Trying out Tilt of Canon TS-E50mm f/2.8L Macro

Bondi Beach, Sydney


focusing on the "tilt" of tilt-shift

Sydney CBD

This weekend, I decided to check out Canon TS-E50mm f2.8L Macro tilt-shift lens. I've always wanted to learn more about using this type of lens, and in particular, seeing how it can be used in portraitures (more on that later). So, armed with how it works, I spent Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning shooting with this lens.

Initially, I isolated the effects of the shifting of the lens - trying out to see its distortion minimisation especially in photographing skyscrapers, however, at 50mm I find I have to be a bit more further to get more buildings of Sydney CBD - so decided to start my experiment from Mrs. Macquiarie's Chair where it has a great view of the skyline. Interestingly though, at that distance, the distortion is not super obvious to begin with, so I ended up playing around with the tilt features of the lens instead.


The Miniature effect

Of course, I had to try out the shifting feature of the lens, making it possible to do the miniature effect of landscapes. If you aren't familiar with this style of photography - play around with that feature in Instagram, it does a pretty cool job on achieving this effect. One thing I did learn early on with the lens is keeping a focused eye on where the focus is at (see what I did there?). 

I gotta say, the results are quite phenomenal. I absolutely love the effect! 

Bondi Beach, Sydney

How it makes things look miniature is so cool! A good tip I've learned online was, for it to be even more effective, you gotta be on a higher ground, at least 1 story higher, and when you compose the shot, try to get the background (or foreground) to get a sense of scale. That certainly helped in trying to get the shot!

Ended up walking all the way to Circular Quay to capture the people in the Opera House (more of the photos I took below). While I was quite impressed with how it turned out - I knew I needed a bit more so I decided to go to Bondi Beach the next day and try to "miniature-ise" the famous Icebergs rock pool.

The early morning sun on the pool really made it so dramatic. With the beach a little less crowded as well, I tried taking pictures of the beach with one or two people as the focal point. Absolutely love the results.


Here are some other photos I took with the lens.

How it plays around with portraiture

Of course, I had to try out taking portraitures with the lens. Thanks to my new buddy Yannick who was willing to spare some time Saturday arvo for this experiment. 

I liked the style it does. One thing I really had to keep in mind - as the focusing is done manually - make the eyes the focal point!

Moving Forward

I did enjoy the lens. On portraitures though, its a very specific style. I might have to explore the portraitures with the shifting side of things - but that's for another day and another blog entry.

Anyone tried taking portraits with this lens? Hit back, would love to learn other people's experience with it!



In need of portraitures like this? Come chat with me or see my portraiture services.