Canon 17mm f/4L TS-E Custom Filter Adapter
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Fred Miranda
Registered: Dec 31, 2001
Total Posts: 17703
Country: United States

I have been searching for a way to use my existing Lee holder (Lee Foundation kit) + Lee filters with the Canon 17mm f4L TS-E. I wanted to be able to use the same holder with all my other lenses.
I know that shifting would be limited by this set-up (instead of the Colkin X-Pro) but it should not interfere with tilting movements. My idea was to use a spare lens cap glued to a 82mm WA Lee adapter.
While browsing for a few ideas, I found a German site describing exactly what I wanted to do. It shows the process of creating this custom adapter step-by-step. I will give it a try and report how functional this really is. Here is the link:
http://www.linsenschuss.de/index.php/blog/79-canon-ts-e-17mm-f4l-filterhalter

Here is Google Translate version of the article.

Fred



Mike K
Registered: Mar 01, 2002
Total Posts: 2252
Country: United States

Fred Miranda wrote:
Now I just need to figure out how to make the 17mm TSE work with my Lee filters...I saw some folks using the lens cap + Cokin X-Pro but I really wanted to use my Lee filter on it. Perhaps if I use the lens cap and a 82mm WA Lee adapter, it will do the trick.


Fred,
Limited success with this approach:
http://ben-egbert.smugmug.com/Utility/17TSE-lens-hood-adaptor/15776282_tWQXNF#!i=1183734374&k=bY6fW

For CP use one could use the Lee 4x4" CP filter.
It appears that limited horizontal shift with a vertically aligned filter (or vice versa) is limiting.

I too have seen a few other adaptations with cutting up an extra cap. Its obvious that the reason there is no hood for this lens is that it would really have to be huge to clear possible tilts and shift movements.
Mike K



Zeph
Registered: Jan 30, 2005
Total Posts: 4918
Country: United States

I'm very interested in seeing the outcome of this!



Fred Miranda
Registered: Dec 31, 2001
Total Posts: 17703
Country: United States

Zeph wrote:
I'm very interested in seeing the outcome of this!


I just started.
I'm going to follow the process I posted on the link above. It has step-by-step images on how to create your own 17mm TSE Lee adapter.



Zeph
Registered: Jan 30, 2005
Total Posts: 4918
Country: United States

Fred Miranda wrote:
Zeph wrote:
I'm very interested in seeing the outcome of this!


I just started.
I'm going to follow the process I posted on the link above. It has step-by-step images on how to create your own 17mm TSE Lee adapter.


My daughter a linguist, can read German and I was going pass your link along for a translation. But I'd gladly wait for yours...



Fred Miranda
Registered: Dec 31, 2001
Total Posts: 17703
Country: United States

The adapter is now ready. The entire process took about 1 hour.
I didn't post pictures of the process since I followed the excellent step by step intructions with pictures from this link:
http://www.linsenschuss.de/index.php/blog/79-canon-ts-e-17mm-f4l-filterhalter

It fits and works perfectly. It actually looks like it was made by Canon.
I used a spare 17mm f/4L lens cap and a Lee 82mm wide angle adapter.
PS: I didn't have time to test how far we can go with shift or tilt. I will post this later. I can confirm there is no vignetting with the lens without any movement.
Here are some quick pictures:



jwin
Registered: Feb 15, 2002
Total Posts: 181
Country: United States

Excellent work Fred, thanks for the additional product shots. I've been leaching off of my buddy's 17 TS-E, this will be really handy.

How did you come across an extra cap on this lens? I presume you can purchase it from B&H etc.?

edit: OK I see it. $34. Not bad at all. Considering Nikon's 14-24 zoom filter rig is like $300-400 from Lee and Fotodiox. Pretty cheap solution.



Fred Miranda
Registered: Dec 31, 2001
Total Posts: 17703
Country: United States

jwin wrote:
Excellent work Fred, thanks for the additional product shots. I've been leaching off of my buddy's 17 TS-E, this will be really handy.

How did you come across an extra cap on this lens? I presume you can purchase it from B&H etc.?

edit: OK I see it. $34. Not bad at all. Considering Nikon's 14-24 zoom filter rig is like $300-400 from Lee and Fotodiox. Pretty cheap solution.


Yes, it's about $35 for the cap and $60 for the 82mm Lee adapter. About $100 total.
I have invested heavily on Lee filters and therefore this is my preferred set-up for the 17mm f/4L. You could always go with the Colkin X-Pro for less shifting vignetting, but then you would still have to buy the spare cap and all the new bigger filters for it.

Here are some additional pictures.



AJSJones
Registered: Jan 22, 2002
Total Posts: 1675
Country: United States

A quick look at the German text says you can shift only 4mm or so with the two-slot holder (as you both used) but tilt is mostly OK - a bit of vignetting at the limit.



Fred Miranda
Registered: Dec 31, 2001
Total Posts: 17703
Country: United States

AJSJones wrote:
A quick look at the German text says you can shift only 4mm or so with the two-slot holder (as you both used) but tilt is mostly OK - a bit of vignetting at the limit.


Here are my findings:

Tilting with the 17mm f/4L and this custom Lee holder set-up is not a problem. You can tilt almost all the way as long as there is no shift. There is a tiny vignetting at the maximum tilt angle which I probably never use it.

Shifting is pretty much handicapped though. With your camera in landscape orientation, you can only shift about 2mm horizontally or 4mm vertically for zero vignetting. After that you get a little faint vignetting effect. Also, you cannot tilt the holder diagonally either. So your filters must be vertically or horizontally.

I only used 2 slots on the Lee holder and followed the German site exactly. I'm still happy with the custom adapter because I will be able to share all my Lee filters with all my lenses using the same holder. The drawback is limited shifting with the 17mm f/4L.

Next I will try having only 1 slot and the 105mm filter adapter in the front (for a 105mm polarizer filter). I want to see if this creates vignetting @17mm. There are only one slim 105mm polarizer but it's really expensive +$400 (Heliopan). I will try using the B+W 105mm Kaeseman Circular Polarizing filter and see what happens. (about $200)



Mike K
Registered: Mar 01, 2002
Total Posts: 2252
Country: United States

Fred Miranda wrote:
Next I will try having only 1 slot and the 105mm filter adapter in the front (for a 105mm polarizer filter). I want to see if this creates vignetting @17mm. There are only one slim 105mm polarizer but it's really expensive +$400 (Heliopan). I will try using the B+W 105mm Kaeseman Circular Polarizing filter and see what happens. (about $200)


Another, less expensive route, would be to use the Lee square CP. While your set up is constrained to vertical or horizontal already, the CP will either be vertically or horizontally constrained as well as you can only rotate it 90 deg. and reinsert it. Even with this limitation of potential sub optimal orientation, it does seem to work quite well and users are quite happy with its performance. discussion and examples in this long thread

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=883069&highlight=Lee+circular+polarizer
Mike K



dolina
Registered: Nov 05, 2008
Total Posts: 3628
Country: United States

Fred thanks for the post. I've been looking for front filter solution for the tse for a very long time.



Yakim Peled
Registered: Nov 18, 2004
Total Posts: 16903
Country: Israel

Fred Miranda wrote:
Shifting is pretty much handicapped though. With your camera in landscape orientation, you can only shift about 2mm horizontally or 4mm vertically for zero vignetting. After that you get a little faint vignetting effect.


How faint? Examples will be appreciated.

Happy shooting,
Yakim.



Fred Miranda
Registered: Dec 31, 2001
Total Posts: 17703
Country: United States

Update:
I shaved the edges of the Lee FK holder (It now looks more rounded). Now I don't get any vignetting when turning the holder. I also got a couple more mm free vignetting when shifting. I'm using the same custom holder with all my other landscape lenses (24TSEII and 90TSE)
Fred



thedigitalbean
Registered: Jun 24, 2005
Total Posts: 6242
Country: United States

Did you use the 82mm regular holder or the 82mm WA (or slim) holder?



Fr3d
Registered: Nov 29, 2008
Total Posts: 292
Country: Germany

Maybe a stupid question, but if you cannot shift properly the lens can basically only be used like a regular 17mm
lens right? If so, would it not be more practical to use a WA prime/zoom with a standard filter adapter instead?



Fred Miranda
Registered: Dec 31, 2001
Total Posts: 17703
Country: United States

thedigitalbean wrote:
Did you use the 82mm regular holder or the 82mm WA (or slim) holder?


It must be the Lee 82mm Wide Angle adapter.



Fred Miranda
Registered: Dec 31, 2001
Total Posts: 17703
Country: United States

Fr3d wrote:
Maybe a stupid question, but if you cannot shift properly the lens can basically only be used like a regular 17mm
lens right? If so, would it not be more practical to use a WA prime/zoom with a standard filter adapter instead?


You can still "tilt" it without any restrictions. The 17mm is the best Canon has to offer at this range and therefore it's nice to have the option to use a ND/GND/Polarizer when needed. I don't see myself using it that much.
Just remember you won't be able to shift much using this adapter. You could go with the Colkin X-Pro instead for more shifting (up to 7mm I believe) but then you would need an entirely different and expensive filter system only for your 17TSE.
Fred



Roland W
Registered: Apr 23, 2004
Total Posts: 1924
Country: United States

The interior hole in the Lee 82mm Wide Angle adapter is the big limiting factor for the approach described in this thread. It has an interior hole size of about 79 mm, and is limited to not being larger because it must provide exterior threads to fit into the inside of 82 mm lens threads. If the interior metal could be removed by machining the 82 mm Wide Angle adapter, the hole could be enlarged, but not by a lot, because the actual Lee filter holder mounting flange is about 89 mm, so you would need to leave a hole of about 88 mm. That is an improvement, but it would require special machining that is not easy.

But the Lee 82mm Wide Angle adapter is actually made from two metal parts, which look like they have been screwed together with thread lock or epoxy to hold them in place. If you could remove the inner metal part that provides the 82mm threads, it would open up the adapter to a hole size of about 86 mm. One possible way to do a removal is to use a small grinding tool and carefully remove one portion of the inner ring. If you can get one short portion removed, the rest may come out easily by prying, because of the gap you have made in the ring. This is similar to cutting the metal of a stuck filter to get the remaining ring out of the lens. In this case, it does not matter if you slightly damage the threads on the outer part, because you are not using them for this project. If cutting one short section out does not work, you can cut out a second section opposite from the first, and then the two parts should be much easier to remove. I must warn that I have not yet tried this, but it looks very practical to me. It is also a much easier do it your self project than machining.

You might think that other Lee adapters that fit larger thread sizes would have larger holes, but they are all limited by what hole you can fit through the standard Lee flange, so you get no more. As an example, the Lee 105mm lens adapter has an interior hole of about 79 mm, so that is actually slightly worse than the 82mm Wide Angle adapter. But if anyone were to consider machining an adapter to enlarge the hole, I would suggest you consider starting with the 105mm adapter, because it has much more metal in the outer part of the ring, which will make it much easier to hold in lathe jaws for machining out the inside. It does have a larger outer diameter, but that could be machined down to just the right outer size to fit the lens cap interface after the inside machining was done. Or you could leave the outer 105mm threads on the adapter, and glue the right step up ring to the lens cap to go from its size up to the 105mm threads.

So the extra 7 mm or 9mm of hole size would help. To get more, you need to go away from the Lee system for providing attachment and rotation. The combination of the Lee adapter with flange and the clip on Lee filter holder is what provides the rotational adjustment for the filters. And that rotation is even more important on a Canon TS-E lens, because the whole lens rotates on the camera to align the tilt and shift axis. One thought I have had in the past to provide rotation is to get a cheap 105mm polarizer, and remove the glass from it, and use it as the part that can rotate. That could give an interior hole of about 100 mm, which would likely be plenty for much larger shift amounts. But you then still need to attach the rotation part to the lens cap. A step up ring from a smaller size up to 105 mm may work to act as a part that could be glued to the lens cap part. Because the glue on location is further back, is can have a smaller inside diameter. The lens cap plastic is about 88 mm inside diameter, so trimming it back as far as possible before increasing the diameter beyond that would be the goal.

For using a 105mm polarizer metal for rotation, you still need to attach the filters to the front of it. The plastic of a Lee holder is one possibility, and it could be glued on to the front of the rotation metal. The hole inside the Lee holder has a diameter of about 96mm if the small fitting tabs were removed by grinding or filing. You could also enlarge the inside by making the hole more square rather than round, with the sides of the hole parallel to the filter holder slot fittings. The removed corners would often be in alignment with the corners of the rectangular image frame for the common use of the graduated neutral density filter alignment near to parallel to the horizon.

Another possible approach to attaching the filter holding slots is to use a different piece of plastic or metal, and attach it to the rotation metal. You would then attach the Lee filter holder edge guides to that alternate material using screws. You could potentially make something that has a square hole that is a full 100 mm or so, and would match the limitation of the 100 mm filters you are using. And if you really want to get carried away, you could design it to work with the even larger filters that the special Lee system uses for the Nikon wide angle zoom lens, but that means new expensive hard to get filters.

Getting the filter slots as close to the front element as possible without danger of touching is very important to provide the least potential of interfering with the image edges. So pay attention to any build up of an adapter system and try to achieve that goal. And if you do something with an enlarged center hole, you may now need to worry about a second filter that is further forward, and could become limiting. Consider only installing one filter slot on the front, rather than two or more. Lee has shorter screws available that can be used for that purpose.



Yakim Peled
Registered: Nov 18, 2004
Total Posts: 16903
Country: Israel

Fred Miranda wrote:
Fr3d wrote:
Maybe a stupid question, but if you cannot shift properly the lens can basically only be used like a regular 17mm
lens right? If so, would it not be more practical to use a WA prime/zoom with a standard filter adapter instead?


You can still "tilt" it without any restrictions. The 17mm is the best Canon has to offer at this range and therefore it's nice to have the option to use a ND/GND/Polarizer when needed. I don't see myself using it that much.
Just remember you won't be able to shift much using this adapter. You could go with the Colkin X-Pro instead for more shifting (up to 7mm I believe) but then you would need an entirely different and expensive filter system only for your 17TSE.
Fred


I feel this is not the right approach. The 17/4 is a very expensive lens and a very unique one. Modifying it to enhance its capabilities (accepting filters) but OTOH limiting its native abilities is not the path I'd choose. If there is another solution which has fewer limitations I'd go for it even if it is a more expensive one.

Unless of course, that limitation (shift in this case) does not bother you as you never reach it.

Happy shooting,
Yakim.



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