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Fujifilm GF 30mm f/5.6 TS: What would Tilt do for this Scene and Others Like It?

Fujifilm GFX100 II | Fujifilm GF 30mm f/5.6 TS | Fujifilm GF 110mm f/5.6 TS | Fujifilm GF 55mm f/1.7 WR.

It’s terrific to have tilt/shift lens options for the Fujifilm medium format platform.

About tilt

Fujifilm GF 30mm f/5.6 TS

A tilt lens alters the plane of focus relative to the plane of the sensor. With the right subject matter, it affords a massive increase in depth of field that the same aperture would rapidly blur without tilt. A desert playa stretching away, the wall of a building, etc. Such clean-cut applications are rare.

CLICK TO VIEW: Ultimate Fujfilm Medium Format

One significant downside of a tilt lens is that zeroing the tilt could induce a small but noticeable optical tilt or optical swing (ditto for rise/fall); it is after all a mechanical device and as little as 20 microns differential is easily noticeable with a 30mm lens. We might be talking only 50 or 100 microns left/right or up/down, but that’s ample to blur one side. A lot depends on build quality, and what happens over time mechanically.

Example #1 — Conness Lake #2, Mt Conness Eastern Ridge

I am impressed with what the Fujifilm GF 35-70mm accomplished here!

Consider the image below, a fairly typical landscape scene. A single frame focused at INF does a very satisfactory job, but leaves the foreground rock detail soft. However, a 2-frame focus stack is spectacularly detailed from the nearest striation of the glacial polish to the far details, at least insofar as the lens delivers the goods (nicely though some room for optical improvements).

What would tilt do for us here? Possibly tilting to run the place of focus through the middle of the foreground boulder through the middle of the far cliffs would deliver better sharpness, but it might also means the summits would go out of focus—I’m just not sure. I suspect that f/9 would be required for full sharpness and possibly that might allow a single frame capture.

When I get out into the field it will be interesting: can tilting the lens turn 2 or 3 shot focus stack scenes into single-shot scenes using tilt? Or will it mostly just throw subject details out-of-plan and blur them too much?

Consider for example if a tree were nearby, say to the right of the foreground boulder. In that case, tilt would throw the top of the tree very much out of focus, and might be a worse problem than no tilt. Such are the vagaries of a tilt lens vs subject shape.

Logged-in subscribers can view the full resolution images here or on the examples page.

Mt Conness summit is seen at far right. There is an incredible amount of snow here for August 30, more than I’ve ever seen in my lifetime at this time of year. At only 10600 feet on up here, another two winters like the last one would produce ice that would start to glaciate.

Conness Lake #2, view to Mt Conness Eastern Ridge
f9 @ 1/160 sec electronic shutter focus stack 2 frames, ISO 100; 2023-08-30 17:16:29
Fujifilm GFX100S + Fujifilm GF 35-70mm f/4.5-5.6 WR @ 28.8mm equiv (35mm)
ENV: Conness Lake 2, altitude 10600 ft / 3231 m, 65°F / 18°C
RAW: Camera ASTIA, Enhance Details, LACA corrected, vignetting corrected, WB 5250°K tint 21, +20 Whites, +15 Dehaze, +10 Clarity, AI Denoise 10, +10 Vibrance

[low-res image for bot]

When shooting panoramas, tilt is probably not going to be a good idea.

Conness Lake #2, view to Mt Conness Eastern Ridge
f9 @ 1/180 sec handheld electronic shutter panorama 5 frames, ISO 100; 2023-08-30 17:08:06
Fujifilm GFX100S + Fujifilm GF 35-70mm f/4.5-5.6 WR @ 37.6mm equiv (45.7mm)
ENV: Conness Lake 2, altitude 10600 ft / 3231 m, 65°F / 18°C
RAW: Camera ASTIA, Enhance Details, LACA corrected, distortion corrected, vignetting corrected, WB 5250°K tint 21, +20 Whites, +15 Dehaze, +10 Clarity, AI Denoise 10, +10 Vibrance

[low-res image for bot]

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