Shift to correct converging verticals — rise and fall
When the camera is angled up, say at a building, the building appears to lean backwards— keystoning. This is caused by the non-parallel alignment of the film/sensor plane and the subject.
The shift function of the lens allow the correction of such effects; the camera can be positioned so as to be parallel to the building or similar subject, then the lens can be shifted upwards (“rise”) to include the subject, all while remaining parallel to it. The same principle applies in shifting the lens down (“fall”).
Essentially, a shift-capable lens is a WIDE ANGLE OF VIEW LENS (not to be confused with focal length!), that allows the photographer to choose what section of the image circle to record.
Magic depth of field with tilt or swing
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