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Author Topic: What can tilt-shift lenses do that post-production cannot?  (Read 16108 times)

dirtcastle

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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 lens, it would be super appreciated.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2013, 12:32:55 AM by dirtcastle »

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briansquibb

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Re: What can tilt-shift lenses do that post-production cannot?
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2012, 03:40:40 AM »
Apart from the converging parallels the TSE gives the ability to move the focus plane such that, say, it is 45degrees from the vertical, allowing you to take an in focus picture with almost unlimited DOF whilst being wide open

Also as a prime wa, the 17 and 24 TS-E are very very sharp

Random Orbits

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Re: What can tilt-shift lenses do that post-production cannot?
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2012, 07:56:02 AM »
Apart from the converging parallels the TSE gives the ability to move the focus plane such that, say, it is 45degrees from the vertical, allowing you to take an in focus picture with almost unlimited DOF whilst being wide open

Also as a prime wa, the 17 and 24 TS-E are very very sharp

+1.  The more you have to correct for buildings "falling over," the more you source data you lose from having to stretch a portion of your source file.  The shift function can eliminate or minimize that effect and can help maximize the number of pixels you have on your "subject."  With a normal lens, you might have to change the angle to keep the subject vertical lines vertical, which might give you too much background/foreground that has to be cropped out.

Tilting the focal plane is not something that can be done in PP.  You can't make an OOF area more in focus.  Let's say you take a picture of a deck or sidewalk from where you are on the ground to the horizon.  A regular lens will have a portion of it OOF closest to the camera because of its DOF even if shooting at f/11 or smaller.  With a TS lens, you can shift the focal plane so that it is parallel to the deck/sidewalk and still shoot at f/4 (max aperture).  The sidewalk with lay completely within the focal plane even though the DOF is thin, but the DOF effect can't be seen because there isn't anything on top of the deck/sidewalk.

What it comes down to is how you want to shoot.  Tilting the focal plane is hard handheld b/c you'll be trying to hold the camera steady while checking the focal plane magnified in LV, so it'll require a tripod to do it precisely.  Shifting can be done handheld pretty easily.  If your primary WA shots is of buildings and architecture, go with the TS-E 17mm.  If your primary WA shots is of nature, then vertical lines being vertical doesn't matter as much and the 14mm is much more portable (smaller and doesn't require a tripod) and has AF.

Stu_bert

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Re: What can tilt-shift lenses do that post-production cannot?
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2012, 09:01:29 AM »
In addition to the above, you can do simple 3 shot panorama shots without worring about nodal points. Post editing it equates to a 2 x image resolution as you always lose the far edge and some overlap. But I find that's often all I want from the image, and I can also do horiztonal and vertical panos with ease.

I did toy with the 14mm L but picked up the TSE-17mm instead as I don't need the uber-WA so much. The 24 L MK II is slightly better than the TSE-24mm MK II but both are significantly better than my MK I TSE-24mm, so that might be a future acquisition  ;)
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recon photography

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Re: What can tilt-shift lenses do that post-production cannot?
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2012, 09:03:07 AM »
i don't have any zeiss glass (for eos bodies) but take a look at their new 15mm it looks like it could be a winner, who needs auto focus anyways........ but seriously at 15mm who does need auto focus...

briansquibb

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Re: What can tilt-shift lenses do that post-production cannot?
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2012, 09:13:01 AM »
i don't have any zeiss glass (for eos bodies) but take a look at their new 15mm it looks like it could be a winner, who needs auto focus anyways........ but seriously at 15mm who does need auto focus...

I am sure you are right about the Zeiss 15 - but they aren't tilt shift are they?

NWPhil

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Re: What can tilt-shift lenses do that post-production cannot?
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2012, 09:56:18 AM »
(...)The 24 L MK II is slightly better than the TSE-24mm MK II (,,,)[/quote]

Not sure about that - the usual lens reviewers don't agree with you, and testing and charts results agree with the same IF the lens is kept without any tilt and/or shift

One can correct keystone in PP but the software distorts the pixels, and that's very visible
DOF manipulation - I have seen it with lensbaby and with software - none matches what T&S can do, as extending the DOF wide open. Yes, you can simulate the out-of-focus/ narrow DOF, but not bring a larger DOF in with PP
larger panoramics without nodal setup and straight forward stitching
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Re: What can tilt-shift lenses do that post-production cannot?
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2012, 09:56:18 AM »

dougkerr

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Re: What can tilt-shift lenses do that post-production cannot?
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2012, 10:00:20 AM »
Hi, Random,

The more you have to correct for buildings "falling over," the more you source data you lose from having to stretch a portion of your source file.  The shift function can eliminate or minimize that effect and can help maximize the number of pixels you have on your "subject."  With a normal lens, you might have to change the angle to keep the subject vertical lines vertical, which might give you too much background/foreground that has to be cropped out.

Tilting the focal plane is not something that can be done in PP.  You can't make an OOF area more in focus.  Let's say you take a picture of a deck or sidewalk from where you are on the ground to the horizon.  A regular lens will have a portion of it OOF closest to the camera because of its DOF even if shooting at f/11 or smaller.  With a TS lens, you can shift the focal plane so that it is parallel to the deck/sidewalk and still shoot at f/4 (max aperture).  The sidewalk with lay completely within the focal plane even though the DOF is thin, but the DOF effect can't be seen because there isn't anything on top of the deck/sidewalk.
All well said.

Best regards,

Doug

Stephen Melvin

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Re: What can tilt-shift lenses do that post-production cannot?
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2012, 10:34:22 AM »
One more thing that I haven't seen mentioned:
Doing it with the lens allows you to see the results right there. Doing it in PP means risking that your crop won't be quite right, and you'll definitely lose resolution, compared to doing it with the lens.

kirispupis

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Re: What can tilt-shift lenses do that post-production cannot?
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2012, 11:42:01 AM »
The 14L and TS-E 17 are completely different lenses.  While others have already mentioned that tilt is not possible through the 14L + PP, you cannot replicate shift strictly through PP.  Here is an example.

All of these images were taken with the TS-E 17 and I have not yet processed them.  The first was taken unshifted.  In order to get all of the building in the shot, I needed to pan up.  While the Burj Khalifa does not look too bad because I centered it, you can see that the other buildings' verticals are majorly screwed up.


No shift, panned up by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

You could imagine that with a 14L, the Burj Khalifa would be quite a bit smaller on the shot as 14mm is a lot wider than 17mm.

The following shot is the same building from the same location, but this time shifted.  With this shot I have leveled the camera.


Shifted but not panned up by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

The obvious difference is the verticals are now correct.  Unfortunately the entire building is not within view.  In order to have improved on that, I would have had to gain more height, which I was unable to do.  Still, you can see that no amount of PP is going to get the second image from the first.  You may be able to correct the verticals in the smaller buildings at its sides, but you will not get the same perspective in the Burj Khalifa.

Now you could argue that the two images aren't completely the same, as one of them was taken with the camera level (thus missing the top of the building) while the other was not.  Here is the same view taken with the lens fully shifted and the camera panned up slightly to get the top.


Shifted and panned up by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

As you can see between the two images, the Burj Khalifa is about 30% taller on this image than on the first one.  The verticals on the smaller buildings are off but not nearly as badly as in the first shot.  You are not going to be able to stretch the first shot to match this one without a very noticeable quality drop.  Note that a 14L would be even more severe as the Burj Khalifa would be smaller - requiring even more stretching.

I have a number of other shots that demonstrate this but from the above you can see one reason why any serious architectural photographer makes heavy use of TS lenses.  The 14L is a very useful lens for extremely wide spaces (I do not own a copy, but have used one) but it has a completely different purposes from the TS-E 17 and the TS-E 24 II.
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Drizzt321

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Re: What can tilt-shift lenses do that post-production cannot?
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2012, 02:01:47 PM »
Wow kirispupis, those are some awesome photos. I gotta rent me that lens and give it a try. Now I'll have to go find some interesting buildings to shoot.
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sanj

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Re: What can tilt-shift lenses do that post-production cannot?
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2012, 02:05:19 PM »
The 14L and TS-E 17 are completely different lenses.  While others have already mentioned that tilt is not possible through the 14L + PP, you cannot replicate shift strictly through PP.  Here is an example.

All of these images were taken with the TS-E 17 and I have not yet processed them.  The first was taken unshifted.  In order to get all of the building in the shot, I needed to pan up.  While the Burj Khalifa does not look too bad because I centered it, you can see that the other buildings' verticals are majorly screwed up.


No shift, panned up by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

You could imagine that with a 14L, the Burj Khalifa would be quite a bit smaller on the shot as 14mm is a lot wider than 17mm.

The following shot is the same building from the same location, but this time shifted.  With this shot I have leveled the camera.


Shifted but not panned up by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

The obvious difference is the verticals are now correct.  Unfortunately the entire building is not within view.  In order to have improved on that, I would have had to gain more height, which I was unable to do.  Still, you can see that no amount of PP is going to get the second image from the first.  You may be able to correct the verticals in the smaller buildings at its sides, but you will not get the same perspective in the Burj Khalifa.

Now you could argue that the two images aren't completely the same, as one of them was taken with the camera level (thus missing the top of the building) while the other was not.  Here is the same view taken with the lens fully shifted and the camera panned up slightly to get the top.


Shifted and panned up by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

As you can see between the two images, the Burj Khalifa is about 30% taller on this image than on the first one.  The verticals on the smaller buildings are off but not nearly as badly as in the first shot.  You are not going to be able to stretch the first shot to match this one without a very noticeable quality drop.  Note that a 14L would be even more severe as the Burj Khalifa would be smaller - requiring even more stretching.

I have a number of other shots that demonstrate this but from the above you can see one reason why any serious architectural photographer makes heavy use of TS lenses.  The 14L is a very useful lens for extremely wide spaces (I do not own a copy, but have used one) but it has a completely different purposes from the TS-E 17 and the TS-E 24 II.


Well done and well explained. I want to learn more. Any link/book you recommend to learn tilt shift?
Thx

akclimber

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Re: What can tilt-shift lenses do that post-production cannot?
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2012, 02:50:19 PM »
Well done and well explained. I want to learn more. Any link/book you recommend to learn tilt shift?
Thx


Here are a few useful articles:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/focusing-ts.shtml

http://www.learn.usa.canon.com/resources/articles/2011/intro_tilt_shift_lenses_article.shtml

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/tilt-shift-lenses1.htm

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

I own a 24 TSE MK II and it is undoubtedly the finest lens I've ever owned/used.  Invaluable for landscapes and architecture.  The 17 TSE is near the top of my "gotta have one" list as well.

Cheers!

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Re: What can tilt-shift lenses do that post-production cannot?
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2012, 02:50:19 PM »

ontarian

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Re: What can tilt-shift lenses do that post-production cannot?
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2012, 02:56:39 PM »
Save yourself some serious coin and get the original Canon TS lens and make it EF using my edmika TS/FD-EOS kit. http://www.ebay.ca/itm/170784162985?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649#ht_1049wt_1385

Its built much more solid and compact than the modern TS lenses as well. -Ed

neuroanatomist

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Re: What can tilt-shift lenses do that post-production cannot?
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2012, 03:01:52 PM »
Save yourself some serious coin and get the original Canon TS lens and make it EF using my edmika TS/FD-EOS kit. http://www.ebay.ca/itm/170784162985?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649#ht_1049wt_1385

Its built much more solid and compact than the modern TS lenses as well. -Ed


The original TS lens looks very nice, but one feature of the current 17mm and 24mm II lenses that I really like is the ability to change the orientation between tilt and shift on the fly, which I assume the original cannot do (perhaps I'm wrong?).
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Re: What can tilt-shift lenses do that post-production cannot?
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2012, 03:01:52 PM »