When I take night sky images I generally try to include a nice landscape in the foreground. I mostly use a 15-30mm F/2.8 lens with a star tracker to get 3-4 minute long exposures of the night sky.

I recently found a very nice scenery where I want to take an image. I want the horizon line to be on the lower third of the image to concentrate the view on the sky. However my shot would include some trees in the foreground which would look like they are leaning back since I need to point the camera a little bit up.

My friend recommended me his 19mm tilt shift lens and I would be curious to try it out. Is there anything I should be aware of when shooting with a shifted lens on an astro tracker? Normally I put the tracker in the right orientation and shoot in whatever direction I want to.


With regards to shift, there isn't anything to be concerned about. After all, a shot with a shifted lens is essentially the same as just a crop of an image taken with a larger sensor/film size and a correspondingly Wider angle lens.

From a minor-details point of view, using the shift lens to prevent the apparent "lean" of vertical objects like trees, when shooting on a tracker, it really depends on your local azimuth. Because you're shifting upwards, you will be emphasizing the motion of the scene in the extremes towards the shift direction, and relative to the center of the frame, de-emphasizing the motion of elements that are closer to the unshifted direction. Meaning, you will see exaggerated star motion in the top and top corners of the image, and the motion of the trees and landscape will appear less exaggerated (relative to the center of the image, which of course is shifted upwards).


My first thought would be that whilst you're moving the camera to track the stars, you're going to generate a 4-minute blur of the landscape.

I'd be tempted to take another static exposure to get the landscape & just matte the two together later. Get more sky in the tracker shot than you need for the composite, so you don't get any landscape in the crossover area.

  • That’s exactly what I do. Thanks for the hint but really doesn’t answer the question.
    – Arjihad
    Dec 10 '20 at 20:43
  • 2
    Your question was "Is there anything I should be aware of…" I felt pretty certain it's something you ought to be aware of. If that's what you already do, then perhaps you should have put that information in your question.
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 11 '20 at 7:48

Just keep the amount of shift consistent and shoot away. No worries unless you alter the lens' shift angle.

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