Tilt-shift techniques and lenses

stevelee

FT-QL
Jul 6, 2017
1,477
422
Davidson, NC
I'm starting this for at least a couple of us (and anybody else who wants to join in) to share some thoughts and experiences on using tilt-shift lenses. I hijacked a thread showing pictures of waterfalls, starting with posting a faux Ansel Adams picture of a fountain in my neighborhood I made with the 24 mm TS-E, in lieu of a trip to Yosemite. So we can continue that drift here instead. And people who can get to real waterfalls can post in that thread.
 
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stevelee

FT-QL
Jul 6, 2017
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Davidson, NC
From my Sunday post:

I am renting the TS-E 24mm lens, so in trying to learn how to use it, I decided on trying to try to do a poor man's Ansel Adams shot. I have gained a bit more appreciation for all the effort he had to put into shooting in the first place, not to mention all the darkroom stuff he did that we can now do in software mostly.

Since a quick trip to Yosemite is impractical for me at the best of times, I walked about two blocks in my neighborhood to a park with a little fountain and some rocks. I like this well enough that I hope to do a better black-and-white conversion (probably in ACR) and print it out. I didn't use a long shutter speed as I might with a real waterfall, since I was more interested in how sharp the water might look. So far I have been focusing the lens on something near, and then using the tilt to make a distant point also in focus. It was too light out for me to use live view conveniently, so I didn't bother, just doing a test. I shot this at f/8 for several reasons, one being that I don't know at what point diffraction would become noticeable. I might have got it sharper at f/11, or maybe not.

IMG_2170bw.jpg
 

stevelee

FT-QL
Jul 6, 2017
1,477
422
Davidson, NC
And earlier today:

I am wondering whether I would want to try the 17 mm version. I'm already running out of things to try with the 24mm, short of traveling which is currently impractical. Yesterday I did a head-on shot of a mirror in which I and the camera are invisible. That's pretty neat. I watched a guy's video of his trying faux Adams shots. He was using a 16–35 mm lens. In reality, I could used my 16–35 mm lens for many of the same things. On his view cameras, Adams' lenses would translate into 30 mm to 60 mm in our FF world. Optically they are much longer, of course, so depth-of-field was more of an issue, though also diffraction from stopping down was less of one.
 
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stevelee

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Davidson, NC
privatebydesign said:
The thing with TS-E lenses is they are unique in their capabilities, but if you understand what they are actually doing it isn’t magic. For instance all shift functionality can be exactly replicated with a wider lens and a crop, so the real value of these lenses is tilt and image quality.

Since getting the 11-24 I use my TS-E17 less because if I can get the image I need with a modest crop it is much faster to just use the zoom.
It was supposed to be raining today, so I had not planned to get out taking pictures. If it doesn't seem even about to rain, I may go out. I'm thinking about playing with the lens on my cheap extension tubes here at home. I won't be able to stop down the lens because of no electrical connection to the camera, so the tilt will be the only way to get more of the subject in focus in a single shot. (I do have a rail and have tried stacking, but I want to see what can be done without that.) I am thinking about getting some better extension tubes, but am wondering if any of the third-party ones work well enough to mess with.

I'm wondering what I would do with a longer TS lens. Is their main use like product photography in macro and near-macro situations?

Since the 6D2 has more resolution than I need for most purposes and the 16–35 mm lens is really great, cropping from a wide lens is very practical for me.
 

cayenne

EOR R
Mar 28, 2012
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It was supposed to be raining today, so I had not planned to get out taking pictures. If it doesn't seem even about to rain, I may go out. I'm thinking about playing with the lens on my cheap extension tubes here at home. I won't be able to stop down the lens because of no electrical connection to the camera, so the tilt will be the only way to get more of the subject in focus in a single shot. (I do have a rail and have tried stacking, but I want to see what can be done without that.) I am thinking about getting some better extension tubes, but am wondering if any of the third-party ones work well enough to mess with.

I'm wondering what I would do with a longer TS lens. Is their main use like product photography in macro and near-macro situations?

Since the 6D2 has more resolution than I need for most purposes and the 16–35 mm lens is really great, cropping from a wide lens is very practical for me.
Interesting...I have been planning to rent and play with one of the Canon TS lenses. For some reason I thought they were full manual lenses, in that not only was focus manual but I thought aperture was also manual....after reading your post, I look around and description says it has something called EMD aperture..."electro magnetic diaphragm"...

Interesting, I'd have thought this thing would have been 100% manual.....

C
 

Valvebounce

EOS 5D SR
Apr 3, 2013
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Isle of Wight
Hi Steve.
I have a set just like this in black and silver, don’t be fooled, the barrels are some form of plastic, possibly as complicated as engineering composite, but they are not metal, only the end caps are metal, I’m tempted to say that the silver finish on mine is chrome, it looks too bright for polished anodised aluminium.
The body end of each tube has a full metal bayonet, the lens end has a metal face reinforcing the plastic receiver.
I doubt they are as strong as the Canon version, but I have just had the 24-105 f/4L mounted on them and I think I used the 70-200 f/2.8 L II mounted on them previously, I have also had the 1DsIII hanging on the tubes on the back of my 100-400 L II when I was trying to work out which lenses worked with tubes and how well!

Net result, I like them for my occasional use (though they have been getting a lot of use over the last few days!) and they have full communication to the lens. I appreciate some will say they wouldn’t hang their expensive lenses on such cheap tubes, I’m not a pro and I’m not using them enough to justify Canon cost and if they drop a lens I’ll let you know! :oops:

Cheers, Graham.

I am thinking about getting some better extension tubes, but am wondering if any of the third-party ones work well enough to mess with.
 
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Del Paso

M3 Singlestroke
Aug 9, 2018
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Interesting...I have been planning to rent and play with one of the Canon TS lenses. For some reason I thought they were full manual lenses, in that not only was focus manual but I thought aperture was also manual....after reading your post, I look around and description says it has something called EMD aperture..."electro magnetic diaphragm"...

Interesting, I'd have thought this thing would have been 100% manual.....

C
Aperture is not manual (metering full open).
Yet, the camera MUST be set on manual, because the exposition MUST be measured prior to shifting or tilting, and, of course, the lens focused as well.
But used like a conventional lens, AV or TV, P etc... programs can be used.
PS: the 24 is the sharpest of the 2 W.Angle TSE lenses, but both are yummy!
 

stevelee

FT-QL
Jul 6, 2017
1,477
422
Davidson, NC
Yet, the camera MUST be set on manual, because the exposition MUST be measured prior to shifting or tilting, and, of course, the lens focused as well.
When I took my first shots with the lens, I knew enough to set the aperture and shutter speed manually. But I forgot to change the ISO from Automatic, which will still work in M mode. So I got wildly over-exposed pictures. In one case I liked a picture after I did some exposure adjustments in ACR. The otherworldly look fits the oddity of having some near and distant things in focus but things blurry in intermediate as well as distant distances.
IMG_2134.jpg
 

stevelee

FT-QL
Jul 6, 2017
1,477
422
Davidson, NC
One of my first efforts was to use the shift to do a vertical panorama from my deck. The ground at the bottom of the photo is about 30 feet below me, and there area beyond dips even deeper. Of course the tree tops are high over my head. Lack of distortion in panoramas is obviously one of the reasons to use this lens. I didn't get the focus just right on all the shots. (I think I used 3 shots, 4 at most.) The lens had just been delivered, and I walked out on to the deck and didn't bother to use the tripod I took out with me, so I was mostly floundering around. Some time I'll try to do something similar with my 16–35 mm lens to see how that compares.

ts1.jpg
 
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privatebydesign

Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
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I just got the TS-E50 yesterday, haven't done anything meaningful with it yet but on initial testing it looks to be outrageously sharp and contrasty, I've owned the TS-E17 since it came out. I got this combo so I have the most focal length variability with TC's, I have both the 1.4 and 2x so essentially I have 17, 24, 34, 50, 70 and 100mm TS-E's, they both work very well with TC's and whilst nobody would argue the 17+1.4 TC is 'better' than the 24, the truth is if I can only have one the 17 gives me more flexibility.

One test shot I can share already, I was interested in the fov of the four square stitch from the 50, it is slightly wider than a 35mm but with two and half times the normal resolution of your sensor.

35mm.jpg

35mm prime fov.

50mm x 4 corner stitch fov.
50x4stitch.jpg
 
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privatebydesign

Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
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Here is a two shot horizontal shift pano at f5.6 and some tilt applied, crop is a 100% crop of the extreme bottom right corner with full shift! This lens is blindingly sharp.

_SF12981-Pano2.jpg


_SF12981-Pano.jpg
 

Valvebounce

EOS 5D SR
Apr 3, 2013
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Isle of Wight
Hi PBD.
Wow, that is one thin slice of focus, and it looks to drop off real quick too! Well done on hand holding that. (y)

How many piece is that jigsaw and can we have a look when it is finished please? And yes, blindingly sharp ;)! :)
I have been watching the TS-E 17mm second hand market for a while and unfortunately for me from what I see these things probably hold their resale value better than any other Canon lens! :(

Cheers, Graham.

Here is a quick handheld shot with swing at f2.8, the macro feature of the TS-E 50 is going to be very useful.
 

privatebydesign

Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
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Hi PBD.
Wow, that is one thin slice of focus, and it looks to drop off real quick too! Well done on hand holding that. (y)

How many piece is that jigsaw and can we have a look when it is finished please? And yes, blindingly sharp ;)! :)
I have been watching the TS-E 17mm second hand market for a while and unfortunately for me from what I see these things probably hold their resale value better than any other Canon lens! :(

Cheers, Graham.
Hi Graham, it's 4,000 pieces and I'll happily take a picture of it when it's done!

The thing about the TS-E17 is that it is a fantastic lens for tight spaces, I paid for mine with my real estate work, but in truth the 24 is probably the better lens for most people to get, the reason is stitching is such an important ability of these lenses and the 17 really doesn't lend itself to that as the projection distortion when shifted is often too extreme, if my main use was landscapes I'd get the 24 and stitch anytime I wanted a wider fov. The IQ out of the 24 is higher and it takes regular filters, I have a comically mammoth Fotodiox filter kit for the TS-E17 and it really isn't practical or reasonably priced.

Hi PBD.
By this do you mean, tilt up shift left, tilt down shift left, tilt down shift right, tilt up shift right?
Do you have to re-focus at each corner or focus in the straight position and then do the shifting?

Cheers, Graham.
In the four corner pano there is no tilt so I didn't have to change that, the shift (and tilt) sections rotate and they have detents at 45º and 90º, if you stay at the 45º position the lens shifts outwards at that 45º, so shift one way and and get one corner, shift all the way in the other direction to get the second, then rotate the shift 90º and you can do the other two corners, the focus stays untouched too. It just takes a few seconds to do all four shots, but if you were using tilt at the same time then you would have to reset that between the two sets of two.
 
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Del Paso

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Hi Graham, it's 4,000 pieces and I'll happily take a picture of it when it's done!

The thing about the TS-E17 is that it is a fantastic lens for tight spaces, I paid for mine with my real estate work, but in truth the 24 is probably the better lens for most people to get, the reason is stitching is such an important ability of these lenses and the 17 really doesn't lend itself to that as the projection distortion when shifted is often too extreme, if my main use was landscapes I'd get the 24 and stitch anytime I wanted a wider fov. The IQ out of the 24 is higher and it takes regular filters, I have a comically mammoth Fotodiox filter kit for the TS-E17 and it really isn't practical or reasonably priced.


In the four corner pano there is no tilt so I didn't have to change that, the shift (and tilt) sections rotate and they have detents at 45º and 90º, if you stay at the 45º position the lens shifts outwards at that 45º, so shift one way and and get one corner, shift all the way in the other direction to get the second, then rotate the shift 90º and you can do the other two corners, the focus stays untouched too. It just takes a few seconds to do all four shots, but if you were using tilt at the same time then you would have to reset that between the two sets of two.
No need for a filter kit, just use the EOS R, plus the RF to EF filter adapter....
 

privatebydesign

Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
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No need for a filter kit, just use the EOS R, plus the RF to EF filter adapter....
And how does that work for your graduated filters? But by the by I have said here many times one of the main reasons I would be interested in a high MP R is that ability to filter via the adapter particularly as I use CPL’s more than anything else. I use the 15mm fisheye, the 11-24 and TS-E 17 so that is a major functionality improvement for me personally even if it is limited to CPL’s and ND’s,.
 

stevelee

FT-QL
Jul 6, 2017
1,477
422
Davidson, NC
I went back out on the deck this afternoon and photographed the woods. This time I used shift on six (I think) axes and had Photoshop stitch pictures together. The reduced version here loses most of the punch and sharpness of the 87 MP result, maybe with a view like a 7 mm lens (?). I did adjust vignetting in ACR, but little else, and obviously didn't crop.

IMG_2241-Pano.jpg


each shot f/10.0, 1/80 second, ISO 100

For you pixel peepers, here are 100% crops of the top and the lower left, to give you an idea of how well the lens does at its extremes.

top100pct.jpg


lowerleft100.jpg
 

stevelee

FT-QL
Jul 6, 2017
1,477
422
Davidson, NC
Next I set up on the sidewalk in front of my house and took its picture. It looks like I didn't get the camera completely level and/or Photoshop didn't get the perspective right when stitching together. f/13, 1/100 second, ISO 100:

IMG_2243-Pano.jpg


And a pixel peep 100% crop of the grass on the lower right:

grass.jpg