Swap TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II or not

candyman

EOS 5D Mark IV
Sep 27, 2011
2,252
176
www.flickr.com
After some testing I have doubts whether I should exchange the TS-E lens. Unfortunately I have no comparison with another TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II. I did do the comparison on Digital Picture with some other lenses at 24mm.
It seems that my TS-E lens scores lower than it should for a prime and T/S.

I tested the TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II lens against 2 other lenses I own:

1. EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM tested on 24mm
2. EF 24-70 f/4L IS USM tested on 24mm

Results:

1. The TS-E is slightly better in terms of sharpness at f/5.6 and f/8 in the center than the 16-35 at 24 mm. But at f/11, the sharpness is the same. In the corners, the sharpness of the TS-E at f/8 and f/11 is equal to the 16-35. You would expect more sharpness from the TS-E in the corners
2. In terms of sharpness at f/5.6 and f/8 in the center, the TS-E is hardly better than the 24-70 at 24 mm. And at f/11, the sharpness is the same. Also with the 24-70, the sharpness in the corners at f/8 and f/11 is practically equal to the TS-E.

I would like to add the TS-E to my collection. However before I make the investment I want to be sure that the result of my testing is not the reference of all TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II lenses (I assume Canon has hardly any lens variation here). If it is, then I will keep it. Otherwise swap it.

Does anyone have experience with the TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II and can indicate whether my TS-E 24mm, based on my testing, has insufficient sharpness for a prime/TS-E? Should it perform better or is this what I should expect?
 

Del Paso

M3 Singlestroke
CR Pro
Aug 9, 2018
1,924
2,283
I own all 3 lenses you used for comparing.
Fact is, both the 16/35 f4 and, at least my version of the 24/70 f4, are excellent at 24mm setting.
To put it short, you're comparing 3 very good 24mm lenses...
Yet, if you are disatisfied with the TSE's corner sharpness, this I can't confirm, mine is tack sharp. I'd suggest, if you haven't done it already, that you Mfa it, mine was slightly out of focus when I bought it.
I understand the TSE was set at 0 tilt and shift, of course.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Upvote 0

candyman

EOS 5D Mark IV
Sep 27, 2011
2,252
176
www.flickr.com
I shoot with the R6. I have enough tools to set the sharpness manually. Such as focus peaking, live view with magnification and the guide frame (square with 3 cones). There is no problem with focusing. It really is in the sharpness of the glass. Maybe the lens elements are misaligned? No idea. I'm going to the store today to test another TS-E 24 II and compare the results. I hope to get a clear picture of whether I should keep the lens or exchange it (possibly replace it).
Thanks for the replies.
 
Upvote 0

Del Paso

M3 Singlestroke
CR Pro
Aug 9, 2018
1,924
2,283
How will autofocus microadjustment help a manual focus lens?
Just like it works on my manual Zeiss Classic lenses, by defining when the green "focus help"LED in the viewfinder will light up.
My TSE had a front focus issue, after Mfa, the LED did light up later on the 5 D IV.
Before that, most of my TSE shots were slightly unsharp. Infinity shots were not concerned, since I usually used F8 or F11.
Obviously, R5, R6 etc...won't have any focusing issues.
PS: LED "focusing help" doesn't work with fully manual lenses (non-EF dedicated ones).
 
Last edited:
Upvote 0

Sporgon

5% of gear used 95% of the time
CR Pro
Nov 11, 2012
4,429
1,157
Yorkshire, England
Just like it works on my manual Zeiss Classic lenses, by defining when the green "focus help"LED in the viewfinder will light up.

PS: LED "focusing help" doesn't work with fully manual lenses (non-EF dedicated ones).
When using electronically coupled manual focus lenses on DSLRs (or SLRs for that’s matter), like Zeiss ZE series I always found that the “focus confirmation” LED can’t be used as an accurate indication of manual focus. There’s far too large a “dead zone” where the light will come on.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Upvote 0

Del Paso

M3 Singlestroke
CR Pro
Aug 9, 2018
1,924
2,283
When using electronically coupled manual focus lenses on DSLRs (or SLRs for that’s matter), like Zeiss ZE series I always found that the “focus confirmation” LED can’t be used as an accurate indication of manual focus. There’s far too large a “dead zone” where the light will come on.
You're basically right, but it's nevertheless better than relying solely on the viewfinder of a DSLR without a full-matte focusing screen...
 
Upvote 0

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Jul 21, 2010
27,876
7,939
You're basically right, but it's nevertheless better than relying solely on the viewfinder of a DSLR without a full-matte focusing screen...
Sure, but it's been a long time since that was necessary. Relying on the viewfinder with lens movements applied also affects metering. Your use cases may differ, but my use of the TS-E 17 and 24 is pretty much exclusively on a tripod, and for that Live View on a DSLR or the rear LCD of a MILC is far superior, both for focusing and because no metering adjustments are required. Those methods allow 5-10x magnification of the selected focus point, which a very accurate way of achieving critical focus.

Unless @candyman is primarily relying on AF confirmation for focusing, AFMA is not a reasonable solution to the problem.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Upvote 0

Del Paso

M3 Singlestroke
CR Pro
Aug 9, 2018
1,924
2,283
Sure, but it's been a long time since that was necessary. Relying on the viewfinder with lens movements applied also affects metering. Your use cases may differ, but my use of the TS-E 17 and 24 is pretty much exclusively on a tripod, and for that Live View on a DSLR or the rear LCD of a MILC is far superior, both for focusing and because no metering adjustments are required. Those methods allow 5-10x magnification of the selected focus point, which a very accurate way of achieving critical focus.

Unless @candyman is primarily relying on AF confirmation for focusing, AFMA is not a reasonable solution to the problem.
I understand, but I use my TSE exclusively handheld, so, no real use for the rear LCD!
 
Upvote 0

Hector1970

EOS R
CR Pro
Mar 22, 2012
1,482
1,010
After some testing I have doubts whether I should exchange the TS-E lens. Unfortunately I have no comparison with another TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II. I did do the comparison on Digital Picture with some other lenses at 24mm.
It seems that my TS-E lens scores lower than it should for a prime and T/S.

I tested the TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II lens against 2 other lenses I own:

1. EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM tested on 24mm
2. EF 24-70 f/4L IS USM tested on 24mm

Results:

1. The TS-E is slightly better in terms of sharpness at f/5.6 and f/8 in the center than the 16-35 at 24 mm. But at f/11, the sharpness is the same. In the corners, the sharpness of the TS-E at f/8 and f/11 is equal to the 16-35. You would expect more sharpness from the TS-E in the corners
2. In terms of sharpness at f/5.6 and f/8 in the center, the TS-E is hardly better than the 24-70 at 24 mm. And at f/11, the sharpness is the same. Also with the 24-70, the sharpness in the corners at f/8 and f/11 is practically equal to the TS-E.

I would like to add the TS-E to my collection. However before I make the investment I want to be sure that the result of my testing is not the reference of all TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II lenses (I assume Canon has hardly any lens variation here). If it is, then I will keep it. Otherwise swap it.

Does anyone have experience with the TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II and can indicate whether my TS-E 24mm, based on my testing, has insufficient sharpness for a prime/TS-E? Should it perform better or is this what I should expect?
I've all 3 lens (well the 24-70mm 2.8 II) . I wonder are you over obsessed with testing sharpness. I find all 3 very sharp at what I use them for.
The TS-E is alway a risk of being less sharp if its not precisely focussed and on a solid tripod. I find it very sharp when I use it correctly, less so if I don't.
It improves me as a photographer because I have to be so precise. The 16-25mm and 24-70 give alot more leeway with autofocus to being less precise.
I think we can be too obsessed with sharpness, I think its a bad sign when you start doing direct comparisons on the same subject. Better subjects, better compositions is a better way to spend the time that worrying about the nth degree of sharpness. You will be the only one to notice
 
Upvote 0

LogicExtremist

Lux pictor
Sep 26, 2021
501
350
I own all 3 lenses you used for comparing.
Fact is, both the 16/35 f4 and, at least my version of the 24/70 f4, are excellent at 24mm setting.
To put it short, you're comparing 3 very good 24mm lenses...
Yet, if you are disatisfied with the TSE's corner sharpness, this I can't confirm, mine is tack sharp. I'd suggest, if you haven't done it already, that you Mfa it, mine was slightly out of focus when I bought it.
I understand the TSE was set at 0 tilt and shift, of course.
Similar experience here, my 16-34 f/4 and 24-70 f/4 lenses are really good lenses that are both sharp at 24mm.
 
Upvote 0

Del Paso

M3 Singlestroke
CR Pro
Aug 9, 2018
1,924
2,283
I've all 3 lens (well the 24-70mm 2.8 II) . I wonder are you over obsessed with testing sharpness. I find all 3 very sharp at what I use them for.
The TS-E is alway a risk of being less sharp if its not precisely focussed and on a solid tripod. I find it very sharp when I use it correctly, less so if I don't.
It improves me as a photographer because I have to be so precise. The 16-25mm and 24-70 give alot more leeway with autofocus to being less precise.
I think we can be too obsessed with sharpness, I think its a bad sign when you start doing direct comparisons on the same subject. Better subjects, better compositions is a better way to spend the time that worrying about the nth degree of sharpness. You will be the only one to notice
Your experience with the TSE confirms mine.
I don't know why, is it just subjectivity (I doubt it is !), but I also find this particular lens wants to be very precisely focused. Strange...
But it is one of my 3 favorite lenses, and, along with the 100-400 L II, the reason why I went Canon and not Nikon.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Upvote 0

candyman

EOS 5D Mark IV
Sep 27, 2011
2,252
176
www.flickr.com
Yesterday I retested the lens in the store and compared it with another TS-E 24mm. I also compared the new TS-E with the 24-70 f/4 and the 16-35 f/4 on 24 mm. It became clear that the first TS-E is indeed not good. To exclude that it is a subjective assessment by me, I also had the results assessed by 2 employees of the store. They also did not like the first TS-E. In short, I replaced the first TS-E with a new one. Thanks for the responses.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 5 users
Upvote 0

Hector1970

EOS R
CR Pro
Mar 22, 2012
1,482
1,010
Yesterday I retested the lens in the store and compared it with another TS-E 24mm. I also compared the new TS-E with the 24-70 f/4 and the 16-35 f/4 on 24 mm. It became clear that the first TS-E is indeed not good. To exclude that it is a subjective assessment by me, I also had the results assessed by 2 employees of the store. They also did not like the first TS-E. In short, I replaced the first TS-E with a new one. Thanks for the responses.
Best of luck with the new one.
 
Upvote 0