Tilt-Shift...destined to be a classic or just another fad?

Ilovemycam

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Back in the day, tilt-shift was the preferred method for architectural work with view cams. Nowadays it is a tool to freak out and distort perspective.

Do you think tilt-shift is destined to be a classic or is it just another fad?
 

Steve5D

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It will be a "classic" (in the absence of a better word) with respect to why it was developed.

Beyond that, I think I remember tilt-shift being a "thing" for about a minute. I don't really see it used in that fad-like manner much anymore...
 

480sparky

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Well, it's hard to call it a 'fad' when they've been around so long.
 

amolitor

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I think maybe the question is whether the "tilt-shift effect" which is usually done in post is going to be a fad or not. I think's already been a fad and is done, mostly. It's a big internet, and there's always someone who has just discovered a thing, but I think this one has had it's peak a long time ago.

Real tilt-shift with equipment that actually wiggles is pretty expensive and specialized, so you're typically NOT seeing actual T/S kit being used for cheap effects. Usually the people who bother with that kind of kit are solving actual problems of managing the plane of focus for a purpose, rather than for an effect.
 

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It's already become a big "thing" with a few nature and landscape photographers who want to pick up more depth of field in single-frame shooting, using high-resolution cameras like the D800 and D800e. I look at tilt/shift lenses are absolutely necessary tools with huge value for people who do a lot of close-up, or table-top, or product or food photography. Not at all "faddish".

There are still a fair number of people-photographers who are using T/S effects to get a somewhat different, odd look to their work, but the price of the lenses keeps the real garden-variety dilettantes from being able to afford the lenses just for chits and giggles type use. I think "that" market is now being served by the newer Lensbaby offerings.
 

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6216590052_ca223cb262_o.jpg
 

raventepes

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I've used a T/S is architecture work to help prevent keystoning. Sadly, I'm looking to replace that particular lens, at the moment.
 

KmH

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Yep, it's just a fad.

After all, it's only been round in one form or another for 170+ years now.
 
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Ilovemycam

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I didn't know it has been around for so long. (The distortion part.) My thinking about tilt-shift was to un-distort. I was trying to find out how this miniaturization effect was looked upon.

Seems certain 'looks' get accepted or not. Diffusion is liked, extreme HDR hated by many. Same with hatred for selective color. But tilt-shift distortion / miniaturization seems to be accepted and loved.
 

amolitor

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Like all such effects, fake tilt-shift will be acceptable, always, when it serves the image and will be faddish and ridiculous when it does not.
 

Scatterbrained

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Back in the day, tilt-shift was the preferred method for architectural work with view cams. Nowadays it is a tool to freak out and distort perspective.

Do you think tilt-shift is destined to be a classic or is it just another fad?

No back in the day about it......

Cambo SC2 by tltichy, on Flickr

View cameras are still regularly used with digital backs for product photography. Those who aren't using technical/view/monorail LF cameras are using tilt shift lenses. I would posit that you're so accustomed to seeing images taken with the "tilt shift" mechanism that you aren't even aware you're looking at them. ;)
 
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Ilovemycam

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Yep, it's just a fad.

After all, it's only been round in one form or another for 170+ years now.

So when was the first documented use of tilt-shift used for miniaturization distortion? Your claiming 170 years ago?
 

480sparky

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Yep, it's just a fad.

After all, it's only been round in one form or another for 170+ years now.

So when was the first documented use of tilt-shift used for miniaturization distortion? Your claiming 170 years ago?


He didn't say that. He merely mentioned the concept of T/S is 170 years old.
 

rexbobcat

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Yep, it's just a fad.

After all, it's only been round in one form or another for 170+ years now.

So when was the first documented use of tilt-shift used for miniaturization distortion? Your claiming 170 years ago?

From my understanding, you can T/S with pretty much any camera that has a bellows. T/S lenses aren't as old as the technique itself.
 

TCampbell

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It takes a bit of effort and practice to use the tilt aspect of the lens for what it's designed to do... change the plane of focus to align with your subject. It's rather easy to use it to deliberately do the opposite... push the plane of focus into a direction that causes very little of the image to be focused. I think of the miniaturized look to be a big of a gimmick. When I use my t/s lens, it's usually because I have a long flat subject and I want everything sharp. I've always felt that if the lens is used as intended, viewers probably wouldn't realize they were looking at an image taken through a t/s lens... they'd just think of it as a well-focused image and it might not occur to them that the subject angle would have been hard to focus so well when using a normal lens.

Perspective shift is pretty easy. You don't really need the shift for perspective correction -- that's one of the things you can do in photoshop with a transform tool. But the focus plane tilt... that takes work.

You can buy bellows to slip in between normal lenses. Novoflex makes bellows that work on a lot of cameras. They have "universal" bellows but I think they only make these for Canon. The difference between their regular bellows and the "universal" bellows is that they run an electronic terminal from the back to the front so that the lens can have full communication with the body even with the bellows in between. I don't think they make the electronic communication cable for Nikon.

The other thing about tilt-shift lenses is the size of the image circle. Whereas a normal lens needs to produce an image circle large enough to cover the sensor (but no larger), tilt-shift lenses need to produce a much larger image circle while still maintaining acceptable image quality because it still has to look good when you shift and/or tilt the lens in any possible combination. With real bellows, you can physically position things so that the sensor is more or less in the path of the lens projection even after tilting it.
 

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