Tilt-Shift lens worth it?

Started 4 months ago | Questions
JackM
JackM Veteran Member • Posts: 8,677
Re: Tilt-Shift lens worth it?

JackM wrote:

Absolutely, go for it. If you need it then it’s worth it. If you can afford it or if it will pay for itself quickly then it’s worth it. It will be a useful lens.

And then I go and have a shoot like this without feeling a need for the TS, and that's why I can't buy one. Argh.  But if I were doing this full time I would buy one right away.

 JackM's gear list:JackM's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Canon EF 100mm f/2.0 USM Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS II USM Canon EF 24-70mm F2.8L II USM Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM +5 more
OP Ian L Contributing Member • Posts: 586
Re: Tilt-Shift lens worth it?
1

well, i found one on ebay used, from a seller with a really good rating and I have 30 days to return it for whatever reason. So I feel reasonably safe in having bought it.

And the price was pretty good too, just under $1500. Should get it some time next week. I'll try to come back and post an update once I've had a chance to use it.

 Ian L's gear list:Ian L's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Nikon D850 Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L USM Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm F4G ED VR Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro +6 more
mmarian Senior Member • Posts: 1,870
Re: Tilt-Shift lens worth it?

Ian L wrote:

well, i found one on ebay used, from a seller with a really good rating and I have 30 days to return it for whatever reason. So I feel reasonably safe in having bought it.

And the price was pretty good too, just under $1500. Should get it some time next week. I'll try to come back and post an update once I've had a chance to use it.

Which one?

JackM
JackM Veteran Member • Posts: 8,677
Re: Tilt-Shift lens worth it?

Ian L wrote:

well, i found one on ebay used, from a seller with a really good rating and I have 30 days to return it for whatever reason. So I feel reasonably safe in having bought it.

And the price was pretty good too, just under $1500. Should get it some time next week. I'll try to come back and post an update once I've had a chance to use it.

That's certainly much more reasonable and appealing than $2500 new.

 JackM's gear list:JackM's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Canon EF 100mm f/2.0 USM Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS II USM Canon EF 24-70mm F2.8L II USM Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM +5 more
OP Ian L Contributing Member • Posts: 586
Re: Tilt-Shift lens worth it?

The 17mm canon

 Ian L's gear list:Ian L's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Nikon D850 Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L USM Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm F4G ED VR Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro +6 more
Ed Rizk Veteran Member • Posts: 3,541
Re: Tilt-Shift lens worth it?

Ian L wrote:

The 17mm canon

Good deal.

I’ll bet real money that you don’t return it.

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Ed Rizk

 Ed Rizk's gear list:Ed Rizk's gear list
Canon EOS 6D Canon EOS R Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L USM Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Canon EF 24-70mm F4L IS USM +3 more
OP Ian L Contributing Member • Posts: 586
Re: Tilt-Shift lens worth it?

Ed Rizk wrote:

Ian L wrote:

The 17mm canon

Good deal.

I’ll bet real money that you don’t return it.

Well in that case I'll let you know what the shipping fee is if I do return it ๐Ÿ˜‹

 Ian L's gear list:Ian L's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Nikon D850 Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L USM Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm F4G ED VR Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro +6 more
mmarian Senior Member • Posts: 1,870
Re: Tilt-Shift lens worth it?

Ian L wrote:

The 17mm canon

Just reiterate, you need to shield the front element of this lens from any direct light, such as sun or ceiling downlights etc. Otherwise you migh end up with number of rainbow colored spots all over the image. That is the only downside of this otherwise excellent lens. The sweet spot is around f11, try to stick with that especially when shifting. At extreme shifts you might need to use f16 to get decently sharp extremities of the frame. None of this should be limiting when shooting stationary subject i.e. architecture and off course use tripod with your gear head when possible.

Good luck and congrats to your purchase.

OP Ian L Contributing Member • Posts: 586
Re: Tilt-Shift lens worth it?

mmarian wrote:

Ian L wrote:

The 17mm canon

Just reiterate, you need to shield the front element of this lens from any direct light, such as sun or ceiling downlights etc. Otherwise you migh end up with number of rainbow colored spots all over the image. That is the only downside of this otherwise excellent lens. The sweet spot is around f11, try to stick with that especially when shifting. At extreme shifts you might need to use f16 to get decently sharp extremities of the frame. None of this should be limiting when shooting stationary subject i.e. architecture and off course use tripod with your gear head when possible.

Good luck and congrats to your purchase.

Thanks. I almost always shoot from a tripod on interior shots. Exterior I usually go handheld. Maybe I'll get one of those flexible sunshade screens you can attach to the lens body if flaring becomes an issue. I occasionally have flaring outside, at which point my hand becomes the sun screen ๐Ÿ˜‰ but I'm guessing the weight of this lend would make hand holding with one hand impractical.

 Ian L's gear list:Ian L's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Nikon D850 Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L USM Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm F4G ED VR Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro +6 more
mmarian Senior Member • Posts: 1,870
Re: Tilt-Shift lens worth it?

Ian L wrote:

mmarian wrote:

Ian L wrote:

The 17mm canon

Just reiterate, you need to shield the front element of this lens from any direct light, such as sun or ceiling downlights etc. Otherwise you migh end up with number of rainbow colored spots all over the image. That is the only downside of this otherwise excellent lens. The sweet spot is around f11, try to stick with that especially when shifting. At extreme shifts you might need to use f16 to get decently sharp extremities of the frame. None of this should be limiting when shooting stationary subject i.e. architecture and off course use tripod with your gear head when possible.

Good luck and congrats to your purchase.

Thanks. I almost always shoot from a tripod on interior shots. Exterior I usually go handheld. Maybe I'll get one of those flexible sunshade screens you can attach to the lens body if flaring becomes an issue. I occasionally have flaring outside, at which point my hand becomes the sun screen ๐Ÿ˜‰ but I'm guessing the weight of this lend would make hand holding with one hand impractical.

Holding the camera with this lens with one hand is not easy. But you can hold the camera with one hand and support the lens with another hand while adjusting the shift at the same time. Then just reposition your hands for best stability when pressing the shutter. But then you would need a "third hand" to shield the lens. Not very practical but not impossible with the flexible shield holder I suppose.

JackM
JackM Veteran Member • Posts: 8,677
Re: Tilt-Shift lens worth it?

mmarian wrote:

Ian L wrote:

The 17mm canon

Just reiterate, you need to shield the front element of this lens from any direct light, such as sun or ceiling downlights etc. Otherwise you migh end up with number of rainbow colored spots all over the image. That is the only downside of this otherwise excellent lens. The sweet spot is around f11, try to stick with that especially when shifting. At extreme shifts you might need to use f16 to get decently sharp extremities of the frame. None of this should be limiting when shooting stationary subject i.e. architecture and off course use tripod with your gear head when possible.

Good luck and congrats to your purchase.

I only got the rainbow spot in direct sunlight if the sun was anywhere in front of me. In that case it is one prism spot that you can clone out in 1 second. I didn't get it indoors. I had great results at f/8. Tripod is essential otherwise you are correcting distortion in post, which is what you bought the lens to avoid. Geared head is a big time saver.

 JackM's gear list:JackM's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Canon EF 100mm f/2.0 USM Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS II USM Canon EF 24-70mm F2.8L II USM Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM +5 more
mmarian Senior Member • Posts: 1,870
Re: Tilt-Shift lens worth it?

JackM wrote:

mmarian wrote:

Ian L wrote:

The 17mm canon

Just reiterate, you need to shield the front element of this lens from any direct light, such as sun or ceiling downlights etc. Otherwise you migh end up with number of rainbow colored spots all over the image. That is the only downside of this otherwise excellent lens. The sweet spot is around f11, try to stick with that especially when shifting. At extreme shifts you might need to use f16 to get decently sharp extremities of the frame. None of this should be limiting when shooting stationary subject i.e. architecture and off course use tripod with your gear head when possible.

Good luck and congrats to your purchase.

I only got the rainbow spot in direct sunlight if the sun was anywhere in front of me. In that case it is one prism spot that you can clone out in 1 second. I didn't get it indoors. I had great results at f/8. Tripod is essential otherwise you are correcting distortion in post, which is what you bought the lens to avoid. Geared head is a big time saver.

I get many small rainbow spots all over the frame if any direct beam of light hits the front element from any angle. That happens when the light source is not in the frame.

Ed Rizk Veteran Member • Posts: 3,541
Re: Tilt-Shift lens worth it?

mmarian wrote:

Ian L wrote:

mmarian wrote:

Ian L wrote:

The 17mm canon

Just reiterate, you need to shield the front element of this lens from any direct light, such as sun or ceiling downlights etc. Otherwise you migh end up with number of rainbow colored spots all over the image. That is the only downside of this otherwise excellent lens. The sweet spot is around f11, try to stick with that especially when shifting. At extreme shifts you might need to use f16 to get decently sharp extremities of the frame. None of this should be limiting when shooting stationary subject i.e. architecture and off course use tripod with your gear head when possible.

Good luck and congrats to your purchase.

Thanks. I almost always shoot from a tripod on interior shots. Exterior I usually go handheld. Maybe I'll get one of those flexible sunshade screens you can attach to the lens body if flaring becomes an issue. I occasionally have flaring outside, at which point my hand becomes the sun screen ๐Ÿ˜‰ but I'm guessing the weight of this lend would make hand holding with one hand impractical.

Holding the camera with this lens with one hand is not easy. But you can hold the camera with one hand and support the lens with another hand while adjusting the shift at the same time. Then just reposition your hands for best stability when pressing the shutter. But then you would need a "third hand" to shield the lens. Not very practical but not impossible with the flexible shield holder I suppose.

Iโ€™ve tried to enjoy hand holding the 17.    I never liked it.

I bought a cheap used 17-40 for hand held shots.   I only hand hold for documentary snaps when looking at properties.

All of my promotional and most of my artistic architecture and landscape shots are on a tripod, regardless.

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Ed Rizk

 Ed Rizk's gear list:Ed Rizk's gear list
Canon EOS 6D Canon EOS R Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L USM Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Canon EF 24-70mm F4L IS USM +3 more
OP Ian L Contributing Member • Posts: 586
Re: Tilt-Shift lens worth it?

Ed Rizk wrote:

mmarian wrote:

Ian L wrote:

mmarian wrote:

Ian L wrote:

The 17mm canon

Just reiterate, you need to shield the front element of this lens from any direct light, such as sun or ceiling downlights etc. Otherwise you migh end up with number of rainbow colored spots all over the image. That is the only downside of this otherwise excellent lens. The sweet spot is around f11, try to stick with that especially when shifting. At extreme shifts you might need to use f16 to get decently sharp extremities of the frame. None of this should be limiting when shooting stationary subject i.e. architecture and off course use tripod with your gear head when possible.

Good luck and congrats to your purchase.

Thanks. I almost always shoot from a tripod on interior shots. Exterior I usually go handheld. Maybe I'll get one of those flexible sunshade screens you can attach to the lens body if flaring becomes an issue. I occasionally have flaring outside, at which point my hand becomes the sun screen ๐Ÿ˜‰ but I'm guessing the weight of this lend would make hand holding with one hand impractical.

Holding the camera with this lens with one hand is not easy. But you can hold the camera with one hand and support the lens with another hand while adjusting the shift at the same time. Then just reposition your hands for best stability when pressing the shutter. But then you would need a "third hand" to shield the lens. Not very practical but not impossible with the flexible shield holder I suppose.

I’ve tried to enjoy hand holding the 17. I never liked it.

I bought a cheap used 17-40 for hand held shots. I only hand hold for documentary snaps when looking at properties.

All of my promotional and most of my artistic architecture and landscape shots are on a tripod, regardless.

All of my interior shots are on a tripod, unless it's just some odd angle i can't fit the tripod in. Exterior shots though i usually do off tripod. At least during daylight anyhow. shutter speeds are fast enough that i don't get any handshake,

 Ian L's gear list:Ian L's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Nikon D850 Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L USM Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm F4G ED VR Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro +6 more
mmarian Senior Member • Posts: 1,870
Re: Tilt-Shift lens worth it?

The whole idea of shooting architecture with ts-e lenses is to get the verticals straight. If you tilt the camera ever so marginally when shooting handheld you will need to correct in post. With 17mm it becomes more critical as everything is amplified by the super WA perspective. I suspect that you will soon addopt shooting from tripod and in LV with this lens๐Ÿ˜‰

Ed Rizk Veteran Member • Posts: 3,541
Re: Tilt-Shift lens worth it?

mmarian wrote:

The whole idea of shooting architecture with ts-e lenses is to get the verticals straight. If you tilt the camera ever so marginally when shooting handheld you will need to correct in post. With 17mm it becomes more critical as everything is amplified by the super WA perspective. I suspect that you will soon addopt shooting from tripod and in LV with this lens๐Ÿ˜‰

Sometimes I leave a little keystoning on purpose, especially if the building is tall or there is a two story ceiling inside. I never leave as much as there would be with no shift.

When I first got the 17, I bought a 6D to stick on the back of it. The level was worthless, so I had to eyeball it or use the bubble level on the tripod. My verticals were rarely perfect before I bought the R. Non photographer clients still noticed a great improvement . The R made them much better with that nice big level. Only photographers noticed that difference.

Better is still better, even if it’s not perfect.

If you are a perfectionist, too much correction in processing creates artifacts and distortion, so there is still a benefit to the shift lens.   I just hate the ergonomics of it hand held anti get more camera shake because of it.

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Ed Rizk

 Ed Rizk's gear list:Ed Rizk's gear list
Canon EOS 6D Canon EOS R Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L USM Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Canon EF 24-70mm F4L IS USM +3 more
mmarian Senior Member • Posts: 1,870
Re: Tilt-Shift lens worth it?

Ed Rizk wrote:

mmarian wrote:

The whole idea of shooting architecture with ts-e lenses is to get the verticals straight. If you tilt the camera ever so marginally when shooting handheld you will need to correct in post. With 17mm it becomes more critical as everything is amplified by the super WA perspective. I suspect that you will soon addopt shooting from tripod and in LV with this lens๐Ÿ˜‰

Sometimes I leave a little keystoning on purpose, especially if the building is tall or there is a two story ceiling inside. I never leave as much as there would be with no shift.

When I first got the 17, I bought a 6D to stick on the back of it. The level was worthless, so I had to eyeball it or use the bubble level on the tripod. My verticals were rarely perfect before I bought the R. Non photographer clients still noticed a great improvement . The R made them much better with that nice big level. Only photographers noticed that difference.

Better is still better, even if it’s not perfect.

If you are a perfectionist, too much correction in processing creates artifacts and distortion, so there is still a benefit to the shift lens. I just hate the ergonomics of it hand held anti get more camera shake because of it.

I agree, a bit of keystoning in exterior shots of tall buildings looks more natural than perfectly parallel edges. But my point was that the keystoning must be symetrical. If the camera is tilted to one side you are back to square one correcting in post. I have to say that even though I pay great deal of attention to leveling the camera, I still almost always need to use free transformation tool in PS to pull one or two corners ever so slightly to make it right. I have a keyboard shortcut for putting 2% frequency grid over the photo in faint grey color to help me with allignment. I would agree that working with ts-e lenses requires more measured, disciplined and contemplative approach towards taking photos than working with normal lenses.

mmarian Senior Member • Posts: 1,870
Re: Tilt-Shift lens worth it?

Ed Rizk wrote:

mmarian wrote:

The whole idea of shooting architecture with ts-e lenses is to get the verticals straight. If you tilt the camera ever so marginally when shooting handheld you will need to correct in post. With 17mm it becomes more critical as everything is amplified by the super WA perspective. I suspect that you will soon addopt shooting from tripod and in LV with this lens๐Ÿ˜‰

Sometimes I leave a little keystoning on purpose, especially if the building is tall or there is a two story ceiling inside. I never leave as much as there would be with no shift.

When I first got the 17, I bought a 6D to stick on the back of it. The level was worthless, so I had to eyeball it or use the bubble level on the tripod. My verticals were rarely perfect before I bought the R. Non photographer clients still noticed a great improvement . The R made them much better with that nice big level. Only photographers noticed that difference.

Better is still better, even if it’s not perfect.

If you are a perfectionist, too much correction in processing creates artifacts and distortion, so there is still a benefit to the shift lens. I just hate the ergonomics of it hand held anti get more camera shake because of it.

What is R ??

Ed Rizk Veteran Member • Posts: 3,541
Re: Tilt-Shift lens worth it?

mmarian wrote:

Ed Rizk wrote:

mmarian wrote:

The whole idea of shooting architecture with ts-e lenses is to get the verticals straight. If you tilt the camera ever so marginally when shooting handheld you will need to correct in post. With 17mm it becomes more critical as everything is amplified by the super WA perspective. I suspect that you will soon addopt shooting from tripod and in LV with this lens๐Ÿ˜‰

Sometimes I leave a little keystoning on purpose, especially if the building is tall or there is a two story ceiling inside. I never leave as much as there would be with no shift.

When I first got the 17, I bought a 6D to stick on the back of it. The level was worthless, so I had to eyeball it or use the bubble level on the tripod. My verticals were rarely perfect before I bought the R. Non photographer clients still noticed a great improvement . The R made them much better with that nice big level. Only photographers noticed that difference.

Better is still better, even if it’s not perfect.

If you are a perfectionist, too much correction in processing creates artifacts and distortion, so there is still a benefit to the shift lens. I just hate the ergonomics of it hand held anti get more camera shake because of it.

What is R ??

The EOS R, Canonโ€™s new mirrorless camera, has a huge level that everyone else complains about.   I just have it on a button.    It also meters correctly when the lens is shifted.   With the 6D, I had to chimp and EC by as much as four stops.  It has cut my shooting time with the 17 in half.

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Ed Rizk

 Ed Rizk's gear list:Ed Rizk's gear list
Canon EOS 6D Canon EOS R Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L USM Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Canon EF 24-70mm F4L IS USM +3 more
mmarian Senior Member • Posts: 1,870
Re: Tilt-Shift lens worth it?

Ed Rizk wrote:

mmarian wrote:

Ed Rizk wrote:

mmarian wrote:

The whole idea of shooting architecture with ts-e lenses is to get the verticals straight. If you tilt the camera ever so marginally when shooting handheld you will need to correct in post. With 17mm it becomes more critical as everything is amplified by the super WA perspective. I suspect that you will soon addopt shooting from tripod and in LV with this lens๐Ÿ˜‰

Sometimes I leave a little keystoning on purpose, especially if the building is tall or there is a two story ceiling inside. I never leave as much as there would be with no shift.

When I first got the 17, I bought a 6D to stick on the back of it. The level was worthless, so I had to eyeball it or use the bubble level on the tripod. My verticals were rarely perfect before I bought the R. Non photographer clients still noticed a great improvement . The R made them much better with that nice big level. Only photographers noticed that difference.

Better is still better, even if it’s not perfect.

If you are a perfectionist, too much correction in processing creates artifacts and distortion, so there is still a benefit to the shift lens. I just hate the ergonomics of it hand held anti get more camera shake because of it.

What is R ??

The EOS R, Canon’s new mirrorless camera, has a huge level that everyone else complains about. I just have it on a button. It also meters correctly when the lens is shifted. With the 6D, I had to chimp and EC by as much as four stops. It has cut my shooting time with the 17 in half.

I see, thanks. The electronic spirit leven on my 5D4 goes accross the entire rear display, not sure how much bigger it can be on R. I guess you are talking about the electronic VF. I am aware of that camera existence but never considered it for my line of work. Not sure what benefit it would bring to my photos. Then again, I only shoot architecture and only for higher end clients who allow for the extra time and have the budget to cover it. So, I am hardly every constrained by time on location. The way I work with TS-E lenses is to shoot in M, get the exposure right without shifting, set the f and s and then shift and compose. Or simply shoot in LV with histogram. Not that complicated or time consuming really...

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