What is a tilt-shift photography lens?

By: Wesley Fenlon

Making or Buying a Tilt-shift Lens

Here's the bad news about tilt-shift lenses: They cost upwards of $1,000. Tilt-shift lenses have larger imaging circles than normal lenses (necessary for shifting the center of perspective) and are built to move horizontally and vertically, which is something no normal lens can do. That's why the cost is so high. But there are some alternatives out there. For a little taste of tilt-shift, there's Photojojo'sTilt-shiftcamera. The lens is angled already and isn't adjustable, so you can create the miniaturized look tilt-shift photos with a $150 camera. It's great for a gimmick camera, but real tilt-shift photography is typically used in architecture and landscape work to control perspective or capture wide panoramas. Photojojo's camera is no good for that.

Want something more powerful that doesn't cost $2,000? Check out photographer Bhautik Joshi's guide to building a DIY tilt-shift lens. The walkthrough details how to convert an existing lens into a tilt-shift lens for less than $50.