3D Printed Tilt-Shift Macro Extension Tube




Well hello there photography/ 3D printing enthusiast. Today's project aims to turn something like this into something like this, using something a bit like this. I made this adapter for Nikon F mount lenses, but there's no reason it couldn't be modified for other mounts. (The files are available in step 1)

For more information on tilt-shift lenses, I'll refer you to our friend/enemy (depending on who you ask), mister Ken Rockwell.

Tools needed:

3D Printer



Small Screws/screwdriver (Optional)

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Step 1: Design

The adapter was designed using Solidworks. The included files can be viewed for free using eDrawings, available here:


I have also included the STL files for those who want to plug them straight into a 3D printer.

Step 2: Print!

Now the easy part, load your STL files into your software and let the printer do all the hard work. My parts were printed overnight in a Stratasys printer. The hard part come in the morning wen you have to spend a few hours picking ut the supp

Step 3: Assemble!

Assembly is rather straight forward, the parts stack one on top of the other as in the solidworks assembly. The sliders can either be glued, pinned or screwed down in order to secure part 2 to part 1. The base ring ended up being useless as there is no way of putting it on without breaking something... oh well. If you really wanted, you could cut the ring in two and insert the halves seperately, but I found that the interference fit held

The parts are all dimensioned exactly, so you will have to sand them more or less depending on your printer's resolution and how much friction you want. More friction means it will stay together easier and hold your lens beter, less friction means a smoother operation.

Step 4: Results!

The tilt-shift features work well, though their impact in macro photography are questionable. They do however allow you to change your perspective somewhat without having to move the camera, which is an added bonus. The adapter is not particularly solid or robust, so I would suggest holding your lens in your hand at all times while using it, just in case. The flowers in the picture are only about 15mm in diameter, which on an APS-C body means your magnification ratio is somewhere between 1:2 to 1:1, not bad for an old 50mm f/2 that was never intended for macro work.

I hope you guys like my adapter, please feel free to download and modify the files to your hearts desire.(maybe someone could make a Canon or m4/3 mount version)

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    20 Discussions

    Hello, I had one of these printed out by a friend of mine but for some reason when i connect it to my D7100 and to my Nikon 50mm f1.8 lens, no matter what i do i can't get it to focus at all. I've manually focused with no luck. I've tried 2 other lens as well and ran into the same problem. Any idea what the issue could be?

    4 replies

    My only guess is that you are trying to focus on something too far away. Pulling the lens away from the body drastically reduces the distances at which you can focus, meaning you have to be with a few cm of the front element to focus correctly.

    Ah so this sort of tilt shift is for can't be used for taking general photos? I know it says macro but i thought i might be okay with using it for buildings and such

    The problem is that the 50 mm lens was designed to be attached to the camera directly - the adapter is basically an extension tube, and now all you can do is focus much closer than the initial minimum focus distance.

    However, you can try to find a lens that is doesn't have the focusing setup. You could try an enlarger lens or (maybe) a large format lens. However, you then wouldn't be able to focus that lens either (No focusing mechanism in the lens). You might be able to get somewhere with the right extension tube between the adapter and the camera, but that is a bit of a gamble.

    I have a DX Nikon camera (D5100) like you. The problem is the lens because it lacks of an aperture ring. To use the tilt shift, you must have control of focus AND aperture. Let's get some old, cheap 50mm lens, any with rings of focus and aperture.


    3 years ago

    Do you have any other sample like landscape?


    Hello, i'm a french foodphotographer, your creation impressed me very much since depth of field with macro lens is an issue....when not using tilt shift.
    Would you confirm please that with the files i download will just work fine. People left comments that creates doubts in my mind. And i would like tobe sure before making a contact with a printer here in France.

    I thank you ahead for your reply.

    Laurent Belmonte


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Good work!

    Any idea about what printing a set on a 3D print company should cost in average?

    I don't have my own 3d printer :-(


    4 years ago on Introduction

    For everyone having scale issues - the STL files appear to have been exported from eDrawings with meter as the unit, not millimeter. The OP can be forgiven, since I believe Stratasys printers can take the original SLDPRT file.

    I've attached my rescaled stl - using 1000 for the factor, and reorienting the parts for flat sitting on the print bed. I'll comment again with finished print photos once done (making a set for my father).


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I uploaded these into Shapeway for a price estimate, but one part showed up as "too small". Any ideas? Also, does anyone have an idea how to alter this to fit on a Canon Rebel camera body? Finally, I am dying to see photos using this project. Please post some.

    3 replies

    Reply 5 years ago

    check your units, my solidworks licence has expired, but I'll take a look as soon as I get it running again


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I confirm, that there is an issue with scale of this files (e.g. pc3.3.stl opened in netfabb: length 0.06mm, width: 0,02mm, heigh 0,06mm). There are some integrity issues with file pc2.stl (holes, border edges) but it is possible to repair using netfab manual repair process. It would be nice, if you'll add the dimensions of this parts to calculate the upscaling ratio.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Very nice, Would it be possible to adapt this to the nikon D800 with mamiya sekor c 35mm f3.5?


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I uploaded the .stl files into Makerware to print these today, and each object was scaled down way too small. Can you upload some scale .stl files for us to download?


    5 years ago on Introduction

    That is very cool. Would it be possible to adapt this to the nikon 1 system to make a tilt-shift replacement for the ft1 adapter?


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Post some pics of street you take using this adapter. By the look of it I am convinced that it works! Nice idea!