22 thoughts on “Cheap Tilt-shift Photography

  1. poo… I dont think this will work on my digital SLR (Digital Rebel). I don’t think it will fire unless it detects a lens is present :/ AND, I really don’t want to screw around with a $1000 camera body no longer under factory warranty :P

  2. @trebuchet03

    Well, you can find out pretty easily if you just remove the lens and try to release the shutter. If it works, great, if not, it’s probably a pretty simple matter of defeating an interlock switch or shorting a couple contacts.

    What? You are reading “hack-a-day” you know.

  3. (off topic)

    >odd, i thought hack-a-day was -not- acquired by AOL…

    >It’s not. I am working full time for Netscape though.

    Oh, that’s a crystal-clear answer… If I’m not mistaking, Netscape is an AOL-company, beta.netscape.com is Jason Calacanis’ new startup, who is the CEO of Weblogs Inc., which got aquired by AOL and now you’re hired by Netscape…

    Now where exactly does this make hack-a-day independent and/or non-AOL? cause I’m not seeing it… and I don’t care that much for it either, it’s just that this site itself has claimed to be independent and non-AOL a while ago:


    …which, as I read it now, puzzles me even more, cause how independent (from AOL) can a site be when it’s topblogger get’s paid full-time by an AOL-company?

    …to me it sounds more like a statement for trying to keep some credibility than the true motivation behind all this… Imho and as far as I can see it’s AOL-dollars all over the place… but of course, I could be wrong.

    good luck on what you’re doing though

  4. #9 @Mr. Spork

    Yeah, that’s how I know it does not work :P But, I found out that a friend’s camera (same exact model) does allow it to happen without a cap… I’m going to make some phone calls and see if its some stupid setting :P I know its hackaday — but I think andrew might agree: its not worth F’ing up this kind of camera.

    I do have a Nikon F2 (old school for some :P)… so I think I’ll have to clean her up to use this…

  5. I’ll be happy to clear this up for you Markie. Hack-A-Day is an independent company now. It along with blogmaverick.com (Mark Cuban’s blog) were the only two properties in the Weblogs, Inc. network that weren’t sold to AOL. (Weblogs, Inc. is still managed as an independent company though) Our large number of readers and traffic means that Hack-A-Day can pay for itself. It’s my part-time job. My full-time job now is working for Netscape. I’ve been getting paid separately by Hack-A-Day and AOL since last October (since I was an Engadget employee).

    The bottom line is this: Hack-A-Day is an independent company and since I’m the only employee, I can pretty much do whatever I want with it.

    Thank you readers for keeping us a viable company.

  6. okay, cool

    one more thing though

    in this post on Jason’s blog it says


    “Brian and I felt it would only be a matter of time before someone posted (in a blog post or a comment) “how to hack your INSERT_AOL_product_here” or “How to hack INSERT_AOL_partner_product_here.” If and when this happened we would wind up fighting with ourselves”

    Well, since you’re the only employee now, who’s also got a substantial income from AOL/Netscape, the question is: what would you do if the above scenario happened? (since that scenario seems to be one of the reasons to keep had independent, right?)

    …and I don’t want to be rude or anything, but what’s the independance of had from aol worth when you, as the only employee, are not independent from aol?

    (and don’t get me wrong here, it’s not me demanding that independance(although it would be nice), it’s something had/weblogs inc. claimed, that’s all)

  7. I think it will be pretty unlikely that that particular situation will ever arise, but if it does we’re protected from AOL pulling the site’s plug since they don’t own us.

    Hack-A-Day is not and will never be part of AOL. I hope to continue writing here for many, many years.

  8. Making a tilt-shift like this will in no way “screw up” any digital Canon body that I know of. They will fire with the lens off just fine. Put the camera into Shutter Priority, or Manual mode. I recomend manual, and play with the shutter speed. The exposure meeter seems to get thrown off pretty easy if there is a little light leak arount the edge. The only way you could break something is if you actualy started cutting on the body itself, or made the body-cap end out of metal and shorted the contacts or something lame like that. I have actualy removed the stock lens and reversed it. Just holding it against the body. It’s an old school way to do macro photography. few examples here of the reveresed lens. http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/32226927/
    So firing with the lens off is fine. Just don’t short anything out, and use the right mode on the camera.

  9. Wow! What a great little hack. i was wondering what lens i should get to try this for myself. I just got a Canon Rebel XT, so what size lens should I get since I’m not all too sure about the aspect or size of “film” for digital cameras. Thanks for the help…

  10. Dear Elliot,

    I’ve been longing to make a tilt shift lens myself and everybody is reffering to your article.The only problem is that it isn’t appear to be working…. could you please send me a word or PDF document where you explain it once again, it would make me a happy man :).
    Keep up the good work.

    Kind regards,
    Lucas Eikemans
    The Netherlands

  11. Hi
    i too am longing to try and make this tilt-shift lens but the link given goes to a ‘page not found’ message on a site called livebooks. if anyone has a correct link or can send a word document etc that would be really cool…

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