July 12, 2017

Change Your Perspective with the Laowa Magic Shift

Venus Optics Laowa has released a shift converter for E-Mount that can help you alter the perspective of your images.

When most filmmakers think of "tilt/shift" the first thing they picture is dramatically shifting the depth of field to create effects that distort our sense of scale, such as the famous rowing scene in The Social Network. However, ask any filmmaker and they'll remind you that the shift part of "tilt/shift" is just as important, since shifting the field of view of the lens can allow for powerful distortion correction. When working with wide angle lenses and doing architectural photography, the ability to shift perspective so that a buildings lines run parallel, instead of converging, is very useful—and that is just what you get from the Magic Shift.

As can be seen in the video above, not only is the effect quite dramatic, it can also be done dynamically within a single video shot. While the ergonomics and design of the lens don't seem to be designed with dynamic switching-in-shot in mind, when done with care there is the potential to create a dramatic shift in perspective within a single frame. It would require tilting the tripod head against the lens shift, however, so it'll take some practice.

Credit: Laowa

The adapter adds space between the lens and the camera body, so you need to adapt from another format to E; you can't simply use your current E-mount lens. It'll first be shipping with the EF mount on front, allowing the use of EF mount glass on your E frame camera, and will eventually be available for Nikon AI mounts.

At launch, the Magic Shift is designed to work with the Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D lens, which has a large image circle for full frame coverage that can be shifted on the E-mount sensor, but other large image circle ultra wide lenses should also work. It tends to be the case that the wider the lens, the smaller the image circle, so not all ultra wides will provide the coverage needed.

Credit: Laowa

Available for Pre-order now for $300 at the VenusLens.com site.

Tech Specs:

  • E-mount rear, EF mount front
  • Nikon AI mount front coming soon
  • Works with 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D from Laowa
  • 1 stop light loss
  • Converts 12mm to a 17mm f/4
  • +/- 10mm image shift
  • Horizontal or Vertical Orientation
  • 5 elements in 4 groups

Your Comment

8 Comments

Ok ... i guess i don't have enough experience ... i just don't see a real use for this.... Reminds of all the speciality one off kitchen gadgets that you don't need if you just learn to use your knife properly ... seems like more and more, video stuff is made and marketed to fix / clean up the mess you made, when what you should be doing is learning how to do things correctly in the first place ....just my two cents!

July 12, 2017 at 2:50PM

0
Reply

You are completely wrong. This is the tool to do this correctly with in the first place. Correcting it would be fixing it in post. Distortion is a function of wide lenses. This is how you correct for it. There is no "better" way to fix this. This is how you handle that problem. You have no idea what you're talking about.

July 12, 2017 at 2:59PM, Edited July 12, 2:59PM

2
Reply
Joshua Bowen
Editor
469

Your reading comprehension and social skills are lacking, guess that works for an Editor. Maybe a different lens choice, position, resolution step down or camera movement ... likely will push the story in the right, or even better, direction eliminating the need for special hardware to fix the problem generated with wide angle distortion.... forest for the trees.

July 12, 2017 at 4:40PM

0
Reply

None of you guys seem to understand how tilt shift lenses are used or what they're used for. This has nothing to do with wide angle distortion and I'm not sure why the poster says as such. This has to do with being able to point a lens up while keeping the focal plane(sensor) level.

Take another look at the example image. The only way to fix the first image without a tilt shift would be to raise the camera several hundred feet in the air and move back a hundred yards or so to keep the camera level and still keep everything in the frame(Should be pretty self-explanatory why this might not be feasible). The second option to get rid of the distortion is to point the camera level in its current position(which would end up chopping off the tops of the buildings).

This and tilt shift lenses allow one to keep the entire building in the frame without pointing the camera up which would result in converging lines no matter what focal length you use.

July 12, 2017 at 6:22PM

0
Reply

Literally none of those solve this problem. You're trying to sound insightful or special by shitting on a relatively basic tool for correcting a lens. Shifting lenses have been used for decades for this specific instance but no, YOU have it really figured out.

July 12, 2017 at 6:50PM, Edited July 12, 6:50PM

0
Reply
Joshua Bowen
Editor
469

Huh? Joshua, are you responding to me? How am I shitting on this tool? I'm just explaining it has nothing to do with wide angle distortion and cannot be reproduced (exactly) in post digitally because you lose some of the frame.

July 13, 2017 at 11:11AM, Edited July 13, 11:11AM

0
Reply

This has been out for years:

https://www.adorama.com/katsnknex.html

July 12, 2017 at 4:48PM, Edited July 12, 4:48PM

2
Reply

Nice, bending light to change your composition instead of bending pixels.
at 300$ for something that seems to work with most lenses instead of replacing them it seems like a tempting offer, wish I had some money to put into photography. So many cool tools/playthings. but at Tilt-Shift lens or adapter have always been on my wish list since I first discovered them. It's kinda of a thing we haven't adapter to use in 3D renders yet as far as I've seen really, us 3D artists should always look towards photography for composition tips and tricks.

July 13, 2017 at 5:08AM, Edited July 13, 5:07AM

0
Reply