|Mount: M42 Manual
Build quality: good
Filter thread: 62mm
First off, special thanks to Richard Day. We both discussed the various Tilt/Shift options Pentax user have through some interesting mails and forum messages. In the end we both bought the Hartblei 80mm/2.8. It is much more tele than you'd usually think of for a Shift lens, but it's nice for product shots and similar. It costs "only" 300 Euro, which is much for a totally manual lens, but very cheap for a Tilt/Shift lens. Richard bought his as the Pentax K-Mount version. The mounting plate is silver, which causes some flare issues. I bought the M42 version - it comes with a black mount. Both lenses do have a silver ring behind the aperture mechanism, which can yield to additional flare.
I tested the lens with my Macro Focusing Tele Converter and am happy to report that it works nicely. The Tilt/Shift action seems to influence the metering of the camera. The TTL metering does not measure from the CCD sensor, but "sees" parts of the mount when shifted/tilted and thus overexposure may occur. (Thanks, Stefan!)
The rather long focal length means that situations where one would need the shift mechanism (perspective distortion / converging lines) are not so frequent. Furthermore, converging lines often can be corrected digitally, whereas the Tilt effect (Scheimpflug effect) is impossible to simulate digitally.
For more info:
The nice thing of the Hartblei is that it is a SuperRotator: That means that the axis for Tilt and Shift can be individually rotated infinitely! This is something that even more expensive T/S lenses do not offer!. One has to remember that the Hartblei was designed for SLR cameras without a flash housing. This yields to problems with today's modern cameras with protruding flash housings. On the DS this makes reaching the lock/release lever for the tilt mechanism a bit hard to reach. I am thinking of using a bit plastic to make it easier to reach from the front. If you have small hands, you can do without, if you have thick fingers, you will have problems on the Pantax *ist DS and similar cameras.
To judge the effect of a tilted plane of focus better, the following pics were all shot wide open (f/2.8) or maximum f/4.0. One thing I noticed is how nice the bokeh of this lens is. I think it is there with the best. Adjusting the plane of focus is a difficult thing, normally, focusing is a one dimensional thing. If you take depth of field (aperture) into account, it is 2D. Still easy for the average person. Now, with a Tilt lens, you get the Scheimpflug angle to change - three dimensions to vary. With a Super Rotator lens, you can rotate the Schmeimpflug angle around the lens's axis, which makes focusing with a Hartblei Super-Rotator a fourdimensional affair. It will take some time for me to get used to. The first shots I did with the lens and camera on a tripod. More info on focusing such a lens can be found here: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/how-to-focus.html. As you can guess from the link title, it is aimed at largeformat photography, but I found it very useful neverthless. Tilting and Shifting is indispensible for LF photography and thus there's much knowledge among those guys&gals doing LFP.
|So, here's a shot with the macro converter:|
|Here's a close up with just the lens:|
|The famous "Toy City" effect:|
|Possibility to isolate objects from backgrounds:|
|Position the plane of focus in front of the angled row of figures:|
|Position the plane of focus on the angled row of figures:|
|Position the plane of focus underneath the figures:|