Nature and Landscape Photography

Lesson 5 of 27

Macro and Tilt Shift Lenses

 

Nature and Landscape Photography

Lesson 5 of 27

Macro and Tilt Shift Lenses

 

Lesson Info

Macro and Tilt Shift Lenses

so in this section we're going to continue talking about lenses and this time we're gonna be talking about the aperture in the lances previous when we're talking about angle of view and focal so the aperture of course the size of the opening the lens in which light travels through and of course on the front of your lands that's going to be listed as thie maximum aperture so that's kind of the a term that we want to talk about here but this is also something that people commonly refer to is what aperture lens air you using or what lens feed is that and so that's the maximum aperture but there is a physical device in your lens that can open and close down and controlling the aperture and that's your f stop the focal stop so this is the ratio of the focal length of the lands to the entrance people it's basically the size of the lands how much light is getting in and what people basically really want to get down to the nuts and bolts and ask what's the best aperture where should I set my c...

amera for taking the best shots well I ran a little test on a lens to check it out at various different apertures and wants you to take a look at these results and there is a crop section from the middle of the frame there is a crop section from over on the side of the frame and I don't know how good your screen is but can you judge the sharpness of where is the best sharpness in which choice of aperture and I can tell you right off the bat that the least sharpe is over on one point four in this particular case the lenses maximum aperture is one point four and on pretty much all lenses very often their worst performance is where it's very wide open someone's is the very worst performance is where it's closed down all the way where you get to fraction at f twenty two or f thirty two issues where some lenses go too and so on the extremes it's not as sharp as it is in the middle of the range and so if you don't have a compelling depth of field need you're going to photograph something that's basically flat then you want to be in the middle of the range and that is the middle of the range off whatever lens that you have as faras the distance or the ranged between the widest open aperture and the most closed down so on some lenses it might be around five point six on other lenses it might be f eleven or somewhere in between or someplace completely different and so keep that in mind as you are setting your apertures that is where your lens is inherently the sharp sharpest and we're going to adjust it from there according to our needs and depth of field of course is controlled by our aperture setting our focal length and are shooting distance how far away are we from our subjects in this first comparison of shots both of these air shaun at f ate but you'll notice the mountains in the background on the right hand side arm or out of focus because we're using a longer folk away so this is a good example of different depth the fields simply because you used a different lands and that may be something you want or you don't want that's an issue that will address a little bit later on but that's what you get depth of field is also so the general thinking here is that the wide lenses have great depth of field and the telephoto lenses have shallow depth of field this is just inherent in the way they work and if you want to do something kind of opposite to this it's going to be very very challenging to dio we're often going to see those wide lenses with those grand landscapes and we're going to be shooting those tele photos for isolating particular details this is one of the problems with macro photography is that when you start shooting macro work you get very very shallow depth of field because you are so close to your subject and that it's one of those three factors that controls your depth of field and so having a real master control of your depth of field is one of the hallmarks of landscape photography sometimes you want tons of depth of field sometimes you want very very shallow depth of field now for a little side trip here on the fun side trip I want to take a little trip down the macro lens discussion will talk about the macro lenses were not going to go into great length about macro photography I think potential future class here creative life would be just on macro photography I think there's a good two day workshop just in working with the macro lens but let's kind of go through some of the most important basics because I know a lot of you are probably interested in macro or micro photography both nikon and cannon as well as many other manufacturers have lenses around one hundred millimeters and focusing on these air nice good sharp very high quality lenses but they also have another lands that's almost the exact same focal ink that is specifically designed for close up work now nikon likes to call these micro canon calls a macro it's a little dispute they have they all mean the same thing they're going to focus up very very close a few of the more popular lenses out there from nikon they make two different lenses that are specifically designed for their crop sensors there dx lenses the forty and the eighty five they're both little nice little lenses if you were really getting into macro photography you generally want to go with the longer focal ing that will give you greater working distance between you and your subject and so if you knew this is something that you really wanted to get into and you had a nikon crop frame camera I would probably go with the eighty five in there full frame line up they have sixty the one or five in the two hundred all of these are very nice sharp lenses for most nature photographers they would probably go with one o five but the really hard core dedicated micro photographer would probably have two hundred as well because it allows a greater working distance between them and their subjects which allows them to put lights and flash units and reflectors in there so the one oh five is kind of the nice happy medium in my opinion kanan has a fairly similar lineup they only have one lands exclusively for the s I would probably just look at their full frame lenses and they do have one lands that's quite unusual and that's the sixty five and that will actually do a one do five times magnification and so that lens is not going to be good for general photography that is a very specific macro lens I've had one hundred millimeter macro lens for quite some time I think it's kind of perfect for my needs if this is something that I really did a lot I would probably jump up to the one eighty macro but I think the one hundred one o five is kind of the sweet spot for a lot of people for doing macro photography these are the types of shots that you could get with it in the one hundred allows you to be a little bit further away and when I say a little bit further away I'm talking about ten inches rather than four inches and the problem with being for inches away is your often casting light on top your subject and in some cases like this you don't want it to disturb your subject and so that extra working distance is really nice to have so this is going to be the sharpest way to shoot small objects I know there's a lot of other ways and we'll talk about a few of those but the close up filters I'm not a big fan of the macro lens is really going to get you the sharpest image and these are bright they're easy to see with just kind of as a side note they make they make a pretty good portrait lands if you don't have a prime for shooting portrait this this doesn't much better job than a portrait lens does for shooting matt macro photography so if you wanted kind of cross over those two worlds this might be a good place to do that now await a dabble in close up photography if you're thinking kind of like to get into it but I don't know that I have several hundreds of dollars to throw into a macro lance ah great way to dabble in this is with extension tube's an extension tube's are these clear tubes they have no lenses in them they're just simply tubes so that you can mount the camera and the lens together and here's how they work we're gonna have our camera standard lens telephoto lens we're going to add our twelve millimeter extension tube on it and this moves the camera body away from the lands which will allow us to focus closer with that particular land we can add a twenty five millimeter tube and here's one of those rare cases where we can stack them and there's no a problem at all with this because there's no elements in there at all if you had another twelve and twenty five you could stack them again in fact there's bello systems that allow you to move the lens in camera further and further apart with a bellow system if you really get into macro photography now these help you focus a little bit closer so let me give you an example of how close we can get in this example I'm using the seventy two two hundred millimeter lands and this is the minimum distance that I could get standard with it in the top left on the top right I used to twelve millimeter tube and then we put on the twenty five and then I added the two of them together and so it is not it's kind of nice because you can use this on any lens that you have although it's really only going to be valuable for normal and telephoto focal length lenses but you know I just wanted to check well how much closer would I get if I used a riel macro lens and if we look at that result you could see that the macro lens does get significantly closer but depends on your needs and in case you're wondering yes you can add extension tube's on top of the macro lens and get even closer yet again and so I like extension tube's I think pretty much anyone who does nature photography will find a use for these they're not too much money they're very lightweight you can throw him in your bag you can adam on to all of your different lenses whether it's a normal or zoom or a telephoto as I mentioned before they don't work well on a wide angle and sometimes they bring the focusing distance to the front element or sometimes inside the front lines and so they just don't work well on the wide angles but anything normal and longer they're going to work quite well on and they're going to be basically as sharp as your lens is now most lenses are not designed for focusing up close so their sharpness is not as good as they would be for you and this is why macro lenses would be the ultimate way of shooting now one note about shooting with these tele converters if you are kind of checking your exposures and then you adam in to the equation the exposure changes as you move the land's further from the camera body it decreases the amount of light getting to the sensor and so you're gonna have to double check your light meter you're gonna have to shoot some test shots to make sure that you are getting the right exposure if you do get into macro photography something you want to check out our the macro rails that are available out there and this allows you for very precise framing and focusing of the lands because when it gets down to macro photography one little tip is you don't auto focus you manual focus when you were working macro work and you basically moved the camera the whole unit closer to your subject or further away to adjust your focusing and this rail allows you to kind of crank forward one millimeter at a time and that is a great way of working macro work it's just kind of standard it's part of the work flow of doing macro photography all right let's uh let's move on and we're going to go to another area that I really like it's it's kind of strange because in this landscape class first day first half of the day I'm diving into tell chef lenses and I realize I understand that most of you ninety nine percent of you maybe ninety nine point nine percent of you do not own a tell chef lands but you might rent one might have a chance to use one I think they're kind of fun and it's just one of those things that I think it's good to be knowledgeable about in the industry all right so tell chip lenses this allows us some of the movements that we used to have with view cameras field cameras for taking photograph so what tilt shift means the tilt means we could tell the lands we can change the plane of focus and we can do this for two reasons either to maximize the depth of field or to minimize the depth of field there is also the shifting capability and this is often for architectural photographers at least that's why it was originally designed and so we're going to control our perspective with this but new found in the digital age it now becomes a great tool for anyone who wants to shoot panorama and so the biggest uses for the landscape photographer is going to be able to maximize our depth of field with these lenses and to shoot panorama is and that's what's unique about these lenses and what I really like about first off let's talk about the shifting capabilities of the lands and so when we talk about shifting we're talking about moving the lands up and down as you can see on screen and it also means moving from side to side now as I said before this was originally designed for architectural photographer so that they could fix problems with buildings but we could do that in nature as well now these lenses they're going to have little dials on them they're gonna have a little lock so you can move him in one position and you can lock him here and this is why we would use thes for architectural photography is thie architects and designers of buildings really don't like pictures of their buildings that look like this they want straight lines to be straight because that's how they designed it to be but we can use this in a many many other different places and this is actually in the interior of the lodge at yellowstone national park and so I can shift the lens upward so it can see a little bit more above I can shift it downwards and I can shift more off to the left inside and sew these lenses have a very large image circle there essentially medium format cameras that you put on your smaller sensor camera and you're able to use different portions of the lands so let me take you out in the field and let's take a look at an example so in this particular example I've kind of pointed up at some trees and you'll know notice that the trees are kind of bending backwards or kind of pointing in and this is a parallax problem and in order to fix this problem what I want to dio because I want to point the camera exactly straight ahead and then what I will do is I will move the lens upward so that the trees st straight this is a whitmore true to the way it really is out there so here is a short video clip of me working this on the camera and so now I'm going to point the camera straight forward I'm going to go to the lens and I'm going to kind of twisted upwards so that I can have straight lines with the trees and it's a little bit more normal perspective it's a very subtle difference it's not something that a lot of people would notice when I turn the camera vertically and I pointed up a tree the base of the tree seems much bigger than the top of the tree because I'm much closer to it and here is your vertical video folks so in a rare case of vertical video where it's okay I am going to point the camera straight down at the base of the tree and now I'm going to twist upwards moving the land's upward so that the tree appears to be more straight up rather than falling backwards and on the right is the final still photograph from that and so if you want to photograph something that it's straight up and down and it's not falling backwards it works now as a side note you could take that original image right there in the middle you could take it in a photo shop or some other program and you could play with this perspective control on it and you could stretch out the top of the tree so that essentially was doing in photo shop what I'm doing with a tilt shift lens and it's perfectly capable so you don't have to go out by a tilt shift lands but as you can see your cropping away a lot of the pixels you're throwing away probably forty percent of the pixels in this case and so if you're trying to maintain the highest quality and do this sort of correction that's where the tell chef comes in if you just want to do it once in a while and fix it fix a photograph or two you could just take it into photo shop and fix it it's a pretty simple technique using that shift capability we can use that for panorama so here we are reflection like and I'm going to kind of slide over to get the left shot I'm going to come back to the middle I'm going to take my second shot and then I'm gonna slide over to the right and I'm going to take the right hand shot I'm going to have three images that are basically perfectly aligned so that when I put them together they mesh just perfectly in photo shop and this is much better than twisting the camera because the camera is staying essentially in the same position and you're just moving the lens around to capture the left and the right side of the image and so what I did in this case is I was actually just moving the lands left and right to capture that panoramic an actual better technique if you have the right equipment is to move the body rather than the lens because you if you can keep the lens in exactly the same position you will end up with matching areas that are absolutely perfectly overlapped and so there's ways that you could move the body and try to keep the lens in the exact same position now there's another reason why these can be helpful when it's a little bit of a tricky goofy thing all right so I got a little video here see me waving there in the window okay I I don't want my reflection in the window but I want the window in the middle of the frame so I moved the tripod a little bit off to the left hand side and now I take the shift lands and I move it back and the window is in the middle of the frame but I am no longer in the reflection and this is one of the tricks on how architectural photographers we get their reflection out of the scene and so here's the here's the before shot here's the after shot and you will notice that there's a subtle little difference between the windows the way it looked but it's very subtle and you wouldn't notice it and this is one way to get your reflection out of out of it well that's usually not a problem in landscape photography but I did find a use for it in landscape photography in death valley here's a short little video I wanted to shoot some of these mudflats that I was on and I wanted to look straight down the problem is is my feet are straight down I was able to shift the lands over so it looks like I'm pointing straight down but I'm not I'm actually tilting the camera a little bit and it's shifting things over and so I'm able to get a straight shot looking down that's a highly unusual purpose but if you're creative you can find a lot of different ways to use thes tools next up let's talk about the till this is the main reason that a landscape photographer would get a tilt shift lands and this is kind of fun because this is where we get to talk about the slime fluke principle and it must be spoken with that sort of the german dialect slime flew and so the way the slime flew principle works is that if we were to draw a line through the image plane and a line through the lens plain and where we are focusing well let's take a subject like a flower in the foreground we can focus on the distance we can focus on the flower and we have to choose one place to focus the lens and that's where we're going to have the greatest amount of sharpness now if we want the flower and the mountain in focus what do we do well we're going to kind of have to split the difference we're gonna have to focus between them if we were to set an aperture of f two point eight we would not have very much and focus a little bit in front and a little bit behind that plane of focus so what do we do we stop our lens down f twenty two for instance and we get much greater depth of field problem is is that depth of field doesn't always reach those flowers right in front of us so what can we do about it well with the right type of camera or the right type of tilt shift lands we can tilt the front of the lens a few degrees now logic would dictate that if you tilt it say ten degrees your plane of focus would tell ten degrees but that's where logic flies out the window because that's not what happens what actually happens is the plane of focus the lens plane and the image plane all meet in this very special place that we call the slime blue intersection and it actually tilts the plane of focus much much more now if we set an aperture of f two point eight we're actually almost able to reach from the flowers to the mountain and with a very modest but very sharp aperture of f eleven were able to get the flowers in the foreground as well as the mountain in the background and yes that is how the title shot of this class was shot with a tilt shift lands tilted slightly in the downward position so that the flowers in the foreground would be nice and sharp so long as they weren't blowing too fast in the wind but it enabled me to shoot at a shallower depth of field about f eight eleven this was actually shot at f ate so that I could have a slightly faster shutter speed for stopping the motion of those flowers that were slightly moving around in the wind one of my favorite shots up rainier is I could say this tax sharp it's very sharp from the closest flowers in the foreground through the rocks the flowers in the mid ground and then going to the background of mount rainier everything is very very sharp and I would not have been able to achieve this shot shooting at f twenty two because none of the lenses that I have or that I know of shooting at f twenty two will be a sharp is this lenses at f eight and so enables you to get really really great sharpness and allows you to use a little bit faster shutter speed so that if there are flowers moving around they will be frozen because you can choose that faster shutter speed and so this is a very common technique there's a lot of photographers that used these lenses and you'll you'll see a lot of compositions like this with flowers in the foreground and something else in the background and this is just a really great lands for doing this type of work it's just the way a lot of photographers work and it basically all comes from the days of four by five cameras and moving that front standard and changing your depth of field and so this is a tool that I have been using for the last few few years and I know it's really been able to help me out and getting the sharpness that I wanted in the shots and it's something that you've used over and over again and beyond my standard sixteen to thirty five and my seventy two two hundred lands this is kind of the first bonus lens that I bring along now I did get a chance to use the ninety millimeter lands I own the twenty for and I really like twenty four but I used the ninety millimeter lens and in this example you can see on the left I didn't do any tell thing so it's just a standard ninety millimeter lens at faa you can see that it even at f ate theirs fairly shallow depth of field but if you tilt it you can get everything in focus well this has nothing to do with landscape photography this gum wall in seattle is a great location for showing the effect of tilting and sharpness so what we're gonna do is we're gonna tell the lens kind of into the gun wall and you can see gum in the foreground and the background becoming mohr and focus move it back to the normal position somewhat shallow depth of field and if we reverse it we get really shallow depth of field and so there's a number of the options in games that you can play with the tilt shift lens and so let me diagram this for you so we got a brick wall we got our gums on our gum wall and let's get our camera set up at an angle to the wall this is the way I shot the photo and if we shoot it reasonably pretty much wide open at f or you're going to get a fairly shallow depth of field we could do what I call a reverse tilt maximum in the opposite direction and get really shallow depth of field so if you do want very very shallow depth of field you can do it with an f four lens if you can tell it next up let's do no tilt but what we would do with a normal land stop it down to f twenty two and we get great depth of field problem is is that the extreme edges are not really very sharp we can tilted it at four and pretty much get everything and focus but if we want the maximum sharpness will stop it down about midway to f eleven and now foreground background everything is an extremely sharp focus and so you may be wondering well how much difference is there between doing a tilt shot or just shooting at f twenty two or thirty two so here's an example I shot both with the same lands but one with tilt on the right hand side and the other with f thirty two and this is the diffraction problem that all lenses have when we stopped him down all the way and so we don't want to do that unless we have to and the tilt shift allows us a way of getting around that problem no as we saw in that previous example on gum wall we could do a reverse until and this is where things get a little wacky I don't do a lot of photography here but it does have its fans out there and so by tilting the standard upward were changing and moving the sly ing flew principle into a location above the camera and we've taken our plane of focus and we have changed it in a most unusual manner and so now it's kind of cutting through the top of your subject and your debt the field is going to be extremely shallow in most cases if you are pointing downwards and so this is the normal standard image with a ninety millimeter lands and let's throw on the tilt shift and you kind of a reverse tilt and you can see how shallow of depth of field I'm getting with a two point eight lens which is much shallower than you would normally get or I can reverse it and do a maximum depth of field and so if you have one of these tell chef lenses you can't get much more and much less in focus just giving you maur control over what you are shooting now if you want to get lackey again rather than tilting it up or down you could point the camera down and tilt the lens off to the side and now what's going to be the sharpest is this angled line through the middle and I was trying to think up a location where I could use this not just to explain the theory but to actually take a photograph that would make sense and down in yosemite national park they've cut out a pathway of trees so that you can see the falls and what I've done in the right hand photograph is I tilted the lens so it blurs the trees on the left and right and on ly the waterfall is in focus knowing that your eye doesn't like things that are out of focus so it will instantly go to the waterfall and has kind of a unique look to it I've noticed the number of people using it over the last few years doing these miniature effects in the photograph cities from high up location they'll tilt the lens into an upward position and it makes the cities look like miniature sets because when you photograph macro photography you get really shallow depth of field and this allows you to shoot very large buildings and people and have it look like it's a macro photograph and so there's some very fun photographs that you could have I don't really do this when it comes to nature photography but I feel like it's worth mentioning in the class now there are two separate things that we've been talking about tilting and shifty can you use both at the same time absolutely yes so an example of that would be I'm tilting the lands to get maximum sharpness from the foreground to the background but I'm going to shift the lens from left to right so that I can create a panorama and so in some situations I will do that so that I could get the sharpest picture possible and create a perfectly seamless panorama it's basically all in the name of sharpness folks up at one of my favorite locations in bam at marine lake I'm shooting three vertical images tilting forward but shifting from side to side to end up with one very large very very sharp photograph so there is on ly a few tilt shift lens is out on the market there's only a few manufacturers that make them kanan has a seventeen millimeter lens that I find a little challenging to use but I think it's the ultimate cathedral lands so if you do architecture in europe seventeen tilt shift would be an awesome lens to take with you on vacation over there my preference is that twenty four I already told you I like the twenty four millimeter lands twenty four tell chipped is what I own and I really like it and I wouldn't change it for any other till shift out there there's also a forty five more of a normal lands and then they're gonna have a short telephoto lens and the forty fives and nineties or sometimes used by product photographers because they want to get their focus set just right but I would say probably for the landscape photographer twenty four is the most popular and then it's kind of split between the seventeen and ninety both cannon and nikon are going to be your largest producers of these tilt shift lenses nikon calls on pc lenses perspective control but they actually do more than pc canon calls there's t s for tilt and shift which is a little bit more descriptive and they're all very good lenses the cannon seventeen and twenty four were upgraded a few years ago and they tend to be a little bit better quality than the forty five and ninety were all crossing fingers and hoping that they're going to come out with some new ones to replace those forty five nineties but they're all very good tools they're very fun they realize it's not something everyone's going by it's not on the first on the violence they're very expensive lenses but if you have a place that you can rent lenses and there are places online that you can rent and they'll ship him right to your house this might be really fun for that one weekend up shooting wild flowers or in another particular location that you're going and so I'm going to throw it over to canton road quickly to see are there any questions on this what do you think john knowing our viewers absolutely absolutely especially because that was a really really in depth coverage of chilton chef lenses social funds is so thank you for that so a question probably the most common question you might get on this matter is this one is from cayenne who's a regular here from new orleans if you don't have the tilt shift lens can you recreate the landscape all in focus in photo shop maybe doing something like focus stacking that I've heard of is that something that you're okay with I'm going to talk specifically about focused acting it's one of the few pieces of software that I'm gonna go in I'm gonna show you some examples and so everything that the tilt shift khun do you khun now digitally work around so yes you can create panorama is without tell chef lenses they just make it easier you can create lenses that we're stacking images of different focusing and I'll talk about that but I'm not ending up with an original raw image that has it all fixed in one image I could end up with a very nice heist high quality tip and so there are workarounds on all of them and this this is one of those bonus lindsay this is not the lens you need to save all your money and buy that first there's a lot of other things on the list before you need to get to a tilt shift lands so I mean same with so many different things in photography there are work arounds but people who are going back to film you know it's a different it's a different thing using those till chip actual lenses is a different thing great we have a question from colin has a vote everybody remember you can vote on the questions there when you look at them and you click up on the blue arrow will moving the centre column of your tripod up and down give you the same effect as using a tilt shipped lens definitely no does not it changes your camera position and well I'm trying to think of a situation in which they might be right okay do you remember the tree that I shot I was pointing up at the tree if you could raise your center column to the height of the middle of that tree you could shoot it straight on and so if you had that tallest center I wouldn't recommend it to be a little unstable but you are trying to change the appearance of where your camera was at so you can use a tell chitlins to change the appearance it looks like you were higher up than you actually work and so that's kind of there there on the right theory but impracticality no right which is what sort of going back and watching what you just taught us about howie chuck help shift plans actually works is it would be great so question from gold steven j can you explain again where do you focus the tilt and where do you focus with the focus ring that gets to be a little tricky and I am you know I do have a slide for that one ugo folks if you haven't been with us before we have a running joke I have a slide for just about everything and I actually do have a slide on where to focusing okay and I think it's very helpful and it's just a great great tip that I didn't even really know about until about a year ago really and it's made things so much easier well there's a teaser alright fantastic how about one more this is from one of our facebook users since you're moving the front glass on a tote shift lens does the image get projected off to the side of the sensor like a crop any downside to using yes the image because it has a very large image circle if you could imagine this is our censor our image circle is much much larger so that we could move it off and in theory it could cause some problems if light is coming in and bouncing and refracting around in the lens but generally they put a lot of codings they'll for instance when they have a lens and bill paint the outside edge of the lens before they insert it and put it into the construction process of the glass so that it has the absolute minimum the amount of light bouncing around and refracting in there and so in theory it's a problem but in practice it's not an issue

Class Description


Beautiful landscapes are all around us – they are a joy to experience, but a challenge to capture in a single photo. In Nature and Landscape Photography, you’ll learn the essential tools and techniques for taking photographs that reflect the splendor of landscapes and the captivating details of nature.

In this class, award-winning photographer John Greengo will use illustrations, animations, and photographs of destinations from around the world to teach you the thought process behind great nature photography. You’ll learn which gear is suited to the environment you want to shoot and how to plan for ideal light and composition. John will help you master exposure and focus so you get a better shot in camera and improve your edits by taking you through hands-on photo critiques.

From complicated cameras to challenging environments, several obstacles stand in the way of you taking a photograph that reflects the landscape as you see it. This class will help you take nature and landscape photographs that reflect your unique perspective.

This course is part of the landscape tutorials series. 

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