The Lensbaby Tilt Transformer

May 2, 2011 at 1:53 pm  •  Posted in Cool Gadgets by

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.

For more information about the Tilt Transformer, visit or

One Comment

  1. Ming / December 12, 2012 at 3:58 pm /

    Most Nikon lenses still have an atrepure ring. Even if they don’t they still have a mechanical lever (inside the mount) which can control the atrepure. You can see in the demo video how the tilt transformer uses this to change the atrepure.All Canon and Olympus 4/3 lenses have an electronically controlled atrepure with no mechanical control.The tilt transformer does not have any electronic contacts so there’s no way to control the atrepure on those electronic lenses. Even if the tilt transformer had electronic contacts it would need to interpret the instructions from the camera into whatever protocol the lens uses which.

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