For years, I've been looking for the most easily usable way to shift in the field - such as a tourist walking around a city for 3-4 hours (so weight is an issue), and wanting to shoot architectural scenes with rise, and sometimes (but not always) some side shift. THere seems to be no perfect tool for this. Options include:
- 4x5 - easiest for movements, but needs film holders, and sad without readiload film.
Evelyn Hofer carried a Linhof Technika with everything she needed in her handbag (http://www.steidlville.com/books/55-Evelyn-Hofer.html
). For 4x5 this might be a solution. For cityscapes I use a Linhof Technika 13x18 (5x7 inch) or a Sinar 8x10, but I have cases with wheels.
- MFDB on a pancake - but these aren't so light, and a bit clunky....hard to carry around for a day...Alpa seems best for MFDB on handheld, but only movements in one direction.
This is also the most expensive solution. If you work without a tripod you will face two main problems: 1) Your images will never be perfectly aligned and you have to correct every image in the post. You have to write down the amount of shift for every frame. 2) With an f-stop around 11 and ISO around 320 ASA your exposure times will be longer than you want to have them for handheld work.
- shift lenses on MF camera, either digital or film, but these are heavy, and only a few go in two directions at the same time
- 35 DSLR with shift lenses - easy to use, but hard to see through the viewfinder, and only single direction movements
All the shift lenses for DSLR I know of you can shift in two directions at the same time. It is very easy to work with the view finder or live view. I do this for 10 years now beginning with the EOS 1 D (CCD - Version) and I never had a problem.
- panorama type camera, film - and then crop the image
Works but these cameras are heavy and big too.
Then there is the very odd idea of a M240 and a 28 PC lens.... smallest package, not sure if the lens is up to snuff.
Money doesn't seem to be a limiting factor for you. A nice very small solution is a full frame Canon with the Olympus OM 35 mm shift lens (see http://olypedia.de/Zuiko_Shift_1:2,8/35_mm
, it is in german, but with a lot of images) which is much better than the Schneider Super Angulon 28. If there are mirorless cameras (Sony NEX) with full frame in the future, the whole system will be very small if you attach the Olympus 35 mm shift. This little lens is very good.
Its easier if the decision calls for either tripod or no tripod, but as in life, sometimes its a bit of both. So what have others used happily?
As mentioned above I use for cityscapes a Linhof Technika 13x18 (5x7 inch) or a Sinar 8x10, but I have cases with wheels. Most of the time I have a Canon 5D Mark II with the Olympus 35 mm shift (or TS-E17/24/45 I carry only one of this lenses depending what I plan to photograph that day) as a backup. Backup means after I shot the scene with film, I snap a digital capture too; and if I run out of film I continue digitally. If I know only minor shifts are needed I go with the Canon 24-70L without a tripod and fix the perspective in the post. But the best thing is a 8x10 inch negative.