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Canon TS-E 45mm f/2.8

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Reviews Views Date of last review
18 78878 Jun 27, 2012
Recommended By Average Price
89% of reviewers $1,081.40
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.46
8.77
9.5
ts452_1_

Specifications:
Normal lens featuring tilt and shift movements. The floating system and rear focusing give sharp and stable delineation from 1.3 ft. (0.4m) to infinity. The 45mm focal length is ideal for obtaining a natural-looking perspective.


 


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Gunzorro
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Registered: Aug 27, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 6774
Review Date: Jun 27, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent IQ -- much better than I expected, based on forum posts.
Cons:
Zero

This is my fourth Canon TS-E lens. I've now owned all three originals, and have moved up to the 24 TS-E II. I got tired of waiting for the models to be revised, so felt the time was right to finally buy the 90 and 45 this year. I'm very happy! Now I only need the 17 to complete the collection.

I love zoom lenses, but I do my best work with TS-E and various Marco lenses. Although a bit limiting in focal range, I could survive with just those two types. Image quality is superb.

For perspective, I sold my Zeiss ZE 21/2.8 (near new) to help finance the 90 and 45 TS lenses. These two meet my expectations over the Zeiss, which fell short in a couple key areas.

Of the TS-E I have owned, I rank them all very highly, even the original 24 now that LR3 and LR4 clears up the CA fringing and light falloff. Top performance is from the 24 II, second is the 90, third is the 45, and last in IQ is the original 24. Still, I'd rather have the original 24 than have no TS-E at all!


Jun 27, 2012
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nswelton
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Registered: Jan 16, 2006
Location: N/A
Posts: 260
Review Date: Apr 11, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: very usable focal length, great build quality, super sharp
Cons:
none

fantastic lens! super sharp, and as other reviewers have mentioned it's an ideal focal length for maximum creativity (i.e., if you're using it for creative people photography you can do a LOT with it). found the build quality to be better than L series primes (from 24-135). very solidly built. optically excellent. it is a little shy on contrast but that can be fixed in post. i think this beauty should have a red ring on it!

Apr 11, 2012
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tororo
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Registered: May 26, 2010
Location: Japan
Posts: 31
Review Date: Jun 1, 2011 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: Creativity, sharpness, bokeh quality
Cons:
None (Shift can cause CA but you can remove/reduce it very well in post-processing)

This is definitely the most versatile and useful TS-E lens on full frame for creative photography.
There are not many lenses that can deliver both amazing sharpness and pleasing smooth bokeh in the focal range of 40-60mm, and this is definitely one of them with great T/S function.
If you are after creative photography, this can be your everyday lens as well.

Example of tilt use in everyday snapshot:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ippei-janine/2753085323

Example of shift use for panorama (4 images stitched):
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ippei-janine/2749072715/


Jun 1, 2011
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kaifri
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Registered: Dec 12, 2010
Location: Germany
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 19, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: amazing sharpness, unmatched sharpness/blur effects, fosters creative potential of the photographer
Cons:
not weather-sealed, manual focus

This lens is a real gem! For me it is the most versatile TS lens on the market! I mainly use it for creative portraits of bridal couples! The potential of this lens to create stunning images is unmatched! Especially, if locations are not special this lens greatly helps to create extraordinary results. For instance, just shoot a couple or a person against a blue/cloudy sky and make use of the tilt effects of this lens! Check my blog to get an idea:

http://blog.kajul-photography.de/blog-hochzeitsfotograf-frankfurt/64-julia-a-tarek-hochzeit-auf-burg-gleiberg.html

For a long time I refused to buy this lens because it has only manual focus, which deterred me. However, Canon's live view makes the tilt effects visible, especially if you magnify 5-10x. In addition, I recommend using the Canon focus screen EG-S for manual focus. It is slightly darker than the other focus screens but makes focusing so much more convenient and precise.
I don't use the shift function of the lens as often as the tilt function, but sometimes if I do architecture it's a crucial function!


May 19, 2011
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tororo
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Registered: May 26, 2010
Location: Japan
Posts: 31
Review Date: May 26, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, creativity (T&S), build quality, bokeh and superb manual focus ring
Cons:
None

This is the most useful TS-E lens for me. I own this lens for many years and I never stop loving it. Just perfect.

May 26, 2010
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cauchy
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Registered: Jan 15, 2008
Location: Norway
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 27, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: "instant" creativity, high optical quality, high build quality (very nice focus ring), pleasing bokeh, hood and bag included (although I really feel that a hood should come with any lens)
Cons:
soft at extreme corners (= if fully tilted and shifted at the same time) unless stopped down by 2 or 3 stops

Now that I finally got this lens I realize how much I missed out by not having a T/S lens before! Especially the ability of placing the focal plane (nearly) anywhere in space is absolutely amazing and takes photography to a new creative level.

Very often, I find myself simply observing how familiar parts of a city or some landscape appear "tilted" - just a pleasure! Also this lens holds great potential for portrait work, anything really! Given the great creative potential of T/S lenses I am actually surprised they are used so rarely...

The optical quality of the TS-E 45mm is very good. The lens is very sharp (even on the 5DmkII) and delivers good contrast and colors even wide open. What I really like is how this lens renders out of focus areas. I find the bokeh very pleasant (better than my EF 50mm f/1.4), especially highlights (check the link at the bottom for image samples)! Image quality stays at a very high level even fully tilted. When fully shifted and fully tilted at the same time things can get a little ugly wide open. But the situation quickly improves when stopping down.

The build quality is excellent. The lens is quite heavy and sturdy (I was surprised how heavy and big it actually is, comparable to 24L and 35L). I read about some people complaining that the knobs that fix the tilt and shift positions are too small. They are small but I think they are just fine. Focusing is very smooth and accurate thanks to the large focus ring.



In conclusion, I highly recommend any ambitious photographer to have a look at T/S lenses! I chose the 45mm version because it is a very good all-rounder (90mm is definitely too long for me and 17mm and 24mm are too wide and DOF effects are less pronounced) and I am very pleased with the lens!

One last note: I am using a Zacuto Z-Finder (an LCD screen loupe with 3x magnification) and it is a BIG help for using such lenses. I would highly recommend using T/S lenses on cameras with live view features as it makes things a LOT easier!



Lastly, have a look at some photos I took with the TS-E 45mm:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sadjina/tags/canontse45mmf28/


Mar 27, 2010
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felipin
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Registered: Dec 1, 2005
Location: Spain
Posts: 41
Review Date: Jan 27, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build quality, image quality, creative opportunities.
Cons:
Price, perhaps, but you can't really expect such a lens to be cheap

I can't understand why I didn't get such gem before! (Well, I needed the 24, and its mixed reviews prevented me to buy the lens for a long time: big mistake!). Since I got the 24, the so called "bad" one among the Canon TS-E collection, I was certain that I will buy all of them. Being architecture my main subject, I use the 24 more often than the 45, but the 45 is even better (IQ wise). Moreover, DoF studies are much more noticeable and the effects much more streaking with the 45 than with the 24, due to the longer focal length.
All in all, I am so pleased with this lens that the 90 will follow as soon as my credit card stops smoking!


Jan 27, 2009
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Nimra
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Registered: Jan 4, 2004
Location: Germany
Posts: 37
Review Date: Aug 6, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $999.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: T&S
Cons:
none

Stunning lense, I do product shots with the 45tse, 2 dpt macrolense (often in combination with the 1.4 tc).
I was surprised how well this setup works with the 1ds when I need TS and/or macro, it seems to produce less fringing and artefacts than with the 1d, don't ask me why.
Sharpness is very good, and contrast is near the better L glas.

This little grey mouse is worth every penny.



Aug 6, 2008
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troutmask
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Registered: Sep 22, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 23
Review Date: Nov 23, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Tilt an shift, easy to use, decent price
Cons:
Not as sharp as it could be. The lens hood needs a re think

For the money it is well wroth it as it does bring a genuine useful set of camera movements to the small format in a small and light lens which is (obviously) fully functional with an EOS body. No need for stop down metering like its rivals.
However it isn't as sharp at could be fully opened; it really needs better glass and the little adjustment screws are far to small especially if you are wearing glove or have cold fingers.
The lens hood also lets in a lot of flare when using shift...this maybe something that could be resolved with a better hood, or it may be something you just need to get used to.
Altogether it is far better than the hartbeli and other such lenses because it is much easier to use. However they have more movements and the image quality is nearly as good...so it comes down to money. Given that, for what it is, the lens isn't that expensive, i would say if you want to try Tilt and Shift then get one of these on a .3 crop body it is a really usefull length for buildings, landscapes etc.. and surprisingly good, when an extension tube is used for near macro. The canon Macro flash also fits it with the adapter sold for the 180mm macro lens.


Nov 23, 2007
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ktownsend
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Registered: Feb 8, 2006
Location: France
Posts: 87
Review Date: Jun 30, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros:
Cons:

I made a simple page (in 5 seconds in notepad) showing some test images from this lense. I would have found this useful when I was considering buying it, so I thought I'd post it here for others to benefit from. The test was done for me, and is very unscientific, so please take it for what it is.

http://www.ktownsend.com/TSE45Review/

Kevin.


Jun 30, 2006
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ktownsend
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Registered: Feb 8, 2006
Location: France
Posts: 87
Review Date: Jun 29, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Adaptability, excellent (very solid) build quality and good manual focus ring.
Cons:
Price (not trivial for a simple photo enthusiast like me). Out of the box colour a bit less appealing than some of my L lenses, but not terrible or visably distorted ... just needs some work.

I hesitated between the 90mm and the 45mm, with the 90mm reportedly being a bit sharper (and the 24 the worst of the three). For better or for worse, I opted for the 45, though, because of the crop factor on my 20D, short sighted though that might be. If I upgrade for a 5D or 1DSII, I hope the 45 doesn't become too short for me, since I'm mostly a 70-90mm shooter (35mm equivalent).

I was initially a bit disappointed by the sharpness of this lense. In retrospect, my technique was probably partly to blame. Perhaps I expect too much, but still I find my 85 1.8 (maybe I just have an excellent copy) is sharper aperture for aperture, and at 1300 I maybe expected more. I also get better colour from my L lenses, with the 45mm sometimes needed a bit of work (like most of my lenses, though, so no fault here ... just pointing it out if it helps someone else).

I took a couple hours to do some tests tonight, comparing all the f-stops. I can't post images here unfortunately. But, at 2.8, its a bit soft, but, still being a prime, better than many zooms. Absolutely not terrible or dog ugly ... but if you know what high-end lenses look like, you see it. By 4.0, you notice the difference in the fine details, and by 5.6, its very sharp, with very fine details sharply rendered (at least my copy). Another small step up at 8.0, minimal but noticable, and I didn't find anything really improved at 11.0. So, 4 is very usable, 5.6 is excellent, 8.0 razor sharp (technique permitting). 2.8 is absolutely usable, but may require some USM work in Photoshop, wheras, 4.0 or higher will be much easier to get the results you probably want.

The build quality is exceptional. Good, smooth manual focus ring. Very solidly built, and I think it can take the punishment it might receive from some users, just be careful not to get dust inside it, since the shift/tilt mechanisms does allow some possible problems with this, which I don't think can be mechanically avoided. It's heavy, but that doesn't bother me at all.

The lense rotates 270 (or is it 360?), which means you can shift up and down, or left and right ... I mention that because many people omit that, and it's obviously important.

Despite the partially negative comments, I think it's an excellent lense, and recommend it to the right audience. You just have to learn how to use it properly (like any quality tool) to get the best results. Focus, etc., can poses challenge, so you have to be up to learning some new technique, etc. (I order the Angle Finder C today just for this lense.) I think this lense can deliver results no other lense can (outside the other 2 TS-E lenses) ... the question is if it's the right creative or technical tool for you. I can't answer that for you, though. ;-)


Jun 29, 2006
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Paratima
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Registered: Mar 21, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2110
Review Date: Jun 21, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Tilt and Shift! Sharp edge-to-edge and corner-to-corner.
Cons:
Some learning involved (as with anything worth doing).

Bought mine from an FM'er some time ago. I have come to love it, especially for product shots! You can have everything from tea to breakfast in focus or isolate a narrow single band of focus with the rest blurred.

Easy to switch between landscape and portrait modes with the right screwdriver set and requisite care.

It is easily one of the sharpest lenses I own, and that includes the 24-70L and the 70-200 2.8L IS. It is in fact sharper over a broader range than the 24-70. Colors are true, operation smooth.

When shifting the plane of focus, set the exposure before tilting and re-focus afterward.


Jun 21, 2006
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rd4tile
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Registered: Mar 22, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2220
Review Date: Feb 9, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp, excellent build, easy to manual focus, auto aperture.
Cons:
Tilt and shift orientation difficult to change.

Even without the tilt/shift feature this lens would be a great prime. It's as sharp as any lens I've owned. Excellent and versatile focal length on a FF body. I found this lens was not that difficult to learn and use and has a high fun factor. It's too bad Canon couldn't have made it easier to reorientate the shift and tilt to the same axis (and back).

Feb 9, 2006
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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: 8 

Pros: solid build (even better than many lenses with the red ringie), shift/tilt convenience, good image quality
Cons:
heavy CA if you shift too much.

A great lens to shoot products and smaller architecture. Great for sculpture and flat artwork copyworks as well. Actually a great landscape lens too. this focal length is always considered not so 'interesting', it's simply not true. Canon's marketing folks need to remove the red ring from the slow plastic zooms and put it on this babe. By all means a classic.
Image is quality is very good (better than 24mm TSE), but once shifted too much it will show similar heavy CA. PS work is a must.


Sep 30, 2005
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gpfmartin
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Registered: Apr 13, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 172
Review Date: Aug 3, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,050.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Solid build, sharpness, interesting bokeh, more control over DOF & converging verticals
Cons:
Need 100% viewfinder for full control of tilt-swing focus, weight, 72mm filters, propensity for collecting dust when in use

If you shoot products, this is the lens for you. Tilt/swing can make your subject stand out in the frame.

This is my first t/s. I love this lens, but am frustrated that I cannot see 100% of my image with the 20d. Because of this, the manual recommends you only use this lens with the 1DSMkII or EOS 1. The 20d's LED does show 100% of your image, so I've been zooming in after shooting to see if my tilt/swing is correct.

I have also captured some good architectural shots, but the 24mm TS-E is probably best for these shots. I will probably get the 24mm, but photodo has ranked it slightly less sharp than the 45 and 90mm. It also has a max. of f/3.5.


Aug 3, 2005
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spartan123
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Registered: Nov 9, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 3683
Review Date: Sep 3, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent build! Easy to use. Fantastic photo's
Cons:
No AF.

I bought my lens from an FM member, he had it set up for parallel shooting. Absolutely love it.

Very sharp and a breeze to use. Fantastic photo's from the mid range TSE.

spartan


Sep 3, 2004
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Canon TS-E 45mm f/2.8

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
18 78878 Jun 27, 2012
Recommended By Average Price
89% of reviewers $1,081.40
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.46
8.77
9.5
ts452_1_


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