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Author Topic: Tilt Shift Lenses - Looking for Advice  (Read 6153 times)

neuroanatomist

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Re: Tilt Shift Lenses - Looking for Advice
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2013, 10:35:35 AM »
Why do people use shift lenses to capture stitched panoramas?

I'm not at all sure that most people buy TS lenses for the primary purpose of capturing stitched panorama.  While a TS lens can be used in a limited way for pano shots, it seems more of an opportunistic and incidental use.  As stated above getting a real multi-row pano setup offers much more flexibility for creating panoramic images. 
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Re: Tilt Shift Lenses - Looking for Advice
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2013, 10:35:35 AM »

KyleSTL

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Re: Tilt Shift Lenses - Looking for Advice
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2013, 11:40:30 AM »
...The 17 TS-E isn't all that sharp wide open, and doesn't respond too well to TC's. Even stopped down to f11 with the 1.4x TC, its nowhere near as sharp as the 24 TS-E II is wide open:

In comparison to the 24mm the 17mm is slightly less sharp, however, the 17mm TS-E is widely considered to be one of the best ultra-wide lenses of all time and easily out-resolves any Canon or Nikon UWA zoom or prime.  So your comment is very misleading.   Both lenses are among the very best in there respective focal lengths, and what should be discussed is whether a wide angle or UWA FL is needed.  The ability of the 17mm to act as a 24mm TS with the TC is just a perk, if 24mm is the FL that is needed, then the obvious choice is the 24mm II.
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rs

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Re: Tilt Shift Lenses - Looking for Advice
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2013, 11:58:43 AM »
...The 17 TS-E isn't all that sharp wide open, and doesn't respond too well to TC's. Even stopped down to f11 with the 1.4x TC, its nowhere near as sharp as the 24 TS-E II is wide open:

In comparison to the 24mm the 17mm is slightly less sharp, however, the 17mm TS-E is widely considered to be one of the best ultra-wide lenses of all time and easily out-resolves any Canon or Nikon UWA zoom or prime.  So your comment is very misleading.   Both lenses are among the very best in there respective focal lengths, and what should be discussed is whether a wide angle or UWA FL is needed.  The ability of the 17mm to act as a 24mm TS with the TC is just a perk, if 24mm is the FL that is needed, then the obvious choice is the 24mm II.
Yes, you're right. The 17 TS-E is pretty much without peers at its focal length. But to call my post misleading is wrong - I did end the post by saying that the most important factor isn't sharpness, but choosing the right focal length for your application - which you conveniently missed out of your quote.
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noisejammer

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Re: Tilt Shift Lenses - Looking for Advice
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2013, 01:07:19 PM »
I think I can comment on using a tc with a TS-E 17. My tests yielded an unexpected result.

I tested my TS-E 17 plus a 1.4x Mk III against my friends TS-E 24 II. I stopped both down to f/8 effective - in other words the 17 was stopped down to f/5.6 while the 24 was stopped down to f/8.  I used magnified live view to focus at the center of the frame, and then magnified live view to focus at 2/3 of the way out and in the corners.

My results
1. In the center there is no difference at all.
2. At the 2/3 position, there was no difference at all.
3. In the corners, the 17/1.4x combination was BETTER. If memory serves, point sources were rendered on half the pixels.
4. There was no difference in chromatic aberration between the two systems.
5. Focusing precisely enough to extract everything from this lens is extremely difficult - even magnified live view with a 3x loupe left me with some uncertainty.

Ok, so I've looked at the results on TDP.

Bryan and I disagree on our results however Bryan was shooting a flat calibration target. I refocused the lenses to eliminate the effect of focus curvature. My conclusion is that if was are shooting a brick wall, the 24 TS-E may well be sharper. If I was shooting something else, my results would depend entirely on how well the subject matches the focal curvature of the lens.

The other caveat is that I had exactly one 17mm, one 1.4x tc and one 24mm. I do not have any idea of whether this is representative or not. Nevertheless, I was convinced enough that I decided I did not need to purchase a 24 TS-E and picked up a 25/2 Zeiss instead.

Other thoughts
6. Using the TS-E 17 at f/8 is not an issue - if you are shooting a landscape, you are probably going to use f/8 to f/16 anyway.

7. Although I've found a way to use my Lee filters on my TS-E 17, this comes at the price of reduced shift before I hit vignetting. If memory serves, I can move the lens about 6 mm each way so that the effective image is about 48x24 mm (115 deg diagonal field of view) with the filters on. Fotodiox has a solution for this but I'm not willing to buy (or carry) yet another set of filters.

8. On reflection, I have not tried to see how the tc responds when the lens is exercised in shift. I'll try that when the lens comes back from Canon.

9. I strongly recommend you secure the adjustment knobs with a blob of nail polish / thread locker. Loosing one can be inconvenient... been there, done that.

10. Using the 17mm requires a lot of discipline. The front element is entirely unprotected and replacing it is expensive.

KyleSTL

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Re: Tilt Shift Lenses - Looking for Advice
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2013, 01:51:15 PM »
...The 17 TS-E isn't all that sharp wide open, and doesn't respond too well to TC's. Even stopped down to f11 with the 1.4x TC, its nowhere near as sharp as the 24 TS-E II is wide open:

In comparison to the 24mm the 17mm is slightly less sharp, however, the 17mm TS-E is widely considered to be one of the best ultra-wide lenses of all time and easily out-resolves any Canon or Nikon UWA zoom or prime.  So your comment is very misleading.   Both lenses are among the very best in there respective focal lengths, and what should be discussed is whether a wide angle or UWA FL is needed.  The ability of the 17mm to act as a 24mm TS with the TC is just a perk, if 24mm is the FL that is needed, then the obvious choice is the 24mm II.
Yes, you're right. The 17 TS-E is pretty much without peers at its focal length. But to call my post misleading is wrong - I did end the post by saying that the most important factor isn't sharpness, but choosing the right focal length for your application - which you conveniently missed out of your quote.

Fair enough, I didn't include your entire post in my quote, however, this part of your comment is factually incorrect:

Quote
The 17 TS-E isn't all that sharp wide open
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rs

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Re: Tilt Shift Lenses - Looking for Advice
« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2013, 02:10:51 PM »
Fair enough, I didn't include your entire post in my quote, however, this part of your comment is factually incorrect:

Quote
The 17 TS-E isn't all that sharp wide open


This thread is only about tilt and shift lenses. I was answering the original question in this thread, and I wasn't comparing the 17 TS-E to other lenses at that focal length, I was comparing it to other TS-E lenses - and it does fall short of the 24 TS-E II and the 90 TS-E when it comes to sharpness. After all, Hector1970 in his original post did state:

I love sharpness I would like to achieve back to front sharpness for landscapes.

However, if you take my statement out of context, it does read wrong. Quite clearly, the 17 TS-E is pretty much in a league of its own amongst similar focal length lenses.

Here is my entire post, where you can clearly see that one part of one sentence you're so keen to pick up on in context, comparing it only to different focal length tilt and shift lenses:

The relatively new 17 and 24 II both have independent rotation of tilt/shift axis, which makes them much more useful that the previous generation TS-E lenses. While landscape and architecture can be taken with a wide range of focal lengths, usually you're looking at the wider end for those applications. The 24 TS-E is optically the best of the bunch, while the 21 year old 90 TS-E is also optically excellent, although it is typically used for product photography. The 17 TS-E isn't all that sharp wide open, and doesn't respond too well to TC's. Even stopped down to f11 with the 1.4x TC, its nowhere near as sharp as the 24 TS-E II is wide open:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=487&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=1&API=4&LensComp=486&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0

Obviously ultimate sharpness is less important than having the correct focal length for your application, but the 24 TS-E is possibly the pick of the bunch for your requirements.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 02:13:39 PM by rs »
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TrumpetPower!

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Re: Tilt Shift Lenses - Looking for Advice
« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2013, 03:15:31 PM »
First, the 24 is a superlative lens. It is, in fact, my favorite. It is my go-to lens for anything outdoors, and I'll use it for anything else if I can think of an excuse to do so.

That writ...if I were looking to do a panorama, it's not the lens I would pick. Shift panoramas just aren't all they're cracked up to be.

When I got the lens, on a lark, I did a shift panorama in all four directions. The field of view was almost identical to that of the 16-35 at 16mm, but the 24 simply stomped all over the 16-35.That is, at extreme shift in the corners, the 24 is still sharper than the 16-35 in the corners.

However...I just did a quick experiment, the results of which aren't worth posting. I did a two-frame handheld shift panorama of my back yard, with the camera in landscape orientation. Then, I grabbed my Shorty McForty and did a five-frame handheld pivot panorama, this time with the camera in portrait orientation. A quick trip to Photoshop, and, after correcting for geometry, the resulting usable field of view was essentially the same. The results with the Shorty McForty not only were visibly much better at "fit to window," it had about half again as many megapickles.

There's no comparison, and you really shouldn't expect there to be one. As amazing as the 24 is, it's just not going to be able to compete in that kind of a setting -- any more than APS-C can compete will 135 or 135 can compete with 645 or 645 can compete with large format. And, of course, a two-row twenty-shot panorama with an 85mm lens would wipe the floor with the Shorty McForty panorama, and a four-row eighty-shot panorama with the 180mm macro would be insanely high quality that would make the 24 look like a Coke bottle.

I can't think of any time that I'd ever actually want to do a shift panorama with the 24. Any time I'd be tempted, I'd simply slip the Shorty McForty out of my pocket and use it instead.

Yet another thing the Shorty McForty has going for it: the nodal point is so close to the focal plane that you don't need a fancy panorama rig to get good results. Just pivot the camera on the tripod as-is and, unless you're especially unlucky in your choice of subject, the parallax mismatch won't be a factor.

As to which of the TS-E lenses to get...well, I really don't see any of them as exactly interchangeable. 17mm is a bit wide for my tastes for most things, though it's the lens of choice for closeup portraits of skyscrapers. For the stuff I want to take pictures of, you have to get too close for visual comfort. 24mm is the classic wide angle focal length for a reason. You're not going to find a better lens for product photography than the 90, but I'm personally holding off until they update it with independent tilt and shift. And the 45 is literally the textbook normal lens, for those who like normal. With its movements, it's a lot more versatile than any of the 50s, so long as you're only doing tripod work.

Cheers,

b&

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Re: Tilt Shift Lenses - Looking for Advice
« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2013, 03:15:31 PM »

GoodVendettaPhotography

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Re: Tilt Shift Lenses - Looking for Advice
« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2013, 11:07:49 AM »
The 17mm ts-e is quite the monster of lens. I love it, but I am so frightened when using it!
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charlesa

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Re: Tilt Shift Lenses - Looking for Advice
« Reply #23 on: March 11, 2013, 11:30:44 AM »
So... comparing the version II of the 24 mm TS-E and the 17 mm TS-E... which is actually sharper and has better image quality?

neuroanatomist

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Re: Tilt Shift Lenses - Looking for Advice
« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2013, 11:36:00 AM »
So... comparing the version II of the 24 mm TS-E and the 17 mm TS-E... which is actually sharper and has better image quality?
The TS-E 24L II is slightly better.  But if you need wider....
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charlesa

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Re: Tilt Shift Lenses - Looking for Advice
« Reply #25 on: March 11, 2013, 12:43:38 PM »
So... comparing the version II of the 24 mm TS-E and the 17 mm TS-E... which is actually sharper and has better image quality?
The TS-E 24L II is slightly better.  But if you need wider....

Could always stitch 3 shots using shift if one needs wider, no? (except with a fast moving sky or sea in the scene that is...)

Random Orbits

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Re: Tilt Shift Lenses - Looking for Advice
« Reply #26 on: March 11, 2013, 02:23:56 PM »
So... comparing the version II of the 24 mm TS-E and the 17 mm TS-E... which is actually sharper and has better image quality?
The TS-E 24L II is slightly better.  But if you need wider....

Could always stitch 3 shots using shift if one needs wider, no? (except with a fast moving sky or sea in the scene that is...)

You could, but then you loose some/all perspective correction abilty when you do that.

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Re: Tilt Shift Lenses - Looking for Advice
« Reply #27 on: March 11, 2013, 03:06:16 PM »
So... comparing the version II of the 24 mm TS-E and the 17 mm TS-E... which is actually sharper and has better image quality?
The TS-E 24L II is slightly better.  But if you need wider....

Could always stitch 3 shots using shift if one needs wider, no? (except with a fast moving sky or sea in the scene that is...)

You could, but then you loose some/all perspective correction abilty when you do that.

You can also do a shift panorama with the 17.

A shifted panorama with the 24 has a similar field of view as a 16mm lens. I have no idea what the field of view a shifted panorama would work out to with the 17, but it'll be quite wide.

I'd also discourage against getting too excited about shifted panoramas. You can get much better quality with a four-shot traditional panorama with the Shorty McForty than you can with a shifted panorama with the TS-E 24, and the Shorty McForty's nodal point is so close to the focal plane that you can usually get away with just rotating it on your tripod without any special equipment.

Cheers,

b&

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Re: Tilt Shift Lenses - Looking for Advice
« Reply #27 on: March 11, 2013, 03:06:16 PM »

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Re: Tilt Shift Lenses - Looking for Advice
« Reply #28 on: March 11, 2013, 03:27:20 PM »
c) What would you use a 90mm TS-E for - A few of the minature videos or photographs I've seen have been done with this focal length but I assume thats not the real purpose of that focal length


The 90 TS-E is often used for portraits which is what I use it for.  It is very sharp and can create some great shots that software has a hard time reproducing.  Also, combined with an extension tube, it can allow for some great close up shots.  (My first shot is not a great representation of what this lens can really do, but this is all I had quick access to for posting.  :-\ )


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KyleSTL

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Re: Tilt Shift Lenses - Looking for Advice
« Reply #29 on: March 11, 2013, 03:31:20 PM »
If you're talking about a 2 shot (+12 / -12) or 3 shot (+12 / 0 / -12) horizontal panarama (2.5:1 aspect ratio), the resulting effective image sensor size would be 60mm x 24mm, or an effective crop factor of 0.6x (24mm would become a 14.4mm; 17mm would become a 10.2mm).

If you're a 4 shot (+12 at 45°, 135°, 225° and 315°) for an approximately 3:2 aspect ratio photograph the resulting effective sensor size would be 53mm x 41mm (53mm x 35.3mm when cropped to maintain the normal 3:2 AR) with a crop factor of 0.68x (24mm would become a 16.3mm; 17mm woud become an 11.6mm).
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Re: Tilt Shift Lenses - Looking for Advice
« Reply #29 on: March 11, 2013, 03:31:20 PM »