posted Friday, November 11, 2016 at 12:15 PM EDT


If you have never used a tilt-shift lens, it can be confusing to understand how they work. Lens Pro To Go has made a video detailing different available tilt-shift lenses and how they are used.

One of the appeals of a tilt-shift lens is how its tilt function allows you to shoot in a distinct way. Traditional lenses have a focal plane that is parallel to the center of the image sensor, but with a tilt-shift lens, you can make the focal plane off-axis. This allows you to do one of two things. You can either make the depth of field much smaller than a traditional lens, all else equal, which creates the miniature look you have surely seen before. Or, you can instead capture images with objects in focus at different distances. This has obvious applications for still life photography where you need the depth of field to be much larger than you could get with a traditional lens.

The second half of the tilt-shift lens, the shift, is unique as well and offers distinct shooting possibilities. It is much easier to capture images for stitching wide panoramas with a tilt-shift lens, for example, because you can control for and eliminate distortion, even at wide focal lengths. For architectural photography, being able to control distortion is critical; you can make vertical objects stay vertical.

Tilt-shift lenses allow you to manipulate the focal plane when focusing the lens, which allows you to sharply capture subjects at different depths of field, even at wide apertures.

Architectural photography sometimes demands the use of a tilt-shift lens because of its ability to control for distortion, particularly when shooting with a wide-angle lens such as Canon's 17mm TS-E optic or Nikon's new 19mm PC lens.

If you'd like to learn more about various tilt-shift lenses on the market, click the links below, including our landing page for Nikon's new 19mm f/4 PC-E tilt-shift lens:

To learn more about using tilt-shift lenses, Lens Pro To Go has more tilt-shift lens videos, which you can check out below.

(Seen via DIY Photography