This new TTartisan 50mm f/1.4 is not a perspective control or ‘shift’ lens, but a ‘tilt’ lens. Often these go together, sometimes a lens is a ‘shift’ lens only, while this one is purely a ‘tilt’ lens. It’s made for creative depth of field control, not correcting converging verticals and other perspective issues.
At this price, we might group this new lens with the best tilt shift lenses you can get, subject to testing, though it might be pushing it to include it amongst the best lenses for bokeh, since it works on a different principle and gives rather different results. But if you're looking for the best cheap lenses, this one looks a no-brainer!
It’s not just the creative potential that makes this lens exciting, but the price! TTartisan will be selling this lens for just just $229 / $229 / AU$349 which is far below what we’re used to seeing for lenses of this type.
It’s not just the special optical formulation that’s required, but the engineering needed to create a swiveling tilt action that can also be rotated to suit the orientation of the subject.
Essentially, with a tilt lens you can change the plane of focus of the image on the camera sensor. If you’re photographing objects on a slanted plane relative to the camera, tilting the lens in that direction will increase the available depth of field.
These days, however, it’s more likely that people will use a lens like this for its opposite effect – reducing the depth of field. You can make background objects look more out of focus and you can create a miniature ‘diorama’ effect by narrowing the plane of sharp focus – TTartisan calls this the ‘Lilliput’ effect.
The TTartisan 50mm f/1.4 tilt lens is not just for stills photography but video too, incorporating a stepless aperture ring for silent exposure adjustments while filming. Take a look at TTartisan’s YouTube video below to see the effects it’s capable of.
You don’t have to use the tilt mechanism at all. In this case, the lens will work as a regular 50mm f/1.4, and it’s pretty exceptional value in this role as well.
The TTartisan 50mm f/1.4 tilt lens is designed for mirrorless cameras and available in Sony E and L mount versions. It’s a purely manual lens with manual focus and aperture control. In fact, mirrorless cameras have made using manual lenses like these really easy, and they are becoming increasingly popular with ‘art’ photographers and content creators generally.