Considering a TS lens

Started Nov 9, 2012 | Discussions thread
Lost in Time
Regular MemberPosts: 207
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Re: Considering a TS lens
In reply to wessuggs, Nov 11, 2012

You should ask why you want a TS lens, and what focal length best suits your needs. There are three possibilities:

1) you want something with better IQ than an existing (usually zoom) lens

2) you want to use shift to correct perspective distortion (buildings 'falling over')

3) you want to use tilt to either extend the plane of focus or reduce it (fake miniatures)

Both the TS-E 17mm and 24mm will offer better IQ than the equivalent Canon zooms, particularly regarding distortion and corner sharpness. Keep in mind that this does not matter much unless you are printing very large. There are also other non-Canon primes that offer better IQ - albeit without TS - such as the Zeiss wide angle primes (esp. the 20mm).

I have the 17mm, and bought it primarily for better IQ when correcting distortion. It is a great lens for ultra-wide landscape and architecture, but difficult to use thanks to the exposed bulbous front element and lack of filters. At 17mm the perspective correction works really well, but the shift for DOF control is less useful - it is so wide that practically everying is in focus. The only exception is if shooting wide open / close to minimum focal distances.

Keep in mind that you can address points (2) and (3) in post processing, using Lightroom (perspective) or PS (perspective, focus stacking or fake miniature effects). Although you loose some IQ from applying the perspective correction, if your image is static you can always compensate by shooting a panorama with a longer focal length lens, stitching and then correcting.

If you are not taking a lot of shots where you need the TS functionality and if panorama stitching is viable, I would probably lean towards the Zeiss 20mm and software for the TS functionality. The Zeiss is cheaper than the TS lenses, and offers at least as good if not better IQ when compared to the TS lenses used with out TS.

[on a orthogonal note - I have to say that the new posting system on the forum is a right pain in the neck to use from a Mac - it overlaps lines of text and you can not see what you typed and there is no 'preview' option anymore!!!]

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