Tilt-shift lenses are specialist pieces of kit, with own-brand offerings from the likes of Canon or Nikon commanding prices north of $1000 (opens in new tab). Even a third-party offering from a brand such as Samyang/Rokinon will likely set you back $500+. But here we have a tilt lens for a mere $259!(opens in new tab)
The AstrHori 50mm F1.4 tilt lens is one of a growing range of lenses from the AstrHori brand, itself founded in 2018. It's a full-frame lens available only for mirrorless cameras, but all major mount options are catered for: Canon RF (opens in new tab), Nikon Z (opens in new tab), Sony E (opens in new tab), Fujifilm X (opens in new tab) and L-mount (opens in new tab).
The lens is comprised of 7 elements arranged in 6 groups, incorporating aspherical and Extra Low Dispersion (ED) elements to reduce aberrations and flare. An all-metal barrel with a metal mounting plate give a premium feel, while a 52mm filter thread allows fitment of polarizing or neutral density filters.
Of course, you don't get a lens this cheap without some compromises. The big one here being that this is a tilt-only lens, without any shift ability. This means you can't control perspective and converging verticals in your images, but the tilt ability does still enable precise control over the lens's focal plane, making for some interesting focussing effects.
The AstrHori 50mm F1.4 tilt lens is also a fully manual lens, so you'll have to do without autofocus, and also any electrical contacts between camera body and lens. However, the latter needn’t be a deal breaker, as the auto exposure preview of mirrorless cameras make it far easier to expose a shot than would have been the case with a DSLR.(opens in new tab)
We currently have a sample of the 50mm F1.4 tilt lens in our lab for testing, so expect a full review soon. In the meantime, you can check out the full range of AstrHori mirrorless lenses by visiting the manufacturer’s Amazon store (opens in new tab), which includes 10mm and 14mm full-frame pancake lenses, as well as 24mm, 27mm, 35mm and 40mm optics, all with multiple mount options.
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