Tilt Shift Fun

||, Photography|Tilt Shift Fun

Tilt Shift Fun

By |2018-07-11T13:09:32+00:00March 25th, 2010|Categories: Gear, Photography|Tags: , |10 Comments

For the first time ever I had the opportunity to use a Tilt Shift lens (the Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift from BorrowLenses.com) and really enjoyed using it. I didn’t use it for its “tradional” purpose (architectural photography) but rather was playing around with the unique depth of field it creates and the ability for it to make things look “miniature”.

Using the lens was easy, and even focusing was a piece of cake (read the last paragraph of this post for my focusing tip). I think the most difficult part was actually finding something to photograph. I was looking for a neighborhood scene, one that I could get up over but didn’t want the houses to be too far away. I think that this image is a good example of how cool the focus can look with these types of lenses.

Here’s my quick focusing tip: When you are using a Canon lens in the manual focus mode—and the tilt-shift lenses are all manually focusing lenses—put your focus point where you want focus to be (in the above photo my focus-point was set on the brown house in the bottom right third of the image). Then half-press the shutter while turning the lens’s focusing ring. You’ll hear a “beep” when the camera senses that its in focus. Then take your photo and voila! Your image is in-focus.

About the Author:

Nicole S. Young is a professional photographer and published author whose love of photography and teaching has grown into an online business where she creates training materials and resources for other photographers. Nicole is best known for her books on food photography, but is widely versed in a variety of photographic genres, including landscape, travel, lifestyle, and even underwater photography. You can learn more about Nicole's work on her website, nicolesy.com.


  1. rita March 25, 2010 at 9:18 am - Reply

    Borrowlenses.com is an interesting idea. Is this the first time you have used them, and what was your experience?

  2. Nicole March 25, 2010 at 10:01 am - Reply

    @Rita – I’ve used them several times and really like them for renting gear. The process is really simple (they FedEx it to you, your rental period starts the day it arrives) and their customer service is excellent. :)

  3. Stephen March 25, 2010 at 11:48 am - Reply

    Wouldn’t it just be easier to rent from Pictureline instead? Aren’t the prices close.

  4. Nicole March 25, 2010 at 12:33 pm - Reply

    @Stephen – actually, the prices on BorrowLenses.com are a lot cheaper than Pictureline. Plus I get a good deal since I’m one of the co-hosts of the TWiP podcast. :)

  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Nicole Young, Craig Strong, Glenn Taylor, Tabatha Patterson, Theodore (Ted) Stark and others. Theodore (Ted) Stark said: RT @nicolesy: New post at NicolesyBlog.com – "Tilt Shift Fun" http://bit.ly/91CWBH (@BorrowLenses) #photography […]

  6. Burt March 25, 2010 at 8:22 pm - Reply

    I used BorrowLens last month for the first time, allowing me to try a Canon 16-32 lens on a Canadian landscape photo trip. I would never have dropped $1,500 for a lens I had never used before, and I had no idea if I was going to like it.

    Of course, I fell in love with the lens and am now just waiting for “the right time” to buy it. Maybe if I buy my wife a 7D at the same time, she might go for it… :)

    I used the TWIP first-time discount, and as Nicole said, their service was excellent. In my case, they are close enough to me that I just went and picked it up.

  7. Harley Pebley March 25, 2010 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    Thanks for that focusing tip. Very handy.

    Doing a time lapse of the sky bridge installation (like Kim did), with this from a roof top would have been really cool!

  8. Sam Scholes March 26, 2010 at 11:44 am - Reply

    Clever photo Nicole. Nice to see this done areal lenses and not Photoshop.

  9. […] type of software), so of course it would be much more fun to use an actual tilt-shift lens (click here to see an example of a tilt-shift lens in-use). However those lenses are extremely niche and very […]

  10. Orion Weldon May 4, 2011 at 10:42 am - Reply

    Thanks for the tip about Borrowlenses.com. I have yet to visit their website, but I am interested to learn their policy about taking equipment out of the country. I will be joining an expedition to Mongolia and would very much like to use a tilt shift lens for part of the filming.
    Thanks again,

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