Why I just invested in a 24mm Tilt-Shift Lens

Hey all, quick update here on my stock business! I’ve recently invested on a tilt-shift lens, more precisely a Samyang 24mm f3.5 T-S Lens Tilt & Shift ED AS UMC Manual Focus – Nikon Fit and in this blog post I’ll outline why I thought it was a good decision and perhaps it’s a niche piece of gear that you’ll also consider investing. Let’s get started!

What the Fk is a Tilt-Shift Lens?

Glad you asked! If you’re shooting a tall building at wide angle you tilt up to get all the building in the frame you’ll probably notice quite a bit of distortion on the side. Like the building is falling over. This is particularly noticeable the wider-angle you go, let me show you an example of an image I recently captured of Lisbon’s Olaias metro station where I captured it at 14mm equivalent on a full-frame lens.

Now, I don’t mind the distortion as it can make for some cool effects. Also, it’s possible to correct this using Lightroom/Photoshop (although it’s better to have it ideal in-camera).

However, if you’re in any way serious about architectural photography, clients won’t appreciate it in the least and you’ll have more work later on in post-processing. Here’s a before and after where the tilt-shift lens will correct the distortions at wide angle in-camera:


Technically, how does it work?

It’s quite technical, so I would suggest you watch this YT video:

What’s the point to earn 10cents in Micros?

It’s a fair question, who cares if it will sell for 10cents and it’s a fair point but my goal with this lens, which was quite affordable as I purchased it used for about $500, is to work on architecture / interior photography gigs like my good friend Joas Souza, London-based Architectural photographer. There’s life outside microstock, really!

Copyright: Joas Souza

Two creative uses of the Tilt-Shift

My primary goal on investing in such a lens is for commissioned jobs but I’ve been experimenting with creative uses of the lens, including the magical tilt-shift miniature effect, which may be picked up as book covers by Arcangel. I’m keen to experimenting from a high vantage point in a cityscape.

Also, some selective blurring is quite interesting and useful, such as the following which was accepted by Arcangel (first one to be accepted with this effect):

For portraits it seems quite cool and here’s a tutorial:

I’ll keep playing around and keep you posted

Perhaps if you have $500 to spare and you do quite a bit of architectural and/or creative portraits it may be something to consider and hopefully I’ve given you some ideas. Times are tough financially for a lot of people as costs have gone up so it may be worth borrowing it for a day to test.

That’s it for now and stay tuned as I’m excited to be publishing an interview with a nature photographer soon!

About Alex

I’m an eccentric guy, currently based in Lisbon, Portugal, on a quest to visit all corners of the world and capture stock images & footage. I’ve devoted eight years to making it as a travel photographer / videographer and freelance writer. I hope to inspire others by showing an unique insight into a fascinating business model.

Most recently I’ve gone all in on submitting book cover images to Arcangel Images. Oh and also recently purchased a DJI Mavic 2s drone and taking full advantage.

I’m proud to have written a book about my adventures which includes tips on making it as a stock travel photographer – Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock Photography


  1. Not my cup of tea.
    I dare say if you submit those pictures with a lot of blur to Shutterstock they will kick most of them if not all back.
    So, you can submit them to the 10 cent king or try one of the other agencies for a better price on your pictures but far fewer sales. For stock I think this is a bad choice. Most buyers want the average, middle of the road pictures showing happy interracial couples doing fun stuff with big smiles.
    Good luck


      • I’m not Alex, I don’t photograph like Alex and I don’t do stock like Alex.
        I put in my two cents on why any tilt shift lens would not fit me.
        I addressed the issue with tilt shift lenses from my point of view.
        People can have different opinions from Alex, can’t they?
        I also mentioned what are the best types of images for stock.
        That’s the way it goes. I do constructive posts and you don’t.


  2. IMHO one of the best possible investment for a creative photographer. TILT SHIFT lenses offer wide range of creative possibilities; and a great companion to a macro lens which is almost equally creative and valuable.


  3. I considered it for some time but gave up on the idea due to various factors. (Price, added weight for travel, etc). It would be interesting to see the architectural/interior shots you do with this lens and how it performs without a tripod for architecture.


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