Friday, September 7, 2012

Comments on Samyang T-S lens

Photokina 2012 is just around the corner. Besides the anticipated announcement of the Nikon D600 (likely on September 13), I'm also eager to learn about the Samyang tilt-shift lens. Why would I care about that?
A tilt-shift lens is a kind of lens that can be tilted at an angle away from the camera, and/or shifting of the lens parallel to the lens axis. In the case of the Samyang, it can tilt +/- 8.5 degrees, shift +/- 12mm, and be rotated +/- 90 degrees.
I am very interested in a tilt-shift lens because it can be used for several effects:
1. Avoiding reflections. Besides shooting a mirror without your reflection being seen, I am interested in it for product photography. Managing reflections is an important aspect of lighting especially for product photography. A tilt-shift lens can make avoiding reflections much easier.
2. Perspective correction. A tilt shift lens, like a perspective-control lens, can correct the perspective when shooting a tall subject, as in this example by motorrad-67:
File:Bashford views - perspective control.jpg
Photo by motorrad-67
3. Depth of field control. A tilt shift lens can be used to increase or decrease depth of field. For example, Ryan Brenizer uses a tilt-shift lens for some of his portraits to create a shallow depth of field. Conversely, some landscape shooters use a tilt shift lens to increase depth of field.
Those are some of the reasons I am interested in a tilt-shift lens. The problem with TS lenses is the cost. Nikon has a couple of them: the 24mm f/3.5D PC-E (~$2000), the 45mm f/2.8D PC-E Micro-Nikkor (~$1900), and 85mm f/2.8D PC-E Micro-Nikkor ($2050).
The Samyang is of course being presented as a less expensive alternative to the Nikon 24mm. Usually you get what you pay for, but in the case of Samyang, they have made a pretty good fisheye lens, so I'm hoping their version of Nikon's 24mm PC-E lens is decent as well as affordable. I probably would have preferred that Samyang made a 45mm macro TS lens but I am still very much interested in the 24mm.