Last week I posted a review of a tilt/sift lens Hartblei Super Rotator 80/f 2.8, in which I described this lens specifications and gave you my first impression. If you haven’t read that post, you can find it here.

Well, today I want to show you some examples shot with this lens. Please, take into account I haven’t fully grasped the way how to use this lens to get me the precise results I want regarding metering exposure. As I explained in the previous post, with tilt/shift lenses the light going through the lens is bended and that’s why it easily misleads the metering system in the camera which in result will propose you wrong exposure. That’s why you have to use bracketing function on your camera, or exposure compensation or use manual mode and set your aperture and shutter speed as you deem appropriate. Tilting and shifting bends the colours as well, so you can get colour shifts or strange colours where they should not be. I am not any educated engineer in optic, so if you want to have educated explanations of what is happening to light when using tilt/shift lens, search somewhere else J. But I will show you my photographs and explain how I handle or overcome the shortcoming to give me pleasing results.

Let’s have a look at the picture here:

This is the photograph straight out of the camera. I used full tilt and focused on their faces lens fully open at 2,8. You can see the effect of the tilt throwing the bottom and top of the picture out of focus. That is because the plane of sharpness is not in parallel with the film/sensor plane like with ordinary lens, but has been moved to run in the angle. You can see that the wall behind their heads is also in focus which with ordinary lens – fully open – it would not be. Or if it would be, everything from the top till the bottom of the frame would be also in focus.

Now let’s have a look at the colours. There is visible blue tint in the highlights. In this particular photo I used on-camera flash, you can see the ugly shadow behind them even though I dialled the flash exposure compensation down, it is still too much flash. I should have bounced the flash into a reflector in this situation to give me softer and directional light. But that truly belong to flash technique J. The blue tint is also visible on the photographs where I did not used the flash. The contrast is a bit muted and overall exposure is not spot on. But that is partly because it is difficult to compensate for the in-camera misleading metering and as I shoot on film camera, I cannot check my histogram or preview the picture on the display as a digital photographer would do. Next time I’ll try different approach and surely will bracket J.

The next picture is the same as above, but corrected and improved in a computer software during post processing. I usually scan my negatives myself, but these came from the lab as a low resolution files instead of classical index print. Quite handy indeed.

So in this case I just increased the exposure and contrast and toned the highlights with yellowish and the shadows with purplish colour. It gave the photograph old nostalgic look and hid the imperfections of the lens and my wrong exposure yielding a pleasing result.

I am definitely not regretting buying this lens, it gives an opportunity to learn something new, push the boundaries and the best is the fresh new look it gives to my photographs.

Katarina Souto Mera