Tilt-Shift, Bellows or PS Perspective Control
A major issue with architectural photography (which I do a lot of), especially when your camera is angled upward, is that the resulting image makes it look as though the building is falling over. Or, more often it is as simple as the vertical lines of the buiding are skewed to one side.
There are several ways to deal with this issue. I'm curious what everyone thinks of the various options and missing options in the Sony lens line-up.
Tilt-shift Lens - Currently not an option for Sony because, as far as I can tell, no one manufactures a tilt shift lens with a Sony Alpha mount. Not sure if Konica-Minolta ever did. Canon and Nikon offer tilt-shift lenses starting at around $1600 and up.
Tilt-shift lens alternative - Lensbaby - "A Lensbaby lens is a hybrid between a bellows camera and a tilt-shift camera. It allows for selective focusing with SLR cameras. It will bring one area of a photo into sharp focus, surrounded by gradually increasing blur. Effects like blurring, glowing highlights, and subtle, prismatic color distortions can all be achieved without software manipulations. The lens can be bent off-center in any direction for different results." They run about $250-$300.
Bellows and rail system - Not quite sure if anyone is manufacturing a system that will work with the Sony Alpha mount. Novopro does manufature two options for Minolta MD Mount - a manual focus for about $119 and an auto focus for about $950. While the bellows and rail system also has the benefit of also functioning as an extension tube, I'm not overly thrilled with the potential dust blow-back onto the camera sensor as the bellows is pushed backwards. As careful as one might be in storing the darn thing and in being quick to change lenses, there's bound to be some floating dust that get's in there and ends up forced onto the sensor . Likewise, while a bellows provides a full range of perspective control, the sacrafice is in set-up time for each shot.
Perspective Control in Photo Shop - This is my current and only option, but hey you can't beat the price. This is the post-production alternative and then often cropped. Of course, it means each photo must be individually processed for correction. Likewise, I've found that often times it is best to have a slightly wider shot than what you want because of the need to crop after applying perspective control ... that means remembering that little detail when composing.
So, thoughts and experiences are welcome.
Last edited by DWessel; 08-23-2009 at 11:17 AM.
Reason: missing attachments
Zooms: Tamron SP AF70-200mm f2.8 Di LD Macro; Sigma 28-90mm D macro, Konica-Minolta 18-70 f3.5-5.6
Primes: Minolta 28mm f2.8; Sony 50mm f1.4
Minolta RC-1000 remote commander
Calumet Cambo CC400 4x5 View Camera
YashikaMat 6x6 TLR
Minolta Maxxum 7000
w/ Minolta 35-80mm f/4-5.6 & Minolta 2800 flash
Minolta Maxxum 5000i
& Vivitar 728 AFM flash
If you're looking only for SHIFT control as befits an architectural shooter, there is the rather rare Minolta CA 35MM F2.8 Rokkor-X shift. There are a couple up on eBay right now for ~$1000.
In terms of pure optics otherwise, a bellows/rail system is probably your best bet, even if it is a bit of a dust nightmare. It'll be miles better than a Lensbaby and much better than software correction (as that degrades image quality).
Also dug up this link, seems there is an option for a Minolta Dynax mount: http://www.zenit-camera.com/mc-35mm-...minolta-af.htm
Last edited by jekostas; 08-23-2009 at 01:04 PM.
Zuiko 14-54 F2.8-3.5 MkI
Zuiko 70-300 F4.0-5.6
Konica Hexanon 52mm F1.8