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Gear Rumors

Canon Patent Points To Possible Image Stabilized Tilt-Shift Lens

By Anthony Thurston on May 29th 2015

This could be an interesting bit of news should it turn out to be legit. According to a new patent discovered by Canon patent stalkers, Canon is developing – or is at least trying to develop – an image stabilized tilt-shift lens.


The nature of a tilt-shift makes image stabilization an interesting puzzle to solve, since the user is manually changing the position of important optical elements in ways that don’t happen in normal lenses. But the really tricky part, is the space between the tilting part of the lens, and the lens mount. On most tilt shift lenses, that space is very limited, so adding image stabilization there is an interesting conundrum.


Still. It appears, at least based on this patent, that Canon has developed a method by which they think they could pull it off. The question is if they will actually produce a lens that takes advantage of it. The patent details are below for those interested:

Canon Tilt-Shift IS Patent Details


Patent Publication No. 2015-99216 (Google Translated)

  • Published 2015.5.28
  • Filing date 2013.11.18


  • Anti-vibration possible tilt-shift lens
  • Possible anti-vibration while maintaining the tilt
  • A first vibration proof group corresponding to the tilt, the second of vibration proof group corresponding to the shift
  • Carry out the tilt vibration isolation of a shift anti-vibration, the telephoto side in the wide side

Now, Canon’s tilt-shift lenses are not exactly known to be cheap, so I can only imagine what these would cost if one made it to market. That said, the technology would be pretty cool, and definitely some people would be interested in paying for.

What are your thoughts on this tilt-shift IS technology? Would you like to see this make its way into a lens that comes to market? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

[via Canon Rumors]


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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Ralph Hightower

    As Spock would say “Intriguing”. Tilt-Shift lenses are something that I want to play with.

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  2. Ian Johns

    The Social Network made use of tilt-shift in the boating scene — pretty popular video over on YouTube talking about it and their idea behind using it.

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  3. adam sanford

    I know nothing of videography, but are there applications in video for tilt-shift? It seems a common move to make time-lapse videos of tilt-shift images (see the BBC’s Sherlock opening credits), but would anyone want to capture that real-time as video rather than via time-lapse?

    If so, IS would help, right?

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  4. Matthew Saville

    Oh boy, the hipsters will be all over this! Hopefully the IS elements will make it less sharp and more aberrated than the existing TS lenses; that will help them sell more to the “lomo” crowd… ;-)

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  5. Thomas Horton

    I always thought that a T/S lens needed to be used on a tripod. But over at CR, there are a bunch of people saying they use Canon’s current T/S lenses hand held.

    I can understand handholding using shift, but tilt hand held must be tricky.

    Unfortunately, there are few linkages between patents and a produced consumer product. Canon will have to make a good business case as I am sure this won’t be a cheap lens to make.

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    • Stan Rogers

      My initial thoughts were similar, but it depends what you’re using the lens for. I’m an old view camera kind of guy, and I usually thin of movements as a way to achieve critical focus — to get greater depth of field than a given aperture should allow. Most tilt/shift users today are using the lens to achieve what I’ll call (for want of anything better) “critical defocus” — they want to get *shallower* depth of field than a given aperture should allow. *That* can make a lot of sense hand-held, and it doesn’t need to be quite as gimmicky-looking as the typical Lensbaby shot. (Ryan Brenizer, for instance, tends to use it to good effect, especially in backlit nighttime rain shots.) But yeah, that does make it an expensive one-trick pony. For the people trying to squeeze that last bit of field depth out of a landscape, or for the architectural and product photographers trying to get critical sharpness in an object plane that isn’t parallel to the sensor plane, you can pretty much assume that there’s going to be a tripod or camera stand involved somewhere, so IS would be more hindrance than help.

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    • Dustin Baugh

      Somehow I think if you were doing the “critical defocus” shots this is a very expensive way to go about it. T/S shots are usually precise enough that tripods are always a good idea. I don’t see using a T/S camera in a from-the-hip street photography type situation.

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