I began the articles about tilt-shift lenses with article Impression of tilt/shift lens Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L, further there was Canon TS-E 90/2.8 in the article Tilt/Shift lenses, and also the review and impressions of use of the lens Canon TS-E 90/2.8 and work methods with tilt-shift lenses are also mentioned.
And today I have the review of the Canon TS-E 24/3.5L as continuing of this line, and short about the second version, Canon TS-E 24/3.5L II which I used. And here just arrived to me to studio a reader of the blog, Mikhail S., the owner of this lens, the keen photographer, the traveler and in general the interesting person. So I made a photo for article illustration.
So what I wish to tell first about lenses. The first version of Canon TS-E 24/3.5L has the same opportunities, as Canon TS-E 24/3.5L II, but has much more poor optical quality. And the center of a shot at Canon TS-E 24/3.5L (the first version) is quite sharp, and here the edges suffer fom HA. Everything is bad with edges and without use of functions tilt/shift, and with use — they are even worse.
As you can see, all “filling-up” buildings “finished” and vertical lines became straight lines. On such picture, with the corrected geometry it looks much more pleasantly.
Someone will tell that the same is easy to do with Adobe Camera Raw or Adobe Photoshop, and he will be right. But what price! At geometry correction you will lose about 50% of resolutions of a picture! If you shoot architecture it is important will be to keep fine details of a picture, whether it be a stucco molding or details of art lattices.
Plus pay attention that usual wide-angle lenses strongly bend verticals at the edges of a shot. I.e. not only incline verticals, but also bend them in an arch. It is difficult to make something with it.
Tilt-shift lenses which I used, don’t “bend” a vertical at the edges of a shot. Lines remain straight lines and only bend to the center of a shot. By means of an inclination function of a lens such bent verticals can be straightened again.
With effect of correction of prospect it is very easy to enter temptation and to start correcting it in all pictures. But in this case it is important to understand, what pictures demand correction, and what pictures does not. And also it is important to make correctly shot composition as under some corners to the building to correct prospect, without having mentioned other important geometrical elements in a shot — it is impossible.
Here the geometry can be corrected by means of Shift-effect. In more detail about it you can read lenses, and also the review and impressions of use of the lens Canon TS-E 90/2.8 in the article Tilt/Shift.
But factory installations on the lens Canon TS-E 24/3.5L assume the Tilt installation perpendicular to Shift, and I doesn’t have a screw-driver on the street. The Shift-effect — is absolutely simple function, so I wanted Tilt to be indulged on a wide-angle (usually I use Canon TS-E 90/2.8).
It is interesting to use Shift together with tilt, then the prospect can be corrected.
It looks speculative, it is easy to understand on the picture.
There, where the shows the arrow, below the camera, is the beginning of DOF. DOF is a wedge which begins from a one point and disperses forward. You can increase this wedge by standard means: as focusing on a distant distance, with covering of a diaphragm and choosing a lens with different focal length. But that’s a charm of this way that under normal circumstances you can have DOF from the feet and to a skyscraper on the horizon at F2.8, for example.
As the lens turns, you can turn a wedge of DOF to the left or to the right, snatching out only the necessary details.
About optical quality of lenses
I can’t recommend Canon TS-E 24/3.5L of the first version if you want the quality image. This lens has many problems at the edges of a shot — they are “fuzzy” and suffer from cross HA. It has pluses: 1) it is tilt-shift 2) it doesn’t round off a vertical at the edges of a shot (it is important!)
Canon TS-E 24/3.5L of the second version — is very much recommended to acquisition if you don’t plan to buy the cardan camera.
Quality of optics is the highest. It is noticeable even on an open diaphragm. Picture corners suffer from aberrations. Honor and praise for Canon, which made this lens.
Both lenses are mostly metal, with a rubber overlay of a focusing ring. But I don’t share delights from construct from other observers. There is enough of that, control tilt/shift on all lenses Canon is made with an accuracy to the 1 degree. It is too much for a wide-angle lenses! On such rough control of an inclination, shift and a small screen of the camera it is very difficult to adjust the DOF plane even in the LiveView 10x mode. It thus that I have more or less good sight. And what to do on a beach where the screen of the camera is almost not visible? There are only tables and rough control with an inconvenient small castor. I consider that the mechanism of focusing has to be cardinally changed. Or something is required, like follou-focus, as from cinematographers.
On functions tilt-shift
There is a wish to note that the presence in the market of similar lenses makes everything optimistic. But functions tilt-shift on reflex cameras are strongly limited. 8 degrees tilt is obviously insufficient in many situations and if you really liked to work with tilt-shift with lenses, perhaps, once (view camera) it is worth to think about the cardan camera. The focusing there is much more convenient and functions tilt-shift aren’t so limited.