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Thread started 13 Jan 2013 (Sunday) 08:07
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17mm TS-E advice

 
chrisd999
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Jan 13, 2013 08:07 |  #1

I have the opportunity to buy a 17mm ts-e for a good deal, but I have never used this lens before. Most of the 17 ts-e pictures posted here and elsewhere show it in use for indoor and outdoor architecture, which is the obvious strength of this lens. However, in addition to architecture, I would be interested using this for landscape shots, with the tilt feature to bring the foreground and background all into the focal plane without stopping down beyond f11 or f16. And to make sure there is decent sharpness at the edges when using this technique. Unfortunately there are not a lot of samples showing this lens used that way. Do any 17mm TS-E owners have experience with it that way?


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cdang
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Jan 13, 2013 09:44 |  #2

*Use live view
*Use a bubble leveller to keep camera level for shifting
*When tilting, focus on distance subject then tilt till foreground is sharp (may take a few times)
*Practice
*Practice
*More Practice




  
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chrisd999
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Jan 13, 2013 10:04 |  #3

cdang wrote in post #15482254 (external link)
*Use live view
*Use a bubble leveller to keep camera level for shifting
*When tilting, focus on distance subject then tilt till foreground is sharp (may take a few times)
*Practice
*Practice
*More Practice

Thanks. I appreciate there is going to be an massive learning curve and use of tools such as a tripod and bubble level to achieve the results I want with this lens.

My question is, with a skilled user, is it possible with the 17mm version of the tilt shift lens to get both the near foreground (objects within 2 to 3 feet) and far background (near infinity) in sharp focus at relatively open apertures (preferably f8 or f11), by using the tilt capability to effect? We're talking about landscape images here, not architecture.


Sony A7R | 24mm TS-E II f/3.5L | T* FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS | FE 28-70 f/3.5-5.6 OSS | T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA| Samyang 85mm f1.4 | Minolta 70-210 Beercan | Metabones IV | LA-EA4
Sony A6000 | SEL1018 f/4 OSS | SEL24Z f/1.8 | SEL55210 f/3.5-6.3 OSS

  
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ddk632
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Jan 13, 2013 10:10 |  #4

I wish I could help. I had one specific instance where I had to use tilt to get an entire image in focus, but it was architecture and honestly I have only had the lens a short time and that was one of my first outings with it, but in that instance it was clear.

Subscribing to thread to see what other 17 TS-E owners have to say hopefully with some specific example images, and also if I get to try this out on my coming road trip where I'll be doing lots of landscapes, I'll report back here as well by next weekend.


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sploo
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Jan 13, 2013 12:46 |  #5

chrisd999 wrote in post #15482343 (external link)
Thanks. I appreciate there is going to be an massive learning curve and use of tools such as a tripod and bubble level to achieve the results I want with this lens.

My question is, with a skilled user, is it possible with the 17mm version of the tilt shift lens to get both the near foreground (objects within 2 to 3 feet) and far background (near infinity) in sharp focus at relatively open apertures (preferably f8 or f11), by using the tilt capability to effect? We're talking about landscape images here, not architecture.

Having never used a TS lens, I'd naively answer yes - at least, that's the theory. With a standard 17mm (non-tilt) lens on a full frame body, you could focus at 2m at f8 and get from ~70cm to infinity in focus (and 46cm to infinity at f11 if focussing at 1m), so I'd be pretty certain a bit of tilt could help even more.

Reading up on the Scheimpflug principle should help: http://www.cambridgein​colour.com …ls/tilt-shift-lenses2.htm (external link)


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amfoto1
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Jan 13, 2013 13:24 |  #6

I don't have the 17mm (yet), but do use two other TS-E lenses: the 24mm and 45mm.

Yes, they can be useful for landscapes, for just the reason you describe, using the tilt to expand or arrange your depth of field. It also can be used in other interesting ways to control the plane of focus, reversing the effect to get narrower DOF or aligning the plane of focus along some plane within the scene (such as a row of trees along a road seen at an angle, in perspective).

It's the same as using a view camera, except that you won't have as much movement with at TS-E lens. To be practical on a DSLR, there's a bit of a limit to the lens' movement... I think around 6.5 to 8 degrees of movement (depending upon lens focal length). Many view cameras also offer tilt on both front and rear standards (i.e., at the lens and at the film plane). Some view cameras also offer rise/drop on both planes, as well as side-to-side shift on one or both. WIth all the Canon, all the movments are on one plane. The shift is useful for other things... controlling reflections or doing stiched panoramas, for example.

There is a brief review of the 17mm TS-E at the Luminous Landscape website (external link). You might poke around there to see if you can find some discussion on the forums or links to other sites.

The Digital Picture website's review (external link)of the lens has a variety of sample images where you can compare the tilt and shift effects.

Keep in mind that it's not very practical to use filters with the 17mm TS-E... the front element protrudes quite a bit and there are no filter threads provided. I believe it has a gel filter older at the rear, but that's rather limiting.

FYI, the 17mm gets used a lot for architectural interiors simply because that's always been a difficult subject and this lens is really a godsend for folks needing to get those shots. The 24mm is great for exteriors and lanscapes. 45mm is good for those purposes, too, but also can be useful for small product close-up photography in the studio. The 90mm is also great for close-up/macro, plus for portrature.


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ddk632
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Jan 13, 2013 13:33 |  #7

amfoto1 wrote in post #15483003 (external link)
Keep in mind that it's not very practical to use filters with the 17mm TS-E... the front element protrudes quite a bit and there are no filter threads provided. I believe it has a gel filter older at the rear, but that's rather limiting.

Actually I just got the Fotodiox filter kit for my TS-E 17 and it allows full movement without vignetting, is amazing workmanship and fits like a glove. Been playing around with it a bit and will really give it a test drive this week on my upcoming road trip,

It uses the lens cap thread to hook on with a release lock. Allows a screw-in 145mm filter, I got the CPL for that. Also comes with a kit that you attach with thumb screws, again all high quality, and allows to take up to 2 6x8 (or 6x9) GND filters. So far I only have one of those so I can use my CPL and one GND filter with it. The GND is only 0.9 so I am looking to get a stronger one, and unlike my Singh-Ray 4x6 grads, doesn't seem to have a magenta cast. Although, I don't have the opportunity to stack yet and see if that changes.

All in all, slightly off topic but related to this lens, it's worth the $$ for this kit over jimmy rigging a lens cap to mount a Lee kit on it.

This lens is so wide that it really needs the 145mm filter size, and I am happy to have that solution available.


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Wilt
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Jan 13, 2013 14:16 |  #8

chrisd999 wrote in post #15482343 (external link)
Thanks. I appreciate there is going to be an massive learning curve and use of tools such as a tripod and bubble level to achieve the results I want with this lens.

My question is, with a skilled user, is it possible with the 17mm version of the tilt shift lens to get both the near foreground (objects within 2 to 3 feet) and far background (near infinity) in sharp focus at relatively open apertures (preferably f8 or f11), by using the tilt capability to effect? We're talking about landscape images here, not architecture.

The problem which I found with Tilt movement in using a large format camera was that you nevertheless are still limited to a flat PLANE of finite thickness, and things outside that plane are out of focus. So while objects at ground level are in focus, the tops of trees might well be out of focus still, for example.

In using 17mm on APS-C or FF camera, the DOF zone is deeper so you are less likely to run into the same problem as encountered on a large format camera using Tilt at the same aperture...if you are judicious about the focus distance which is being used for the shot. Focus at 20' and no worries, focus at 5' and you are likely to worry.


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chrisd999
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Jan 13, 2013 16:10 |  #9

Wilt wrote in post #15483215 (external link)
In using 17mm on APS-C or FF camera, the DOF zone is deeper so you are less likely to run into the same problem as encountered on a large format camera using Tilt at the same aperture...if you are judicious about the focus distance which is being used for the shot. Focus at 20' and no worries, focus at 5' and you are likely to worry.

So based on this, I take it you are saying that using tilt with the 17mm TS lens will increase the DOF versus no tilt, but you need to still follow good focus placement to get all sharp and in focus?


Sony A7R | 24mm TS-E II f/3.5L | T* FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS | FE 28-70 f/3.5-5.6 OSS | T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA| Samyang 85mm f1.4 | Minolta 70-210 Beercan | Metabones IV | LA-EA4
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Wilt
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Jan 13, 2013 16:25 |  #10

chrisd999 wrote in post #15483655 (external link)
So based on this, I take it you are saying that using tilt with the 17mm TS lens will increase the DOF versus no tilt, but you need to still follow good focus placement to get all sharp and in focus?

Tilt does NOT affect DOF deepness, per se!!! The DOF zone is always a given amount, tilted or untilted. The use of tilt simply moves the plane of focus so that it is the better aligned to the plane of primary subject interest (the ground, in this case).

Here is the principle illustrated...

IMAGE: http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i63/wiltonw/scheimpflug_zps36ed324d.jpg

The darker arrow is in focus with normal lens angle, but the light blue arrow is outside the vertical DOF zone from the primary plane of focus (at the dark blue arrow).
By tilting the lens, the plane of focus moves to an angle so that some of the light blue arrow is in focus, but the TOP of the light blue arrow and some of the BOTTOM of the light blue arrow is still outside the tilted DOF zone. And note that the TOP of the dark arrow is now out of focus as well, with only the bottom of the dark blue arrow staying inside the tilted DOF zone! Imagine shooting a shot with tall redwood tree in foreground as well as in background, and the tops of the trees are not in focus as a result.

The depth of the DOF zone is greater with the smaller (APS-C) format than with large format, so you would not encounter as frequently the issue experienced with larger formats, that the entire dark blue arrow is no longer in focus.

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Jan 13, 2013 16:32 as a reply to  @ Wilt's post |  #11

Note also (see the images on the cambridgeincolour link I posted) that the in focus portion is more of a wedge when using tilt (i.e. thinner nearer the camera).


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Jan 13, 2013 16:37 |  #12

sploo wrote in post #15483743 (external link)
Note also (see the images on the cambridgeincolour link I posted) that the in focus portion is more of a wedge when using tilt (i.e. thinner nearer the camera).

^ Indeed!


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Canonswhitelensesrule
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Jan 13, 2013 17:06 |  #13

You should find some very helpful information on landscape shooting with Tilt-Shift lenses on this page:

http://darwinwiggett.w​ordpress.com/tag/tilt-shift-lens/ (external link)


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Jan 13, 2013 17:33 |  #14

Canonswhitelensesrule wrote in post #15483868 (external link)
You should find some very helpful information on landscape shooting with Tilt-Shift lenses on this page:

http://darwinwiggett.w​ordpress.com/tag/tilt-shift-lens/ (external link)

I know this was directed at OP, but I need this too! Thanks for posting, looks like a great resource on TS lenses and mastering tilt and shift.


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Jan 13, 2013 18:33 as a reply to  @ ddk632's post |  #15

17mm TSE is great for landscapes (IMO of course). Personally I find the shift generally more useful than tilt, but that's becasue of the type of shots I take. However, recently in Death Valley I used tilt a lot (no so many trees there). I would say thought that for me the shift is so useful for landscapes, I wouldn't consider something like the Zeiss 21 or any wide-angle non-shift lens for landscapes.

I know in theory you should be able to shoot at f5.6 say and tilt for a beach shot, and that works well is you are 3ft or greater above the ground. As you get closer to the ground, however, you will find that corner sharpness can suffer quite dramatically. I think the focal plane is not really a plane with this lens anyway and it gets worse at close range with a lot of tilt.

Still you can definitely get sharper shots, even at f11 or f16 than you would with a conventional lens assuming the appropriate landscape.

For instance, in this example I stopped down to f11, even though I was off the ground at least a little ways, becasue the corners were sharper than shooting at f8. I used both shift and tilt - shift helping with the perspective on the plants. However, unlike a conventional lens where the 'in-focus' part of the image would just be at one distance and the very near and very far would be close to the edges of the DOF, almost everything is focused at the actual focal plane. This means that in reality although the sharpest part of the image may not be as sharp as if I shot at f5.6-f8, the overall sharpness of the image is much, much better than with a non-tilt.

However, even at f11, the very tops of some of those longest 'spines' poking out on the right are a bit OOF. Of course in this shot I was more than happy to sacrifice having the couple of spines on the right a little soft. If nothing else, I could always clone them out if I felt it detracted from the shot.

For me overall and even sharpness is important in a landscape shot, more so than absolute sharpness at the focal point. Although this example is at f11, I find that the same applies when stopping down further (although I don't usually go beyond f16).

It also works very well with a 1.4TC and quite well with a 2xTC (it's still sharper than the 17-40 away from the very center).

PS: I just noticed the shot has purple tinge on the salt - not sure if this is my uncalibrated monitor


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17mm TS-E advice
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