For all of the flak and shade that I’ve thrown Canon’s way in the past few months, you have to give credit where credit is due and Canon deserves some for their new electronic tilt-shift adapter. I’m not going to lie. The first time I read about this, I thought that maybe I might be able to use this on my Sony. That is not the case unfortunately, but instead of being let down by this news, I was amazed by the science and brainstorming that had to have gone into it’s creation.
It’s easy for me, and I imagine many of you, out there to take a lot of behind the scenes work for granted. Reading about the work that went into creating this new electronic tilt-shift adapter entirely changed my perspective on it. I probably won’t use it. Not because I don’t want to. Believe me I desperately do, but just because I’ve dedicated myself to Sony at least for the near future. Because of the crop, Sony a7S users wouldn't be wise to use it, and that's if it even works when doubling up on adapters. But it really shows what Canon is capable of doing if they're on a mission to do it.
This is the first product in quite a long time that has me wanting to shoot Canon again. This isn’t a game changer, but it keeps Canon at least that much more relevant until we see what else they have up their sleeve. For now just indulge yourself with a bit of tech-y jargon from the folks at photographybay.com.
Canon’s Coming Electronic Tilt-Shift Adapter that Works With Every EF Lens
Via Photography Bay:
You can buy tilt-shift adapters for Canon mounts now; however, there are a couple of key limitations. First, they are completely manual and transmit no electronic info between the lens and body. Second, you have to go up in format size, which means you are using medium format lenses on Canon DSLRs. That’s a lot of work and probably one of the reasons they aren’t very popular.
Canon’s Tilt-Shift Adapter Design
Canon’s method of getting around the tilt-shift conundrum using standard lenses with standard image circles on a full frame or APS-C camera makes me smile. It’s not quite groundbreaking. Just really smart engineering using tech in a different manner than which is was originally purposed.
[UPDATE: As noted in the comments section (thanks Keith), it looks like the utility of this adapter is limited to EOS M cameras or other mirrorless cameras with shorter flange distances than standard EF lenses. Still, it would allow you to use EF lenses on EOS M cameras. And recent rumors suggest that Canon will be cranking up the EOS M system in 2016…]
You might think Canon would have used an image enlarger inside the adapter to increase the image circle size but Canon went a different route entirely.
Canon Tilt-Shift Adapter Patent Diagram
First off, the Canon Tilt-Shift Adapter has its own CPU inside and no optics. But it works hand-in-hand with the Canon EOS body and EF lenses to not only serve as a pass-through for communication but to also take on some processing burdens to make tilt-shift work on different cameras and lenses. Additionally, there are motorized drivers inside of the adapter that can drive the shift and tilt axes using controls on the camera (or the adapter itself).
The adapter can process the image preview information based on the camera sensor format and the reduced image circle to limit the amount of shift or tilt so that the image is not cut off from the sensor.
(cover photo credit: snap from Photography Bay)