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Author Topic: to TS-E or not to TS-E?  (Read 4595 times)

adhocphotographer

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to TS-E or not to TS-E?
« on: June 21, 2013, 01:44:31 AM »
Hi all,

I'm toying with the idea of buying the 24mm TS-E. I shoot at 24mm a lot, love shooting landscapes and buildings and like to learn new things/challenge myself. However, it isn't cheep and i have a few concerns. Basically the lack of AF (not much manual experience) and IS (I drink a lot of coffee)...  I don't always like lugging around my tripod, which I feel is needed to truly get the most out of a TS-E, and lets face it, for the price that is what i want to do!

Any advice for me on this issue? Experience and suggestions welcome!

Additional info - there is nowhere local i can rent it. :)
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to TS-E or not to TS-E?
« on: June 21, 2013, 01:44:31 AM »

Leejo

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Re: to TS-E or not to TS-E?
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2013, 03:55:23 AM »
The 24mm is a fine sharp lens for general purpose use. would suite a lot of landscape photography for you.
However I personally so no serious use of Tilt/Shift without adequate camera support - Tripod or at least resting on a solid surface. There are some fun uses of the lens to create "toy" looks that can be performed handheld - but this is not on your list of subjects.
Maybe you need to consider a more portable travel tripod?

If the cost is the problem Rokinon/Bower/Samyang have a 24mm TS for around half the price - though the reviews seem to indicate that it isn't the sharpest wide open. For learning not critical, and if you are not going to make anything other than online or small prints not critical. If you are shooting buildings you will be most probalby stopping down anyway.
Other disadvantages - some build quality compromises, and resell value should you decide to upgrade.

I would be tempted but my investment in lenses needs to go elsewhere first.
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symmar22

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Re: to TS-E or not to TS-E?
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2013, 04:44:44 AM »
The 24mm' TS-E II is a stellar lens, one of the very best Canon ever made. I have one, and it has become my most used lens, but I use a sturdy tripod with it all the time, it is the only way you can get the best out of it, like all other TS lenses. Yes you can use it hand held, but can you hold straight verticals and horizon in the same time ? Focusing is not so easy since the 3.5 aperture doesn't give you a lot of foreground/background separation, especially with modern focusing screens. To get the best of it, I focus through the viewfinder, and confirm on the live view.  Don't forget it's a big and heavy lens too.

If I had to get rid of all my lenses except one, it would be the keeper, but I would advise that you rent one first, to make your own opinion, and decide if you really want/need it.

adhocphotographer

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Re: to TS-E or not to TS-E?
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2013, 04:47:38 AM »
Thanks for your opinion Leejo.  I had had high hopes for the Samyang, but i have been deterred by the reviews. I have two tripods infact, both are light (the lightest is a small travel one, ~1kg), and would certainly use it.

symmar22 - yep, tripod is definitely essential...  renting would be nice if i could find it in India...  none of my local rental outfits have it (well the ones i know of anyway)!
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Re: to TS-E or not to TS-E?
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2013, 05:03:49 AM »
I've no experience of the 24mm mk2, but I had the mk1 for around 2 years.  Very solid lens, I used it on a 400D and EOS 3.  Deffo need a FF camera to get most out of FL, I felt that 10MP was stretching the lens a bit, the MK2 may stand up better to todays resolutions.

MF isn't that much of a problem, I would imagine you'll have live view on your camera, and it's the kind of lens you would pre-compose on a tripod anyway, it's a heavy lens, not one for hand holding so much, especially if your purpose is accuracy / fidelity rather than fun.

If a tripod is a pain then have you consider something like a superclamp with ball and socket head?

symmar22

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Re: to TS-E or not to TS-E?
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2013, 05:34:38 AM »
I understand renting a lens is not always possible, at least you should try to find a retailer that allows you to play a bit with the lens. In any case, if you are serious about architecture photography a TS lens is a must, on the other hand, the Canon 24 Mk2 is quite an investment, it seems the Samyang is not bad at all, and could do the same job for much cheaper, I would pass on the 24 TS-E Mk1, it was acceptable with film, but clearly limited with digital, unless you find one cheaper than the Samyang.
They are relatively easy tools to learn, if you really do a lot of architecture, I promise you won't regret the money spent on a perspective correction lens, whatever model you decide to buy. For the work I do, I could easily use only my TS-E lenses, considering I use my tripod 95% of the time.

AmbientLight

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Re: to TS-E or not to TS-E?
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2013, 05:50:11 AM »
Reading through the original post a couple of times I don't think investment in a TS-E lens might be the best choice. I agree with Paul that manual focus should not be an issue, but you did write that bit about lugging around your tripod...

Some time ago I purchased a 17mm TS-E and after experimenting with it and my 14mm prime I picked up the 24mm L lens as well. I since ended up shooting mostly with the 14mm and 24mm primes, taking out the 17mm TS-E only in case I face a very controlled shooting environment, where I am sure to bring my tripod. For me very often this is not the case.

Wanting to use a TS lens for architecture photography is one thing, but is this what the OP really needs/wants to do? Perhaps the 24mm L or the newer 24mm IS lens might be suitable candidates for you?

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Re: to TS-E or not to TS-E?
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2013, 05:50:11 AM »

Sebring5

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Re: to TS-E or not to TS-E?
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2013, 05:59:20 AM »
Hi all,

I'm toying with the idea of buying the 24mm TS-E. I shoot at 24mm a lot, love shooting landscapes and buildings and like to learn new things/challenge myself. However, it isn't cheep and i have a few concerns. Basically the lack of AF (not much manual experience) and IS (I drink a lot of coffee)...  I don't always like lugging around my tripod, which I feel is needed to truly get the most out of a TS-E, and lets face it, for the price that is what i want to do!

Any advice for me on this issue? Experience and suggestions welcome!

Additional info - there is nowhere local i can rent it. :)
What camera do you have? AF can be overcome by using the automatic focus confirmation when shooting normally. You can use live view for focus when using the tilt/shift. You may also want to install an Eg-S focusing screen to help. IS is a non issue especially at this focal length. Hand held is not a problem. You said it all right here "love shooting landscapes and buildings and like to learn new things/challenge myself". Buy it, you will love it.

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Re: to TS-E or not to TS-E?
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2013, 06:14:25 AM »
Once upon a time....not too long ago, even professionals would have shuddered at dropping cash on a TS-e lens without a flipping good business need for it...in other words a specific job which needed that particular movement. Most of which can be simulated in photoshop as long as one shoots wider than needed and knows how to shoot with consideration for the final result.
TS-e lenses were considered to be extream and very very niche by pros and most hobbiests.
These days, it seems that many feel that one isn't an accomplish photographer unless one had dabbled in fisheyes, ultrawides and TS-e lenses...which is quite a bizarre turn around in such a short period of time.
I bought my TSe 45mm because I had a gig which needed one, but have hardly used it since. I bought a TS-e 17L on a whim, becuase it was going second hand for a song....but to be fair, I've hardly used it. Yes, I've taken a number of shots but it's a complicated and difficult lens to use in the field and there are better ways of achieving simular results.
I know of a guy who uses a TS-e 24mm L II as his main 24mm lens. But he never shoots wide open, tilts or shifts it...so I can't help but wonder if he would be better served with a 24-70 II L instead. There are lots of guys in the photography arena who want stuff but actually don't need it. Just look at how many more 70-200/2.8 lenses seem to exist these days compared to 5 years ago. Many would be better off with the excellent f4 version or the 70-300L. I used to own both the f2.8 and f4 versions...I'd often take the f4 version becuase it was so much lighter and easier to lug about. I only took the f2.8 version if I really needed the extra stop.   
The TS-e 24mm is a pretty amazing optic, wrapped in a pretty difficult to use package. There are far easier to use 24mm lenses out there and ones which are far more versatile.

BarneyH

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Re: to TS-E or not to TS-E?
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2013, 06:59:02 AM »
I bought a TS-E 24mm lens about a month or so ago, and have been playing with it since.

It takes a while to get used to how to get the most from it. Once you do so, it's incredible.

There are really four main uses for it (beyond the fact that it's a very sharp prime):

1. Being able to create front to back sharpness throughout the whole photo by altering the angle of the plane of focus (through the use of tilt) - a tripod is essential for doing this well (although I think some experts can get used to doing it handheld). The kind of scenes that have the most impact, and where the lens is most necessary, is where you have an object that's (really) close in the foreground - like a leaf, a stone, a log - that you want to have in focus together with your backdrop. There are tables which exist that help with the amount of tilt required for any given height off the ground/desired plane of focus (or to be more precise - perpendicular distance from the camera back)

2. Easy panoramic shots, or large megapixel photos, with no parallax issues (through use of shift)

3. Removal of converging lines - especially useful in architecture  (through use of shift)

4. Miniature model effects (a lot of which could also be achieved in photoshop) by relocating plane of focus

I've done a lot of 1-3 and almost none of 4. In all events I've found I need time to take the photo; a tripod; when I'm doing front to back sharpness photos, a little table in my wallet of initial tilt angles to start from; and a clear head :) But then, I'm not yet an expert. I find myself really scouting for what I want to take a photo of first - which I am told is generally a good principle.

Live view focusing is essential, helped with 3x3 gridlines and 5x magnification; that's taken a while to get used to, and ultimately I've set up a Custom Function shooting mode on my 1DX specifically for it. You also need to be willing to get down low, because it's these photos that have the most impact when shooting front to back sharpness - shoot from a height of 1.7m and you don't really need a tilt at all; shoot at 40cm from the ground and you need a tilt of 3-4 degrees.

But the manual focus per se is not an issue at all; nor is IS at 24mm

I found a great guide to help - you can find it here: http://oopoomoo.com/ebook/the-tilt-shift-lens/




romanr74

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Re: to TS-E or not to TS-E?
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2013, 08:14:29 AM »
to TS-E!
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Re: to TS-E or not to TS-E?
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2013, 08:19:52 AM »
The TS-E 24 is not that big of a deal to shoot if you know how to use it.  If you are taking a shot without tilt or shift, it is no different than shooting a non-IS lens manually.  Think of it as a large, sharp, slow prime that can also be used as a tilt-shift.

I recommend using a tripod for landscape and architecture shots, if for no other reason than to utilize the amazing edge-to-edge sharpness of the TS-E.  If you have any non-IS lenses, shoot one for a day manually and determine whether you would be willing to do this.  I drink a lot of coffee too, and it is a non-issue for me.

I also advise staying away from the Rokinon because their quality control is terrible and the lens simply isn't that sharp.

It takes 82mm thread filters, so factor this in.

+1.  Shift is relatively easy to do handheld, precise tilting of the focal plane is best done using LiveView and a tripod.  Using the 24-105 at the wide end using manual focusing for landscapes/architecture is also a good idea.  Drop the ISO down to 100 to maximize DR/sharpness and stop down the aperture to f/11 or f1/16 to maximize DOF.  If you are ok using this workflow for landscapes and architecture, then the TS-E will be a great addition for you.

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Re: to TS-E or not to TS-E?
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2013, 08:56:17 AM »
What camera do you have? AF can be overcome by using the automatic focus confirmation when shooting normally. You can use live view for focus when using the tilt/shift. You may also want to install an Eg-S focusing screen to help. IS is a non issue especially at this focal length. Hand held is not a problem. You said it all right here "love shooting landscapes and buildings and like to learn new things/challenge myself". Buy it, you will love it.

His signature suggests he has a 5D3 and a 450D. The 5D3 has a fixed focusing screen and I can hardly imagine that the 450D has an interchangeable one.
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Re: to TS-E or not to TS-E?
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2013, 08:56:17 AM »

adhocphotographer

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Re: to TS-E or not to TS-E?
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2013, 09:31:09 AM »
Using the 24-105 at the wide end using manual focusing for landscapes/architecture is also a good idea.  Drop the ISO down to 100 to maximize DR/sharpness and stop down the aperture to f/11 or f1/16 to maximize DOF.  If you are ok using this workflow for landscapes and architecture, then the TS-E will be a great addition for you.

I will play around this weekend MF no-IS with my 24-105 and see how i get on...  good advice, thanks! :)
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Re: to TS-E or not to TS-E?
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2013, 10:14:27 AM »
The TS-E 24L II is pure awesomeness...   :)

It does work best on a tripod using Live View - both for focusing and for metering (tilt/shift movements affect metering, so if you're not using Live View, you've got to meter before the movements, then dial in that exposure in M mode before taking the shot).

I occasionally handhold the lens with shift movement, works ok in good light.
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Re: to TS-E or not to TS-E?
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2013, 10:14:27 AM »