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.

Laowa_shift_resultsCredit: 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.

Laowa-msc-04-4Credit: 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