I need a little input on choosing a Tilt & Shift lens – dare I say it – possibly not a Nikon.
When I first started researching this, and with some helpful input from this forum, I figured on a 24mm as I am more interested in landscape over product, portrait, or architecture. I rented a 24mm PC-E and I like the DOF and image shifting. I went through my image catalogue paying attention to the ones that “felt” the best to me and looked for a trend in the focal length. Conclusion: for landscapes I do not particularly like the artificial depth produced by wide angle lenses nor the flattening of telephotos. I tend to try for a feel of reality which means something in the 43mm range.
What started my search is a planned trip to Iceland in February with images of glowing ice caves in my mind; walls receding at various angles and standing in cold running water. The PC-E lenses’ lack of individual tilt and shift orientation will limit creative opportunities plus the control dials are small and can be difficult to fine tune; especially so with gloves on colder days.
What I need is feedback on your experiences with non-Nikon 45mm-ish T&S lenses. I would like to say “price is of no object” but I do have marriage to protect. Which means the Hartblei 4/40 IF TS Superrotator at $7,000 is best not considered; unless someone knows of a used one?
I would certainly like to hear more about the performance of the Hartbleis. An older review on photozone.de for Canon suggests the 45mm has a lot of flare.
On a different note, I may be mistaken but the knobs on a Schneider or Hartblei do not seem to be larger or better operable than those on a Nikon.
With regard to tilt and swing on one axis, I certainly agree that this is a limitation - that is, I would put them on one axis. But if you do so, you might find you won't loose all that many creative opportunities - just a suggestion, as a Nikon 45 seems to me the best compromise between a -somewhat- reasonable price and a decent performance. The Schneider is quite expensive - would be for me, anyway - and, as a quick internet search seems to tell me, with a Hartblei you don't know what you are going to get.
Well, it is probably wise to be on one's guard, but I wouldn't go so far as to speak of a "Kiev rip off" without further information, that is, I wouldn't discard them out of hand. These lenses may be quite good - granted that every lens has a flaw - or they may not, or it may depend on what you want from them. A good deal is not quite a free lunch.
Thu 07-Nov-13 11:09 AM | edited Thu 07-Nov-13 11:13 AM by Leonard62
Yes the Super Angulon is a shift only lens, like the Nikon PC 28mm f3.5. The Nikon can shift in 12 different positions. I don't know how many positions the Super Angulon can rotate into but it is a very sharp lens but dated and over priced. Their TS lens is quite good but very expensive and to me doesn't handle as well as the Nikon. I have never thought the Nikon tilt and shift orientation was a problem.
Mick, I consider it over priced since it does not tilt. That is compared to the Nikon PC-E lenses and not the Hartblei's. I considered it years ago and thought it was too expensive then. If the lens was unique in function then the price would not be too hard to take.
Schneider-Kreuznach PC-Super-Angulon 28mm/2.8 is a shift only lens (horizontally and vertically). It is a great lens for architectural photography, and like most Schenider lenses is extremely well made. I disagree that it's over-priced. $2,000 for a superb mechanically and optically German-made specialty lens is not overpriced, in my opinion. Plus, due to their special application, people do sell them used often enough and used prices are usually very reasonable.
I had the same thought as Mick above - if one is considering purchasing Hartblei - a Ukrainian-made lens - one should at least consider German-made alternatives, even if it doesn't have the tilt option.