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Kipon tilt ring on X-Pro1 - first results

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#1 rdelbar

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 01:53 PM

I now own the full set of Kipon adapter rings for Nikon F-mount lenses: the 'original' one for lenses with their own aperture ring (left), the more recent 'G-type' one supporting AF-S (and DX) lenses (right), one with shift capabilities (middle left) and one with tilt capabilities (middle right). I also acquired an adapter ring for Leica 39mm screw mount lenses, as I have a few pre-WWII lenses from my grandfather (bottom center).

original.jpg


I am working at a comprehensive and detailed review to appear on my

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. This takes me longer than I hoped for, with so many other things to do...
But as I know some friends here are waiting impatiently to see some results - specifically with the tilt adapter - I present some quick first impressions and test shots.
They are far from perfect, but should give you an idea of what to expect.

The Kipon tilt adapter ring accepts any Nikon F-mount lens, but provides no diaphragm control for G-type lenses that do not have an aperture ring.

The lens mounted onto the adapter can be titled to a maximum of about 8 degrees in any direction. You simply turn the chrome ring, with its two small handles, counterclockwise (as seen from the front) to loosen the swivel mount, move the lens to the desired position, and then lock it into place by turning clockwise. It is possible to semi-fix a lightweight lens so you can still adjust its position by applying some gentle force (I don't know whether that's a good idea from a mechanical viewpoint).
There is no reference or numerical indication of the tilt angle, nor any assistance to reproduce an earlier setting. That makes the adapter more suitable for creative use, and less for technical work (e.g. product photography).

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I made a few quick test shots with my trusted AF- Nikkor 35mm f/2.0D lens. The animation gives you an idea of the range of lens movement.

original.jpg


All images below were shot on tripod, using aperture priority mode, and set at f/2.8 so the differences in depth-of-field (DOF) become very clear.
The images were captured as JPEGs, all settings to normal/neutral, with just a little fine-tuning of white balance, tone, contrast and clarity in Lightroom 4; nothing out of the ordinary. They were resized to 900 pixels wide.

To start, a shot of the front wall of my house, with no tilt applied. Focus was smack in the middle of the image. Up close and way back areas are clearly out of focus.
Note that the plants in the bottom right look rather sharp as well, as they are at about the same distance from camera as the focus point on the wall. Remember: in normal conditions, the plane of focus is perpendicular to the shooting axis.

original.jpg



Next, I applied a swing (as purists will call a tilt in horizontal direction) of about 4-5 degrees to the left, i.e. towards the wall. The plane of focus now runs along the wall, and we see a sharp zone from close by all the way to the end.
Remember, we are still at f/2.8! No change in focus distance (that would by the way influence the position of the plane of focus).
Also note that the above mentioned plants are now no longer sharp, as they do no longer fall along the plane of focus.
Closing the aperture would have restored some (but most likely not enough) DOF, with the DOF zone now running parallel to the plane of focus (those who have studied the Scheimpflug rules in detail will forgive me this simplification).

original.jpg



Finally, a shot with maximum swing in the opposite direction, i.e. to the right, away from the wall. The plane of focus now runs at a steep angle to the wall, reducing the DOF zone to a small vertical slice through the middle of the image.
The small pink flowers at the very bottom become somewhat sharp, that gives you a hint of where the plane of focus runs.
We can use this anti-Scheimpflug effect to creatively reduce the DOF. This approach is well-known as the ‘fake miniature’ method.

original.jpg



Let’s look at a second example, this time with a vertical tilt. The first shot has the lens back in ‘neutral’ position, still at f/2.8.
The camera is about 60cm above ground level. Focus point is on the tree trunk near the back. The foreground is clearly unsharp, the far background not much better.

original.jpg



Applying a ca. 2-3 degree tilt downwards, the plane of focus now slopes gently upwards, from about ground level nearby up to the top of the bush left from the tree.
Both foreground and background are in focus: we get a very extensive DOF zone, and that at f/2.8!
Note that the bottoms of the plants sticking up at left are sharp (this area falls on the plane of focus) whereas their tops are not (as they reach way above the plane of focus).

original.jpg


And to close: another creative shot with maximum tilt upwards. Focus was set on the bush with the small white flowers, in the middle.

original.jpg



As said before, the Kipon tilt adapter is not a tool for very precise and controlled photography. If that is what you are looking for, get a 'real' tilt/shift lens, and probably use a full-frame DSLR as well.
But if you are looking to explore creative ways to manipulate DOF, or want to understand-by-doing how tilt and swing effects behave, this very affordable gadget will bring you a lot of fun.
Providing you have a couple of good old prime lenses around, of course.

More to come later, I will keep you posted on this forum.

Edited by Arjay, 30 June 2013 - 11:34 PM.
Moved thread to the Adapted Lenses forum section.


#2 jknights

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 03:16 PM

Rene,
Thanks for posting these results.
Fantastic, I cant wait for my shift and tilt adapters to arrive.

You say these were taken with the 35mm f2.0 AF lens, I look forward to seeing how the results compare when taken with a 24mm f2.8
When I get my adapter I will try with the 20mm f2.8 AF.



#3 mfphotography

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 03:19 PM

Excellent review. Thanks for doing this.

I just got my Kipon M42-XF Tilt Adapter, which I plan to use with my Fujinon 28 f/3.5 EBC lens. Can't wait to give it a go!



#4 AusPhotoHiker

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 04:54 PM

As said before, the Kipon tilt adapter is not a tool for very precise and controlled photography. If that is what you are looking for, get a 'real' tilt/shift lens, and probably use a full-frame DSLR as well.
But if you are looking to explore creative ways to manipulate DOF, or want to understand-by-doing how tilt and swing effects behave, this very affordable gadget will bring you a lot of fun.
Providing you have a couple of good old prime lenses around, of course.


Excellent commentary and examples, thank you.

Can you comment on the usability in the field? Is it easy to assess the image in the EVF to adjust focus plane positioning, or do you need to use the rear display?

#5 demonicangelz

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 03:59 AM

Great review so far! Looking forward to more.



#6 rdelbar

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 04:11 AM

Can you comment on the usability in the field? Is it easy to assess the image in the EVF to adjust focus plane positioning, or do you need to use the rear display?

Mike,

The EVF will give you a pretty good view on focus across the image as long as you use it within its known operating boundaries: not too much ambient light to stray into the viewpiece, and some parts of the image containing good edges or areas with contrast.

The tough part comes when you try to move the lens position while looking through the EVF. Unless the lens sits rather loose (OK for creative low-DOF shots) that will be fine, otherwise the gentle force you have to apply will distract you from holding the camera in position.
If the tilt angle is preset and locked in, thinks become a lot easier.

I am wearing progressive glasses, and my +2 diopter correction choice is already a compromise between OVF and EVF use, so I am not an ideal candidate to heavily rely on EVF for fine focusing.

For precise work I prefer working from the LCD - it's like operating a view camera then. I put the camera on a sturdy tripod, switch on the GRID 24 framing guide and zoom in on various parts of the image for exact focus appreciation and adjustment.The 3x maginifaction option announced for the 2.0 firmware release will be a welcome addition. Too bad Fuji's engineers did not allow the zoom-in point to be moved via the directional pad while in magnified mode (like possible during image review, or with Nikon DSLRs)...

#7 AusPhotoHiker

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 04:18 AM

Thanks Rene, thanks for the explanation.

If I decide to go down this track, it will be with a tripod, I can't imagine going through tilt setup handheld, but clearly it is possible.

Sounds like I would need to pack an extra battery with the tilt adapter and lens, the LCD sounds the way to go.

Cheers



#8 jknights

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 06:35 AM

Thanks Rene, thanks for the explanation.

If I decide to go down this track, it will be with a tripod, I can't imagine going through tilt setup handheld, but clearly it is possible.

Sounds like I would need to pack an extra battery with the tilt adapter and lens, the LCD sounds the way to go.

Cheers


Yes, I'd agree.

With the tilt feature I cant image using it with anything other than a tripod and using the back screen for fine tuning the focus unless you are a contortionist!.

#9 AsylumPhoto

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 07:35 AM

This is semi related... I've been wanting to get a Lensbaby Composer, but they don't make it for the XF mount... any suggestions on which + Kipon adapter I should get?



#10 demonicangelz

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 08:56 AM

This is semi related... I've been wanting to get a Lensbaby Composer, but they don't make it for the XF mount... any suggestions on which + Kipon adapter I should get?

If you got a Nikon mount lens baby then a normal F adapter will do. If you have more G lenses then get the G mount.
Either is fine. I'd suppose if you get the shift mount then you'd have a pseudo tilt shift lens!

#11 jknights

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 09:33 AM

If you have Nikon or Canon then see here.

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#12 legolize_it

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 12:06 PM

Rdelbar, thank you very much for sharing such a detailed overview!



#13 svx94

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 04:15 PM

That's really helpful info, Thanks for sharing!

 

What's your experience on the Shift adapter and the G lens adapter?



#14 apsphoto

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 11:06 PM

Since I don't have any Nikon lenses this is something that I will not be trying anytime soon. To me it would seem the tilt would be more useful than shift, but I understand the uses for both. The one thing that is really interesting me at the moment is waiting for the Samyang tilt and shift for Canon that is coming out soon. With a Fuji adapter, here is a lens that is manual aperture control and manual focus and will have tilt and shift in one package for a somewhat reasonable price. Also Samyang optics have generally been pretty good. Can hardly wait till they start shipping them and tilt and shift control here we come for Fuji.... :rolleyes:

 

Alan



#15 Topsy

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 02:49 AM

Thanks for sharing this rdelbar, it was a very interesting article which although I don't have any nikon lenses I enjoyed the learning experience.