MC ARAX 35 mm Tilt & Shift Review
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(Canon EOS mount, using Canon 5D) also available for other mounts.

Tuomo Väinämö 2006

----Introduction----
The ARAX 35 mm Tilt/Shift compact lens has T&S mechanism.
11mm shift, 8 tilt and with 360degree rotating plate enabling the correction
of perspective and precise control of the image plane for stunning selective focus.


Click here for a tilted version

Specifications
-Lens elements: 11 Multicoated
-Focal length: 35mm
-Focusing scale: 0.3 m to infinity
-Minimum focusing distance: 0.3 m
-Aperture scale: f2.8 to f22
-Shift: 11mm
-Tilt: plus/minus 8deg
-Lens rotate: 360deg

Available with different mount for:
Nikon AI, Canon EOS, Canon FD, Minolta Dynax, Minolta MD
Pentax K, M42 (Zenit, Practica, etc.), Contax, Yashica, Leica R.

----Resolution----


Resolution of the MC ARAX 35mm is really good in the centre when stopped down, considering the price.
Corners leave something to hope for, but given that this is done on full frame it is to be expected.

----Vignette----


Quite severe at f/2.8, but stopping down helps...

----Tilting----

The depth of field can be altered using tilting, either to reduce or to extend the depth of field.


Extended DOF, f/4, image plane tilted so that we get more DOF


Shallow DOF, same aperture as before, just tilted to the other direction.
This gives you and effect of a really large aperture.

The shown effect can be done even when focusing to infinity,
thus giving you a cool effect on ultra large aperture.

 

----Shifting----


Original normal picture(no shifting)


Same picture, corrected with Photshop(Perspective tool)


Shifted picture

You get little more vignette when shifting with the lens.
You loose just a little bit of resolution when using the perspective tool, but you gain
the possibility choose whether to correct the perspective or not.

 

----Sample Images----
Few sample images, no Photoshop, just RAW conversion.




You get really deep blue skies on some instances.

----Conclusion----
Pros +
-Cheap, cheapest wide-angle T/S lens that I could found.
-Very good resolution in the centre, when stopped just a bit
-Really deep blue skies on some instances, almost polarized skies.
-Very robust, real metal and optic glass, no crappy plastics ;)


Cons -

-The aperture ring is somehow supported by strings and flexes a good 3mm in line with the lens.
-Also the aperture ring has no steps in it, it just moves smoothly and thus can be acidentally moved when focusing.
-Mechanichal finishing leaves something to wish for, but gives also a lot of street credibility ;)
-
Size for some cameras can be a problem, the lens can not be fully rotated while mounted on some backs.
(This is the case on Nikon D70) works fine with Canon 5D and 20D, propably ok with 350D also...

-Vignette, specially at large apertures and specially on full frame.(Though I don't really stress about litlle vignette)

Where to buy?

You can get the MC ARAX 35 mm Tilt & Shift from AraxPhoto, for a hefty 670$.
I can reccommend it, the service was really good, the owner Gevorg Vartanyan
seems like good sport, really quick answers and fast delivery. We ordered
two lenses(to Finland) and they were delivered in under a week.

http://www.araxphoto.com
MC ARAX TS 35mm

Links:

T/S Photographers
Miklos Gaal
(Just a gallery)
Toni Hafkenscheid
(Official site)
Tom Merilion
(Just a gallery)
Hamis Grant
(Lots of T/S links)
Marko Lavila (Arax 35mm on Nikon D70)
And some thoughts on compatibility with D70

Tuomo Väinämö 2006