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Archive 2013 · Comparison: 17mm TS-E, 16-35L II, Samyang 14
Gunzorro
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Comparison: 17mm TS-E, 16-35L II, Samyang 14


As promised, here is the start of comparison of the widest lenses in my collection. The 17 TS-E is my latest acquisition, bought used on eBay (saw a used one here on B&S, right after I bought this one!). The lens is great, and even better following a trip to Canon CPS to adjust focus (nicely crushed box, courtesy of UPS Ground). All's well, and the seller paid the repair, me furnishing the legwork and CPS discount.

On another thread, there was description and discussion of using PP to correct perspective in "regular" lenses. I do this quite regularly with my UWA and other lenses. Coming from a 4x5 background, things out of plumb or key-stoning just drive me nuts to look at, even before pressing the shutter button. So I'm inclined to the routine and effort to get it right in-camera whenever possible.

Additionally, the 17 TS-E, like the 24 TS-E, has a reputation for amazing IQ, regardless of the lens movements for focus and perspective. It's been on my Wish List for at least 3 years -- a type of Bucket List for me too.

Having gotten it, found it all effed-up on arrival (internal -- no marks on the outside) and testing, then to find it A-OK on post-repair, gotten the MA done for focus confirmation (yes, I'll be using it sometimes hand held and focus confirm is awesome on UWA lenses!).

Today the sun broke through and I want to a local outdoor mall to run through its paces, test against the 16-35L II and Samyang 14/2.8, as well as try out the new cine-shade for blocking the sun. A full plate by anyone's standards! So please go easy on me if I made a mistake or didn't yet cover your point of interest fully.

All shots taken on 1Ds Mark III, tripod mounted, remote release, adjustable lens shade as needed, focusing via LV, ISO 100, f/8, Manual mode, fixed Sunny WB setting, RAW, PP in LR4.x. No correction for lens profile or CA. Perspective corrected manually as noted.

Please let me describe the lens shade first. As soon as I tried the lens before shipping to CPS, I noted the extreme chromatic ghosting (some call it flare, but I'll show you some FLARE in a minute). In olden times with 4x5, I got very good using the film holder slide as a lens shade while taking exposures, so I knew what I wanted now -- a hands-free light flag. I immediately won an auction for one on eBay, the Dinkum "FlareDinkum Cine Lens Shade". This is a little monster, with a full 8x12 metal shade. I replaced the metal shade with a thin sheet of ABS plastic, cut to 7x9 inches and mounting on the articulated arm/clamp.

Sorry for the crap photos -- I decided to not take my trusty G10, and instead tried the retched little E-PL1, that can't seem to auto focus if it's little digital life depended on it. But you'll get the idea.












Awesome set-up -- wish I'd had this 25 years ago!

All lenses were shot bare -- no filters and added shade besides the Dinkum. And a couple times, no Dinkum, as you'll see in later shots.

Here are the beginning 3 comparison shots (not cropped) to show the angles of view for the different lenses with zero inclination setting -- level on the tripod, no PP for perspective correction, lens profile (distortion) or CA fringing.





  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    TS-E17mm f/4L lens    17mm    f/8.0    1/250s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens    16mm    f/8.0    1/250s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    1/250s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  




Apr 25, 2013 at 10:32 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Comparison: 17mm TS-E, 16-35L II, Samyang 14


Good stuff, Jim. Keep 'em coming.


Apr 25, 2013 at 10:40 PM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Comparison: 17mm TS-E, 16-35L II, Samyang 14


Next, here is a series for the next subject, including two PP perspective corrections on the 14 and 16 lenses. This should explain how I was able to get by all these years without a 17 TS-E! Seriously, having LR (or PS, or other PP with perspective correction) is all a talented photographer would need. But the TS-E lenses can do a few things better and with better sharpness (generally). I'm terribly glad to have this lens and complete my collection of four TS-E lenses.

A comment regarding the previous three shots: You should be able to easily see how much valuable real estate is gained with every single mm in UWA lenses! Even going from 17 to 16, gains important side material. And moving to 14mm -- amazing what is out there! This often comes up in discussion, but seldom are examples presented to demonstrate exactly what is being described.

I'd also like to comment how good the Samyang 14/2.8, and the often berated EF 16-35L II are -- impressive, and I've not even adjusted the CA yet! I nearly added the EF 15/2.8 FE! Ha-ha! Where to stop?

The 17 TS-E shot here is the original shot with lens shifted before exposure. The other two are the tilted shots with camera angled up, then followed by the same shots corrected in PP to straighten the buildings. (I know it's confusing! Imagine me going through all these gyrations trying to re-establish training patterns from view camera days! I made several mistakes getting the lens flag in the shot, or having to redo shots for various sequences. I always say, it's not that a professional doesn't make mistakes -- he just catches them before they become permanent.)










  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    TS-E17mm f/4L lens    17mm    f/8.0    1/250s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens    16mm    f/8.0    1/250s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens    16mm    f/8.0    1/250s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    1/400s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    1/400s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  




Apr 25, 2013 at 10:57 PM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Comparison: 17mm TS-E, 16-35L II, Samyang 14


If you are going to use the "tilty-up" technique of a non-shift lens, you need to anticipate the need for the added "headroom" that will be cropped off the top and sides. Eventually, it becomes intuitive, but there is a generous amount of information cut away, as you can see in these direct examples. The big advantage of the TS-E lens is that you get to keep all the real estate recorded on the sensor, rather than butchering the file later (unless you want to!).

I promised you flare, and flare you shall have!

The worst fault of the 17 is that it soaks up any powerful light that is within the 180 degree sphere in front of it. Even the most extreme side lighting (which I LOVE to make use of!) casts chromatic speckles across the frame. If the light source is the sun, and it is just outside the image area -- look out!! (Another high contrast lighting style I like to employ.) But the FlareDinkum works a treat on this one negative of an otherwise amazing lens.

First, is the 17 without the Dinkum. Then with flag in place -- the same as the photo with the flag over the top of the lens/body.

The 16 and 14 both are completely exposed -- sun overhead, pointed down. If you look carefully, you can see the ghosts in the 16mm shot. It's harder to see anything in the 14 -- quite amazing! You'd think the 14 would flare like hell, but no. It is an extremely good value!




  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    TS-E17mm f/4L lens    17mm    f/8.0    1/400s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    TS-E17mm f/4L lens    17mm    f/8.0    1/320s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens    16mm    f/8.0    1/250s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    1/400s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  




Apr 25, 2013 at 11:18 PM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Comparison: 17mm TS-E, 16-35L II, Samyang 14


Here's an example of a really low-grade ghost situation. The sun is nearly direct overhead, a little to the right. The glancing spear of colored light enters the top of the image, and becomes instantly distracting. But the lens flag knocks it out and provides the contrast we would like to have.

The second shot is a variation of the earlier set, showing the ghosting that was controlled in the earlier version.

The following three shots are an extreme example of why anyone would want this lens with it's quirks and extra work, not to mention having the sun always trying to showboat its way into your shots. These are three-shot panorama, made in the landscape format, stacked on top of the other. Only in the last one did I approach the extreme shift limits for top and bottom (but avoided going there). The tree shot is pretty extreme on the top, where the branches are starting to get a little less sharp as we approach the edge of the image circle (it is mostly cropped from the bottom third exposure). The result are the equivalent of an extra large medium format imaging sensor. Nice!

I joke a bit, but I really love this lens! The detail is impressive, even wide open. But it does it's best right around f/8 from my limited use.






  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    TS-E17mm f/4L lens    17mm    f/11.0    1/125s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    TS-E17mm f/4L lens    17mm    f/8.0    1/250s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    TS-E17mm f/4L lens    17mm    f/8.0    1/400s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    TS-E17mm f/4L lens    17mm    f/8.0    1/250s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    TS-E17mm f/4L lens    17mm    f/11.0    1/125s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  




Apr 25, 2013 at 11:31 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Comparison: 17mm TS-E, 16-35L II, Samyang 14


Gunzorro wrote:
...I promised you flare, and flare you shall have!

...First, is the 17 without the Dinkum. Then with flag in place -- the same as the photo with the flag over the top of the lens/body.


The Dinkum works very well. I think I'll make one with a spare flex neck that I have kicking around.

Do you plan to post any 100% crops of detail areas, to compare these lenses further?



Apr 26, 2013 at 10:58 AM
Scott Stoness
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Comparison: 17mm TS-E, 16-35L II, Samyang 14


Gunzorro: Thanks very much for posting and doing all this work. I will be back to read through your thread with much more vigor later in the day. We hear lots of people commenting on lens mostly from what they have read. Once you start testing you really get to express an opinion because its tough and you have to make some testing choices.

Thanks. Your effort is appreciated. Scott

[PS. How much was it to get the MA and focus allignment from Canon - I have lost my tilt screw and need to send it in but I have a hard time going without my all time favorite lens - TS17]



Apr 26, 2013 at 01:20 PM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Comparison: 17mm TS-E, 16-35L II, Samyang 14


Jim -- Yes, I plan on doing some vivisection of these images, and perhaps do some more in upcoming days specific to cropping.

Regarding the flag -- I was initially concerned that the flex shaft wouldn't be firm enough to withstand bumps or wind, leading to possible impacts on the front element. No worries with this bad boy! Very firm! Comes 20 sections, but can be easily shortened, or added to (if you had more). I paid around $55 for this, but if you can make one for free, all the better.

Scott -- Thanks.

I was surprised how inexpensive this adjustment was! With my CPS 30% discount, it came to only $125.30, plus my shipping to Canon. I don't know about parts replacement, but this focus adjusting seems like it must be pretty commonplace. I say get it done so you can enjoy without worries.

Regarding the need for adjustment/repair: Here's how the box arrived at my house, left on the doorstep at 7:00PM -- I was not happy about anything, from the padding to the drop-off.







  Canon EOS 5D Mark II    EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens    35mm    f/2.8    1/40s    500 ISO    0.0 EV  




Apr 26, 2013 at 01:55 PM
kevindar
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Comparison: 17mm TS-E, 16-35L II, Samyang 14


Jim, Love your posts. Looking forward to your further analysis. Own a few of the lenses mentioned (16-35II, samyang 14, canon 15 fe, and 24 TSE II). I agree samyang is amazing. I also compared it to the mighty nikon 14-24, and found the nikon to be truly a flare monster, where is samyang fairly flare resistant. Truly a great value.
I have a feeling however, for images which require tilt/perspective correction, TS lenses would win by a considerable margin.



Apr 26, 2013 at 02:39 PM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Comparison: 17mm TS-E, 16-35L II, Samyang 14


Kevin -- I can't argue with anything you've said! I've always appreciated your examples as well. They certainly show the real life lens qualities -- something you can't get from forum chatter.

Here are the first of the 100% images. Sorry, I don't know how to make panels of 100% thumbnails at this time, so the results will be somewhat spread out. Best way might be to open two browser windows to do comparison of the details.

The only changes here are adding CA to all images (still, no lens profile used, and no distortion correction applied), even though only the 16-35 really benefited much. The 17 benefited least -- almost zero change, even to the sides of the unshifted image. 14 showed slight CA correction. Perspective tilt correction was removed from the 14 and 16-35 to give the furthest reach to the sides. Left and right sides only -- the center was excellent in all. 17 had the best detail, even in the edges -- the winner.

We'll start out with the overall shot from the 14mm, with its details on left and right sides. Followed by 16 left and right sides.








  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    1/400s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  
























Apr 26, 2013 at 03:04 PM
 

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Gunzorro
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Comparison: 17mm TS-E, 16-35L II, Samyang 14


Here is the 17 left and right sides.
















Apr 26, 2013 at 03:16 PM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Comparison: 17mm TS-E, 16-35L II, Samyang 14


We'll start over at the 14mm lens with a shot we've seen earlier in the thread. Perspective correction has been removed from the 14 and 16 shots, otherwise, all the same changes have been applied as the previous set. The second lens below is the 16.
























Apr 26, 2013 at 03:33 PM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Comparison: 17mm TS-E, 16-35L II, Samyang 14


And finally, the 17 TS-E shots.

I'm struck by how well the 17 performs in these comparisons. The 14 is nice, but even at the native resolution, the 17 is cleaner and sharper. If the 14 is cropped in to equal the 17's angle of view (as has been discussed on a different thread), resolution and detail is going to suffer more. Still, it's all relative, and I'm sure I could "get by" with the 16-35 stopped down to f/11 for almost all similar work. But why, if there is a known better lens you can use? So, I'm not saying everyone (including me!) needs to rush out and buy the most expensive gear, except as it is practical to do so, or important enough to the photographer.

At the end are three other shots from yesterday with the 17 TS-E. The last two were hand held, jump-outta-da-car shots, noticed when leaving the mall. I love the colors and authentic look of this lens and camera combination.

(Yes -- I got a new avatar out of this shoot! Good times!)














  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    TS-E17mm f/4L lens    17mm    f/8.0    1/400s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    TS-E17mm f/4L lens    17mm    f/8.0    1/200s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    TS-E17mm f/4L lens    17mm    f/8.0    1/125s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  




Apr 26, 2013 at 03:44 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Comparison: 17mm TS-E, 16-35L II, Samyang 14


Gunzorro wrote:
Next, here is a series for the next subject, including two PP perspective corrections on the 14 and 16 lenses. This should explain how I was able to get by all these years without a 17 TS-E! Seriously, having LR (or PS, or other PP with perspective correction) is all a talented photographer would need. But the TS-E lenses can do a few things better and with better sharpness (generally). I'm terribly glad to have this lens and complete my collection of four TS-E lenses.

A comment regarding the previous three shots: You should be able to easily see
...Show more

Great test. I notice that your corrected 16 is nearly the same angle of view as the 17. This illustrates the value of shift over PP.

The shade testing explains a lot of my soft images. I have used my hand or hat to shade sun on the 17 but I still find side lighted images with softness that is hard to explain, this is probably it. I need a shade.



Apr 26, 2013 at 04:38 PM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Comparison: 17mm TS-E, 16-35L II, Samyang 14


Ben -- Thanks for your remarks.

Yes, as I had mentioned in our recent PMs, I want to build a flower petal style lens shade to fit on the 17 for hand held (mostly unshifted, or minor shifting) to help defeat some of the extreme side lighting from entering the lens. Plus it could help protect the bulbous front element. Still thinking about that. . . Thanks again for your previous work illustrating the breakdown of the lens cap into a custom filter holder.



Apr 26, 2013 at 05:29 PM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Comparison: 17mm TS-E, 16-35L II, Samyang 14


After again reviewing the images posted here, I've raised my opinion another notch on the Samyang 14. I think it is best looking on the edges and corners for sharpness. This is a terrific value, also the best of the three at fighting flare and ghosting. It does had moustache distortion, which is difficult to fix in LR, but overall, it turns in a terrific performance for what, $400? Here is a good example of where you could crop to closer look or fix the perspective in PP.

I won't be getting rid of any of these lenses.

16-35 -- one my most used lenses for general photography
14 -- great imaging and worry-free value
17 TS-E -- a gem of photography (and priced to match), elegant rendition



Apr 27, 2013 at 03:38 PM
wfrank
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Comparison: 17mm TS-E, 16-35L II, Samyang 14


Ah found you Jim :-) Thanks for sharing, very interesting read!

My little workhorse in this field is the little brother of the 16-35, the 17-40L. It is usually underestimated I think. Superb colors and very crisp if you ask me. I also have the Samyang 14 but my copy got bothersome far corners, it seem to vary. About the TS, I can only wish



Apr 29, 2013 at 09:12 PM
sorpa
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Comparison: 17mm TS-E, 16-35L II, Samyang 14


Interesting read Jim. Thanks for sharing.
What's the name of that flex shaft? It looks sturdy.



Apr 29, 2013 at 11:06 PM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Comparison: 17mm TS-E, 16-35L II, Samyang 14


Wilhelm -- Thanks for taking a look. I wish I had the 17-40 still, to add to the mix. You'll have to visit in L.A. area and try out this 17mm Monster.

sorpa -- The whole assembly is from Dinkum Systems. I changed out the flag to my own smaller size. But the flex shaft has their name on it, as does the clamp -- very secure for a small clamp. Purchased on eBay auction for less than list price.

http://www.dinkumsystems.com/cine-lens-shade/



Apr 29, 2013 at 11:13 PM





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