Christmas came a few days early this year. My girlfriend weebled and wobbled, but couldn’t couldn’t wait six days. In a bag, weighing about as much as a brick was a brand new tilt-shift lens.
She complained that my response to the gift was not as enthusiastic as it could have been, but to be honest, I think I was just in shock. I’ve always wanted one of these, but have no idea how to use one. Well, that’s not entirely true. I have been messing around with it and already come up with some pretty good shots.
Even without using the tilt-shift portions, the picture quality is astounding. It is necessarily a manual focus lens, so it won’t replace my 50mm f1.8 (the “plastic fantastic”) for general purpose shooting–t least, not all the time.
From what I can tell after watching a couple online tutorials and messing around with the lens a bit is that the purpose of the tilt and shift mechanisms is to alter the depth of field and focus points. This allows for some corrections in perspective (parallel lines and whatnot) and some interesting distortions of perspective. Currently, I’m not sure what the difference is, usage-wise, between my 45mm and, say, a wider-angle 24mm. In either case, I’m going to learn a lot more about photography in general, just by figuring out how this lens works. And as far as my photos are concerned, it’s going to be a gift that keeps on giving.