One of the strongest limiting factors in close range photogrammetry (CRP) is the depth of field (DOF),
especially at very small object distance. When using standard digital cameras and lens, for a specific camera – lens combination,
the only way to control the extent of the zone of sharp focus in object space is to reduce the aperture of the lens.
However, this strategy is often not sufficient; moreover, in many cases it is not fully advisable.
In fact, when the aperture is closed down, images lose sharpness because of diffraction.
Furthermore, the exposure time must be lowered (susceptibility to vibrations) and the ISO increased (electronic noise may increase).
In order to adapt the shape of the DOF to the subject of interest, the Scheimpflug rule is to be applied, requiring that the optical axis
must be no longer perpendicular to the image plane.
Nowadays, specific lenses exist that allow inclining the optical axis to modify the DOF: they are called tilt-shift lenses.
In this paper, an investigation on the applicability of the classic photogrammetric model (pinhole camera coupled with Brown’s distortion model)
to these lenses is presented. Tests were carried out in an environmentally controlled metrology laboratory at the National Research Council (NRC) Canada
and the results are hereafter described in detail.