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Gear Talk => Lenses => Topic started by: canonnews on March 07, 2018, 11:37:19 AM

Title: Northlight reviews the TS-E 135mm F4L Macro
Post by: canonnews on March 07, 2018, 11:37:19 AM
Keith, tilt-shift expert extraordinaire has posted his review of the TS-E 135mm F4L Macro.

Detailing not only sample images, but details on why you’d use such a lens in the real world, Keith’s review is a must read if you are thinking of purchasing the TS-E 135mm.

His conclusions;

What a lens – in many ways one of the best quality lenses I’ve seriously tested.

The 10º of tilt, 12mm of shift and wide open sharpness make it a joy to use for product photography, giving a level of creative control previously more in the realm of large format view cameras. Make no mistake, this is a lens that you will have to work with to get the best from.

Read more here.. 

Title: Re: Northlight reviews the TS-E 135mm F4L Macro
Post by: ethanz on March 07, 2018, 12:24:03 PM
Regarding Tilt Shift lenses, I've never used them but I've heard Canon's are by far the best. A Nikon friend recently told me that Nikon's were excellent. Which ones are better?
Title: Re: Northlight reviews the TS-E 135mm F4L Macro
Post by: privatebydesign on March 07, 2018, 01:21:10 PM
Regarding Tilt Shift lenses, I've never used them but I've heard Canon's are by far the best. A Nikon friend recently told me that Nikon's were excellent. Which ones are better?

The latest Canon ones, 17, 24 MkII, 50, 90 and 135 all have independent tilt and swing rotation. Only the Nikon PC-E 19 has the same feature. I find that independent rotation useful and wouldn't buy a T/S lens that doesn't have it.

IQ wise the Canon's are tough to beat and they all take the 1.4 and 2x TC's well with little loss of IQ.

P.S. Canon's implementation of Live View, the only way to get the best results from T/S lenses, is much better with Canon cameras than Nikon cameras.
Title: Re: Northlight reviews the TS-E 135mm F4L Macro
Post by: jolyonralph on March 07, 2018, 01:29:53 PM
P.S. Canon's implementation of Live View, the only way to get the best results from T/S lenses, is much better with Canon cameras than Nikon cameras.

I would certainly imagine that Canon's implementation of Live View would be better on their own cameras :)


Actually, the BEST way to get results for product photography is to use the camera tethered and use your computer screen to adjust focus.
Title: Re: Northlight reviews the TS-E 135mm F4L Macro
Post by: neuroanatomist on March 07, 2018, 02:05:58 PM
P.S. Canon's implementation of Live View, the only way to get the best results from T/S lenses, is much better with Canon cameras than Nikon cameras.

I would certainly imagine that Canon's implementation of Live View would be better on their own cameras :)


Actually, the BEST way to get results for product photography is to use the camera tethered and use your computer screen to adjust focus.

That's still Live View.  ;)
Title: Re: Northlight reviews the TS-E 135mm F4L Macro
Post by: aceflibble on March 07, 2018, 02:43:57 PM
Shame there's no portrait examples, 'cause that's where this lens is most interesting. Had a play with the 90mm for portraits and product and it's definitely superb for the latter—I have ordered two for that purpose—but 90mm is just a little too short for a tight headshot. Been trying to get hold of the 135 to test, but it seems like they're snapped up the moment they land on these shores.
Title: Re: Northlight reviews the TS-E 135mm F4L Macro
Post by: Sporgon on March 07, 2018, 02:57:15 PM
Had a play with the 90mm for portraits and product and it's definitely superb for the latter—I have ordered two for that purpose

Stereo photography, or 3D ?
Title: Re: Northlight reviews the TS-E 135mm F4L Macro
Post by: keithcooper on March 07, 2018, 03:10:53 PM
Shame there's no portrait examples, 'cause that's where this lens is most interesting. Had a play with the 90mm for portraits and product and it's definitely superb for the latter—I have ordered two for that purpose—but 90mm is just a little too short for a tight headshot. Been trying to get hold of the 135 to test, but it seems like they're snapped up the moment they land on these shores.

Quite intentional I'm afraid...
I only had the lens for a relatively short period, and Karen won't let me publish any pics of her :-)

To be honest, it's also a lens I'd just never think of using for portraits, all that sharpness...  I'd much rather have the Canon 135/2 (if I did such work)  Any use of tilt just looks too gimmicky for my tastes, but YMMV, and if you got that much spare cash why not ;-)
Title: Re: Northlight reviews the TS-E 135mm F4L Macro
Post by: johnhenry on March 07, 2018, 03:37:14 PM
Regarding Tilt Shift lenses, I've never used them but I've heard Canon's are by far the best. A Nikon friend recently told me that Nikon's were excellent. Which ones are better?

Zeiss 35mm f/28 PC is extraordinary


I really dont think this lens has much utility to offer. Its a lens not many have asked for
Title: Re: Northlight reviews the TS-E 135mm F4L Macro
Post by: neuroanatomist on March 07, 2018, 04:49:07 PM
I really dont think this lens has much utility to offer. Its a lens not many have asked for

I really do think Canon knows more about the lens market than you.
Title: Re: Northlight reviews the TS-E 135mm F4L Macro
Post by: LDS on March 07, 2018, 04:50:25 PM
I really dont think this lens has much utility to offer. Its a lens not many have asked for

It looks they are enough for Canon to make one - fields like product photography may not attract much attention and may not win you a place in an exhibition, but there's demand and one can make good money. Just look around you how many images are product photography - the whole ads business is built around it, and there's more (magazines, catalogs, packaging, etc.)

BTW, AFAIK the Zeiss has shift only, not tilt. And it's 35mm, not 135.
Title: Re: Northlight reviews the TS-E 135mm F4L Macro
Post by: slclick on March 07, 2018, 07:55:36 PM
Regarding Tilt Shift lenses, I've never used them but I've heard Canon's are by far the best. A Nikon friend recently told me that Nikon's were excellent. Which ones are better?

Canon and Nikon are dirt cheap compared to these....

https://www.schneideroptics.com/ecommerce/CatalogSubCategoryDisplay.aspx?CID=1822
Title: Re: Northlight reviews the TS-E 135mm F4L Macro
Post by: HarryFilm on March 07, 2018, 08:23:33 PM
Had a play with the 90mm for portraits and product and it's definitely superb for the latter—I have ordered two for that purpose

Stereo photography, or 3D ?

---

With stereoscopic imaging, you DO NOT want to shift the focal plane but rather correct for parallax which requires rotating and turning the ENTIRE sensor AND lens as a single unit. With tilt shift however, you CAN narrow down the focal plane to such a level that you can create a wide-view or tall-view 3D-like viewpoint on a single product or object IF you shoot at two differing angles from the same camera location.

With some judicious post-production, you can create a stacked image that when combined keeps a small area of the image fully focused and the rest unfocused in such a way that the "Centre of Attention" looks like it is coming out at you just like in the movies, even though it is only a single still image (i.e. it is a combination of two differently exposed images!). It is designed to take advantage of foibles within the human vision system and while I haven't tested that usage, it might work for moving video!
Title: Re: Northlight reviews the TS-E 135mm F4L Macro
Post by: DrToast on March 07, 2018, 10:33:03 PM
Regarding Tilt Shift lenses, I've never used them but I've heard Canon's are by far the best. A Nikon friend recently told me that Nikon's were excellent. Which ones are better?

Obviously I'll sound biased because I'm on a Canon forum, but I don't think Nikon tilt-shift offerings are remotely in the same class as Canons. And I think that applied even before these three most recent lenses came out, so it's even more true now.
Title: Re: Northlight reviews the TS-E 135mm F4L Macro
Post by: ozwineguy on March 07, 2018, 11:11:08 PM
It's expensive and for special purposes. I'd never have the use for one of them, and can't afford one anyway.

But far out, every time I see it, I desperately want to get one. It's gorgeous, and exploring tilt-shift at that focal length would be so much fun.
Title: Re: Northlight reviews the TS-E 135mm F4L Macro
Post by: keithcooper on March 08, 2018, 04:34:34 AM
It's expensive and for special purposes. I'd never have the use for one of them, and can't afford one anyway.

But far out, every time I see it, I desperately want to get one. It's gorgeous, and exploring tilt-shift at that focal length would be so much fun.

Well, there's this I made with a 5x4 camera from eBay and a few bits of scrap - far more movements than with the TS-E.  It's what I used to really understand movements

http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/canon-mpp-view-camera-adapter/

Title: Re: Northlight reviews the TS-E 135mm F4L Macro
Post by: JoseB on March 08, 2018, 09:24:20 AM
Somewhere in time, I remember to read about a back someone created that allow a FF DSLR to slide and take for example a mosaic of 4 (or more) photos and later, in postprocessing, stitch it to make an huge resolution photo.
Title: Re: Northlight reviews the TS-E 135mm F4L Macro
Post by: keithcooper on March 08, 2018, 09:34:38 AM
Somewhere in time, I remember to read about a back someone created that allow a FF DSLR to slide and take for example a mosaic of 4 (or more) photos and later, in postprocessing, stitch it to make an huge resolution photo.
Yes, you can do that with the MPP adapter shown above

There are commercial versions of the plate I made that do this.  Given the simplicity of the device I made it shouldn't be too difficult.

This is one area where the depth of the mirror box of a DSLR limits the use of shorter FL lenses and tilt  - the MPP camera I used would be very useful with a mirrorless larger format camera.

There are also a whole range of much more expensive adapter options once you start looking...
Title: Re: Northlight reviews the TS-E 135mm F4L Macro
Post by: ethanz on March 08, 2018, 10:39:41 AM
Hopefully GCHQ doesn't see you around with that thing. It looks suspicious!
Title: Re: Northlight reviews the TS-E 135mm F4L Macro
Post by: aceflibble on March 08, 2018, 10:40:01 AM
Stereo photography, or 3D ?
Nothing that fancy, just one for the studio kit and one in the travel kit.

Quite intentional I'm afraid...
I only had the lens for a relatively short period, and Karen won't let me publish any pics of her :-)

To be honest, it's also a lens I'd just never think of using for portraits, all that sharpness...  I'd much rather have the Canon 135/2 (if I did such work)  Any use of tilt just looks too gimmicky for my tastes, but YMMV, and if you got that much spare cash why not ;-)
Shame, but ah well.

As for use, it's for studio when that kind of sharpness is absolutely required; often archival fashion where the clothing itself needs to have every detail rendered with maximum clarity, as the files get viewed 1:1. Also of course, you can always smooth out sharpness, but you can't sharpen details which aren't captured in the first place. The 135mm f/2L is a lens I had to ditch several years ago because it wasn't holding up to clients' demands.
The tilt comes in useful for getting everything in as close to perfect focus as possible, regardless of the shooting angle requested—again, archival fashion demands this frequently—and shift has been useful a few times when I've been asked to shoot from a low angle, but clients didn't like the usual distorted perspective that gives; even just 1mm of shift is enough to correct that, with a person. It's also come in useful as a quick way to shoot multiple frames for stitching. That's all with the older 45mm and 90mm; I'm hoping the 135mm can take those uses further. (Ideally I'd have 105mm, but for some reason Canon seems allergic to the idea of making a new 100mm.) As it stands I still have to bust out large format on occasion, with a 150mm equivalent, and it'd be far easier to simply have another lens I could slap on the 5DS R.
Title: Re: Northlight reviews the TS-E 135mm F4L Macro
Post by: YuengLinger on March 08, 2018, 04:17:47 PM
Shame there's no portrait examples, 'cause that's where this lens is most interesting. Had a play with the 90mm for portraits and product and it's definitely superb for the latter—I have ordered two for that purpose—but 90mm is just a little too short for a tight headshot. Been trying to get hold of the 135 to test, but it seems like they're snapped up the moment they land on these shores.

To be honest, it's also a lens I'd just never think of using for portraits, all that sharpness...  I'd much rather have the Canon 135/2 (if I did such work)  Any use of tilt just looks too gimmicky for my tastes, but YMMV, and if you got that much spare cash why not ;-)

Canon marketing, not seeing it as "gimmicky," says:

"The following thoughts connect both the TS-E 90mm f/2.8L Macro lens, and the stunning TS-E 135mm f/4L Macro lens.  The longer focal length of the latter is the primary distinction between them, although some may desire the faster f/2.8 maximum aperture of the 90mm lens.

Portraits
This may be the biggest potential application to consider for a tilt-shift lens. Aside from being superbly sharp 90mm and 135mm lenses, the ability to use shift to alter the plane of what’s in sharpest focus — either expanding the range of sharpness, or conversely using “reverse tilt” and narrowing it to a small sliver of the subject — gives these lenses visual control which simply cannot be duplicated by conventional portrait-length telephoto lenses. "

( http://learn.usa.canon.com/resources/articles/2017/tilt-shift-lenses-applications.shtml )

135mm does seem to be compositionally too tight to take advantage of the benefits and effects of tilt-shift, but having never used any tilt-shift, I'd really like to see a comparison to a slightly wider focal length for portraiture.
Title: Re: Northlight reviews the TS-E 135mm F4L Macro
Post by: keithcooper on March 08, 2018, 05:29:38 PM
Shame there's no portrait examples, 'cause that's where this lens is most interesting. Had a play with the 90mm for portraits and product and it's definitely superb for the latter—I have ordered two for that purpose—but 90mm is just a little too short for a tight headshot. Been trying to get hold of the 135 to test, but it seems like they're snapped up the moment they land on these shores.

To be honest, it's also a lens I'd just never think of using for portraits, all that sharpness...  I'd much rather have the Canon 135/2 (if I did such work)  Any use of tilt just looks too gimmicky for my tastes, but YMMV, and if you got that much spare cash why not ;-)

Canon marketing, not seeing it as "gimmicky," says:

"The following thoughts connect both the TS-E 90mm f/2.8L Macro lens, and the stunning TS-E 135mm f/4L Macro lens.  The longer focal length of the latter is the primary distinction between them, although some may desire the faster f/2.8 maximum aperture of the 90mm lens.

Portraits
This may be the biggest potential application to consider for a tilt-shift lens. Aside from being superbly sharp 90mm and 135mm lenses, the ability to use shift to alter the plane of what’s in sharpest focus — either expanding the range of sharpness, or conversely using “reverse tilt” and narrowing it to a small sliver of the subject — gives these lenses visual control which simply cannot be duplicated by conventional portrait-length telephoto lenses. "

( http://learn.usa.canon.com/resources/articles/2017/tilt-shift-lenses-applications.shtml )

135mm does seem to be compositionally too tight to take advantage of the benefits and effects of tilt-shift, but having never used any tilt-shift, I'd really like to see a comparison to a slightly wider focal length for portraiture.

Yes, I can see a few uses that might not look too awful -  but I'm afraid people pics are unlikely to become part of my reviews ;-)