Tilt-Shift lenses from the Ukraine

Some years back I acquired a couple of tilt-shift lenses from the Ukraine. At the time they cost $300 apiece, give or take a little, whereas a single Nikon lens which would have set me back over $1k. -These days a Nikon tilt will cost a couple of grand, so unless you’re serious about tilt-shift, or independently wealthy, I’d recommend investing in one of these until you’re sure how often you’ll use it.


tilt-shift lens
I tilted and shifted this as far as it can go so you can get an idea of the range of movement you get with one of these lenses.

One is a 30mm, f2.8, and the other is an 80mm also f2.8. Both are fully manual. No chips, no autofocus, just set your aperture, focus, and fire.
UIkrainian tilt-shift 30mm
tilt-shift 80mm

For whatever reason, I never really got the hang of the 30mm, but the 80mm I used quite a bit. So, all in all, it was an interesting experiment. Unfortunately, as so often happens with my brilliant ideas, after the first month or so I put them away and I haven’t taken them out in years. But, what the heck? it was worth a try.

Besides, as lenses go, these were cheap. Otherwise, I never would have had a chance to try a tilt-shift, because, somehow, I just can’t picture myself shelling out two G’s just because I thought some lens might be a fun to play with.

On the plus side, they’re surprisingly good lenses. The operation is smooth and the glass isn’t half bad. On the downside, that whole “it looks like a diorama” thing got old fast.

To top it off, I’m shooting Canon these days, so they’ve been relegated to that increasingly large pile of stuff that’s destined for eBay.

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