I'm debating the Canon 14mm f/2.8 L -vs- the 17mm TS-E f/4 L. What I'm looking for is the least possible distortion, but I'm also willing to spend a lot of time in post editing. I don't need it perfect SOOC. But I also don't want to spend 30 minutes on each and every image.
Tell me something I can do with the the 17mm TS-E, that I can't do with the 14mm + software.
If you've got any 17mm TS-E images showing results unique to that lense, it would be super appreciated.
This questions frequently comes up and is rarely answered properly.
The simple answer is that the 17mm TS-E allows you to reduce the depth of field so that it looks like you're shooting with the equivalent of a 17mm f/0.35 lens. Yes that's 0.35 - 3 stops faster than f/1.4. In other words it allows 5 stops shallower DOF than a f/2.8 lens.
Furthermore if you're shooting a situation which requires very slow apertures it allows you to maintain fast apertures with the same depth of field. The net effect is that when you're shooting at f/16 with the 14mm you'll be shooting at f/5.6 with the 17mm TS-e, which lets you use the sweet spot of the lens and reduce diffraction. The end result is up to 70% more resolution. Finally the distortion effects of a tilt shift lens are higher quality than what you can do in post processing by a noticable margin. You also can do a lot of special effects, AND to top it all off the 17mm TS-E is compatible with telecovnerters which means you get both a 17mm 24mm and 35mm lens.
Q: what can tilt shift lenses do that post production cannot?
A: They can appear to have 5 times faster aperture, twice the resolution, can do special effects and you get 3 top quality lenses when combined with telecoverters.