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Mike -- Why do you feel these newer TS lenses need practice at the adjustments compared to the earlier versions (35FD, 24, 45, and 90)? The 24TS II seems easier, smoother and more versatile to adjust than the original versions. And much easier than a 4x5 view camera and loupe!
LV is a wonderful option/luxury, if you have it. This lens would seem to be a perfect match to the 5D2 or 1Ds3.
I did use the 24 TSE I on a 1D II with various viewfinder screens and found tilt adjustment very, very difficult. The knobs and locks on version 1 Vs version II of the 24 TSE is not too different other than the independent rotation of the the shift Vs tilt axis. Great improvement. Basically I consider Live View 5-10X to be absolutely essential for accurate low angle tilt adjustment. In good conscience I would not recommend a tilt lens unless you have Live View with magnification. If your standing up with a 17 TSE there is hardly any tilt at all, half a degree plus or minus 0.1 degree. The Tilt table is a good starting place.
That is not true at all if you are using a 90 TSE and you run out of tilt adjustment (8 degrees) as you get lower than kneeling. With both the 17 ad 24 TSE have lots of tilt as the camera lens center approaches 6-8" from the deck. Thats how close I needed to be for the Golden Gate shot n my previous post #6 this thread. How do you see the LCD for Live View, and move the 5-10X spot around the frame to accurately assess tilt and focus accuracy when the sand is too soupy too lay down? How do you get that low when you can't lay down? Its exactly like the large format shooter with loupe but no black cloth over your head. If you don't have Live Vew you can try an angle finder. Not a useful solution for me, I sold mine. 2.5x magnification cuts off the portion of the edges frame you want to see
I got this one by setting up the camera 4" off the sand and laying down on a dry beach to adjust the tilt and focus. I then carefully lifted the splayed legs of the tripod and walked out while the wave cycle was receeding. I made a few blind shots picked up the camera and scurried back to safer territory. I had to straighten the shot in post so lost quite a bit of the bubbles in the bottom of the frame.
I have started various threads on this forum and other using aftermarket LCD viewfinders to project the view upwards for these applications. If anyone is using an HDMI output LCD viewfinder I would like to hear about it. I ended up with the aputure Gigtube and find it marginal for low level tilt and focus adjustments due to its low pixel count.
Before Live view 5-10X you needed even more practice to use the TSE v1 lenses! The next generation Sony dSLR have a 2M pixel OLED viewfinder, I hope the next Canon 1Ds IV or 5DIII will have a better yet LCD.