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CanonTS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Lens
 
4.8

(based on 130 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (114)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (12)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

98%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Strong construction (62)
  • Consistent output (57)
  • Durable (43)
  • Rugged (32)
  • Easily interchangeable (22)

Cons

  • Heavy (26)
  • Difficult to clean (4)
  • Manual focus only (4)
  • Heavy / bulky (3)
  • Poor in low light (3)

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (81)
  • Architecture (34)
  • Low light (22)
  • Night photography (12)
  • Architecture interiors (9)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Pro photographer (62), Semi-pro photographer (37), Photo enthusiast (19)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (95)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Yeah, Its Worth It

In the world of professional photography, cameras and lenses are tools of the trade. I photograph interiors and exteriors of high end real estate. My lens of choice was the Leitz 19mm Elmarit...Read complete review

In the world of professional photography, cameras and lenses are tools of the trade. I photograph interiors and exteriors of high end real estate. My lens of choice was the Leitz 19mm Elmarit R f2.8 version 1. I used it on my Canon 1ds mk-II. It has great sharpness, is well corrected and produces images with very good color and contrast. I thought about purchasing the Canon 14mm f2.8 for its extreme wide angle capability but after 25 years of view camera experience I opted for the 17mm TS-E. I am so glad I did. The Canon 17mm TS-E offers me shift correction which is invaluable in my line of work. It is extremely well corrected, has little chromatic aberration, and handles direct window light with little or no flare - amazing considering the bulbous design of the front element. Canon did their homework on coatings with this lens. The only time I experienced flare was direct sunlight hitting the element from the side and that was easily corrected by using my hand as a gobo. Is it as sharp as the Leitz 19mm? Could be although the contrast and color reproduction seem a tad soft in comparison. In all fairness to the 17mm TS-E, I just got it and have used it on only 1 job so far. My oberservations are strictly "seat of the pants" and not scientific in nature. This lens takes a little time getting used to but if you have view camera experience you will be up to speed quickly. The build quality is excellent and the weight doesn't bother me at all. I see some reviewers taking exception to the price but I don't. This lens accomplishes what no other lens in today's market can do. I waited, saved and researched this lens for 2 years before purchasing it and am very happy that it is now part of my "tool box." Like all specialty lenses the Canon 17mm TS-E is not for everyone. But for those who make their living like I do, this is one purchase you'll wish you had made long ago.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

unacceptable performance when tilted

What a heartbreaker!

Before ordering this TS-E 17mm f/4L, I checked all the review sites. None tested its performance when tilted. It looked good by the tests they...Read complete review

What a heartbreaker!

Before ordering this TS-E 17mm f/4L, I checked all the review sites. None tested its performance when tilted. It looked good by the tests they did do. So I ordered it.

The following results and observations are from testing the lens in carefully controlled conditions on two Canon 5D Mark II bodies.

I have been using view cameras and/or tilt-shift lenses for over 30 years. There are lenses that are optically designed to perform well when tilted and/or shifted. This is definitely not one of them.

The TS-E 17mm f/4L optically turns to junk when tilted. Tilted as little as 1 degree, the image quality visibly deteriorates, and it is only useable tilted up to 2 degrees. When tilted 3 degrees or more, the image quality becomes bad beyond belief.

If you absolutely MUST use this lens in tilted mode, just know that you must stop down to f22, use a lot of software sharpening, and know that your final image size will only look acceptable up to maybe 4x6"

When UNTILTED, this lens performs amazingly well for a 17mm rectilinear lens, with very little geometric distortion and chromatic aberration. At f4, the corners are a little soft, but with selective software sharpening and vignetting compensation, a usable image can be created. f5.6 is very good, and f8-11 creates images that need no help at all. Very nice and amazing for a 17mm rectilinear lens!

Its shifted performance is mediocre, as the outer edges of the image circle deteriorate in quality. If you shift only a few millimeters and stop down to f11-16, you can come away with an acceptable image.

So here's the bottom line. If Canon chose to sell this glass as a 17mm rectilinear wide-angle lens, it would be a masterpiece, or close to it. If they chose to put it in a mount that allowed shifts of just a few mm, it would be nice. But when packaged in a mount that allows tilts, it becomes a major disappointment and a real black-eye for Canon. Canon needs to hire someone from Schneider or Rodenstock to learn how to create glass that can be tilted, because this lens doesn't even come close. The lens feels and looks nice, and operates smoothly. But all for naught.

So I am forced to return the lens.

Reviewed by 130 customers

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(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Great lens for real estate photography!

By BRS

from Texas

About Me Pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Real Estate

      Comments about Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Lens:

      After 20 years of professional work, I've moved into a new field and needed perspective correction. It took me a while to work with this to see what it can do, but once I understood how it worked, it's invaluable for interior and exterior real estate shots. Expensive, but worth the price if you're working in this field. I'd love it to have auto focus, auto exposure, and easier wheels to turn, but have learned to work around these things and the final product is worth the effort.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      5.0

      Glad I finally gave in and bought this lens

      By Danny Boy

      from Wilmington,De

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Really Wide
      • Rugged
      • Sharp

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Architecture
        • Landscape/Scenery

        Comments about Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Lens:

        I had been resisting buying this lens. I shoot architecture and have never been a fan of the wide angle look but that is all changing. I like the option of the more dynamic look of the 17mm, it isn't always appropriate but it looks great when done well. The 17tse can also be helpful when trying to avoid traffic lights, signs, trees and cars, you have the option of getting closer to your subject and past all of the surrounding clutter. The build is sturdy and the images don't disapoint.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        God's eye

        By Straight Verts!

        from Boston, MA

        About Me Pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • Razor Sharp

        Cons

        • Heavy

        Best Uses

        • Architecture
        • Landscape/Scenery

        Comments about Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Lens:

        I have rented this lens for years, but as my architectural work became more and more steady, it just seemed to be time to buy it. I have dubbed this lens the eye of god, because in a word, it's FLAWLESS. I have never really used the tilt function, but I just the perspective shift on a daily basis. It is razor sharp too. I usually manually focus through the view finder, then take it in to live view, zoom in and double check. I have paired this with a 5DS body, and it's a winning team for shooting architecture.

        Roger from lens rentals says it best: If you don't know what it is, you don't want it.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        5.0

        Excellent!

        By Beckett

        from California

        About Me Pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Aspherical Correctness
        • Excellent Sharpness

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Architectural Photography
          • Interior Photography
          • Product Photography

          Comments about Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Lens:

          For those of us that learned on a view camera... this is perfection!
          It will take time to learn all of the benefits and how to use a TS lens but this one is perfection. No flaws what so ever!

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          5.0

          Awesome lens

          By MrSpecificity

          from Bay Area, CA

          About Me Pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Consistent Output
          • Durable
          • Rugged
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Lens:

              This lens is an absolute must-have for shooting architecture. I use it about 85% of the time. Sure it distorts, but there are ways to deal with it and make it work, make it beautiful and dramatic.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (5 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              It's the view camera for us ordinary folks

              By Bill

              from Houston, Texas

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Consistent Output
              • Easily Interchangeable
              • Rugged

              Cons

              • Heavy

              Best Uses

              • Landscape/Scenery

              Comments about Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Lens:

              I'm an amateur who likes to shoot disappearing Americana, and that often means small towns and the architecture that is disappearing--or just being defaced--with them. Yes, Photoshop tools can help, but with the new 50.6 megapixel 5DSR, I'm striving for something approaching what real professionals can do with their 4x5 cameras. Super detail without distortion to do justice to the old strip buildings, the Art Deco courthouses, and the rest.

              This lens allows me to get close enough to eliminate a lot of clutter, and the lens shift straightens out those otherwise leaning buildings. Neither the 5DSR nor the TS-E 17mm come with talent included, but at least what talent I can muster doesn't need Photoshop to get what I see on paper.

              This is a super lens, able to make use of all of the 50.6 million little dots in the camera. I used to know a great architectural photographer who used Canon gear for the work he published in several books. I'm sorry he passed away before he could use this lens and the 5DSR. I think he'd have made a trip to reshoot all his work.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Everything I hoped it would be and more

              By Jack Flash

              from Nashville, Tennessee

              About Me Pro Photographer

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Great features
              • Optical Excellence

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Architectural photography

                Comments about Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Lens:

                Technically excellent, optically astounding and simply amazing. If you are an architectural photographer, you already know that you need this. If you are a landscape photographer and are tired of shooting towards the sky at a 45 degree angle and watching all the trees vertically converge towards the top center of the photograph, then you also need this. If you have deep pockets and only want the very best toys whether you know how to use them well or not, then you need this, too! Make sure you purchase the Fotodiox Wonderpana Freearc system with a uv filter as it will act as your protector of the bulbous front end while allowing full movement with no vignetting!

                • Was this a gift?:
                • Yes

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                (7 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Great Lens but be careful.

                By Chris

                from Middleton, WI

                About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Elegant

                Cons

                • Demands Care
                • Demands Careful Handling

                Best Uses

                • Indoors/Low Light
                • Landscape/Scenery

                Comments about Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Lens:

                I use the lens for architectural and landscape work. The build quality is very impressive but be careful when you receive the lens. It comes with a larger size knob for the shift mechanism and instructions to install it in lieu of the one provided. Don't do it! Either have B&H or Canon do it or Canon may invalidate your warranty for trying. It also requires a jeweler's phillips screwdriver. Canon eventually agreed to change the knob under warranty but I had to go to the supervisor level for help.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Great lens

                By serranophoto

                from Maine

                About Me Pro Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Durable
                • Strong Construction

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Architecture
                  • Landscape/Scenery

                  Comments about Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Lens:

                  I use this lens primarily for architecture photography and after renting it multiple times I decided it was time to have it in the camera bag all the time. The lens does distort a little but it is to be expected from a 17mm. Great to shoot in tight spaces.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Amazing

                  By mahatma63

                  from Milan, Italy

                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Durable
                  • Rugged
                  • Strong Construction

                  Cons

                  • Difficult to Clean
                  • Heavy

                  Best Uses

                  • Architecture
                  • Indoors/Low Light
                  • Landscape/Scenery

                  Comments about Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Lens:

                  A unique lens, great for architecture shots, but also as a super wideangle (if not tilted or shifted).
                  I use it both on a 5DMK3 and a Sony A7r with Metabones adapter IV and the results are definitely stunning.
                  The front lens requires much care, don't forget it.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Lens

                  By Oifla62

                  from Massachusetts

                  Comments about Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Lens:

                  It's a perfect lens for landscaping, very happy to have it I strongly recommend to purchase it.

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                  (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Great lens

                  By Thomas

                  from Portland Oregon

                  About Me Pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Comments about Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Lens:

                  Before purchase - other reviews said the lens was soft on the edges. This lens is designed for professional photography - used on a tri-pod and stopped down to f16 the lens gives amazing results edge to edge. The lens is expensive - but gives great returns if used correctly.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  (7 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Nightnoise

                  By Nightnoise

                  from Denver, CO

                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Landscape/Scenery

                      Comments about Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Lens:

                      If you are looking at Canon tilt-shift lenses you are headed for a serious financial commitment. I started out buying an EOS 5D Mark III so that I could take advantage of full frame and eventually buy these lenses due to their extraordinary capabilities. Along the way I bought a 24-70 II, the TS-E-17 and TS-E-24 II. I reasoned that I needed both the TS-E-17 and TS-E-24 II because in the past I have used both angles of view with my EF-S 10-22 on crop. And I bought a 3 series tripod and full size ball head for this setup (mfg. name withheld). This contemplative style of photography really deserves a solid tripod and ball head. I can't imagine hand holding these TS-E lenses on the 5D Mark III without dropping one.

                      So, for the price of a nice used car I now have the tools I need to follow my dreams. The build quality of these TS-E lenses is just spectacular. And there is something soul satisfying about manual focus lenses with lots of adjustment knobs. I cut my teeth in photography on 4x5 sheet film cameras that didn't even have light meters so in some ways this brings me back full circle. In closing, if you choose to go down this road, save your money and get as many tools as you can get at one time. Half a bag of tools won't match a full bag of tools and you only live once.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      (2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      One of the canon's perfect lens

                      By Terry

                      from San Jose CA

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Consistent Output

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Landscape/Scenery

                        Comments about Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Lens:

                        The 17mm ts lens helped me to reach full DOF when do landscape photography.

                        Works great with fotodiox wonderpana system.

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                        (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        New favorite lens

                        By ML

                        from USA

                        About Me Pro Photographer

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Consistent Output
                        • Easily Interchangeable

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Lens:

                            This is a go-to lens for real estate photography. Perfect lines, gorgeous color, lots of room to shoot in natural light, especially with bracketed shots. It's a tiny bit technical, (i.e., tilt must be locked in place to keep focus throughout the image, rotation needed to capture panoramas without distortion, manual focus only), but that's part of the fun. It's impossible to use a hood AND get this wide an angle of view, so be careful moving from position to position, especially through doorways as the round lens element is exposed. With the lens attached, the camera doesn't lay flat on its side and the cap is plastic, so I store the lens on-camera with the camera on it's back (lens element facing up).

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                            (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            awesome lens

                            By gifred

                            from sherman, ct

                            About Me Pro Photographer

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Durable
                            • Easily Interchangeable
                            • Rugged
                            • Strong Construction

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Indoors/Low Light
                              • Landscape/Scenery

                              Comments about Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Lens:

                              architecture landscapes and architecture interiors
                              i use it with my infrared camera..canon 1Ds

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

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                              (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              Amazing glass

                              By Pam

                              from Southern VA

                              Comments about Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Lens:

                              This a a lens that delivers...it does an amazing job with both landscapes and architecture. I look forward to putting this glass to work in the days and weeks ahead.

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                              (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              An awesome optical instrument

                              By Frank Lloyd Wright

                              from Wash DC

                              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Strong Construction

                              Cons

                              • Heavy

                              Best Uses

                              • Landscape/Scenery

                              Comments about Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Lens:

                              Straightens out buildings & tilting the plane of focus is amazing. This is a very sharp lens.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

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                              (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              Fabulous Lens

                              By Marty

                              from Santa Ana, Ca

                              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                              Verified Buyer

                              Comments about Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Lens:

                              This is an outstanding lens and a fitting companion to the 24mm TS-E. The only downside was the bulging front element that did not allow for any filters. Lee has partially solved this problem with a new adaptor. Not perfect, but does allow the use of their basic kit.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

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                              (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              4.0

                              Wide and sharp!

                              By Bob

                              from Eastern Washington

                              About Me Pro Photographer

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Consistent Output
                              • Sharp

                              Cons

                              • Lens Flare

                              Best Uses

                              • architectural

                              Comments about Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Lens:

                              Yes you can do lens/distortion correction in Photoshop and Lightroom, but getting it right in the camera is always best. This lens is sharp and the image quality is superb. It is manual focus only, so I would recommend using live view and a Hoodman Loupe or shooting tethered to insure perfect focus. It is wide and sharp. Lens flare can be an issue with this lens.

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                              • No

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