Lensbaby has continually impressed me with their creative optical systems. One of the latest gadgets that I had the opportunity to test out was the Tilt Transformer. This tool gave me the opportunity to use a Nikon lens on a micro 4/3 system (mirrorless digital camera) in a very fun way. The Nikon lens was mounted to the Tilt Transformer’s swivel ball which allowed me to smoothly tilt the lens. Tilt-shift lenses are typically used for landscape and architectural photography because you are able to control focus for unique effects. The Tilt Transformer is designed for a similar application.
Like all of the Lensbaby products available, the Tilt Transformer comes in colourful, attractive packaging. It also includes a velvety storage bag which is always nice. Mounting the Tilt Transformer and the lens was easy and just as obvious as any other lens mounting system. I prefer using it with Nikkor lenses that have aperture rings because it is faster and easier to make adjustments. I discovered that if the lens did not have an aperture ring I could press the release tab and turn the lens counterclockwise to adjust it. Overall this is not a highly technical product, so it is a wonderful gadget for novice photographers.
The Tilt Transformer allows for interesting and dramatic results. One of the most popular effects that I wanted to try out was the miniature model effect. The best way to achieve this effect is to shoot from a high vantage point. The Tilt Transformer simulates a shallow depth of field which is essential to this type of photography. I enjoy indulging this style of photography because it forces me to look at the world from an entirely different perspective.