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Author Topic: Focusing Advice on a Canon 24mm TS-E  (Read 4342 times)

Hector1970

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Focusing Advice on a Canon 24mm TS-E
« on: April 09, 2013, 10:15:25 AM »
Hi All,
I have a new Canon 24mm TS-E II and am still only getting used to it.
I have a few Samyang Manual Lens (8mm and 14mm) and you get away alot with manual focussing because of the wide angle. It tends to be hard to be too far out of focus.
If it looks in focus in the view finder it's pretty much in focus in reality.

With the Canon 24mm TS-E it's a little trickier.
I am using a Canon 5D Mark III
Unshifted/Untilted it's not so hard to focus and it's pretty sharp.
As you tilt you start getting out of focus and then it getting tricky to focus the parts you want to be in focus.
So generally I use live view but I'm not sure whether there is a better method or more precise way.
Specifically I've seen that people use a Hoodman Loupe sometimes to view the screen.
I am wondering would using one of these allow you to focus more accurately than using 10x on the screen.
If you used the Loupe with the screen at 10x is it all pixelated or the most accurate way to judge accuracy.

I'd also be interested if anyone had links to instructional videos or websites on using the Canon TS-E.
I am interested in finding out roughly the degree of tilt required for the  Scheimpflug principle.
From my experimenting it appears to be very little as it starts to blur very quickly as you tilt down (which I believe is the direction of tilt required for the Scheimpflug principle.
The other thing is to learn the degree of shift required to straighten up buildings. This is trickier than I thought it would be. Focusing keeps changing and blur is introduced as you adjust.

It's a very interesting and enjoyable lens I must say. You can do alot of the effects in CS6 pretty easily nowadays. It's nice to do it without that and it slows down your photography alot as there is alot to concentrate on. It helps improve composition and slows down the number of shots taken.

I have taken a few shots I'm happy with and have them up on Flickr. They are not amazing by any means but crafted only using the lens and little or no adjustment in Photoshop (which is a change for me)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/fergalocallaghan/8632951200/#in/photostream/





Kind Regards
Fergal

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Focusing Advice on a Canon 24mm TS-E
« on: April 09, 2013, 10:15:25 AM »

ahab1372

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Re: Focusing Advice on a Canon 24mm TS-E
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2013, 11:54:00 AM »
I don't have a TS lens, but found these interesting:
http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/article_pages/focus-with-tilt.html
http://www.onlandscape.co.uk/2011/04/tiltshift-photography-an-introduction-to-tilt/

The latter has a nice simulator that visualizes how the focal plane changes around. One thing that is a little counterintuitive (unless you are familiar with view cameras maybe): Moving the focus slider to the right means that you focus closer

Hector1970

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Re: Focusing Advice on a Canon 24mm TS-E
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2013, 01:01:29 PM »
Thanks Ahab, This is good information.
Anyone else with Tips/ Tricks or experience with something like a Hoodman Loupe

wcksmith

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Re: Focusing Advice on a Canon 24mm TS-E
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2013, 02:04:36 PM »
Fergal,
I like this lens the most because it's the sharpest Canon lens in my bag by quite a bit.  It's super sharp!  I also have a 5DIII as my primary camera body.

Here's a good link that helped me a lot in understanding the "tilt" portion of my 24mm TS/E lens:

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/tilt-shift-lenses2.htm

As for focusing, I exclusively use the live view at 10x and scroll through the image to see how well it is focused.  I've tried the Hoodman & it's good if there's a lot of glare on the screen, but useless otherwise.  the 5DIIIs preview screen is a very high resolution & gives great results without other enhancements.

Please note that when you are looking at live view, you are looking at F2.8.  It will be tough to get all portions of the scene super sharp at 2.8, even with tilt.  If you press your depth-of-field preview button to stop down the lens to your preferred aperture setting, you'll then see what the image will look like at that aperture.  If you are set to F16-F22, I'll bet everything will be sharp. 

As for "straightening buildings", use a bubble level to make sure the camera is level on the tripod.  Then use your shift feature to shift up (if they are taller than you are) to change the composition to what you want.  Shift down if you are in a high place and are shooting down on buildings.  The camera must be level (this causes the camera sensor to be perpendicular to the scene) to truly achieve this without doing it in photoshop.  If you don't have enough shift to get the right composition, you can shift the lens up as far as it will go, then adjust the camera up for the correct composition.  This will require less adjustment in photoshop than if you did not have a shifting lens.

Good luck 

ahab1372

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Re: Focusing Advice on a Canon 24mm TS-E
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2013, 02:15:51 PM »
Please note that when you are looking at live view, you are looking at F2.8.  It will be tough to get all portions of the scene super sharp at 2.8, even with tilt.  If you press your depth-of-field preview button to stop down the lens to your preferred aperture setting, you'll then see what the image will look like at that aperture.  If you are set to F16-F22, I'll bet everything will be sharp. 
not 2.8, it is f/3.5 - that is the max aperture for the TS-E 24mm. But what you said still applies, of course

georgecpappas

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Re: Focusing Advice on a Canon 24mm TS-E
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2013, 03:36:28 PM »
Hello,

I have used all of Canon's tilt/shift lenses for several years and am very happy with them.  With a live-view DSLR, it is the closest thing to a digital view camera that I have found.  A couple of focusing tips:

1) You need VERY little tilt, especially with the 24mm, to get any near/far focusing benefit.  The amount needed is based on the distance from the ground to your camera.  There was a great article on Luminous Landscape a few years ago that had the degree of tilt worked out for various camera to ground distances.  It is very hard to focus with the tilt movement because the amount of movement is very small and both your near/far will be changed as the lens does not move perfectly on the center axis when tilted...the table is a good guide.

2) I have found that a first-rate magnifier is very helpful to block out light and to ensure excellent focus.  After testing several options, I chose the Zacuto - it has very clear/sharp optics and a great mounting system that makes it easy to mount/unmount the unit.  I used this several years ago recently added the 5D3 mounting plate when they released it.

3) when you use a magnifier, I find the the 5x setting is perfect for me - this gives the best balance of magnification without too much pixelation.  10X is too much.  The other benefit of the magnifier is that I can view the entire image more intimately to absorb composition etc. (now if I could only get the image to display upside-down like my view camera).

4) Focus shift can be an issue; as the previous poster mentioned, you want to focus with the depth of field button pressed to your exposing aperture.  There is a setting with the 5D3/2 that will compensate for the exposure difference to keep the screen brightness even.

5) At large amounts of shift, you will experience more chromatic aberration and some loss of sharpness - Adobe has a "flat field" plug-in available on their adobe labs site that lets you calibrate your lens at these extreme settings so that Lightroom can automatically compensate.  Highly recommended if you use shift a lot (I do use shift a great deal).

6) Use manual exposure or lock your exposure with the lens centered.  As you shift, you will fool the lightmeter in the camera to think that less light is hitting the sensor and your images will be overexposed.

These lenses are awesome tools and greatly expand the use of a DSLR for landscape, etc. work...however, they require some new tricks...hope this helps.

George Pappas

Hector1970

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Re: Focusing Advice on a Canon 24mm TS-E
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2013, 07:07:18 PM »
Some great advice there everyone. Very informative and food for thought.
Someone recommended changing the focusing screen.
Is that a good way to go as well.
Kind Regards
Fergal

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Re: Focusing Advice on a Canon 24mm TS-E
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2013, 07:07:18 PM »

ahab1372

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Re: Focusing Advice on a Canon 24mm TS-E
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2013, 07:29:25 PM »
Some great advice there everyone. Very informative and food for thought.
Someone recommended changing the focusing screen.
Is that a good way to go as well.
Kind Regards
Fergal
As far as I know, changing the focusing screen is recommended for wide aperture lenses (f < 2.8 ), so I don't think it will help with the TS-E 24mm
« Last Edit: April 10, 2013, 10:55:15 AM by ahab1372 »

cayenne

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Re: Focusing Advice on a Canon 24mm TS-E
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2013, 10:05:25 AM »
I found that this video from Adorama explained a LOT..and it is using the new Canon 24mm tilt shift lens.

Using a Tilt Shift Lens: Ep 204: Digital Photography 1 on 1

I'm saving for one of these babies myself!!


Hope this helps ya,

cayenne

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Re: Focusing Advice on a Canon 24mm TS-E
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2013, 10:57:59 AM »

I'd also be interested if anyone had links to instructional videos or websites on using the Canon TS-E.
I am interested in finding out roughly the degree of tilt required for the  Scheimpflug principle.
From my experimenting it appears to be very little as it starts to blur very quickly as you tilt down (which I believe is the direction of tilt required for the Scheimpflug principle.


When I started out with the TS-E24mm f/3.5L II, this ebook guided me: http://oopoomoo.com/ebook/the-tilt-shift-lens/. It's worth US$20 but it's all worth it and written by world renowned landscape photographers Darwin Wiggett & Samantha Chrysanthou. Hope this helps. Cheers.
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Hector1970

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Re: Focusing Advice on a Canon 24mm TS-E
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2013, 06:54:53 PM »
Thanks for all the great advice. That e-book might be very useful.
I was checking focussing screens .
Am I correct there are no Canon focusing screens for the 5D Mark III.
Is it even necessary / helpful?

ahab1372

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Re: Focusing Advice on a Canon 24mm TS-E
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2013, 07:17:19 PM »
Thanks for all the great advice. That e-book might be very useful.
I was checking focussing screens .
Am I correct there are no Canon focusing screens for the 5D Mark III.
Is it even necessary / helpful?
As far as I know, changing the focusing screen is recommended for wide aperture lenses (f < 2.8 ), so I don't think it will help with the TS-E 24mm.
Replacing the screen on the MK III is not as easy as with the II - it is not intended to be user-changeable.
Best option for focusing is live view, zoomed in, and scrolling across the image to see if the focus plane is in the right position

MRLinVA

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Re: Focusing Advice on a Canon 24mm TS-E
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2013, 08:28:06 PM »
I use a 1dx but think the 5dIII has the same live view capability.  If you view in live view, you can zoom the view and get extremely sharp focus.  Let me know if this works. 
1Dx, 7D, many lenses

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Re: Focusing Advice on a Canon 24mm TS-E
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2013, 08:28:06 PM »

stealth_tramp

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Re: Focusing Advice on a Canon 24mm TS-E
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2013, 09:26:19 PM »
This lens has become my favorite.  I use a 5d classic with good effect.  At first, I was seduced by the live view on my 7d, but then, I started learning how to set up for a shot with the viewfinder.

The tables that you've found elsewhere are a god send.  Commit those to memory.  I agree that if you are trying to use the camera in the classic sense that very little tilt is necessary.  In that case, you may tilt the lens at such a small amount that you almost can't get there.  1/2 degree is ideal.

However, if you want to do the special effects, such as the centerline of a road, you will tilt the lens all the way and then set up about 8 inches above the road surface.  In these cases, it is advisable to pre-focus.  Again, I'm doing this with a 5dC so the focusing is done through the viewfinder.  Following these instructions, it is possible to get the focal plane to project almost straight out from the camera.  In fact, you can have the plane parallel to the straight view but offset by a few inches or feet.

How to focus so easily?  First, note that the fixed point (about 8 inches from the centerline of the lens) doesn't move with focusing.  This is the easy part.  Now, when you turn the focus ring, all you're doing is rotating the plane of focus about that fixed point (it's really a line, but point is easier to visualize).  Look at your distant targets.  Then, rotate the focal plane until they are in focus.

For example, if you have the fixed point below the lens, you will move the distant focus up and down.  You can see that in this photo:

warning by Stealth Tramp, on Flickr

Then, if you have the fixed point to the side of then, you can move the distant focus left and right.  That is visible in this photo:

Lowe Boat by Stealth Tramp, on Flickr

On the other hand, I hooked my lens to a SpeedBooster and Sony NEX-5 and found out that I could do in about three seconds, what usually takes 5 minutes with the 5dC.

Jag by Stealth Tramp, on Flickr

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Re: Focusing Advice on a Canon 24mm TS-E
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2013, 09:26:19 PM »