CUSTOMER CASE STUDY: Tilt-shift photography with the Panasonic Lumix G9

28 February 2018 | Category: Case Studies

CUSTOMER CASE STUDY: Tilt-shift photography with the Panasonic Lumix G9

Above: Audley End Dairy, Laundry & Kitchens

Helen shoots a wide range of subjects but has a particular passion for architecture, wildlife, and street photography.  She loves to photograph almost anything and can also be found indulging in a little landscape photography or capturing motor racing on track.

Helen had been keen to try tilt-shift photography for her architectural photography, but was hindered by the lack of a tilt-shift offering in a Micro Four Thirds mount. That was when she discovered a Metabones adapter that would make this possible! Helen visited a variety of interesting locations and really made the most of her hire. Over to Helen!

I’m a musician and photographer based in Essex. Since 2008 I’ve been doing a 365 project, posting at least one new picture to my blog (www.photoblog.com/girafferacing) every single day. After ten years I figured perhaps it was time to have a break from daily posting, so I’ve been considering how to develop my photography in a less pressurised way.

Tilt shift lens hire

Audley End Dairy, Laundry & Kitchens 

Over the years I’ve developed a love of architectural photography and I always liked the idea of shooting with a tilt shift lens to help me keep all my vertical lines straight in-camera. I currently shoot with Panasonic G9 and GX8 cameras, but sadly none of the micro four thirds manufacturers yet offer a wide angle tilt shift lens.

Audley Dairy

Audley End Dairy, Laundry & Kitchens 

When the Hireacamera pre-Christmas mailing came through, I investigated the possibilities of using a different brand lens and modifying it. When I realised I could use a Canon TS-E lens with a Metabones Speedbooster, the Christmas offer of eleven days for the price of two seemed too good to pass up!

Audley Dairy

Audley End Dairy, Laundry & Kitchens 

I chose the mark 1 version of the Canon 24mm TS-E lens. Given that this was a try out for perhaps buying a lens later, it seemed sensible to hire a model I could potentially afford to buy second-hand. I’m sure the 17mm TS-E and the mark 2 24mm mark 2 are beautiful lenses, but they’re simply beyond my budget. The 24mm plus Metabones Speedbooster gave me an effective focal length of just under 31mm when fitted to my Panasonic G9. Not quite as wide as I’d ideally like for architecture, but a good starting point. 

Audley Dairy

Audley End Dairy, Laundry & Kitchens 

My hire was due to start just a few days before Christmas. It made my day when Chloe rang me from Hire a Camera to say the lens would arrive a day earlier than planned, so as to beat the Christmas rush. My eleven days for the price of two had just become twelve at no extra cost – what a result!

Audley Dairy

Audley End Dairy, Laundry & Kitchens 

When the equipment arrived I unpacked it and fitted the Speedbooster and lens to my camera. Then the fun started. Using a tilt shift lens is a mind bending experience as you can alter the framing of images, without moving the camera. Fortunately I like mathematical puzzles so it didn’t take me long to get to grips with it.

Finchingfield Church, Essex

Finchingfield Church, Essex

During the period I had the lens I took it out with me most days and used it to photograph interesting buildings. I quickly discovered that it’s best used with the camera mounted on a tripod, although handheld shooting ispossible if you’re careful. The G9 has a built-in electronic level in the viewfinder, which proved incredibly useful. I used it to line the camera up perfectly, vertically and horizontally, before engaging the shift mechanism. Manual focusing was a breeze, thanks to the G9’s focus peaking, although there was one occasion when I forgot to focus at all, I only made that mistake once!

Finchingfield Church, Essex

Finchingfield Church, Essex

The lens worked perfectly on the G9 and the Metabones Speedbooster was a great way of converting a Canon lens to M43 mount. Using the Speedbooster XL made the lens’s maximum aperture 1.3 stops wider, that was really handy in dark churches. I was really pleased with the image quality I got from the lens – there was no appreciable degradation in quality because of the extra layer of glass. Being able to get all the vertical lines straight in-camera is strangely addictive. It was very satisfying to know I’m didn’t to have to throw away valuable pixels in Photoshop straightening everything up afterwards!

Finchingfield Church, Essex

Finchingfield Church, Essex

So, would I buy this combination? At the moment, no. For the amount it would cost me, even buying second-hand, I’d really want a wider angle of view for architecture. It was a great experience hiring the equipment though and I’m pleased with the images I made while I had it. The folks at Hireacamera made the whole hiring process very easy and I’d definitely do it again.

Finchingfield Church, Essex

Finchingfield Church, Essex

The London Mithraeum

The London Mithraeum

St Michael Paternoster Royal

St. Michael Paternoster Royal

St Michael Paternoster Royal

St. Michael Paternoster Royal

St. Michael Paternoster Royal

St. Michael Paternoster Royal

Chichester Cathedral

Chichester Cathedral

Chichester Cathedral

Chichester Cathedral

Chichester Cathedral

Chichester Cathedral

Chichester Cathedral

Chichester Cathedral

Cressing Temple Barns

Cressing Temple Barns

Cressing Temple Barns

Cressing Temple Barns

Cressing Temple Barns

Cressing Temple Barns

Cressing Temple Barns

Cressing Temple Barns

We would like to thank Helen for sharing her images with us and for the brilliant review of the lens! You can see more of her fantastic photography on her website, where she covers a huge range of subjects – from landscapes and wildlife to aviation and motorsport photography:

www.helenhookerphotography.co.uk 

You can also follow Helen on Instagram: 

@helenhookerarchitecture 

Her Twitter account can be found here:

@helenhooker 

As always, if you have some images or video you’re particularly proud of, having hired our equipment then please do share it with us via enquiries@hireacamera.com, or tag us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook; we can’t promise to publish everything we receive but we love to see your work, nonetheless!

Hire links:

Panasonic G9