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News & Insight

Canon Tilt Shift Adapter Patent | Will It Bridge The Gap?

By Lauchlan Toal on August 30th 2015

Thanks to the sleuths over at Photography Bay, a new patent filed in February has just come to light. Detailing a tilt-shift adapter for Canon lenses, it promises to allow lenses to be used with all their original functions like IS and AF, while providing tilt-shift capabilities.

CanonTSPatent

Currently, Canon’s tilt-shift range is limited to four lenses. Making this capability universal would be a ground-breaking development, giving photographers much more freedom with their focal length choices. However, it appears that the adapter is only meant for use with the Canon M series cameras. No doubt this will disappoint architectural photographers using the latest 5DS cameras. It is good news for compact system users though, as it helps to confirm rumors of Canon stepping up their EOS M line next year. Perhaps this is a sign that Canon is gearing their mirrorless system towards more professional applications.

[REWIND: CANON ANNOUNCES 35MM F/1.4L II & BRINGS EOS M3 STATESIDE, PENTAX FULL FRAME COMING IN OCTOBER? | DAILY ROUNDUP]

Interestingly, this is not the first tilt-shift adapter of this type. Hasselblad has long had their HTS 1.5 tilt and shift adapter for their medium format cameras and lenses. A complicated and expensive device, it features electronics that communicate to the camera how much tilt and shift has been applied, and it also contains glass elements which make it act as a 1.5x teleconverter.

This crop factor allows the image circle of the lenses to cover the sensor even when adjustments are made. Surprisingly, Canon has opted against this route in their patent, thus making the adapter incompatible with full-frame DSLRs.

hc80 027

hc80 027

If this invention does indeed enter production, we’ll see the gap between Canon’s DSLR and mirrorless line-ups begin to close. Having evolved from large format cameras to simple DSLR lenses, tilt-shift capabilities are becoming more and more versatile. With adapters to make any lens a tilt-shift lens, we may get the best of both worlds – the variety of focal lengths provided by large format, and the compact size and simplicity of mirrorless.

Check out the full post over on Photography Bay here.

About the Guest Contributor

Lauchlan Toal is a food photographer in Halifax, Nova Scotia. When not playing with his dinner, he can be found chasing bugs, shooting sports, or otherwise having fun with photography. You can follow his work online, or hunt him down on the blogs and forums that he frequents.

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, however, this does not impact accuracy or integrity of our content.

Lauchlan Toal is a food photographer in Halifax, Nova Scotia. When not playing with his dinner, he can be found chasing bugs, shooting sports, or otherwise having fun with photography. You can follow his work online, or hunt him down on the blogs and forums that he frequents.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Markdean Masanque

    Go Canon!

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  2. Barry Cunningham

    That bit about it being incompatible with full frame sensors excludes a large part of what you think would be their target market.
    Come to think of it, doesn’t that also mean it will be incompatible with EF-S lenses on APS-C sensors?

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    • Lauchlan Toal

      I agree. I think it would make more sense to include optical elements so it can be used with full frame cameras, since most real-estate, architectural, and product photographers are using that. Maybe they’re afraid of it cannibalizing T-S lens sales, or it could just be an initial proof of concept. Or, if they release this and get a bunch of photographers to buy the new EOS M3 because of it, and then release a version for DSLRs a couple years later they’d boost their sales nicely.

      By all accounts, it does sound like it doesn’t work with any DSLR, just mirrorless. Due to the lack of optical elements, it comes down to the flange distance, allowing it to squeeze in between the lens and EOS M, but not a lens and DSLR.

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  3. Dalibor Tomic

    For me tilt-shift lens are fun. But you bye one, play with it and put in a closet and then forget about it.

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  4. Colin Woods

    That ‘blad adapter is almost six grand. I expect Canon can get in under that price point.

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    • Dustin Baugh

      One would think. After all its not Leica we’re talking about here.

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    • Dustin Baugh

      I think this is a great idea and would hope that all manufactures making mirrorless cameras do the same. If you have to put that spacer to adapt other lenses to the mirrorless body why not add some functionality to it?

      It’s sad that today people only associate Tilt-Shift with making things look like miniatures. 100 years ago correcting the tilt and shift of an image was an integral step in taking an accurate picture.

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