Medium Format Quality – View Camera Movement
By Cedric Swaneck – Freelance Photographer/POCP Assistant
A couple of months ago, I was at B3k Digital chatting with Colleen and local photographer Christopher Gentile about the merits of tilt/shift lenses. Right on queue Colleen presented us with the Hartblei trio of tilt/shift SuperRotator lenses. They offer the 40mm f/4, 80mm f/2.8 and 120mm f/4 lenses. The build quality of these lenses is impressive to say the least.
Equipped with cutting edge Carl Zeiss optics, the Hartblei line of lenses offers DSLR professionals true medium format quality glass. Not only is the quality of glass incredible, but the versatility and flexibility of the SuperRotator tilt/shift design offers the photographer more creative and technical options than ever. You have 360 degrees of rotation and independent control of the tilt and shift movements. The movement of these lenses is almost like that of a view camera. The barrel build quality is amazing. All of the elements flow smoothly and lock with military precision. It’s like having a high tech tank in your hands.
The 40mm f/4 lens comes equipped with a built-in tripod mount, which you will definitely need. The Hartblei 40 is a real big boy weighing in at 1,490 grams (1.49 kg/3.28 lbs)! I would definitely recommended using the Arca Swiss P0 tripod head with this lens. A great standard lens and a great workout.
The 80mm f/2.8 was the easiest of the three lenses to maneuver. Like the rest of the lineup, this lens was tack sharp and the image quality was excellent. The dimensionality of these tilt shifts can really make your subject really pop while creating a silky smooth bokeh.
I would have liked some more time with the 120mm f/4 lens to play with it’s macro capabilities. Maybe even try it out with an extension tube. The sample image below was taken straight on without tilt or shift. Super sharp and fairly easy to control lens. This lens is equipped with dual focus rings helping you get closer to your subject.
For an in-depth review and more sample images visit Lloyd Chambers’ blog.
For more info on Hartblei and technical specs visit the Hartblei website.
All images are copyright Cedric Swaneck. Special thanks to Eleni at Dwell Gym.