I am considering adding a tilt shift lens to my repertoire. I have been reading about them and they sound ideal for the type of work I like to do--environmental panoramics in the forest with lots of complex foreground and soaring vertical lines with lots of crisp focus. That's what I like.
I am considering the Canon 17 mm F/4 L Tilt Shift.
The tutorials at http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials.htm
have helped me understand tilt shift lenses better, but I have some questions.
Here is how I am considering using it.
1) I intend to mount my camera in the portrait position on a pano head (I think I may not really need the yaw control as much any more if I am content with the shift giving me enough additional vertical coverage).
2) I was going to make shift panos (left and right) without moving the rotating platform, basically three frames overlapping a bit in the middle frame to make smallish (roughly square) panos.
3) I figured I could use the pano head to spin the camera around the nodal point
(do they work the same on tilt shift lenses?) and stitch two or more of these shifted panos together to make a larger panoramic image.
4) So far I have only used the shift mechanism to capture a wider field of view. I guess I could add-in the tilt to improve depth of field for my wilderness scene, from foreground to the horizon (speaking theoretically, here).
So presuming that everything I said above is generally practical and sensible, here are some questions:
If I am making a pano in the portrait orientation (as usual) and I use the shift mechanism vertically, to increase the pixels in the Y axis (with effectively 2.5 rows of photos), would I need to modify the tilt between the bottom row shift and the middle row and top row shift? I can imagine some pretty weird results in the foreground where the depth of field would be shallowest.
How would using a spherical panoramic head and moving the tilt shift camera in the pitch rotation change the behavior of the tilt shift lens? All the tutorials discuss generally use of the lens with the camera mounted level (for instructional purposes, I understand why they do this.) I can't even begin to imagine the possibilities of angling the focal plane while tilting the camera. The geometry is simple, but the practical application (if there is one) seems more complex.