Everything looks so unreal. All the people, they’re like tiny ants. They look delicate like you should watch your feet not to step on them. This reminds you of something…something you know from your childhood. “Honey, I shrunk the kids”, that’s what was on your mind. The world around you looks like a shrunken version.
Then you look away from the viewfinder, and everything is back to normal. What you experienced is the “tilt-shift-effect” or miniature effect. In 1962, Nikon introduced a lens with a shift mechanism. Canon followed ten years later with a lens that enabled both tilt and shift movements of the lens. Modern tilt-shift lenses are expensive. For $2000 get you an original Canon or Nikon specialty lens, and for the cheaper Samyang version, the price point is about $1000.
3D Printed Camera Gear: Cheap and Versatile
The tilt-shift miniature effect can also be achieved in photo editing software like Photoshop. Even Instagram has it built in. Basically, what makes those pictures pop out is the very shallow depth of field it creates, so our eye naturally focuses on the narrow part of the image that is in focus. This happens because when you tilt the lens, your focus plane isn’t parallel to the image plane (on the sensor). The steeper it is tilted, the narrower the focusable area gets. But an expert eye can still tell the difference.
Here’s the good message for everyone who wants to do tilt-shift photography on a tight budget. You can also use your lenses and achieve professional-looking images with a real tilt-shift effect thanks to 3D printed tilt-shift adapters.
There are free 3D printing files for a
- micro four thirds (mft) tilt-shift adapter
- tilt-shift macro adapter for Konica
- Canon EF tilt-shift adapter
- Nikon F mount tilt-shift macro adapter
While most of them have a fixed tilt angle, it’s no problem to print them with a different one, as it’ll still be cheaper than actually to spend the money for a tilt-shift lens. Also keep in mind- although the adapters are all called tilt-shift for the achievable effect, technically all except the Nikon adapter can only tilt, and not actually shift. But trust me: If you’re not an advanced photographer, you won’t need that.
3d printed tilt shift
If your mount isn’t on this list, don´t worry either. There´s a tilt-shift adapter instructable that will help you design your own adapter step by step with any mount you need. Just watch the video to see the process. It´ll propably only take as long as the print will need on your printer, so why wait?
One final recommendation is to print your tilt shift adapters in black material. This way, no light leaks or reflections can interfere with the light in the optical parts of your lens and as such diminish the image quality.
License: The text of "3D Printed Camera Gear: Tilt-Shift Adapters" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.