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Author Topic: Thoughts on Canon 45 TS-E as Landscape lens  (Read 22922 times)

tandlh

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Thoughts on Canon 45 TS-E as Landscape lens
« on: October 30, 2009, 07:05:36 pm »

Hi all,
    I wondering if any of you use the Canon 45 TS-E (or equivalent length in other brands) lens for landscape images routinely.  I've reviewed my images and find that about 60% of my landscapes are taken at about 60 mm.  That's what fits style best.  I've normally used the 28-70 2.8L and 70-200L lens for my work, but I want to milk the last drop out of 1Ds III sensor and am thinking of getting a top of the line prime in the 45-60 range.  the Canon TS-E intrigues me, but I'm not sure that it's best for landscape work.  I'd appreciate hearing what fellow landscape photographers think of the 45 TS-E and what other options you can think of in the 45-60 range that would give me the color, pop, low CA, and resolution that is top notch.  Also, when I do pano's I prefer to take images in the portrait mode and capture about 5-6 across.  So the TS-E doing double duty as a pano lens really doesn't fit that bill with just the shift feature.

Thanks,

Ted
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spotmeter

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Thoughts on Canon 45 TS-E as Landscape lens
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2009, 08:18:11 pm »

Quote from: tandlh
Hi all,
    I wondering if any of you use the Canon 45 TS-E (or equivalent length in other brands) lens for landscape images routinely.  I've reviewed my images and find that about 60% of my landscapes are taken at about 60 mm.  That's what fits style best.  I've normally used the 28-70 2.8L and 70-200L lens for my work, but I want to milk the last drop out of 1Ds III sensor and am thinking of getting a top of the line prime in the 45-60 range.  the Canon TS-E intrigues me, but I'm not sure that it's best for landscape work.  I'd appreciate hearing what fellow landscape photographers think of the 45 TS-E and what other options you can think of in the 45-60 range that would give me the color, pop, low CA, and resolution that is top notch.  Also, when I do pano's I prefer to take images in the portrait mode and capture about 5-6 across.  So the TS-E doing double duty as a pano lens really doesn't fit that bill with just the shift feature.

Thanks,

Ted

Actually, the TS-E 45mm does make a really good pano lens with the shift feature. I have used it often in Yosemite in portrait mode, shifted up. so that I can capture Half-Dome, El Capitan, etc. With the lens shifted up, I don't have to tilt the camera up and get distortion. I then shoot as many panned shots as I need to stitch together.

The resolution of the lens is excellent. I print all my photos 40 x 60 or larger and have no complaints in that department. It will be much better than the zoom you are using now.

The tilt feature is something else I often use to get everything in focus.

The only lens that I have found that is sharper is the 50mm Zeiss ZF macro, but it has no shift or tilt.
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stever

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Thoughts on Canon 45 TS-E as Landscape lens
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2009, 08:25:26 pm »

i think you'll notice a difference with any good prime, even 50 1.4, compared to the zooms

the TS will give you the possibility of additional depth of field which may be desirable.  optically, i'm not sure how it stands up to the excellent 90TS

how about the Zeiss Makro-Planar 50?

the good news is that if you're in the U.S. it's pretty painless to rent from lensrentals.com and try before you buy

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tandlh

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Thoughts on Canon 45 TS-E as Landscape lens
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2009, 09:15:43 pm »

Thanks guys.  I'm leaning towards the 45 for it's versatility.  It's good to hear an opinion from someone who uses it for what I'm looking for.

I appreciate the insights,

Ted
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kers

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Thoughts on Canon 45 TS-E as Landscape lens
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2009, 08:18:48 am »

The tilt feature is also very handy in some situations- I use three tilt lenses for my work and I feel myself a different photographer altogether
The idea of using Tilt and Shift will become part of your thoughts with every photograph you make.
Canon recently ntroduced new 24 and 17mm TSE lensesn that are hugely improved- so I would find out if if a new 45mm tse is coming.
Since it is in fact a wide angel lens ( about 28mm) I would think also this lens could use some improvements in the corners and coating,
Futhermore the new TSE Canon lenses use a brand new design making it possible to use tilt and shift combined in every direction.

But on the other hand- if you only would like to take panorama images I would go for the macro Zeiss 50mm planar d2
It is rocksolid and the optics are among the best- also-then  you do not have to worry if the tilt and shift is set to zero before making each shot-.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2009, 11:09:29 am by kers »
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JonRoemer

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Thoughts on Canon 45 TS-E as Landscape lens
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2009, 08:28:24 am »

Quote from: tandlh
Thanks guys.  I'm leaning towards the 45 for it's versatility.  It's good to hear an opinion from someone who uses it for what I'm looking for.

If I only take one lens with me it's the 45 TSE.  

What it can give you, too, when combining shifted captures is a wider view with a longer lens.  So, the feel of it can be similar to moving up in format.  I'm not talking about only necessarily shooting panoramas.  Shifted this way you end up with a file that is about 18"x 24" at 300 dpi.

Almost all of the photos in the personal work section of my web site were shot with the 45 TSE and almost all of them are 2-3 frame captures.  In some cases I've used the tilt, too, in other cases not.  

The current image on the home page is a three-frame capture with the 17 TSE.

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« Last Edit: November 10, 2009, 11:03:19 pm by JonRoemer »
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Marlyn

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Thoughts on Canon 45 TS-E as Landscape lens
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2009, 08:32:30 am »

I use the 90mm T/S for about 75% of my landscape work, and it is a superb peice of glass.  I also own the origional 24mm, and use that occasionaly for single shot work, however I actually find that 24mm is either not wide enough, or too wide, so I am looking at the 17mm in the future.

I find the 90mm best, as I use it to create stitched panoramics,  Normally shooting in Portrait mode,   Either left/center/right Shift,    or more normally using Shift and tilt to frame the shot, and entrance point rotation for the pano.

My current lightweight 'travel' kit, is a 50mm 1.4, and the 90mm TS-E with a 1DS mk III.

I have not personally used the 45mm T/S-E, but I doubt you will be disapointed.   Tilt and shift is incredibly usefull.


Regards

Mark

« Last Edit: October 31, 2009, 08:35:09 am by Marlyn »
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Eugen-Florin

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Thoughts on Canon 45 TS-E as Landscape lens
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2009, 10:17:55 pm »

How exactly are you using the 90T/S. Can you describe the methodology, please ?

K.C.

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Thoughts on Canon 45 TS-E as Landscape lens
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2009, 11:37:25 pm »

Quote from: JonRoemer
The current image on the home page is a three-frame capture with the 17 TSE.

Which of the images do you consider 'the' home page image, since the images change ?

I'm curious because I just started shooting with the 17 TS-E.

 - - - -

The 45 TS-E is a wonderful lens.
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phila

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Thoughts on Canon 45 TS-E as Landscape lens
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2009, 04:05:06 am »

As someone who uses the T/S 90mm almost every day and wanting the 45mm, I was most interested to see if a revised one might coming after the release of the new 24 &17mm lenses. I was reliably informed (no names, no pack drill) that there are no replacements for the 45 and 90 in the foreseeable future. The 45 is a pretty good lens. Not quite as sharp as the 90, but then very few lenses are.

JonRoemer

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Thoughts on Canon 45 TS-E as Landscape lens
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2009, 09:40:41 am »

Quote from: K.C.
Which of the images do you consider 'the' home page image, since the images change ?

I'm curious because I just started shooting with the 17 TS-E.

 - - - -

The 45 TS-E is a wonderful lens.

I moved to a whole new web site since I wrote that post on 10/31.

My home page now has a slide show of architecture work shots since May.

In the Personal Work section the New Mexico and Cape May galleries are all multi-frame captures with the 45 tse with only a couple of exceptions.

The first image in the Commercial Architecture gallery is a three-frame capture with the 17 tse.  Three horizontal frames.  I also have a few three-frame captures with the 17tse in a blog post about the lens.

Web Site | Blog
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K.C.

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Thoughts on Canon 45 TS-E as Landscape lens
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2009, 05:04:23 pm »

Quote from: JonRoemer
I moved to a whole new web site since I wrote that post on 10/31.

Thank you Jon. Nice work and I appreciate the information.


I now own the 17 TS-E and 90 TS-E and will have the 45 next month. I'm trying the 17 with the 1.4 adapter for now, eventually I buy the 24.

Moving from an Arca Swiss 6X9 it's amazing how much you can do with an even smaller kit.
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JeffKohn

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Thoughts on Canon 45 TS-E as Landscape lens
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2009, 03:20:33 pm »

Now that I'm shooting full-frame, the 45mm PC-E is probably my most used landscape lens. I find it a very useful field of view, since I often prefer a normal to slightly wide field of view. That's not to say I don't occasionally shoot wider or telephoto, but the normal to slight wideangle range tends to best fit how I see things. So yes I can definitely see it being a good landscape choice. On the other hand, you say most of your images are around 60mm; so if your preference for that FOV is really strong you might find yourself getting frustrated with a 45mm. (Or maybe you'll find that getting just a little closer to your subjects can help you compositions, who knows).

The tilt/shift gives you lots of flexibility. The tilt can be useful for extending DOF, of course. Shifting isn't just useful for shooting buildings or other tall objects, there are lots of times when keeping the camera level and using shift to get the desired vertical framing will often lead to a more pleasing image than if you had to tilt the camera up/down. The shift can also be useful for stitching. A couple of images shifted on the short axis can give you the option of a 4:5 or square format, without throwing away so much resolution as you would cropping a single frame (it also expands your FOV rather than contracting it as a crop would). And shooting 2 shifted horizontals can give you a quick and easy way to get a panoramic image (just a little bit of cropping gives me the 2.5:1 ratio I often prefer for panos).

I also have the 24 PC-E and 90mm PC lenses, and those 3 lenses cover a pretty significant majority of my landscape shooting nowadays (unless I have to travel light with just a zoom or two). Those three along with the Zeiss 35mm and 100mm are my essential 5-lens prime kit.
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tandlh

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Thoughts on Canon 45 TS-E as Landscape lens
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2009, 09:05:17 pm »

Thanks for the info guys.  I just picked up a practically new used one for a good price.  I'm headed up to Toroweap in 2 weeks and am anxious to see what it can do for me.  Early practice tells me that I need a lot more practice and a whole new way of thinking to understand how to get the most out of it.

Thanks again,

Ted
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JeffKohn

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Thoughts on Canon 45 TS-E as Landscape lens
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2009, 10:15:42 pm »

Quote from: tandlh
Thanks for the info guys.  I just picked up a practically new used one for a good price.  I'm headed up to Toroweap in 2 weeks and am anxious to see what it can do for me.  Early practice tells me that I need a lot more practice and a whole new way of thinking to understand how to get the most out of it.

Thanks again,

Ted
Using these T/S lenses can take some getting used to, especially if you're not already used to using MF lenses. But even if you are, the T/S adds some extra steps to the process of shooting (assuming you want to actually use the tilt and shift, which I assume you do). Live-view is critical for getting accurate focus IMHO, especially if using tilts. You just can't tell what's really in focus through the viewfinder, even with DOF preview.

One thing to watch out for when getting the hang of this, don't over-do the tilts. It doesn't take as much as you might think unless you're really close to your subject. There is an article here at LuLa about using tilt/shift lenses that gives a good overview of this and also has some handy charts that give you an idea how much tilt you need for a given subject distance and focal length.

Here's my shooting 'workflow' when using a tilt/shift lens. Keep in mind I'm a Nikon shooter, so the interactions between the TS-E lenses and Canon DSLR's may be a little different.

1) Double-check that shift and tilt controls are in their centered/default orientation.

2) Level the camera, not only side-to-side, but also front-back. I try to start with the camera level and then decide if I want to use shifts to frame my composition, rather than angling the camera up or down. It really just depends on the perspective I want for the image.

3) Initial composition is through the viewfinder, which gives me a wide-open view through the lens.  If I'm using shift as part of my composition, I'll do that as well.

4) Engage live-view, and open the lens aperture all the way (on D3/D3x. live-view is always stopped down to the aperture you set, so you have to open the aperture to get a wide-open view).  

5) If I'm using tilt, I'll apply it now. Then I zoom in to 100% and focus manually on my subject.

6) Next I stop down the lens and check the focus throughout the frame (again at 100%) to make sure I have enough DOF and that the tilt had the desired effect.

7) Switch out of live-view to mirror-lockup mode and take the exposure.

It's a little tedious at first, but becomes second nature after a while.
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JonRoemer

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Thoughts on Canon 45 TS-E as Landscape lens
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2010, 10:01:45 am »

I've shot a bit of personal work over the past few weeks and I found myself gravitating to the 24 TSE II more than the 45 TSE.  Don't know if it was the subject matter, my mood, or the lens.  I did do some photos with both the 24 TSE II and the 45 TSE and the 24 TSE II ones are pushing the 45 TSE to the side.  Less CA, sharper overall, etc.

The 45 TSE was always fine in the past and I dealt with the CA as needed, etc.  I think Canon has stated that 45 TSE is not due for an update but now I'm hoping they do update it.  They raised the bar with the 17 TSE and the 24 TSE II, they need to do it with the 45 TSE.

These images were all shot with the 24 TSE II and are composites of three frames per image.  Click images to enlarge them.  The one panorama format stands up better even larger, the 1024 px. width can't do it justice.

This blog post, the first five are three frames composites, the last five single frame 24 TSE II images.  Again, click images to enlarge them.
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stever

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Thoughts on Canon 45 TS-E as Landscape lens
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2010, 10:36:42 am »

Jeff, why switch out of live view to take the exposure?
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JeffKohn

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Thoughts on Canon 45 TS-E as Landscape lens
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2010, 04:03:48 pm »

Quote from: stever
Jeff, why switch out of live view to take the exposure?
So I can use mirror-up mode.
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stever

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Thoughts on Canon 45 TS-E as Landscape lens
« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2010, 07:54:29 pm »

but isn't the mirror already up in live view?
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Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Thoughts on Canon 45 TS-E as Landscape lens
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2010, 10:45:22 pm »

Quote from: stever
but isn't the mirror already up in live view?

Yes, but it will briefly go down and then up (in most default implementations) for exposure (to allow a reset of the sensor, and allow to follow subject motion between exposures), thus potentially adding camera motion blur.

Cheers,
Bart
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