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Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L

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38 100305 Nov 30, 2011
Recommended By Average Price
87% of reviewers $985.59
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.70
7.88
8.3
ts243_1_

Specifications:
Compact, wide-angle lens which enables tilt and shift movements. The floating optical system, with an aspherical lens element, corrects distortion and other aberrations. High image quality and compactness are the result. Great for architecture, landscapes and other wide-angle shots.


 


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sboerup
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Registered: Oct 13, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 9753
Review Date: Mar 9, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $950.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great build quality, focus ring is very smooth. Ability to change shift to pano wide, or stitch side by side portrait is amazing. Very versatile lens, indespensible for architecture. No noticeable distortion, very sharp as well.
Cons:
Mild CA, but can be fixed in CS2. Not a 20 or 21mm, even 24 on FF can be limiting, but probably is the standard WA for FF.

For the price, it's not terribly expensive for the amount of work you can do with it, and that you can't do perspective correction with ANY other Canon lens (on the WA side).

I bought this originally for architecture stuff, knowing how much I'd need the shift. Boy is it amazing. I read and read about this lens, the techniques, but nothing helps you more than having it. I was worried about the learning curve, but once you understand how it works, it's amazing. Others swear by CS2 for perspective control, but I've found that it isn't nearly as superior as doing it in camera. Not only is the quality higher, but you don't lose resolution by doing it.

The lens is quite sharp, and probably just as sharp as most other lenses I've tried. I only use this lens from the f11-22 range, and inside that range it's phenomenal. The CA is the only thing that I don't like about the lens, but when the work is done, you can't see it in printed material. If it gets that bad, you can always fix that in PS.

For anyone serious about doing interiors for homes or designers, this lens is a must. I don't know how I'd get perspective control on a crop body as this isn't nearly wide enough on a crop. It's at my limit of wide angle on FF, which I think is a perfect FL. I look forward to getting the 45 TSE as well in the future. I have not compared it to the Olympus 24, but someday maybe I'll have both to do the comparison.


Mar 9, 2007
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RichieHatch
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Registered: Nov 24, 2004
Location: Ireland
Posts: 131
Review Date: Aug 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great build, sharp, Good contrast and silky smooth focus...!
Cons:
Well maybe the fact that it meters funny buti was expecting that anyway...!

I just got this lens and a 5D for architectural photography. Its a super combination. So far I have noticed that its way sharper than my other WA lens... more so than the 17-40L and Sigma 12-24...! The Shift function is a lifesaver for me... not just for the ability to eradicate perspective distortion but for the ability to do easy panoramics as well..! Its built like a tank too and feels great on the front of the 5D and Grip... Not sure how much i will be using the Tilt function but playing around with it has givin me some interesting results. The metering can be a bit funny when shifting but as mentioned in a previous post as I am shooting digital it doesnt bother me as I can either compensate or just blindly bracket..! I have a feeling that this lens might end up being welded to the front of the 5D... might not be wide enough on the 20D...!

Richie


Aug 2, 2006
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whatcheer
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Registered: May 12, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 123
Review Date: Jun 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, versatile, close focus, smooth operation
Cons:
Watch your fingertip when rotating lens!

When rotating the lens to adjust tilt/shift direction, watch those fingertips. After releasing the tiny lever, it's easy to pinch a finger. Otherwise, I found the lens bright, crisp, and easy to use. It might not be as versatile as my 4x5, but I found it has immense creative potential. I also was amazed at how close it focuses--and in that sense, it does whip my 4x5.

Jun 17, 2006
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DrPablo
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Registered: Aug 10, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1556
Review Date: Jun 11, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Tilt and shift functions, color/contrast, build quality, compactness
Cons:
Chromatic aberration, corner softness, weird barrel distortion, metering

This is an amazing lens. There's nothing else like it. I use it on a 300D, but on my 35mm SLR the field of view is much better -- it's a focal length that makes more sense on FF. The color and contrast are great.

The main negative is barrel distortion -- weird barrel distortion. PTLens has a servicible profile for it, but nothing completely undoes the distortion. The trick is to be very careful with placement of vertical lines and to make sure the camera is perfectly straight up and down (i.e. with a spirit level). Otherwise the convergence of lens distortion and perspective distortion can look pretty ugly. Cyan-red CA occurs in all high contrast images, but it's easily correctable. Metering is tricky with this lens -- you have to meter in manual and with the lens unshifted and untilted, but then often add a stop to compensate for light loss when shifted.

On my 1.6 crop SLR I've seen no vignetting at all.


Jun 11, 2006
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wimg
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Registered: May 8, 2006
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 143
Review Date: May 8, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: T&S, sharp, 24 mm / 45 mm APS-C equivalent, fairly close focus. Nothing else like it...
Cons:
Like all T&S lenses, slight radial movement in base plate, caused by the option to be able to turn the lens, and thus the tilting and shifting directions. Annoying, but understandable...

For the type of lens and the creative possibilties it gives you, there just isn't anything better available for dslrs, except the other two Canon TS-E lenses.

Bought used, at a fair price, it is excellent value for money. And this copy is sharp from edge to edge.

On an APS-C dslr in combination with an extender tube it is great for spectacular macro work, with different to normal and still in focus views thanks to the tilting options.

Highly recommended!


May 8, 2006
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John Black
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Registered: Jul 14, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3678
Review Date: Apr 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,099.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very sharp - best WA lens I've used on a 1Ds and 1Ds2
Cons:
Not seeing appreciable value from tilt - could be me.

I'm only going to add things not already mentioned or follow-up on some points in earlier reviews that I don't agree with -

The lens is very sharp from edge to edge. F8 is good, F11 to F16 really shine --- and on the 1Ds2 that's saying alot. F3.5-F5 are so-so, about F5.6 the corners start doing much better on full-frame.

Shift is very useful for creating the big sky look you get from ultra wide lenses. Normally you tilt a 17-21mm lens upwards to get that effect, but with the TS-E you just shift up - your subject is nice parallel and you've got a giant sky (if you want that effect).

I'm not seeing much bang for the buck with tilt - maybe for creative uses it pays off. Maybe another 6 months I'll finally figure out how to use to it to my advantage...

CA is not your typical purple disaster. It's more of the reds & greens, it's intermittant - not uniform across the entire image. Overall I think it's minor and I haven't lost a shot due to CA. Every shot has it somewhere, but it doesn't jump out.

Colors are very strong and lots of contrast - very bold images. You know when you used the 24 TS-E --- its boldness reminds me of the 35L, but with even more punch.

Metering can be off, but just watch the histogram and life is good. On film it could be a deal breaker, but on digital - big deal... just bracket the shot.

At 24mm the TS-E outperforms my: 24-70L, 24-105L IS and 16-35L.

Date code is UT12xx (December 2005).


Apr 13, 2006
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Aberdeen Photo
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Registered: Mar 9, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 3812
Review Date: Apr 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Solidly built, excellent image quality. A necessity for architcture photography. Great for straightening landscapes and for being creative and having some fun too.
Cons:
Long learning curve, there are better options for 24mm if you do not need tilt/shift criteria. Knobs a bit small for us large hands types.

This lens is a must for interior architecture photography, also a great asset for exterior photography too. This lens has tremendous possibilities, and a long a yet fun learning curve. Excellent image quality, and the ability to straighten or purposely "bend" buildings mountains, trees, columns and houses, make this a true little gem in my bag. Best on a full frame, but respectable on 1.3x and 1.6x bodies. This lens and a little learning has allowed me to book real estate and design firms. It is also fun for landscape photography too. While I have used it as a plain old 24mm, there are better options available for simple wide angle shots. All in all well-built, a ton of fun, and a great way to add to your professionalism wrt architecture photography. A winner.

Apr 3, 2006
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changkw
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Registered: Jan 3, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 95
Review Date: Mar 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Tilting and Shifting. Of course. The tilting is very impression. Auto diaphragm works. Focus points will beep when focused on my 20D.
Cons:
Tilting seems to be over-exposed 1EV. Soft at F/3.5, but F/4 seems to be quite useable (not sharp though).

If you are looking for a sharp prime, this lens might not be what you want. But if you need tilting and shitfting, there is not other choice out there.

Handheld is quite manageable, but I cannot see the effect of tilt thoguht just my 20D small viewfinder. When using tripod and "angular viewfinder", you can really see the effect of tilting.

You can change the shift and tilt axes to the parallel position by yourself when needed. No need to send it in Canon service center. You can easily find the information by google.


Mar 3, 2006
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bret
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Registered: Nov 11, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 72
Review Date: Dec 22, 2005 Recommend? | Price paid: $1,100.00

 
Pros: Manual focus is smooth. Tilt and shift features.
Cons:
Challenging to use while holding an off-body flash.

This is the first wide angle lens I really like. I had a 17-40 f/4 that I sold, it was nice but not much better than the 18-55mm kit lens (which I kept). I had a 15mm f/2.8 sigma which was nice but not that impressive, I traded it. I had a 35mm f/1.4 which was nice, but not wide enough and nothing incredible.
The 24mm TS-E is very nice. I am still learning where the plane of focus is while tilting and I haven't really made use of the shift yet because I don't have my tripod with me. With no tilt and no shift I think it produces nicer images than any of the lenses I mentioned above.
The manual focus is nice, it is smooth and easy to use. Most shots outside of 5 ft. are somewhere near infinity so it is not hard to find focus. Most of the focus rotation is used for things within 5 ft. so it is really precise in that range.


Dec 22, 2005
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bret
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Registered: Nov 11, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 72
Review Date: Dec 21, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Nice manual focus. It's unique.
Cons:
It's hard to use with a off camera flash in hand and no tripod.

This is the first wide angle lens I have found that I like. I owned and sold a sigma 15mm, a 17-40 F/4, a 35 f/1.4 and I still own the 18-55mm kit lens. Not one of those lenses satisfies me but the 24 TS-E that I just bought a few days ago is very pleasing. It is interesting to use the tilt feature, I am still trying to learn where the plane of focus is though. I haven't used a tripod with it yet so I haven't made much use of the shift feature but I know it will be fun too. I actually like the manual focus... it is smooth and pretty easy to use, after about 5 feet away everything is really close to infinity so it is pretty easy for snap shots. The images it produces for snapshots, without using tilt or shift, are nicer than any of the other lenses I mentioned above. I am very happy that I finally found a wide angle lens I like.

Dec 21, 2005
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maximage
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Registered: Jan 24, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 112
Review Date: Sep 30, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Great focal length for interiors and tall exteriors, convenience of shift/tilt
Cons:
soft at all apertures. color fringing at all apertures even without shift.

A very handy lens if you shoot architecture or want to be creative with nature / landscape. However color fringing and softness is pretty bad despite its red ring and the big ground and polished aspherical front element. Worse thing is it's pretty hard to correct the CA after you shift since it's no longer symmetrical. Avoid high contrast situations and prepare for a lot of PS work to eliminate CA effect. Still it's a very versatile lens but it takes some work to get great results out of it. I heard the Zuiko Shift 24mm made for the OM series is the best shift lens out there. But since it's out of production this 24mm canon and the 28mm PC Nikkor are your only easy choices now.

Sep 30, 2005
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jeffbuzz
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Registered: Jan 23, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 654
Review Date: Aug 22, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: <> Superbly smooth manual focus fell <> Wide angle perspective correction capabilities
Cons:
<> Lens is fixed with either perpendicular or parallel movements. If the user could easily switch from one mode to the other, this would truly be the perfect lens.

This lens is one of the reasons I use Canon equipement. To achieve view camera like movements using a small format system gives you a very powerful tool in a very convenient package.

As this lens comes from the factory with perpendicular movements, you must choose whether you need the default setup or have it changed over to parallel movements. My recommendation: if you make landscape panoramics, leave it as is. If you shoot interiors or anything else generally not requiring horizontal stitching, have the lens changed over to parallel operation. Use it for a while to decide if you really need it switched over before going through the trouble.

The image circle of all the Canon TS-E lenses is much larger than that of standard 35mm lens. When the lens is not shifted or tilted, you are shooting through the cropped down "sweet spot" of the lens, even when using a full frame sensor camera like the 1Ds. This is one sure way to reduce issues surrounding chromatic aberation found at the edges of many "normal" lens with 35mm image circles.

Critical focusing is tricky. Not due to the lens, but to the small viewfinder of the 35mm format. When making movements with a 4x5 or 8x10 camera, you have a huge piece of ground glass on which to analyze focus. This task is difficult in bright light through the eyepiece of a 35mm style camera body. You must use a tripod when utilizing any movements with this lens.

The price of these lenses must be due to their small production numbers. Considering it is manual focus and a relatively slow aperture, over $1000 is quite steep. It is built like a tank and the optics are excellent.


Aug 22, 2005
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waterboiler
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Registered: Jun 15, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 149
Review Date: Aug 1, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Tilt/shift function is without equal for landscape pics. Build quality is great, built like a tank.
Cons:
Learning curve & price

Once you use this lens for landscape pics you will never go back. The ability to shoot nearly wide open at twlight and use a bit of tilt to get sharp near to far pictures at higher shutter speeds is amazing.
The TS-E lenses are not easy tools to master but once you invest the time to learn them they reward with amazing images. The first couple of times you use them the "I spent how much on this ...." will come to mind. Stick with it, read up on LF tilts/swings/shifts then get out and shoot.
Do not over look the ability to "pan" and stich with the shift function. Works great on less than full frame DLSR's. You get some of your 24 mm back from the crop factor without messing with a pano setup.
Optically, not up to the 24/1.4 at f/4 but then you can't tilt the 1.4 - so the TS-E still wins in my book. Lack of AF for landscape pictures not a factor, the angle finder helps with crop factor bodies.


Aug 1, 2005
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gerrit p
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Registered: Jun 10, 2003
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 2
Review Date: Apr 6, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: no vignetting when used properly. very suitable for architecture
Cons:
cromatic abbberation! not as sharp and contrasty as i would like.

Now I mainly work with the 1Ds mII and this lens when I make architectural pictures. It can not completely replace my Cambo wide. When shifted, the lens has to much CA in the corners, and that can only be removed in PS and this is taking much time.
The images taken with this lens also need extra sharpening. The contrast is also on the low side.
But it is a keeper, there is nothing else on the market.
Work precise and you get good results.


Apr 6, 2005
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leuphrates
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Registered: Oct 18, 2004
Location: Turkey
Posts: 9
Review Date: Dec 1, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,080.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: You feel the force!
Cons:
You still need to be a jedi to wield it!

1D Mark2 has a small sensor for it! You need ff. You need a digital slr full-frame. On film I loose 50% of shots either by under-over exposing or not being able to compose correctly. It is DIFFICULT TO USE. But if you can, you rule.

I used it wide open for night photos with 30 secs of exposures and more, tilted and shifted. I think it is a great performer. Yes, at f8 it is much sharper, but which wide isn't? At f3.5 it is still a good performer. I made a lot of casual low-light snapshots with pleasing quality. (I also have 35f1.4 and I know what low-light quality is!)

Tilt&shift makes you see the world differently and understand what perspective does to your photos. And how it enhances the feeling of a photo. I usually walk with this lens and observe the changing perspective around me. (I used it on XL1 via the adaptor to record this as video, but you loose the sight since it crops even more than the entry-level DSLR's.)

Not only for architecture and landscape only but for all types of photography, this lens is a king with its unique abilities on the wide side. But this does not ensure you will like it. Not everyone of us is a jedi in the galaxies. (I am for example, not yet.)

Being a manual focus lens add to the charming charisma of this marvellous instrument. It is not user-friendly, it is not cheap, it is not light, but it definitely deserves a 5/5. Even for the feeling of owning it.

It is a delicate weapon of a more civilised time...


Dec 1, 2004
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MarkSaperstein
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Registered: Sep 23, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 1339
Review Date: Jun 2, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Creative possibilities with the tilt and shift movements.
Cons:
Need to stop down to f/8 for best resolution.

Jack Flesher's review below is on target. If the performance wide open were just a bit better I would give this lens a 5/5. I wish I could think of ways to use it more often! If you have a small viewfinder (like the 10D), the Angle Finder C will help with manual focus.

Jun 2, 2004
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Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
38 100305 Nov 30, 2011
Recommended By Average Price
87% of reviewers $985.59
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.70
7.88
8.3
ts243_1_


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