one of the main roads in that suburb)...

    All in all a lens for those who like to tinker around on the scene preferably with a hand-held exposure meter, focussing manually and have plently of time.
    I don't mind tinkering on the scene, but I don't know how to use a hand-held exposure meter... all in good time I suppose... Focussing manually isn't that bad as I've had situations where the scenery has been too dark for AF to focus on something... Take about 4-5 shots till you get the focus perfect I found was the key in this situation.

    The cost isn't really an issue as I have alot of money coming in from tax this year so I plan to spend a few thousand on some decent L series or equivalent lenses...
    Last edited by dan88; 27th April 2009 at 12:06 AM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Would a Tilt/Shift lens help in this scenario?

    Hi Dan,

    Here was one of my earlier goes at PP correction;
    Original (it is a seriously big building and like you, I couldn't get any further away):
    Would a Tilt/Shift lens help in this scenario?


    Final (not perfect (in fact looks a bit too light on the stonework now), but the perspective, not fully corrected, looks natural I think):
    Would a Tilt/Shift lens help in this scenario?

    On your red brick building, you've gone a bit tighter than I had in mind, but it does look better now.

    Cheers,

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    Re: Would a Tilt/Shift lens help in this scenario?

    I am surprised at how well the building in your pic came up. It seems like it would be very difficult to straighten... I might have a go at the last image on my first post and see how I go with that one...

    On your red brick building, you've gone a bit tighter than I had in mind, but it does look better now.
    Cheers for this - the reason I had to crop it so small was I wanted to keep the 3x2 aspect ratio (so that it is still printable on normal photo paper if need be). I could try cropping it a bit larger, but this would result in that building to the left showing up abit more... Maybe this could be a good thing though - but I wanted the grass and the fence poles on the right in the image so that's why I cropped as portrait rather than landscape.

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    Re: Would a Tilt/Shift lens help in this scenario?

    I have edited a few of the photos and will repost them here.

    Here is the train station with the roof still visible this time...
    Would a Tilt/Shift lens help in this scenario?

    Original for comparison:
    Would a Tilt/Shift lens help in this scenario?

    I had a go at the transform tool Dave mentioned, however I couldn't seem to come to grips with it so I went back to the lens correction tool. I think it's time to buy a photoshop book
    Here is the church with some White Balance modifications to it as well as some vertical correction applied. I tried horizontal correction too but I couldn't do any without having to crop some of the steeple thing so I decided to leave that aspect.
    Would a Tilt/Shift lens help in this scenario?

    Original for comparison:
    Would a Tilt/Shift lens help in this scenario?

    Opinions anyone?

    Thanks
    Last edited by dan88; 27th April 2009 at 04:47 AM.

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    Re: Would a Tilt/Shift lens help in this scenario?

    If you plan to make more architectural pictures in the end a T/S lens is valueable.
    I have one for some months now and this lens forces you to slow down in making te picture.
    You need a tripod, put the camera in level and compose. Use tilt if needed. In the end it gives very good results.
    However you have to learn how to handle the lens.

    Fixing distortion in PS is possible but also tricky. You move in one direction and this influences the other direction as well.
    Also the possible crop decreases.

    At the moment you can buy a 24 mm T/S mark I for less the € 800 in the netherlands.
    The Mark II will be at least twice the price.

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    Re: Would a Tilt/Shift lens help in this scenario?

    Quote Originally Posted by hansm View Post
    If you plan to make more architectural pictures in the end a T/S lens is valueable.
    I have one for some months now and this lens forces you to slow down in making te picture.
    You need a tripod, put the camera in level and compose. Use tilt if needed. In the end it gives very good results.
    However you have to learn how to handle the lens.

    Fixing distortion in PS is possible but also tricky. You move in one direction and this influences the other direction as well.
    Also the possible crop decreases.

    At the moment you can buy a 24 mm T/S mark I for less the € 800 in the netherlands.
    The Mark II will be at least twice the price.
    Well this is good timing... I'm buying 1-2 L series at tax time (July in Australia) this year... I tend to take alot of night photos as well as architechtural photos (sometimes a combination!)... I have plenty of time when I'm out shooting so this isnt an issue... For night photography in particular, would it be more beneficial to go the lower aperture (2.8 - non L series) or the higher aperture (3.5 - L series)?

    I was looking at either the 24mm f/3.5L or the 45mm f/2.8L and I'd prefer to go the lower aperture, however does the L series produce better quality photos? Also, the 45mm I'm thinking might be very difficult to use in most situations as my camera is a 1.6x CF so it ends up being 72mm on a FF - which might be very hard to capture the whole scene... Also one last question lol... Can the T/S lens be used as a normal if both axis are set to 0?

    Thanks!

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    Re: Would a Tilt/Shift lens help in this scenario?

    Quote Originally Posted by dan88 View Post
    For night photography in particular, would it be more beneficial to go the lower aperture (2.8 - non L series) or the higher aperture (3.5 - L series)?
    Hi Dan,

    As soon as you get into night time landscape or architectural shooting, tripods become compulsory - at which point wider apertures become more or less irrelivant.

    Additionally, you often have to stop-down to F11 to F16 range anyway due to Depth-of-Field considerations.

    Hope this helps

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    Re: Would a Tilt/Shift lens help in this scenario?

    Using a T/S lens helps to obtain vertical lines straight from the scene using the shifting ability, but...

    ...there is _nothing_ a T/S can obtain in terms of perspective, that you cannot get with a wide (enough) angle regular lens + software perspective correction. The difference will be in the ease to have that final image, and the quality of it (since software correction means resampling).

    BR

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    Re: Would a Tilt/Shift lens help in this scenario?

    Putting the settings to 0 makes the lens behave like a normal lens with same focal lenght.

    I wouldn't bother to much about the aperture. The focal length is more important. I would go for th 24 mm lens to be able to capture tall buldings.
    You will need a tripod anyway and normally you don't take pictures with fully open aperture.

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    Re: Would a Tilt/Shift lens help in this scenario?

    Quote Originally Posted by hansm View Post
    I would go for th 24 mm lens to be able to capture tall buldings.
    Keep in mind also that Canon will shortly be releasing an TS-E 17mm lens

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    Re: Would a Tilt/Shift lens help in this scenario?

    Thanks for the info! Very tempting... Might wait and get that instead as that would be more beneficial to me especially with the 1.6x CF... Would it be EF or EF-S mount as I may decide to buy a FF at some point in the future?

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    Re: Would a Tilt/Shift lens help in this scenario?

    Quote Originally Posted by dan88 View Post
    Thanks for the info! Very tempting... Might wait and get that instead as that would be more beneficial to me especially with the 1.6x CF... Would it be EF or EF-S mount as I may decide to buy a FF at some point in the future?
    No Worries

    Being L-Series, it's an EF Mount - so no FF worries in the future

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    Re: Would a Tilt/Shift lens help in this scenario?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    No Worries

    Being L-Series, it's an EF Mount - so no FF worries in the future
    Oh sweet! I'll definitely wait until it comes out... 17mm @ 1.6x CF = 27.2mm Effective Focal Length... Does this sound about right?

    Thanks!

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    Re: Would a Tilt/Shift lens help in this scenario?

    Quote Originally Posted by dan88 View Post
    Oh sweet! I'll definitely wait until it comes out... 17mm @ 1.6x CF = 27.2mm Effective Focal Length... Does this sound about right?

    Thanks!
    Sounds about right to me! Just be aware that it's not cheap ... and the front element looks awefully exposed! (mind you, it can't be any worse than my EF14mm!).

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