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Dear Sony, why on earth can't we have a native tilt shift e-mount lens?


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OK, so I know there are some third party tilt shift lenses for Sony. I also know that we can always adapt Canon tilt shift lenses for e-mount, but why. Why do we need to do this? Surely, Sony has the technology to make this happen with native lenses. Why hasn't it happened yet? I'm so tired of looking for solutions to make my camera do things that I can do with any other manufacturer. Let's get it together, Sony. I want to be able to use my camera with all the bells and whistles I paid for, and not have to jump through hoops to make something work. 

 

Sincerly,

Frustraded in Focus

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I can understand your frustration. I suspect that Sony are concentrating on lenses for the larger groups of photographers, rather than specialisms.

Tilt/Shift has generally been used by architecture photographers and much of the need for this type of lens can, arguably, now be done with software.

There are other specialisms that Sony don't cater for in their lens lineup where 3rd party producers do. EG: 2x macro, zero distortion ultra wide angle, "probe" lenses etc.

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I feel like that's a cop out. Yes TS lenses are specialized, but that doesn't stop companies like Canon from making them. There is always a workaround, but why are we doing workarounds? I don't think it's too much to ask Sony to give us tools that work for our industry. They have the technology to make this happen, and they have been doing this long enough now to make it happen. Landscape and architectural photography are large portions of photography, and there is demand for these type of lenses, so they should be listening to the customers and making these things.

Still looking at you, Sony!😑

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None of the big brands (Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm) has made a T/S lens for a mirrorless system yet, so it's not like Sony is lagging behind. Apparently there's little commercial incentive to produce niche lenses like these. I'd try the Samyang 24mm f/3.5 T/S, which comes with E-mount as well.

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None of the big brands (Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm) were making mirrorless cameras either, but that didn't stop Sony from being the innovator. I understand it may not be at the top of their list, but there are plenty of great Sony lenses out in the wild now. I believe it's time they listened to their customers (even if it's not the masses) and start making some of these specialized lenses that are important to many of the industries for which they market their products. Commercial photographers have specific needs. Sony is not meeting them. I don't think it's an unreasonable request to say "Hey, let's do something about this need". As long as people are willing to let it slide, not hold Sony's feet to the fire, then they are going to continue to ignore the needs of certain professionals.

 

As to shooting with the Samyang 24 TS. I know that it's available, but I have a few issues with that. 

1) It's Samyang. While they make OK lenses, let's be honest, they are not the quality of Sony lenses. I own 2 Samyang/Rokinon lenses, and they're alright, but not great.

2) I personally need longer TS than 24mm for many projects, as do many others. So, this isn't really a solution that helps me. I need something more along the lines of the 90mm or 135mm macro TS. I can use 24 for larger spreads, but when shooting smaller product, the longer lenses are just a necessity. 

3) Shooting natively is so much better than adapting lenses to "work" with my camera. Adapting introduces a level of uncertainty in what is being shot, and increases shoot times, as well as effect quality. I want to trust that my lenses are giving me the best image, and not searching for focus, or giving me something that's "OK". It's incredibly frustrating to work with Sony lenses that get it right with very little effort, and then work with a lens that's adapted, and may or may not work like you're expecting. I'm tired of dealing with that.

This post is just a shot over the bow to Sony saying that we (professionals) are looking for solutions. They have the ability. There is a market, and we have money. I'm screaming "TAKE MY MONEY, PLEASE!", so hopefully they will listen.

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If you want a long lens for T&S, good luck.  Even in the decades of 35mm film, they were mainly 28mm & 35mm -- which incidentally work fine on digital cameras.

If you want T&S with a long lens for close-up work, you should consider a bellows setup -- one that has T&S, such as the Minolta Auto-Bellows III.  That way, you can use regular long lenses and get T&S through the bellows.

I can't imagine any company coming up with that gear by itself today.

Another option is buying and adapting a larger format bellows camera -- you would not be the first to do it.

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Minolta did offer a Shift lens back in the days of MF. No tilt but it offered VFC which is variable field curvature

My records show it sold less than 400 copies a year for the 9 years this was being offered for sale

It was also selling for about 6 times more than a standard 50mm F 1.7 lens.

 

I don't think Sony would consider any thing that will sell so little considering the investment in development/ carrying parts as opposed to the limited sales this would generate and very little customer wow effect.

If they do, they would probably charge something like 3-4000$ which would put you and other buyers down. More so when on mirrorless, you can adapt almost any other brand that has ever been made at a price that is likely more affordable.

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They do offer crazily priced lenses like the 400mm APO and 600mm APO but these are needed to showcase the AF technology to sports photographers that they want to convince to use their A9/A1 bodies and make them switch from Canikon.

 

Little excitement or brand switching would occur with Tilt/Shift lenses

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I don't believe a working professional would be bitching and moaning about a non-existent lens,  If  getting a shot from a certain perspective is of paramount importance to you, just get what you need from the competitive brands.  Canon seems to have an extensive collection of T&S lenses ranging from 17 to 135mm - they are all very expensive but you don't care about that - couple them with a Metabones EF to NEX adapter and you are ready to go.  Or you can just get a generic EF to NEX adapter an check for yourself what the degree of uncertainty is in the adapters, I don't believe you will question Canon's manufacturing process anymore than you would of Sony, would you?

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On 6/15/2022 at 12:17 AM, tadwil said:

I don't believe a working professional would be bitching and moaning about a non-existent lens,  If  getting a shot from a certain perspective is of paramount importance to you, just get what you need from the competitive brands. 

You seem to have missed the point entirely. I'm not "bitching" about non-existent lenses. I'm asking Sony why they haven't offered tilt shift lenses in a native e-mount. The exact point is that I'm tired of having to use work arounds, like using competitors brands, when a native mount would be more productive. All you've brought to this conversation is the same old "here's the workaround", and "use an adapter" rather than anything truly helpful. I've been a "working professional" for over 30 years, so I'm well aware of the available solutions. This post is intended to reach out to Sony's team that monitor these posts and start a dialogue. If you have nothing of value to contribute to this post, please feel free to find another.

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On 6/13/2022 at 9:36 AM, XKAES said:

If you want a long lens for T&S, good luck.  Even in the decades of 35mm film, they were mainly 28mm & 35mm -- which incidentally work fine on digital cameras.

If you want T&S with a long lens for close-up work, you should consider a bellows setup -- one that has T&S, such as the Minolta Auto-Bellows III.  That way, you can use regular long lenses and get T&S through the bellows.

I can't imagine any company coming up with that gear by itself today.

Another option is buying and adapting a larger format bellows camera -- you would not be the first to do it.

I have looked into several bellows systems, and the Cambo Actus B6 is a very clever way of dealing with TS, and purchasing the entire system is going to be around $3,800 to include the macro bellows and extended rail. It is sitting in my shopping cart on B&H right now. It's literally what brought me to the forum to ask Sony why we can't just have native TS lenses. I do like the idea of the Cambo Actus bellows system for the sheer flexibility, but you lose the functionality of the native e-mount. My idea was more about the simplicity of having native TS lenses. 

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I don't know how much T/S you might need, but you can get a T/S bellows for a lot less than $3,800 -- probably around $200.  And in any case, you will lose auto-focusing -- but that's a good thing in close-up work.  I'm no expert in the current Canon T/S lenses, but older T/S lenses had fewer features.  For example, Minolta's 35mm shift lens, did not have meter coupling.

I still think an inexpensive larger format bellows camera -- you can get these starting at $200 -- might fit your needs.  The smaller ones (6x9) are harder to find, and cost as much, but if you want to use lenses in the realm of 85mm and UP, these could be adapted for very little expense.

There are lots of EBAY sellers that carry large format backs for various cameras, and front lens board for various lenses.

Check out:

https://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/forum.php

For discussions on this very approach.

Also, here as some adapters -- one for Sony e-mount

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/Digital-Film-Back-Adapters/ci/152/N/3656173696

Edited by XKAES
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24 minutes ago, XKAES said:

I don't know how much T/S you might need, but you can get a T/S bellows for a lot less than $3,800 -- probably around $200.  And in any case, you will lose auto-focusing -- but that's a good thing in close-up work.  I'm no expert in the current Canon T/S lenses, but older T/S lenses had fewer features.  For example, Minolta's 35mm shift lens, did not have meter coupling.

I still think an inexpensive larger format bellows camera -- you can get these starting at $200 -- might fit your needs.  The smaller ones (6x9) are harder to find, and cost as much, but if you want to use lenses in the realm of 85mm and UP, these could be adapted for very little expense.

There are lots of EBAY sellers that carry large format backs for various cameras, and front lens board for various lenses.

Check out:

https://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/forum.php

For discussions on this very approach.

Also, here as some adapters -- one for Sony e-mount

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/Digital-Film-Back-Adapters/ci/152/N/3656173696

I have an Sinar P with 3 Rodenstock lenses, but it's a beast. I know I can get a Fotodiox back for it, but it would only be viable in the studio on my camera stand. The Cambo Actus is the perfect small view camera style for using in multiple situations. It has a wide array of medium and large format lenses that can work with it as well. I have a Sony bellows, but it doesn't offer me the ability to tilt. I've looked into the Minolta bellows, but this is exactly the sort of thing I'm trying to avoid. We're right back to the workaround. 

I truly understand my options in terms of currently available TS/View camera style shooting. I'm just looking for Sony to see that there is a segment of professional photography that uses their cameras and needs a native solution.

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As you know there are a lot of 4x5 cameras much smaller, lighter, and cheaper than the P, and since you can use your existing 4x5 lenses, you're all set -- as you sit and wait for Sony to listen to your plea.

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1 hour ago, XKAES said:

As you know there are a lot of 4x5 cameras much smaller, lighter, and cheaper than the P, and since you can use your existing 4x5 lenses, you're all set -- as you sit and wait for Sony to listen to your plea.

Well... one can hope..lol

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10 hours ago, jesmo5 said:

You seem to have missed the point entirely. I'm not "bitching" about non-existent lenses. I'm asking Sony why they haven't offered tilt shift lenses in a native e-mount. The exact point is that I'm tired of having to use work arounds, like using competitors brands, when a native mount would be more productive. All you've brought to this conversation is the same old "here's the workaround", and "use an adapter" rather than anything truly helpful. I've been a "working professional" for over 30 years, so I'm well aware of the available solutions. This post is intended to reach out to Sony's team that monitor these posts and start a dialogue. If you have nothing of value to contribute to this post, please feel free to find another.

How much of a workaround is there between a non-native T&S lens vs a Sony E-mount T&S lens (if Sony ever gets around to making one)?  Here is Keith Cooper's Webinar on T&S photography using his Canon DSLRs and Canon EF T&S lenses: https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/link.php?url=https://youtu.be/ghURqDf5fMY Keith Cooper says early on in the webinar T&S photography was strictly MF - have there been any manufacturer who has overcome the AF/MF hurdle with their native T&S lens?  Being able to get a complete exif is a very nice feature to have with native lenses but it's not an absolute necessity. 

You say you are tired of working around with the non-native T&S lens but I am trying to picture myself shooting with M42, PK, or P645 to E mount T&S adapter (still mulling over which one of three to buy) and the respective MF lenses, wondering what extra hassles there are that make you so vexed - please enlighten me.

 

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This is one of the reasons I suggested a larger format bellows camera approach.  Since the T/S lenses lose so many "auto" features anyway, why not just use a regular lens on a bellows -- which provides all the T/S you need?

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3 hours ago, XKAES said:

This is one of the reasons I suggested a larger format bellows camera approach.  Since the T/S lenses lose so many "auto" features anyway, why not just use a regular lens on a bellows -- which provides all the T/S you need?

Minolta Auto-Bellows III, that's a great bellows.  I thought about getting one from eBay but the fact that I don't have any Minolta lenses and not much showing up on local Craigslist, nixed that idea.  I am leaning more towards a Kipon PK-NEX Shift (no tilt) adapter for the highest number of compatible lenses I have.

I have been trying to figure out how much more workaround the OP needs to do when shooting with his adapted T&S lenses that you and I would do when we shoot with adapted legacy lenses.  Obviously, the addition of adjusting perspective control manually on a P&S lens is a given but other than that I can't picture much differences between the OP's routine and mine.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Yes, I find myself asking the same question at times. They have cameras that are geared for Architecture so matching them up with a good solid T/S lens would be great. Canon has them in the works for the new RF mount and rumor has it they will be auto focusing, not that AF matters to me. Fuji has at least one in the pipeline for the GFX cameras scheduled to come out in 2023 - so it's not like camera manufacturers don't see the importance of it.

I like Sony because I do hybrid shooting at times and it fits my workflow, but I do find it annoying using third party glass for those times I need a T/S lens. 

I am sure Sony has been asked the question before, I guess they just don't feel like it's important to them.

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