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).
I am working at a comprehensive and detailed review to appear on my
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).
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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).
And to close: another creative shot with maximum tilt upwards. Focus was set on the bush with the small white flowers, in the middle.
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.