OK…I know, winter is over…it’s spring time already! But before we head out to warm sunshine and mild temperatures, I wanted to share with you some images from Abraham Lake in Alberta that were taken while test driving the Nikon 24mm PC-E. I would like to clarify however, that this is not a lens review but simply my first experience in using a tilt shift lens in landscape photography.
Perspective control or tilt/shift lenses can be used for several purposes. For landscape photographers, the main purpose is to control depth of field while maintaining maximum sharpness. Obtaining great depth of field using standard equipment requires the use of small apertures such as f/16, f/22 and even f/32 however, traditional depth of field also has limitations depending on your focusing distance to your foreground subject. Furthermore, using small apertures like f/22 and beyond, reduces the quality or sharpness of your image due to diffraction. What is diffraction? To be brief, as light passes through your camera’s aperture, the blades of the diaphragm in the lens begin to “bend” or “diffract” the light falling on your image sensor. The smaller your aperture, the greater the diffraction, the softer your image becomes. Diffraction usually is negligible up to f/16 but begins to affect your images as you stop down to smaller apertures. The tilt feature of tilt/shift lenses allows the photographer to alter or tilt the plane of focus such that the depth of field required to render a complete scene in focus is reduced, hence being able to shoot at f/13 or even f/11 ultimately eliminating the negative effects of diffraction and maximizing the lens performance.
I hope you enjoyed the views from Abraham Lake! You may click on each image to view in full size.
Until next time…