A First Look at Canon's New Tilt-Shift Macro Lenses

Along with the new 85mm f/1.4L IS, Canon recently announced three new tilt-shift lenses with macro capabilities, an intriguing combination that should excite product, food, macro, and portrait photographers alike. Here's a first look at working with the lenses and some scenarios where their unique capabilities really come to the forefront. 

Besides tilt-shift capabilities, what makes Canon's new lenses so intriguing is their 1:2 macro capabilities. Architectural photographers have been using tilt-shift lenses for years, while those who need higher magnifications (macro and product photographers) have been using macro lenses. Tilt-shift lenses have even found their way into the bags of many portrait photographers. In particular, a telephoto length tilt-shift lens can offer some very interesting possibilities. But beyond artistic effects, having macro and tilt-shift capabilities in the same lens provides a very practical capability: by tilting the focus plane, one can reduce or eliminate the need for focus stacking, as the video above demonstrates. Furthermore, tilting the plane allows you to get a deeper depth of field at wider apertures, which is a real advantage depending on how much light you have available. These lenses look like they'll be a lot of fun to try out. If you're interested, you can preorder them here

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1 Comment

Josh Bryant's picture

Awesome! Tough choice... I won't be buying a new lens until next year, but I think one of these may be my next purchase. I have a 50mm f/1.4, so that makes me a bit less interested in the 50mm version. I also have a 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, so the 90mm version seems a bit too close to that. I wish the 135mm version was f/2.8, but I'm thinking it may be the one to get.