Reasons to Hire the Nikkor 45mm f/2.8 Tilt-Shift Lens

5 October 2017 | Category: Stills

Reasons to Hire the Nikkor 45mm f/2.8 Tilt-Shift Lens

A specialist lens like a tilt-shift lens can be an expensive purchase, which you may only use for the odd job or two. It’s therefore an ideal lens to hire as and when you need it. Here we take a look at some key subjects that work really well for with tilt-shift photography.

Architecture

Tilt-shift lenses were designed to help correct for abnormalities when shooting architectural shots. If you’ve ever seen a building leaning unnaturally because you’ve tried to cram more of the scene in, then you’ll be familiar with this problem. 

architecture without tilt shift

Without Tilt-Shift

Architecture with tilt-shft

With Tilt-Shift

A 45mm focal length may not seem the obvious focal length for architecture, but if you’re shooting from a distance it can be beneficial. Additionally, you can use it to pick out details even if you are relatively close to your subject matter.

architecture without tilt shift

Without Tilt-Shift

architecture with tilt-shft
 
With Tilt-Shift
 
You need to employ the “shift” part of the lens to move the lens up and down depending on your viewpoint. It should result in straighter, more natural looking lines.

architecture without tilt shift

Without Tilt-Shift

architecture with tilt shift
 
With Tilt-Shift
 
It’s best if you can mount your camera on a tripod while shooting architecture with a tilt-shift lens. Employing live-view will help you to get critical focus - the tilt-shift lens is manual focus lens only, so a magnified view will really help you to get it spot on.

Portraits

Although a tilt-shift lens may not seem the obvious choice for portraiture, you can enjoy some really creative and unusual effects. Employing the tilt element of the lens you can throw areas of the image out of focus that wouldn’t be possible using a standard lens:

tilt-shift portraits

tilt-shift portraits

Because of the way it works, you can achieve shallow depth of field effects even when shooting group portraits - still getting each face in focus. This makes a tilt-shift lens useful for weddings and other events where group portraiture is required. If you don’t engage either of the tilt or the shift mechanisms, you can also use it as a standard 45mm prime lens, saving you room in your kit bag.

tilt-shift portraits

Although you may be tempted to use the maximum aperture of f/2.8, that will leave you with a very shallow depth of field. Try working at f/4.0 and above, especially while you’re still learning how to get the most from the lens.

Product, Food and Still-Life Photography

This lens produces sharp results, and can therefore be the ideal choice for still-life and product photography.

T

You can get creative with the shift mechanism to produce interesting results, while you can also shoot groups of objects together, keeping them all sharp, while throwing the background out of focus.

tilt-shift products

It can also be particularly useful for food photography, where you need two or more elements to be in focus but which are not on the same focal plane. By shifting the lens, you can control exactly what is and isn’t in focus. 

Landscape photography

The effects you can achieve when shooting with a tilt-shift lens for landscape photography are interesting, especially if used sparingly so as not to overdo it. You’ll probably be familiar with the “miniature” effect that using the lens produces. It’s particularly effective if you can shoot from a high vantage point, creating toy-town like images from life-size subjects.

tilt-shift landscapes

You can recreate the look in Photoshop, but only a true tilt-shift lens will get you the most authentic look.

tilt-shift landscapes

All of these images were taken with the Nikon 45mm f/2.8 tilt shift lens, we also stock many tilt-shift lenses in a Canon mount and are looking forward to getting the new range of Canon tilt-shifts soon. See our recent blog post about them HERE.