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Author Topic: Canon TS lens for landscape (novices question)  (Read 3774 times)
sanfairyanne
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« on: August 24, 2009, 12:50:17 PM »
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As a newcomer to landscape photography I'm very much enjoying my new passion and like everyone else looking at ways to improve. I have a Canon EOS 5DMKII with a 24-105mm L lens.
I understand I'll get maximum DOP shooting at f22 at 24mm though stopped down like this I won't be as sharp.

If I were to buy a tilt shift lens would I be able to get much better DOP and if so which Canon TS lens would be a good purchase if money was no object.

Many thanks

Incidentally my amateurish attempts photographing the American south west can be viewed at www.pbase.com/sanfairyanne/southwest
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Luis Argerich
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« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2009, 04:56:15 PM »
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It is DOF (Depth of field)
At F22 difraction will make your shots look bad, right.
With a TS lens you can tilt the lens to extend the DOF, right. For landscapes, the Canon 17mm TS, the new Canon 24mm TS II, the Canon 45mm TS and even the Canon 90mm TS can be used. It just depends on what focal lenghts you like to use for your landscapes.

I'd recommend you reading about hyperfocal distance before purchasing a TS lens, many times good focusing to infinite is possible with a regular lens and when not you can always focus-blend two or more shots.

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Bill Lawrence
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« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2009, 08:21:38 PM »
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Tilt-shift lenses can help extreme near-far compositions by changing the plane of focus (the DOF actually gets narrower, but sometimes going in a more convenient direction than perpendicular to the lens axis).  For shooting with a 35mm sensor, I might suggest first trying stopping down and see if you like the results.  Yes, stopping down to f22 will cause diffraction effects, but frankly, unless you're printing large, it is unlikely to cause problems.  I might suggest that you find a composition with fine detail and narrow DOF (so you don't have to worry about DOF, just the diffraction effects), take a shot at f8 and a shot at f22 (perhaps at intermediate fstops too), print both shots to a reasonable (for you) size, and see if it is an issue.

Of course, then you can send me the TS lens     (I don't have one - if I really need TS effects I pull out the view camera).

Cheers!
Bill
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Bill Lawrence
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ckimmerle
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« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2009, 02:19:36 PM »
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Bill described it very well, so I won't bother repeating his wisdom. I will add, a few things though.

First, a lens that tilts and shifts can be very useful for landscape photography, but they are not always appropriate or even necessary. It all depends on each individual scene. Conversely, there are times they are crucial, especially when working with lenses that are not wide angle. It all depends on the scene. For example, in one of Michael's videos he spent time with Clyde Butcher in the Everglades and while on a shoot asked Clyde if he was going to tilt his lens. His response was that the vertical trees made it impossible to use tilt. In another of video, Michael used swing (tilting horizontally) to get a row of Redwood trees all in focus; an image that would not have worked with a standard lens. (apologies for the multiple Michael references, but it is HIS site, after all).

As you're just starting out, it might be best to wait a bit and see how your photography develops and how happy you are with the results. No sense in rushing off to spend a couple of grand on a single lens unless, of course, the letters "M.D." follow your name

I am a Nikon user and I have both the 24 and 45. The 45 is my workhorse and accounts for 3/4 of my work. It's ability to tilt is of utmost importance in much of my landscape work and I would have hard time living without it. The 24 is very useful, as well, but I don't use the tilt near as much as the 45.

One benefit of these lenses is their amazing image quality. As the image circle is much larger than the sensor (to allow for shifting), most of the sensor is in the sweet spot of the lens, making these some of the sharpest OEM lenses I have ever used. They are so good, in fact, that I have dismissed my standard lenses of similar length.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2009, 02:25:56 PM by ckimmerle » Logged

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Tyler Mallory
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« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2009, 02:27:24 PM »
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Looking at your work, you'd probably get the most out of the 24mm TS lens, but I'd echo what the others said about really digging in with the lenses you've got now, and seeing where your needs naturally evolve. If you do end up looking for a TS, be sure to go for the newer version of the lens. The older one - at least the 24 - has some chromatic aberration problems that seem to be greatly improved in the new one.
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Misirlou
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« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2009, 03:49:30 PM »
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I borrowed a 90TS to use recently. I'm a veteran view camera user, so I expected it would be easy to handle the TS, esp. since the viewfinder image in a DSLR is right side up. While there wasn't any mechanical learning curve, I did discover that it's just as hard or harder to get the most out of a TS lens on a DSLR as it is to use a view camera. Since the viewfinder on a DSLR is so small, it's hard to see exactly how a tilt will influence every part of the image. Live View can help, but that pretty much confines you to a tripod. So, you're back to view camera methods and procedures anyway.
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NicholasDown
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« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2009, 08:44:09 AM »
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[quote -Incidentally my amateurish attempts photographing the American south west can be viewed at www.pbase.com/sanfairyanne/southwest
[/quote]

Hey I disagree: these are not amateurish!
Specially liked the BigHorn sheep and Antelope Canyon.
Did you have to wait long for the permit to visit the Wave?

I use a 5Dmk2 and have decided to hire a Sigma 12-24 EX ( the one that won an Award in 2005) for a forthcoming trip to Crater Lake, the Redwoods and the Pacific Coast both for HD film and stills. Looking forward to it... but couldn't find a 17mm T/S to hire in time.
I'll use DXO to process the Raw files and lets see what happens.
Best wishes
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jasonwinters
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« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2009, 03:04:24 PM »
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Quote from: sanfairyanne
As a newcomer to landscape photography I'm very much enjoying my new passion and like everyone else looking at ways to improve. I have a Canon EOS 5DMKII with a 24-105mm L lens.
I understand I'll get maximum DOP shooting at f22 at 24mm though stopped down like this I won't be as sharp.

Hmmm... Well, I guess either my understanding of a TS lens is faulty, or I'm not sure what you're trying to accomplish. Either could be true.  Looking at your photos (which are very nice, by the way!), I'm having a problem figuring out what you'd need it for.  Other than shots looking up (Like your Big horn sheep shot), where you would be able to alter your focus plane, where would it help?

As I've understood it (coming in from MF and LF cameras) a TS lens gives you the same advantages as a bellows camera gives LF cameras.. the ability to change the focus plane relative to your camera film/sensor plane.

As I understand it, imagine a pane of glass floating in front of your camera.  That's your focus plane, and it's angled the same as your sensor, i.e., aligned with the back of your camera.  A TS lens would allow you to angle it differently, so that (for example) instead of being straight up and down, you could angle it farther away at the top, which would keep the base of a slanting rock and the top of the rock (and anything standing on it) in focus without having to increase the DOF to the point where both would be inside the focus area.   It will also help some in perspective control, but I've normally used it to control my focus plane.  Or is that too simplified, and I'm missing something?

As for F22 being not as good as F11 (paraphrased)... why do you think that?  A lot of the old masters belonged to the F64 club... which was named for them using F-64 to make sure the entire landscape scene was in focus!

Keep shooting!

Jason
« Last Edit: September 10, 2009, 03:05:42 PM by jasonwinters » Logged
Jeremy Payne
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« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2009, 03:09:15 PM »
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Quote from: jasonwinters
As for F22 being not as good as F11 (paraphrased)... why do you think that?
Diffraction.  
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jasonwinters
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« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2009, 04:57:12 PM »
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Quote from: Jeremy Payne
Diffraction.

Ah yes..  ... :}
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Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2009, 08:18:46 PM »
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Quote from: Jeremy Payne
Diffraction.

Yes. I suggest everyone do an "acceptable diffraction test" on their key lenses comparing a detailed landscape view with your standard sharpening at f/8-f/22 but-judging it with actual  prints (if that is your intended product), comparing your largest normal print size. It is an illuminating exercise. Once you figure that out, try pushing it by one f-stop smaller with slightly more sharpening. With my 24 T/S on a 5DII, I found diffraction starting to become evident on a 16x20 past f/8 and that I could live with f13 but not f16. It takes the guess work out of field decisions, letting me know if I need more DOF and a smaller f-stop than f13 I am either going to have to use a smaller f-stop but print smaller or resort to focus stacking, more sharpening, judicious tilts or some combination of those etc.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2009, 08:39:56 PM by Kirk Gittings » Logged

Thanks,
Kirk

Kirk Gittings
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Jim2
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« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2009, 09:08:40 PM »
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Nice photos by the way

I am also currently considering using dslr with Cambo X2 (instead of using the TS lens), or going with MFDB with a view camera (very expensive and heavier). Might be worth considering for you also.
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