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Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Lens

Deon Reynolds

Nov 22, 2021
Photography Experience
Photo Editing Experience
Edit my images ?
One should keep in mind lens quality can vary greatly from one lens to the next within the same series. Back in the day when I worked in a commercial photo studio, when we wanted a new lens we would order three, test them all, keep the best and return the others. It was surprising to see how much they differed...

I've owned my ts-e 17mm lens since 2009 when it came out. It's truly an amazing piece of glass. When I went from a Canon 5D MkII (21Mp) to the 5Dsr (50Mp), I found that several of my lenses didn't cut the mustard anymore (bye bye!). The ts-e 17mm was NOT one of them, more pixels turned in to WOW pixels!

It's a big protruding piece of glass sticking out and there is no lens shade available from Canon. With that wide of a lens and tilt shift, I think it would make it problematic anyway. I simply have a cut card with black velvet on one side in my pocket to shade the lens. It is simply amazing that even with all that glass sticking out flair is extremely minimal (usually easy to see and eliminate). Colour saturation is excellent and contrast is very strong adding to it's overall corner to corner sharpness, plus zero chromatic aberrations. The only downside is if you shift the lens to the maximum the top of the frame is soft (tip top of the Chicago building is soft). If you back off the shift by two marks on the barrel of the lens, the image is flawless. I'm told you can shoot at max shift, if you shoot two frames and refocus for the top of the frame and merge the two in Photoshop (focus stacking). I have not tried this, if anyone has please let me know if that works.

All images hand held, not any easy feat with a tilt shift...
Chicago, Illinois

Blair, Nevada

Belmont, Nevada
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