Is This the Weirdest Lens You’ve Ever Seen?

One of the most important traits of being a successful photographer is creating a style that is unique and original. There are many ways to do this, and one of them is to use unconventional equipment. This lens may be one of the weirdest you'll ever see.

Growing up by the ocean in the southern suburbs of Sydney, it was inevitable that when I got into photography, I'd eventually want to get into the water to take images of surfers and waves. Of course, when there's water involved, it's not so simple, as you can't just dive in with your camera gear unless you want to wave goodbye to your equipment. You need to get a water housing and ports that hold different types of lenses. And if you want to get really close to your subjects, the best lens to get is a fisheye lens. When I first got one and started playing around with it, I thought it was the oddest lens I'd ever likely see. Turns out I was very wrong.

And that brings us to this great video by Pierre T. Lambert, in which he introduces you to a 50mm f/1.4 tilt-shift lens. I didn't specify a maker because there seems to be some confusion about the origins of the lens he's using in the video. Lambert says it's a TTArtisans lens in his video, but there is no record of that lens on the TTArtisan website. It might be an AstrHori lens, which is another third-party lens maker, but regardless of its origins, it sure is an odd lens. If you've never seen a tilt lens before, be prepared for an interesting experience. Some of the images Lambert gets are very unique and could help photographers stand out from the crowd, but I'm not so sure for my own photography. Give the video a look, and let me know your thoughts.

Iain Stanley's picture

Iain Stanley is an Associate Professor teaching photography and composition in Japan. Fstoppers is where he writes about photography, but he's also a 5x Top Writer on Medium, where he writes about his expat (mis)adventures in Japan and other things not related to photography. To view his writing, click the link above.

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Iain Stanley asked,

"Is This the Weirdest Lens You’ve Ever Seen?"

While that tilt/shift is a bit unconventional, it is not very weird looking to me ... probably because I am accustomed to seeing and working with tilt/shift lenses.

The weirdest lens made in a traditional mount that I have ever seen is a lens I plan to buy soon - the Laowa 24mm Macro Probe lens.


As soon as I read the title the Laowa 24mm Macro was the first lens that came to mind. Funnily enough I saw it in person just last week (I live in Shanghai so no real surprise) !

It is a TTArtisan lens, but it hasn't been announced yet. Pierre got an early review sample and published this video before he was supposed to. Being amazed by this, however, requires total ignorance of all the shift, and tilt/shift lenses, that have existed for decades, not to mention view cameras and technical cameras.

Yeah, I agree ... there's nothing novel or unusual or "weird" about tilt/shift lenses. Given that fact, I can't understand why the title for this article and the accompanying video was the title that was chosen.

Titles are supposed to tell the reader what an article or video is about, and are NOT supposed to be devices that generate more clicks or pageviews. Using a title to generate pageviews is an unethical practice.

"Titles are supposed to tell the reader what an article or video is about, and are NOT supposed to be devices that generate more clicks or pageviews. Using a title to generate pageviews is an unethical practice."

I've seen a few of his other videos. To me they seem to be more about him and how cool/hip he is rather than the photography.

I miss the good old days of fstoppers, when the content actually mattered, and it wasn't just posting links to trendy and vapid YouTube videos.

Tilt/shift street photos I guess everything old is new again

I'm sorry, but that was the least informative video I have seen on Youtube discussing any sort of unique lens out there.

First, is that a tilt *or shift lens?

To me this is just some weird novelty lens that ONLY tilts. There was no shifting going on and this lens, aside from using it without any tilt going on, would be worse for architectural photography. It serves literally zero purpose in that industry.

Second, half the time all he was saying was "OH MY GOD I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT I'M DOING!" Granted, traditional tilt-shift lenses are hard to grasp for someone that's never used one before. But to make a 24-minute video vlogging about a lens with a click-bait title like that wasn't really fun to watch. I found myself skipping forward quite a bit once it was obvious there wouldn't be any useful information coming out. Maybe I have to be a subscriber to understand the followers he is appealing to.

Third, as I have never touched this particular lens I would be nervous as hell how much he is flapping that tilt around trying to figure things out. The optics, I imagine, will get worse over time with the amount of wear he is putting on that.

For anyone looking for a cheap alternative to a Canon TS, Nikon PC or the higher end like Schneider Optics, 100% pass on this lens. That think would be useless to me, and I love using my 50 TSE.

(Deleting duplicate)

I agree, a worthless video, and this fstoppers post was equally worthless. The writer could have at least added some value by mentioning the tilt/shift lenses that already exist, or even just take a minute to read the limited number of comments, wherein they would have found the answer to their question of what lens is shown in the video.

Fully agree with many of the other commenters: disappointing to see the clickbait title of the video - or is the author simply not aware of all the tilt/shift lenses around? Not that this would be a more comforting option...

Not aware of tilt/shift lenses and apparently unable or unwilling to google it, which makes it even worse.

Tilt and shit lenses are NOT weird! They have been around for decades.