Lens shift perspective correction for MFT

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Photography has changed tremendously since the times when images were recorded on expensive film and painstakingly developed and printed in the dark room. While it was once mandatory to deliberately and carefully compose a photograph on-site, it seems to become commonplace to record a constant stream of images and to select, edit, crop, and focus at a later point in the digital darkroom. Perspective control is one of the manipulations that can be achieved in the digital darkroom, albeit at the expense of  pixels, because cropping will be required. "In the field", perspective can be controlled by using tilt and shift movements of the lens.

I am old-fashioned (or just stubborn): I find it much more satisfying to compose a photograph "in the field" and to use the tools of the digital darkroom only for developing my composition. My recent purchase of a tilt-shift adapter enables me to play with "on-site" perspective control. The two photographs above depict light and shadow plays on a facade that I have photographed by looking upward, from rather close-by. A 50 mm lens (on a micro four thirds body) was used and either not shifted at all (left photograph) or shifted 15 mm upwards (right photograph). The two photographs shown side-by-side have not obtained any computational lens corrections whatsoever and are shown as recorded on-site (except for sharpness and global adjustments). Although I knew that shifting the lens upwards is supposed to correct perspective in photographic situations as this one, I was still surprised and fascinated how well it actually worked. The photograph on the right will require almost no perspective control at all!

2013/05/07 by Florian Freimoser
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