I took a little road trip down to New York City with my improv team to perform in the Del Close Marathon. I thought it might be a great opportunity to spend some time with my new friend, the Hartblei 65mm f3.5 Super-Rotator. It’s a tilt-shift lens that can rotate the tilt and shift independently 360 degrees. That’s a lot of twisting and shifting, and it can be a bit tricky to handle.


It was a very hot and sticky weekend in Manhattan, and I had lots of opportunities to try the lens out. To me, the cool thing about a tilt-shift lens is its sometimes surprising depth of field effects. Because it essentially changes the plane of focus, you can throw focus in almost any direction. It feels like splashing focus across the frame like paint in diagonal slashes. Check out the focus on this shot of a carnival in Central Park.


Focus is on the Whac-A-Mole tent in the distance, but also on the branch in the top-right corner, which can’t be more than 10 feet from me.

Here are a few more examples of fun focus effects that I created on the weekend.

Hailing toy-tower flatiron-harp

Good times. What I love about this lens is that it allows me to be very selective about what is highlighted in the photo. The rest of the photo is thrown out of focus in a silky smooth and beautiful way. Due to its hand-made Czech glass, images are sharp in the focus areas, and color transmission is great. I’ll be taking this lens to China with me in October. Stay tuned for more super-rotated images!