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Archive 2012 · 90mm TS-E sharpness?
  
 
jcbenner
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · 90mm TS-E sharpness?


I am interested in the 90mm TS-E, mostly for tilt work to get the entire composition in focus in short telephoto shots.

Compared to the other TS-E lenses, I have not seen much discussion of this lens. Some reviews indicate that it is quite sharp all the way to the corners. How well does this lens perform in the real world on full frame when stopped down to f/8 or so? I would be using the lens on a 5D3. Is this lens overdue for a makeover?

Please share some of your 90mm TS-E images!



Apr 05, 2012 at 11:15 AM
ragsn_old_iron
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · 90mm TS-E sharpness?


My favourite lens for sharpness, and while different in 'micro-contrast' or whatever people call the look of 24 TS-E II, it is the most equal lens at all apertures that I have used on 1DsIII and 5DII. The main difference with the 90 is the lack of distortion or chromatic aberration out the the edges in high contrast situations, and I haven't ever used another lens like it. I own/have owned all versions of EF TS-E lenses and have settled with the 90 TS-E and 17 TS-E as my main lenses. I sold an earlier copy of my 90 a year back expecting the release of a version II to be imminent, but it never happened so I bought another copy off Molson here on FM and it is also fantastic. Three improvement for this lens I would like would be independent rotation of tilt and shift, rounded eight blade aperture, and 1:2 macro capability. Even adding teleconverters and/or tubes doesn't phase this amazing lens at f/8, and I rarely go past 6.3 unless it is for depth on macro since it doesn't get any sharper in my opinion. I have since left full-frame bodies and gone back to APS-C only, and even with the higher pixel density I believe the 90 as it is will exceed the capability of future generations of full-frame bodies, but I would buy a new version if it included all three criteria I am looking for, even though more sharpness is not one of them - you just don't get sharper than this lens and you have all the benefits of tilt and shift too.


Apr 05, 2012 at 11:35 AM
coffeyboy
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · 90mm TS-E sharpness?


I second everything ragsn_old_iron has said. I use this lens for landscapes where I need the extra depth of field and it easily beats by 70-200 f2.8 IS on full frame for corner sharpness, CA and distortion at all apertures. It is small, light, well built and uses cheaper 58mm filters. While the improvements mentioned above would be welcome, the current model is one of Canon's top performers, particularly at its price point.


Apr 05, 2012 at 12:12 PM
Marco
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · 90mm TS-E sharpness?


+ 1 to both comments above.

The 90 TS-E is an absolute gem.
Bokeh is also excellent and it focusses down to 1:3.

Independent rotation of tilt&shift would be a welcome feature indeed, but as coffeyboy said the 90 TS-E now is relatively small and light with really top optics.



Apr 05, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · 90mm TS-E sharpness?


The 90TSE is a very sharp lens. Canon got excellent glass with the 17, 24II and 90 TSEs. I never tried the 45TSE.
Here are a couple recent examples with the 90mm. Keep in mind that the lens was tilted and shifted to the extreme. I was able to keep apertures between f/5.6 and f/8 using tilt.




















Apr 05, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · 90mm TS-E sharpness?


Fred -- Thanks for those shots -- amazing contrast and subtle color graduations. Were these shifted panoramas?


Apr 05, 2012 at 02:40 PM
jcbenner
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · 90mm TS-E sharpness?


Thanks for all the comments and information. Exactly the information I was looking for.

Also thanks Fred for those great examples!



Apr 05, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Ulff
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · 90mm TS-E sharpness?


Great landscapes, Fred! - Regarding the 90 TS-E I can second the above opinions, too! A fantastic lens that I should use more than I do. It has also a very pleasant bokeh.


Apr 05, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · 90mm TS-E sharpness?


Gunzorro wrote:
Fred -- Thanks for those shots -- amazing contrast and subtle color graduations. Were these shifted panoramas?


Yes, they were shifted to the extreme (Two shots left and right) and stitched in Photoshop. I also use a considerable amount of tilt but can't remember the exact number. (Keeping aperture at the lens sweet stop)
Perhaps a higher resolution camera will show more flaws on this lens design but currently, when used on the 5D Mark II or III, the 90TSE is excellent. I am hoping Canon will refresh it together with the the 45TSE following the performance and versatility from the newer 17 and 24TSEs versions.
Fred



Apr 05, 2012 at 10:59 PM
John Korduner
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · 90mm TS-E sharpness?


I love mine. It's definitely sharper than the 17, and find the manual focus aspect to be its limiting factor.








Apr 06, 2012 at 01:24 AM
 

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sirimiri
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · 90mm TS-E sharpness?


Nice shots, Fred. I was going to ask the same question, but I see you don't recall the tilt. I struggle with that myself, for landscapes.

Fred Miranda wrote:
... I also use a considerable amount of tilt but can't remember the exact number. (Keeping aperture at the lens sweet stop)




Apr 06, 2012 at 01:31 AM
rscheffler
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · 90mm TS-E sharpness?


I think my concern if Canon refreshes this lens, is they'll redesign its look to be more like the recent lenses, which I find can sometimes be a bit harder looking. But I imagine a refresh will address the independent rotation and also increase the lens's image circle for more tilt and shift, as seen with the new 24 vs. the old version. IMO though, it's the 45 that really needs a makeover to reduce its strong CA.

Very nice images Fred and also action from John! I've seen the 90 in use at sporting events from time to time, but typically when the photographer wanted to do the reverse tilt effect.



Apr 06, 2012 at 02:58 AM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · 90mm TS-E sharpness?


Two months to the day, I couldn't resist 90 TS-E Siren's call any longer, and bought a used 90 off the Buy/Sell listings. Should have it in a couple days. Thanks for all your insights, especially Fred with those great examples.


Jun 06, 2012 at 05:58 AM
molson
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · 90mm TS-E sharpness?


ragsn_old_iron wrote:
I sold an earlier copy of my 90 a year back expecting the release of a version II to be imminent, but it never happened so I bought another copy off Molson here on FM and it is also fantastic.



And of course, I ended up having to buy another copy myself...



Jun 06, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Tom Dix
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · 90mm TS-E sharpness?


Nice shot John; was there a special event for Louisville to wear orange unis?


Jun 06, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Eyvind Ness
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · 90mm TS-E sharpness?


My copy isn't seeing the amount of use it derserves, my AF lenses in this range are just too convenient and excellent, too (85L and 100L). But when I force myself to use the 90mm TS-E, it never fails to bring smiles on my face. Here's an old fave of mine, taking advantage of the short MFD of the lens, no tilt nor shift employed, just the bare lens at MFD, with the good old 5D classic:









Jun 06, 2012 at 07:44 PM
jamach
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · 90mm TS-E sharpness?


Incredible, flying mosquitos, back in the old days we did not have autofocus thing nor servo robotics. When even the mosquitos cannot hide you know you are a photographer....Awesome Eyvind!

Joe



Jun 06, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Mescalamba
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · 90mm TS-E sharpness?


Nice bokeh actually...


Jun 06, 2012 at 09:10 PM
Eyvind Ness
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · 90mm TS-E sharpness?


Thank you very much, Joe - you are too kind :-) There is also a large element of luck here, of course, as these "Three Mosquiteers" were not listening to my directions at all ;-)

And yes, the bokeh this lens produces is really great, so smooth!



Jun 07, 2012 at 04:26 AM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · 90mm TS-E sharpness?


I'm really impressed by my first few test shots! The sharpness is terrific, but the color and bokeh are amazing. I like Zeiss and Leica R lenses, and this ranks right up at the top of any of those, and at a great price. Mine is a little rough around the edges, and when I first saw it, I was concerned. It's a genuine "L", meaning it is date coded UL, or 1997, which seems ancient now. But everything seems operational and the glass is flawless, so who's to say?

I'm sorry I waited so long to buy this lens. I would certainly rate its usefulness to me as higher than some more expensive lenses.

My tilt is set to the factory vertical axis, meaning it tilts left or right. I may send it in to change to horizontal for landscape and some portraits. Any thoughts?

Here are some of the first test shots on the 5D2 at ISO 100, all hand held.

f/2.8, no lens movement, MFD





f/2.8, no lens movement





f2.8, with "anti-tilt"





f/5.6, no lens movement





f/8, no lens movement





f/4, slight tilt





f/5.6, 3-shot shifted pano







Jun 09, 2012 at 02:41 PM
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