DIY Tilt-Shift lens mk3 and mk4 aka Universal Tilt Adaptor

DIY Tilt-Shift lens mk3 and mk4
Universal Tilt Adaptor


This is the 3rd version of the DIY tilt-shift lens, also built from the cheap Canon 50mm 1.8 II like the ugly mk1. A friend of mine wrote an article for the mk1 just before she broke her 50mm 1.8 II… so hey, let’s build an even uglier mk3 and mk4! (for $0).

The biggest problem with the mk1, is that I can’t hold still for video taking. So I want to have the following features:

  • Hold still at tilt position
  • Build for my Canon and Olympus mounts
  • A universal lens mount so I can switch between both

The resultant (cheap and easy) solution? Use these spongy rubberized as base material that can hold the lens in all position and, to accept any lenses. I used some left over materials from the workshop so I didn’t spend any money on making these.


So here I have the 50mm again (5 years after I built the mk1). Same thing, the mechanism dropped off.


This is the unit that moves in and out of barrel for focusing. All I need is this construction without the electronic this time round. However I will lose the control of aperture if I do that… Solution? To make a mechanical aperture switch.


So I took it further apart and I reached the aperture control mechanism, I got to figure out a method to control this from outside.


This is the actuator responsible for the aperture. The deciding moment when I cut this off permanently, there will be no return.


The idea is to trim it off so I can attach a lever where I can access. However… due to my poor workmanship I broke it… I spent some time figuring out how to assemble the blades back as one piece.


Finally, I managed to put it back, in addition a lever access.


Next, is just a simple glue to make the mount, also an universal mount. Because technically it can accept any lens (with the right flange distance).


The manual aperture in action

Eventually, I built the lens element with Canon mount as mk3 (left), and the right using Olympus micro-four-third mount (right), which can accept the same 50mm lens.



I called it an ‘Universal Mount’ because it can attach any lens. One of the easiest to attach for the micro-four-third is the Leica LTM 50mm F2 because its retractable.


Picture above shows the Yashica 28mm 2.8 adapted for Canon. The flange distance is too short, so it became more like a tilting macro lens. The ‘universal’ is a funny term, actually it is just a freelensing adaptor with bellow.

A demo on the fixed mk4 for video, shot taken at Bangkok visited just after I completed the mk4:

That’s all! Hope you like these projects. Feel free to leave any comments or feedbacks.


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