Sunday, November 01, 2009

First photos - Canon 24mm Tilt-Shift lens (TS-E 24mm II)

Above photo: Sunset over Dorcas Bay, Bruce Peninsula National Park
EOS 5D mark II; TS-E 24mm II tilt shift lens; Singh-Ray 2-stop reverse edge ND grad (handheld in front of lens); mirror lock-up and cable release; ISO 200; 1/6s @ f/11

Above photo: Sunset over Dorcas Bay, Bruce Peninsula National Park

EOS 5D mark II; TS-E 24mm II tilt shift lens; Singh-Ray 3-stop hard edge ND grad (handheld in front of lens); mirror lock-up and cable release; ISO 200; 1s @ f/11

I've been dying to get out with my new 24mm tilt shift lens since buying it last week, but the weather has been so dull... I had resorting to shooting in my kitchen and living room! You can imagine how elated I was to see the skies shaping up for a great sunset this evening. Off I raced to a prime sunset spot along the Lake Huron shoreline.
Becoming proficient with a tilt-shift lens takes some practice, and I am far from good at it yet. But the initial results have me extremely excited. This lens is razor sharp from corner to corner, without the soft edges, vigneting and barrel distortion issues that plague Canon's other wide-angle lenses [these problems are most obvious on full-frame sensor bodies]). I expect the tilt-shift is to become my bread-and-butter lens for landscape and outdoor recreation photography... and it's only a matter of time until I get the 17mm version too.
For the above photos, I used the tilt feature to increase depth of field so everything was in focus from the foreground (only inches from the lens) to the distant horizon at f/11 - amazing! With other (non tilt-shift lenses), it would have taken a small aperture of f/22  to get the same depth. The tilt-shift lens allows you to shoot at more optimal apertures for lens sharpness and with faster shutter speeds.   
By the way, I would normally use a polarizer for these photos (to cut the bluish glare of the water and wet stand) - but I had to order a larger size to fit the new lens (it has an 82mm front end). Once it arrives - look out - this will be a deadly landscape photography setup! More to come.


  1. Great info on the lens, Ethan - thank you! Looking forward to reading more from you on this.
    This lens is sure temping as a significant upgrade from my 17-40mm, which suffers from soft corners.
    I'm put off by the price tag (don't earn anything significant from photography), and the 82mm filter thread is annoying. I should be able to mount my Lee filter system on it (using the front-mounted 105mm polarizer), but some other filters would not be usable (such as the Gold-N-Blue polarizer)...
    Ah.. man... Got to find a way to have my wife OK this expense! ;-) Of find another sharp WA lens that will not bust the budget.


  2. "the initial results" really are nice, cant't wait to see the next shots :)

  3. I should have the 17mm TS-E arriving soon, I'll bring that up so you can try it out as well. We'll see what happens with filters. :)

  4. Both are just beautiful, but I love the patterns of the sand (I assume it is) in the second one.

  5. Thanks for the comments! Mark, they are sand ripples indeed... exaggerated by the very low perspective (the lens was only inches off the ground). I ended up soaked and covered in mud/sand to shoot these!

  6. hello
    good work on those first shots.
    just got my own ts-e 24 II today, and I was wondering how I'm gonna mount filters on this thing. All my filters are 77mm, damn. Ideally I'd like to use some ND grads and a polarizer, but not sure which system would fit. Lee ? Singh-Ray ? B+W ?
    If you can offer some advice on this I'd appreciate :)

  7. Pierre, I got an 82mm Singh-Ray LB Warming Polarizer specifically for that lens. I'm a big fan of that particular polarizer because it only results in a loss of 1 1/3 stops of light versus the 2 stops of other polarizers.

    As for the ND grads, I use the larger 4x6" grads from Singh-Ray and hand hold them in front of the lens (this allows use of thin polarizers, which minimize vignetting). I also have a Cokin Z-Pro filter holder which I use when I don't need a polarizer.

    Hope this helps.
    Enjoy the TSE..... it is an amazingly sharp lens!

  8. Thanks for the answer, Ethan.
    I got myself a bunch of singh ray 4x6" grads and a thin b+w polarizer from BH. Can't wait for them. I have also ordered a couple of 4x6" solid ND's, I hope I'll figure out a way to use them with no light leaks/unwanted reflections...

    Thanks for your help and keep up the good stuff