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Archive 2013 · TSE 17mm: acceptable performance?
  
 
Daan B
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · TSE 17mm: acceptable performance?


Would this be acceptable to you:

TSE 17mm extreme corner sharpness shows a difference between the upper and lower half of the frame at f/4 - f/5.6. Not a very big difference, but visible when viewing 100% on the monitor. At f/8, but more so at f/11 sharpness across the entire frame is very uniform.

When shifting -12mm or +12mm resolution is very good when stopped down to f/11. Even in the extreme corners. Below f/11 the corners are not good or even bad when used wide open.







Jul 26, 2013 at 09:33 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · TSE 17mm: acceptable performance?


Hi Daan,

Viewing photos from excellent lenses at 100% is a bitch. I do it all the time.

It would help a lot if you could post some of your images, but in the mean time, I'll post some of mine.

Here's sample photos that I took late last year, to compare my 18/3.5 ZE and TS-E 17/4L, plus a few at the end that compare my 16-35/2.8L to TS-E 17/4L. The title bars at the top of each sub-window identify the lenses and aperture settings. The red square in the Navigator window shows where the 100% crops are located in the original photo. The images are from a 1DX at 100 ISO, on a tripod, LiveView MF, best of three, yadda, yadda, yadda...

I did these tests partly to assure myself that the 18 ZE "would do" as an alternative to the TS-E 17L, when the TS-E 17mm and 24mm are "too big", and partly because I can't help myself. I'm posting these images to show you a few instances of where I used my TS-E 17L in a way that you can compare the variation of sharpness across the frame - at least, at some spots.

Long story short:

1. In this case, the ZE might be slightly better at the bridge top than the TS-E 17L, at f/8, not at f/3.5~f/4. Does this bother me? No. Really (really).

2. They're both excellent lenses. You could argue their relative merits for IQ for many reasons, and for many years, but it would be moot - they're both excellent.

3. I've used many classic Alt wide and super wide lenses. I even still have a couple of them. These lenses blow them out of the water, totally.

4. If your're good at f/8, then you're good.

f/8 and be there...

Cheers, Jim

P.S. I'll post the /f3.5~f/4 images later, if you want. Right now, it's supper time.


























Edited on Jul 26, 2013 at 10:30 PM · View previous versions



Jul 26, 2013 at 10:27 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · TSE 17mm: acceptable performance?


...






















Jul 26, 2013 at 10:29 PM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · TSE 17mm: acceptable performance?


At f/4-f/5.6, you have to have everything pretty well lined up or you will have depth of field issues that show themselves on close examination. Also good to check that pesky little lockout switch for the tilt/swing mechanism. Just not having that engaged can cause enough of a alignment problem to have to reshoot but locking that in really does assure your lens is at least square to the camera.


Jul 27, 2013 at 01:15 AM
Photon
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · TSE 17mm: acceptable performance?


jcolwell wrote:
...
Viewing photos from excellent lenses at 100% is a bitch. I do it all the time.
...
Long story short:

1. In this case, the ZE might be slightly better at the bridge top than the TS-E 17L, at f/8, not at f/3.5~f/4. Does this bother me? No. Really (really).

2. They're both excellent lenses. You could argue their relative merits for IQ for many reasons, and for many years, but it would be moot - they're both excellent.

3. I've used many classic Alt wide and super wide lenses. I even still have a couple of them. These lenses blow them out of
...Show more
It's no wonder that you're approaching 300 "likes", Jim. You always cut right to the heart of the matter. Well, except when you're just being funny, which is also good, or better.



Jul 27, 2013 at 05:29 AM
Photon
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · TSE 17mm: acceptable performance?


Peter Figen wrote:
At f/4-f/5.6, you have to have everything pretty well lined up or you will have depth of field issues that show themselves on close examination. Also good to check that pesky little lockout switch for the tilt/swing mechanism. Just not having that engaged can cause enough of a alignment problem to have to reshoot but locking that in really does assure your lens is at least square to the camera.

+1 Excellent point.



Jul 27, 2013 at 05:31 AM
Mr Joe
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · TSE 17mm: acceptable performance?


Wow. The 18mm ZE holds up really well in those tests!


Jul 27, 2013 at 05:31 AM
Daan B
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · TSE 17mm: acceptable performance?


Jim, thanks for the comparisons. You are right, all these lenses are excellent.

Here are 4 links to the full size TSE17 files:

f/4






f/5.6






f/8






f/11






I did these test shots to have some insight in the resolution across the frame and distortions. I did a few of these tests, all show similar results.

The camera + lens were on a tripod, self-timer, yadda, yadda, yadda... the lens was perfectly level and parallel to the wall. Tilt was locked in neutral.

Please view these samples to see wether this is acceptable or not.

I'll be using such a lens probably 90% of the time at f/11. So, looked at it this way it is not a great concern. OTOH, considering the cost of the lens...



Jul 27, 2013 at 06:10 AM
jcolwell
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · TSE 17mm: acceptable performance?


Daan,

Your images look pretty good to me. The lower right corner at f/4 appears a bit softer, but the plant near that corner looks really good. Also, the f/4 image is a bit underexposed in comparison with the others, and there's probably a bit of vignetting going on, too, which makes it a little more difficult to evaluate than the other images.

I suggest you take some more controlled photos of something a bit more interesting. If you still don't feel comfortable, then talk to Canon or your dealer. You're right that it's a very expensive lens. You should be absolutely happy with it. OTOH, you have to carefully manage your expectations, as well. As the review at TDP says,

"While not as jaw-droppingly sharp as the Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5 L II Tilt-Shift Lens, the Canon TS-E 17mm f/4 L Tilt-Shift Lens is quite sharp wide open in the center. Mid and corner portions of the frame appreciate a somewhat narrowed aperture to bring out their best. "

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-TS-E-17mm-f-4-L-Tilt-Shift-Lens-Review.aspx

I think the corners on mine and yours are pretty good at f/4, too, although I normally use it at f/8, or so.

I have to differ with this comment in the TDP review,

" The TS-E 17 does not trounce the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM Lens or Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM Lens (both at 17mm) for sharpness, but the TS-E 17 definitely has some strong advantages. A notable one is that the TS-E 17 L's extreme full frame corners do not turn to mush even wide open at f/4. They stay sharp. Review the top-left 100% crop samples below.

IMO, the fact that the TS-E 17/4L corners are sharp and not mushy at f/4, while the corners on almost all other super-wide lenses are pretty mushy at 17~18mm (18ZE excepted) is incredible. For me, this means that for situations where you want sharp corners, the TS-E does trounce the 16-35/2.8L II (which I own), and 17-40.4L (which I owned for about six years).

Jim



Jul 27, 2013 at 02:39 PM
Daan B
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · TSE 17mm: acceptable performance?


Jim,

Thanks for your comments.

I agree, at f/4 there is some heavy vignetting going on. I did shoot some real world images too, and they all look very good. But then I am at f/8 or f/11, where I will use such a lens anyway. So, in that sense I am comfortable with it's performance.

I just wanted to check with others who use this lens that the performance on this copy is like it should be. From your comments I understand that it is on par with yours



Jul 27, 2013 at 03:04 PM
 

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jcolwell
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · TSE 17mm: acceptable performance?


Mr Joe wrote:
Wow. The 18mm ZE holds up really well in those tests!


Hi Joe,

Yes, the 18 ZE does hold up well. It's a peach.

For a while after selling my 21 ZE (it didn't get much use after I got a TS-E 24/3.5L II), I thought I might be crazy. Then I bought a TS-E 17/4L, and the evidence was mounting...

A little while later, I realized that there were many situations that I wanted a sharp and relatively compact 17~18mm lens, that was better in the corners than the excellent zooms mentioned above. I had 24mm pretty well under control with my EF 24-70/2.8L II (and Oly 24/2.8 MC), but none of the many 17~18mm Alt lenses that I have owned were up to my expectations for corner IQ. Don't get me wrong, some of the 17~18mm Alts are very fine lenses, but they aren't nearly as good in the corners as the TS-E 17/4L. Also, I have 14mm nicely covered by the Samyang 14/2.8 UMC - a super performer at a total bargain price!

Anyway, I did a lot of research on the 18/3.5 ZE (and CZ 18/4) and most sources say stuff like "it's a poor relative of the mighty 21ZE (CZ 21)", and etc., but Zeiss is nice, and so I bought one, anyway. I bought the ZE because most of what I read indicated the 18/3.5 ZE was better than the CZ 18/4. As you can see, the 18 ZE is a pretty excellent lens. OTOH, TANSTAAFL, the 18 ZE ain't cheap, and it has the trademark wide Distagon moustache distortion, but that's rarely a problem for me, as I can always haul out the ole TS-E 17/4L ...

Jim



Jul 27, 2013 at 03:09 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · TSE 17mm: acceptable performance?


Daan B wrote:
Jim,

Thanks for your comments.

I agree, at f/4 there is some heavy vignetting going on. I did shoot some real world images too, and they all look very good. But then I am at f/8 or f/11, where I will use such a lens anyway. So, in that sense I am comfortable with it's performance.

I just wanted to check with others who use this lens that the performance on this copy is like it should be. From your comments I understand that it is on par with yours

Daan,

You're welcome.



Jul 27, 2013 at 03:11 PM
mogud
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · TSE 17mm: acceptable performance?


jcolwell wrote:
Hi Joe,

Yes, the 18 ZE does hold up well. It's a peach.

For a while after selling my 21 ZE (it didn't get much use after I got a TS-E 24/3.5L II), I thought I might be crazy. Then I bought a TS-E 17/4L, and the evidence was mounting...

A little while later, I realized that there were many situations that I wanted a sharp and relatively compact 17~18mm lens, that was better in the corners than the excellent zooms mentioned above. I had 24mm pretty well under control with my EF 24-70/2.8L II (and Oly 24/2.8 MC), but none of the
...Show more

Was the ZE 15/2.8 out at the time you made your decision about the ZE 18/3.5? Would your decision be different?

Great analysis and very insightful as I am starting my research on an UWA.



Jul 27, 2013 at 04:08 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · TSE 17mm: acceptable performance?


mogud wrote:
Was the ZE 15/2.8 out at the time you made your decision about the ZE 18/3.5?


Yes. I don't often shoot at 14~15mm. When I do, the Samyang 14/2.8 does a fine job.

mogud wrote:
Great analysis and very insightful as I am starting my research on an UWA.


Thanks. Here's some links you might want to check.


ZE18/3.5 - TS-E 17/4L http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1213602/
Replacement for 17-40L http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1205010/
Tokina 17mm 3.5 http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1124317/
17mm tests 17-40L vs AT-X http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/957560
Canon 17-40 vs Oly 21mm f/3.5? http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/986355
17mm f/3.5 Primes: Are they all the same? http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/953918/
Tamron vs. Tokina 17/3.5 UWA testing http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/932789/0

...oly21, voigt 20 or zeiss 21 http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1205970/
Which swa for my 5dii - oly21, voigt 20 or zeiss 21? http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1205970/
Olympus OM 21/3.5 or Voigtlander Skopar 20/3.5-which one ... http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/990867
Olympus OM 21mm lenses. Whats the deal? http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/920454
Olympus 21 vs. Zeiss 21 http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/889096
Canon24 TSE II vs Zeiss 21f2.8 http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1039968/





Jul 27, 2013 at 04:19 PM
mogud
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · TSE 17mm: acceptable performance?


jcolwell:

Thx for the links and they will be a big help in my analysis.

It appears that as the ZE 15/2.8 matures, the common complaint is the hood design and that the ZE 21/2.8 is slightly sharper in the corners. Since sharpness by itself isn't the only critical deciding factor for me, the color rendition of the 15/2.8 is truly amazing when combined with zero CA.



Jul 27, 2013 at 05:11 PM
Mr Joe
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · TSE 17mm: acceptable performance?


jcolwell - you're hurting my credit card.

Speaking of compact lenses, I've been using the Olympus 18mm f/3.5 for years, but I think it's time to get an 18mm ZE now. The Oly is sharp all the way to the edges. The rendering has a very open look that is flexible in post-processing. However, the sharpness and micro-contrast of the Zeiss cannot be ignored.

Like many wide angles, the Oly is really prone to flare. Hoping the 18mm ZE might be a little bit better in this regard.



Jul 27, 2013 at 05:25 PM
retrofocus
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · TSE 17mm: acceptable performance?


Daan B wrote:
Would this be acceptable to you:

TSE 17mm extreme corner sharpness shows a difference between the upper and lower half of the frame at f/4 - f/5.6. Not a very big difference, but visible when viewing 100% on the monitor. At f/8, but more so at f/11 sharpness across the entire frame is very uniform.

When shifting -12mm or +12mm resolution is very good when stopped down to f/11. Even in the extreme corners. Below f/11 the corners are not good or even bad when used wide open.




I observed the same things when I tested this lens. I couldn't convince myself to get it for this price tag and the performance I have seen in comparison to the much better TSE 24 II lens. I like the 24 TSE II lens a lot better even it is a different FL of course.



Jul 27, 2013 at 05:35 PM
Daan B
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · TSE 17mm: acceptable performance?


retrofocus wrote:
I observed the same things when I tested this lens. I couldn't convince myself to get it for this price tag and the performance I have seen in comparison to the much better TSE 24 II lens. I like the 24 TSE II lens a lot better even it is a different FL of course.


I agree... the TSE 24II is a better lens optically. Tilting is more pronounced too because of the FL. But it is most likely to be used at f/8-11 too for landscapes and/or architecture. One could opt to stitch TSE 24II images when 24mm isn't wide enough. Otherwise the TSE 17 is a valid solution. All TSE lenses are basically one trick pony's IMO. But when doing serious architecture, product and/or landscape photography they are certainly needed.



Jul 27, 2013 at 08:26 PM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · TSE 17mm: acceptable performance?


The other thing that came to mind about your shooting a fence to test is that almost all retrofocus wide angle lenses have a certain amount of curvature of field, where the plane of focus curves inward toward the camera at the corners. In addition, the 17 TS-E also has two sets of floating elements that, while designed to improve overall image quality, may in fact introduce other aberrations as they move. For example, the 24 L 1.4 has almost no visible distortion at infinity but quite a bit at a foot and a half. Curvature of field works against you when shooting a wall, but can be quite beneficial when shooting a room.


Jul 27, 2013 at 11:33 PM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · TSE 17mm: acceptable performance?


A super wide lens like this 17 will not benefit when shooting a test like this. the distance to the target will be very different in different part of the pic. Even comparing left/right or up/down it can be different.
Your lens looks rather good. But there can of course be some smaller alignment problem. And i don't really agree when people write the 24 have much better IQ. First you can't compare the much more easy to make 24mm lens with this unique 17mm TS-E lens. This is the first and only similar lens for a DSLR camera. And it has a huge image circle. When shooting "Shifted 12mm in the long direction (for a 60mm X 24mm stitched frame) the total diagonal angle of view is 124° — that’s equivalent to about a 9.5mm lens!"
I own both the 17 and 24 TS-E lenses and the 17 get a lot more use.



Jul 28, 2013 at 07:00 AM
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