The Palouse with a 90mm tilt-shift lens

For some time now I’ve been interested in seeing how the 90mm tilt-shift would work in the Palouse.  The lens is highly regarded but I wondered how appropriate the reach would be since I’m usually at the long end of my 70-200 and use the 400mm frequently.  I knew I would have to be relatively close to my subject given the focal length and my typical photography approach.

On my initial test trip, I quickly found the 90mm to be shorter than expected.  My anticipation was to use the tilt and shift functions in tandem: tilting for depth of field, and shifting horizontally for three separate shots, all done while in portrait orientation.  Fortunately I found a worthy subject after some driving.  The weather wasn’t the best, being mostly cloudy but the green spring fields presented nicely.  As with the 24 TSE, I used 10x live view to get the proper tilt (about -2mm).

Cloudy Spring Day

I also stopped along Union Flat Creek on the drive back home to capture this scene.  No, tilting or shifting, just one frame manually focused with 10x live view.

Union Flat Creek Spring

The next day the weather did not improve but I went out for more testing.  I was warming up to the lens after initially feeling its focal length to be too short.  I had in mind to use the 1.4x extender but on the few stops I made it was either too tight or too wide.  Nonetheless my first stop in a new locale presented me with a windmill.  This area had potential after I followed the road on Google Earth and saw the canyon to the east it overlooked.  The windmill was a pleasant surprise.  Though the early morning sky was bland, I set up as before: portrait orientation, 10x live view for focusing, three shots with two shifted for a “pano.”  It’s not necessarily a panorama in the true sense.  The resulting photo is cropped at a 4×5 aspect ratio.  The aspect ratio and increased resolution is what I find  most appealing about shifting with these lenses.  Now the 90mm tilt-shift is on my list!  (And its rumored that Canon may be updating this year).

Windmill and Canyon


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