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View Full Version : Suggestion to Evaluate Canon 24TS-E w/20D


Nelson Salez
June 3rd, 2006, 12:45 PM
Just received the lens as a one week rental. While I am aiming to upgrade to a 5D, my 20D is not proving an easy tool with the 24 Tilt Shift. This being due to the inability to manually focus well on the 20D's viewfinder screen. I have tried manually focusing a distant subject, then tilting forward for a Near-Far shot trying to get Max Depth of Field. At the same time, trying to keep the f-stop no more than f8 to avoid diffraction.

Wondering if anyone has discovered a "workflow" with this lens that could help my evaluation on my 20D.

Thanks in advance!

Nelson

Diane Fields
June 3rd, 2006, 01:35 PM
Just received the lens as a one week rental. While I am aiming to upgrade to a 5D, my 20D is not proving an easy tool with the 24 Tilt Shift. This being due to the inability to manually focus well on the 20D's viewfinder screen. I have tried manually focusing a distant subject, then tilting forward for a Near-Far shot trying to get Max Depth of Field. At the same time, trying to keep the f-stop no more than f8 to avoid diffraction.

Wondering if anyone has discovered a "workflow" with this lens that could help my evaluation on my 20D.

Thanks in advance!

Nelson

Nelson, you may be using the lens I just returned after a 2 week rental LOL.

I only shot with the 5D--should have tried it on my 10D but didn't. HOWEVER--this is the really good tip I got from Steven Noyes (I believe). He said to focus to infinity which would cover the far---then 'tilt' for the near (actually what he said was to focus for the far and tilt for the near, but for landscapes it almost certainly will be focusing at infinity or near). That worked out very very well for me. I would not have been able to focus at distance with even the 5D for landscapes.

Now--when I used it for smaller product type shots (I only shot experimentally--to see how to use one, to assess whether to buy one--and for FL--I've ordered the lesser Hartblei 35 and if the T/S works out in my bag I may buy the Canon 45) I found it easier to focus on the near--and then tilt until the far came into focus. This worked particularly well where I had the tilt perpendicular to the shift and shifted for correct perspective and then used the tilt 'sideways' to have the whole left or right side of the small subject in focus. I did the same with a building with a 'side' (not directly in front of the buildling). I hope my description is understandable. I will admit, after a year of reading 'theory' about a T/S, having one in hand was quite different. I had at least two voila' moments LOL--where something I was trying to understand suddenly became quite clear.

I would imagine if you aren't trying to do a landscape where infinity is about what you want in focus for far--that choosing a point to where you do want in focus (less than 10 feet) may be difficult with the smaller viewfinder. However, I would assess how far that point is in feet and use your focus/distance setting on the lens at that--then tilt. Some of this may have to be checked--and then reset. I found that it helped to keep a small notebook and write down my settings--and the degrees I set tilt--or shift--or both.

Good luck. I felt I was just coming to grips with the lens when I had to send it back--so I'm looking forward to getting mine---and then spending a great deal more time shooting creatively with it.

Diane

Nelson Salez
June 3rd, 2006, 02:17 PM
Thanks, Diane. I may be limited to interior shots this coming week. The weather forecast here isn't cooperating. I also see the wisdom of your suggestion about taking notes, after my first few test shots.

Nelson

Diane Fields
June 3rd, 2006, 02:29 PM
Thanks, Diane. I may be limited to interior shots this coming week. The weather forecast here isn't cooperating. I also see the wisdom of your suggestion about taking notes, after my first few test shots.

Nelson

I shoot room shots commercially parttime--so, though I don't actually plan to use a T/S for that purpose, I did want to evaluate it for interior shots. There I used the method of assessing how far in feet my far focus was and tilt for near. I also used the shift for interior shots (that was terrific and better than correcting in PS or other corrective app--I tried both ways). I think if I used a T/S lens for this work--I would stop down quite a bit and use just the shift.

I could see the value of having tilt and shift parallel for this kind of shooting. The Hartblei will give me that ability without unscrewing and resetting the lens (but probably without the IQ also--though MIke K's demo on dpreview looked decent).

I think that if you have good experience with the T/S, after taking notes for awhile, it would be possible to work intuitively for focusing at various distances--or at least get far better at it LOL.

Alan T. Price
June 4th, 2006, 07:37 AM
The biggest problem with testing the TS-E 24mm lens is that the lens already has a large DOF and the tilt effects are somewhat disguised by that. Everything beyond 2m will be in focus no matter what you do, so try it with a subject (e.g. a flower) very close to the lens as well as one farther away and you 'll see the effect more readily. Also be sure to shoot at maximum aperture. Finally, be aware that very small tilt adjustments have a big effect and that you can easily go too far.

Try taking a picture of the ground from as close to the ground as you can get without actually facing the ground.

This advice is to demonstrate the tilt effect most clearly. It is not necessarily what you would do for everyday shooting. In my experience the TS-E 90 shows the tilt effects much more readily because it has the smaller DOF.

Be aware that it is sometimes necessary to tilt the camera as well as the lens in order to get the plane of fous just right.

Also know that when you tilt the plane of focus you also tilt the area of useful DOF, but the DOF is smaller near the camera than it is further away. It is not a constant width like it is when the focal plane is perpendicular to the lens.



While you're at it, use the shift effect to make two or three shots of your street (assuming it is straight) with the lens facing perpendicular to the street. You'll be able to stitch them together and you will find that unlike many other panoramas the street curb will be a straight line. It won't look like there is a bend in the road.

Also take a photo of a window without getting your reflection in it.
- Alan

Asher Kelman
June 4th, 2006, 09:12 AM
Hi Alan,

Welcome to OPF. Great post!

A reminder: email to Michael Tapes to correct your name from your alias to real name.

Asher

Diane Fields
June 4th, 2006, 09:32 AM
The biggest problem with testing the TS-E 24mm lens is that the lens already has a large DOF and the tilt effects are somewhat disguised by that. Everything beyond 2m will be in focus no matter what you do, so try it with a subject (e.g. a flower) very close to the lens as well as one farther away and you 'll see the effect more readily. Also be sure to shoot at maximum aperture. Finally, be aware that very small tilt adjustments have a big effect and that you can easily go too far.

Try taking a picture of the ground from as close to the ground as you can get without actually facing the ground.

This advice is to demonstrate the tilt effect most clearly. It is not necessarily what you would do for everyday shooting. In my experience the TS-E 90 shows the tilt effects much more readily because it has the smaller DOF.

Be aware that it is sometimes necessary to tilt the camera as well as the lens in order to get the plane of fous just right.

Also know that when you tilt the plane of focus you also tilt the area of useful DOF, but the DOF is smaller near the camera than it is further away. It is not a constant width like it is when the focal plane is perpendicular to the lens.



While you're at it, use the shift effect to make two or three shots of your street (assuming it is straight) with the lens facing perpendicular to the street. You'll be able to stitch them together and you will find that unlike many other panoramas the street curb will be a straight line. It won't look like there is a bend in the road.

Also take a photo of a window without getting your reflection in it.
- Alan

Really good tips. The 24 does have very good DOF already as you said, so one of my first experiments was to find something in the foreground while I was in our mts. to see how well the tilt worked to get near/far focus (very).

As you recommended, the shift for a flat stitch pano is great. That's not something I had considered, but it was recommended to me elsewhere and I found it to be something I can see as useful. Totally forgot to try using it to do a non-reflected shot though.

And--what Alan says about a very small amount of tilt making a big difference--sometimes a VERY small amount of tilt. That was very surprising and unexpected.

Sid Jervis
June 4th, 2006, 06:33 PM
I have only just arrived here and it's already a plus.
It looks like I had better get in the rental line to have the TSE 24mm in my toy box.
I have been interested in the comments about pano' use. But what I would ask is, the 24mm lens, do you believe it is the best to use while learning T&S techniques, or would I be better off using the 45mm or 90mm because they would "show" the results of my actions more clearly?

Is it bad etiquette to ask where you guys rent from?

Diane Fields
June 4th, 2006, 07:06 PM
I have only just arrived here and it's already a plus.
It looks like I had better get in the rental line to have the TSE 24mm in my toy box.
I have been interested in the comments about pano' use. But what I would ask is, the 24mm lens, do you believe it is the best to use while learning T&S techniques, or would I be better off using the 45mm or 90mm because they would "show" the results of my actions more clearly?

Is it bad etiquette to ask where you guys rent from?

I rented from rentglass.com which is quite reasonable. They only have the 24TSE so that's why I chose it. Had I had more choices, I would probably still have chosen the 24--but maybe the 45 as well (I have suggested that they add the 45 to their lineup), but $35 something a week as opposed to $35/day made a difference for me (that was based on a 2 week rental).

I don't honestly know if choosing another would be better. I would choose the FL based on the kind of shooting you plan to do. I really thought the 24 would be my cup of tea--and if I had 2--I think I would have the 45 and 24 both (the 90 would be of less importance for me). If you are interested mostly in shift and flat pano stitching--the 24 works the same., The 24 does a great job with shift--perspective control-- and you'll have no problem whatsoever seeing what's happening there. The only situation that is more difficult is doing the tilt for fore to background focusing. However, using a smaller subject its not that difficult (with the 5D anyhow). Following the guidelines others gave to me about focusing 'far' and tilting for 'near'--and choosing to have a near object in the foreground, that too wasn't awfully difficult.

Sid Jervis
June 4th, 2006, 07:25 PM
Thanks for the prompt reply. As rentglass.com only have the 24 TSE I guess that I will make the same choice as you did. Sadly it is out of stock at the moment, so I am on the email notification list.

My comment regarding other TSE lenses was really to make the results of my actions obvious. You have cleared up the issue in my mind on tilt, I think the 24mm will be the unit that I buy anyway. My main subjects will be landscape with some architecture.
I have heard that it is possible to combine TSE lenses with Canon extenders, did anyone try this yet?

Thanks for the information.

Diane Fields
June 4th, 2006, 08:34 PM
Thanks for the prompt reply. As rentglass.com only have the 24 TSE I guess that I will make the same choice as you did. Sadly it is out of stock at the moment, so I am on the email notification list.

My comment regarding other TSE lenses was really to make the results of my actions obvious. You have cleared up the issue in my mind on tilt, I think the 24mm will be the unit that I buy anyway. My main subjects will be landscape with some architecture.
I have heard that it is possible to combine TSE lenses with Canon extenders, did anyone try this yet?

Thanks for the information.

I did try this briefly but really didn't arrive at any conclusion. I had someone tell me that it was foolish to try---but here are 2 URLs with info about tele converters. Scroll down a bit to see http://www.photo.net/equipment/canon/tilt-shift
and here is a demo with the Canon 24 TSE and Hartblei 35 super rotator with 1.4x converter http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1032&message=17631641

I have quite a few links for info on TSE lenses, so if you need specific info, I'd be glad tos ee if I have a link. Since you won't get a manual with the rented lens, you may want to look at this (I printed it out).
http://eosdoc.com/manuals/?q=TSE24L

Its been recommended to me that using the CAnon anglefinder C--and possibly a different screen depending upon the use for the lens, was extremely helpful. I lan to buy an anglefinder. I have leanred that HOodman will have one available mid JUne for $129 but the magnification isn't as great as the Canon's..

Nelson Salez
June 5th, 2006, 04:00 AM
Just catching up with all the good suggestions. If rentglass only has one of the 24 TSE, than I have it. I rented a 70-200 2.8L IS and they obviously had more than one of those. The 24 TSE goes to the post office 6/12. So far, still struggling with results.

Cheers,

Nelson

Diane Fields
June 5th, 2006, 05:27 AM
Just catching up with all the good suggestions. If rentglass only has one of the 24 TSE, than I have it. I rented a 70-200 2.8L IS and they obviously had more than one of those. The 24 TSE goes to the post office 6/12. So far, still struggling with results.

Cheers,

Nelson

I feel sure they have more than 1 one of the 70-200 f/2.8L but they probably see the TSE as a 'niche' lens. Maybe the constant renting of it will convince them to add the other 2 also. I had a hard time finding it available for rent---I missed quite a few times--and found other lenses in stock but that one always out before I could get there after receiving email notification. I perservered and finally got it, but it seems to come in and then be right back out again.

I suspect that practice is what it takes with the TSE's. I had it for 2 weeks plus a bit more due to the holiday weekend and was just coming to grips with it the weekend before I sent it back.

Bernie Schuerlein
June 5th, 2006, 10:05 AM
I suspect that practice is what it takes with the TSE's. I had it for 2 weeks plus a bit more due to the holiday weekend and was just coming to grips with it the weekend before I sent it back.

Hello, I am just about to explore the possibilities of shifting with my 5d. I rented the 45TSE for one week- end, the 24 for another one.
My observations:
- The 45TS-E is quite sharp, but can show *a lot* of CA when shifted. In many situations (architecture) it is also not wide enough.
- The 24TS-E I rented showed less CA, is sometimes (not often) too wide, but the main problem (that everyone mentions) is that it is not sharp enough, specially when shifted (more when vertically than when horizontally). I must admit that I only shot handheld, but at reasonably short shutter times, the unsharpness hadn't got anything to di with handholding or not, it is just the optical quality that is not very good, towards the edges.

I cannot say anything about tilting because I have not really tried to work it out.

So the situation is not easy. One can accept that the 24 is less than stellar and try to cope with it, or shoot with a good WA lens (non- shift) and correct it in photoshop. I did that to compare directly against the 24TS-E version and I did not find the shifted lens to be better. The huge advantage of the shift lens is that you have less work in PP and (almost) get what you see in the VF. I say "almost" because even in the large 5D viewfinder I happened to misjudge the amount of shift and "overshifted" which looks much worse than to "undershift").

So I am not yet sure if I will get one of those. The Canons are a bit expensive for a less than perfect lens. The best would be if they came out with newer updated versions of their TS-E lenses to adapt to the more demanding digital environment of today.

Otherwise - and this is my question I atually have - I will look for a possibly perfectly corrected normal lens for stitching several frames together. I now use the Tamron 28-75 which is sharp but has a very irregular moustache distortion and with several frames you get - in the stitched version - a final image that has strange distortion that is practically impossible to correct.

So, again my question: Which one would be a Canon lens that has "no" or almost no distortion? The 50mm 1,8 has distortion.

Thanks, Bernie

Nelson Salez
June 6th, 2006, 05:11 PM
Hi, with bad weather in New England and my work schedule, I just made arrangements to keep the 24 TSE I rented from rentglass, another week. Will be taking it to the post office 6/19. I am especially appreciative of the suggestion that a very little amount of tilt goes a long way, as my early tests were skewed to full tilt.

Cheers,

Nelson

Diane Fields
June 6th, 2006, 05:20 PM
Hi, with bad weather in New England and my work schedule, I just made arrangements to keep the 24 TSE I rented from rentglass, another week. Will be taking it to the post office 6/19. I am especially appreciative of the suggestion that a very little amount of tilt goes a long way, as my early tests were skewed to full tilt.

Cheers,

Nelson

Here's a link to a page that concerns the 24 TSE by our own Alain Briot--scroll down to about his gear http://www.beautiful-landscape.com/Thoughts30.html Glad you got it for another week. It took me that long to come to grips--as I said, but I understand the movements much better now and was able to use them for how I intended. Sadly, I didn't really have the time to do serious shooting but the experimentation was worth the rental.

Nelson Salez
June 7th, 2006, 03:46 AM
I signed up for a workshop at the end of the year with Alain, and am very much looking forward to it!!!

Nelson

Tristan Tom
June 13th, 2006, 05:05 PM
Just FYI, I shot every one of these images with the TS-E 24 on the 20d:

http://flickr.com/photos/mediahound/sets/875682/


I had no problems focusing but I was using it more to mess up the images than correct them.