Take a look at the image above. The flowers in the foreground were inches way from my camera…and yet they are sharply in focus. This in itself in not much of an accomplishment until you realize that this photo was taken on a windy day.
With a traditional lens, you would need to sacrifice something to get the shot in focus. With my standard wide-angle lens, I would have used a very small aperture to maximize depth of field – a quick hyperfocal distance calculation would give me the information I needed to know exactly how close I could get and where to focus with any given aperture and focal length. But, a small aperture would mean I’d need a longer shutter speed… and that would result in blurred flowers as they moved in the wind. To overcome that problem, I would crank up my ISO. I’d be able to use a faster shutter speed… but that would result in more noise. Luckily, I didn’t have to compromise… because I brought along a 24mm Tilt Shift Lens that I borrowed from LensRentals.
A TS lens lets you overcome this DOF vs Shutter Speed vs ISO trade-off by altering the plane of focus. After setting up my composition, I adjusted the plane of focus by turning a little knob on the lens. If you haven’t seen a lens like this before, it actually appears to be broken when you adjust the shift or tilt knobs… but worry not… it’s perfectly ok. As a result, I was able to get very close to the foreground flowers, and shoot them with a fast shutter speed of 1/500s, a wider aperture of f/7.1 and ISO 100.