REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
CanonTS-E 45mm f/2.8 Tilt-Shift Lens
 
4.6

(based on 73 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (56)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (12)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

95%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Strong construction (51)
  • Durable (35)
  • Consistent output (33)
  • Easily interchangeable (23)
  • Rugged (23)

Cons

  • Heavy (16)
  • Slow focus (5)

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (46)
  • Weddings (26)
  • Special effects (10)
  • General purpose (9)
  • Low light (9)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Pro photographer (27), Semi-pro photographer (18), Photo enthusiast (12), Professional (6), Semi-professional (4)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (49)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Back to 'Normal'

After much deliberation, I bought the Canon TS-E 45mm lens for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that I wanted to get back to 'normal' perspective, since most of my...Read complete review

After much deliberation, I bought the Canon TS-E 45mm lens for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that I wanted to get back to 'normal' perspective, since most of my images have been ultra-wide-angle to telephoto; also, I wanted to be able to change aspect ratios as well as create images that would provide provide great depth of field and, when printed in a large format, excellent sharpness.

I had considered the 90mm version but decided that my tele-extender could be used with the 45mm instead. Works fine.

Very recently, I had a two-landscape-format vertically-stitched image printed at 18" x 18" as a test for this lens. It was printed by a Canon ImagePROGRAF iPF765 printer on matte paper. The result is absolutely stunning: color is perfect, and sharpness extends from the tips of my toes out to mountains approximately 18 miles away.

As others have pointed out, it would be nice to have the tilt and shift functions rotatable independently of each other, as on the 17mm version of the lens, but changing the alignment is no big deal. It cannot be done on the fly, however. [One recommendation...lay down a white T shirt or such on your work area, as it will prevent a dropped screw from bouncing/rolling out of sight.] This limitation is the only reason for not giving this lens a 5-star rating.

This lens appears to be ruggedly built, and it provides a nice weight that makes handholding much easier than with lighter lenses. HOWEVER, to get the best results, use a tripod, a cable/remote/timer release, and set the camera to silent mode (if available).

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Useful, but poor glass

I shoot architecture, so TS is useful for me. I have the whole range of Canon ts lenses and this is by far the poorest offering.

The "tack...Read complete review

I shoot architecture, so TS is useful for me. I have the whole range of Canon ts lenses and this is by far the poorest offering.

The "tack sharp" reviews on here are wide of the mark. It is distinctly soft, has quite severe barrel distortion which is difficult to correct once you've shifted, and suffers from very bad chromatic aberration.

The movement is useful, but pretty small. Desperately in need of an update with more movement, and locking nobs (like the updated 24mm) so you dont accidentally get a smidge of unwanted swing.

Given the small amount of movement, you may as well get a Sigma 50mm which is a million miles better in terms of image quality and do a bit of keystoning in post.

Reviewed by 73 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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4.0

Chromatic aberration

By Vince

from Los Gatos

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Pros

  • Strong Construction

Cons

  • Chromatic Aberration

Best Uses

    Comments about Canon TS-E 45mm f/2.8 Tilt-Shift Lens:

    Thought I would try the lens for HDR landscapes. The chromatic aberration is so high that I get rainbows in the HDR results. Works fine for standard landscapes as long as I correct for the aberration. Probably can do the same thing in the multiple images needed for HDR but that multiplies the pain factor, literally.

    Generally the lens is well built and has served me well for food and product photography. However, HDR landscapes is not the thing for this lens.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    1.0

    Soft and Horrible chromatic aberration

    By BH

    from North Vancouver, BC

    About Me Pro Photographer

    Pros

    • Strong Construction

    Cons

    • Blurry Focus

    Best Uses

      Comments about Canon TS-E 45mm f/2.8 Tilt-Shift Lens:

      I bought this lens for Architectural photography and it has some major issues. The chromatic aberration is extremely obvious. 100% zoom shows that the lens produces soft/muddy images even when perfect focus is achieved. Also the amount of shift capability is not sufficient enough to actually be useful. I would save your money and get the 24

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      • No

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      (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

       
      2.0

      Useful, but poor glass

      By GG Archard

      from London, UK

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Durable

      Cons

      • Barrel distortion
      • Blurry Focus
      • Chromatic aberration
      • Swing Easily Slips

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/Scenery

      Comments about Canon TS-E 45mm f/2.8 Tilt-Shift Lens:

      I shoot architecture, so TS is useful for me. I have the whole range of Canon ts lenses and this is by far the poorest offering.

      The "tack sharp" reviews on here are wide of the mark. It is distinctly soft, has quite severe barrel distortion which is difficult to correct once you've shifted, and suffers from very bad chromatic aberration.

      The movement is useful, but pretty small. Desperately in need of an update with more movement, and locking nobs (like the updated 24mm) so you dont accidentally get a smidge of unwanted swing.

      Given the small amount of movement, you may as well get a Sigma 50mm which is a million miles better in terms of image quality and do a bit of keystoning in post.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (5 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      B+ Glass

      By E-Man

      from Atlanta, GA

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Nice Bokeh
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Weddings/Events

        Comments about Canon TS-E 45mm f/2.8 Tilt-Shift Lens:

        I really wanted an L-series tilt shift lens somewhere in the 35mm to 70mm range. Unfortunately, such a lens does not exist. This was the only one that fit the bill. I intend to use this mostly for creative wedding portraits and details, and the 24mm tilt-shift L-series that Canon offers is just too wide for my needs.The 45mm is good, but not great. There is a clear difference in image quality from L glass. The lens tends to deliver better images at low ISOs (100-400) in natural light. The tilt shift mechanism is excellent, and I'm happy overall. I just notice the slight drop off in image quality.All of my other wedding lenses are L-series. This lens will work for what I need it to do, but hopefully someday will make a 50 mm L tilt-shift.

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        • No

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        (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Canon Quality at it's Best!

        By photoguy1001

        from Cameron Park, CA

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Durable
        • Rugged
        • Smooth Movement
        • Solid feel
        • Strong Construction
        • TACK SHARP

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Architectural Images
          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Stitching

          Comments about Canon TS-E 45mm f/2.8 Tilt-Shift Lens:

          Tack sharp, and you can tilt/shift the lens...what more can you ask for in a prime lense. I've shot large format for decades, and have sore missed the ability to correct perspective with my Canon 5D Mark II DSLR. Yes, this can be dome in Photoshop, or with various plug-ins, but at a loss of quality, and total pixels for h4 finished image. I love the abiliy to do it all in camera, and hope to expand my TS lenses to include the 24mm.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • Yes

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          (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Great TS lens

          By don

          from san jose, CA

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Durable
          • Easily Interchangeable
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery

            Comments about Canon TS-E 45mm f/2.8 Tilt-Shift Lens:

            I have only used this lens a short time so far but it brings back some of the control I had with my LF view camera. It appears very sharp and the controls are easy to use. The ability to rotate both the tilt and shift throughout a 90 degree range gives relatively precise control. The manual focus with Live View 10x works very well. I only use the camera with a tripod, mirror up, silent mode, with a remote switch, so image stabilization has not been an issue so far. I use the lens mostly for landscape photography and architectural subjects and am completely satisfied with them so far. It can be a bit slow to set up the correct focus and depth of field but I'm used to that and don't mind. I usually work slowly and methodically - it is certainly not the lens for quick grab shots or action photography or where a large number of shots with different conditions need to be accommodated. I use the 3 TS lenses I have as prime lenses along with a pair of zooms for longer isolation shots.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Back to 'Normal'

            By Stevo

            from Southwest CO

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Beautiful Color
            • Durable
            • Rugged
            • Sharp detail
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

            • No Independent Ts Rotate

            Best Uses

            • Indoors/Low Light
            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Making Large Images
            • Stitch Easily And Rapidly

            Comments about Canon TS-E 45mm f/2.8 Tilt-Shift Lens:

            After much deliberation, I bought the Canon TS-E 45mm lens for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that I wanted to get back to 'normal' perspective, since most of my images have been ultra-wide-angle to telephoto; also, I wanted to be able to change aspect ratios as well as create images that would provide provide great depth of field and, when printed in a large format, excellent sharpness.

            I had considered the 90mm version but decided that my tele-extender could be used with the 45mm instead. Works fine.

            Very recently, I had a two-landscape-format vertically-stitched image printed at 18" x 18" as a test for this lens. It was printed by a Canon ImagePROGRAF iPF765 printer on matte paper. The result is absolutely stunning: color is perfect, and sharpness extends from the tips of my toes out to mountains approximately 18 miles away.

            As others have pointed out, it would be nice to have the tilt and shift functions rotatable independently of each other, as on the 17mm version of the lens, but changing the alignment is no big deal. It cannot be done on the fly, however. [One recommendation...lay down a white T shirt or such on your work area, as it will prevent a dropped screw from bouncing/rolling out of sight.] This limitation is the only reason for not giving this lens a 5-star rating.

            This lens appears to be ruggedly built, and it provides a nice weight that makes handholding much easier than with lighter lenses. HOWEVER, to get the best results, use a tripod, a cable/remote/timer release, and set the camera to silent mode (if available).

            Share this reviewHelp Icon

            (4 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Love Love Love

            By BH addict

            from Chicago, IL

            About Me Pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Consistent Output
            • Durable
            • Easily Interchangeable
            • Rugged
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Weddings/Events

              Comments about Canon TS-E 45mm f/2.8 Tilt-Shift Lens:

              I know people say that you can easily create this effect in PS. I prefer to have the legit organic version! I love this lens. It's a bit of money - but worth the investment!!

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              • No

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              (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Great for Panoramics

              By W.J.

              from Atlanta, GA

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Durable
              • High resolution
              • Strong Construction
              • Well-built Smooth Focus

              Cons

              • Heavy

              Best Uses

              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Macro Photography

              Comments about Canon TS-E 45mm f/2.8 Tilt-Shift Lens:

              I use this mostly for creating panoramas. The normal focal length is perfect for that. You end up with a panorama equivalent to about a 110-degree wide angle with a lot of detail since the file is huge. Focus is well-damped and easy to achieve if you keep the shutter button partially depressed. The tilt feature improves macros by allowing greater depth of field. Build quality is really "L" but Canon chooses not to label it that way. A T/S lense should be in everyone's bag. I highly recommend it.

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              • No

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              (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              cool lens for "dreamy" images

              By Wil

              from Philadelphia, PA

              About Me Pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Makes Anything Look Cool
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

              • Manual focus only

              Best Uses

              • Edgy Portraits
              • Weddings/Events

              Comments about Canon TS-E 45mm f/2.8 Tilt-Shift Lens:

              This is my new favorite lens. I've been wanting to use this lens for quite some time now after seeing what others are doing with it - it can make a very "dreamy" effect when used in portraiture.

              I'm a wedding photographer and I already own most, if not all, of the canon lenses that are typically used for wedding photography(all the standard zooms and a bunch of L series prime lenses). I wanted to add something to my lens lineup that would offer me some different, creative options that I didn't already have available to me... something to make my portfolio stand out. This 45mm Tilt sure does deliver that. There's a bit of a learning curve with this lens so it took me about a day of messing around with it to get what I wanted out of it, but I feel like I've got a good idea of how to use it now.

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              • No

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              (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Something completely different

              By Christy

              from New Jersey

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Consistent Output
              • Creative Outlet
              • Strong Construction
              • Well Made

              Cons

              • Expensive
              • Learning curve

              Best Uses

              • Fine art
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Macro Photography
              • Portraits

              Comments about Canon TS-E 45mm f/2.8 Tilt-Shift Lens:

              This lens is impeccably made and allows you to experiment with photography in a way few other lenses can. Between the depth of field options, tilt, and shift, there is so much you can do with this lens. It takes work learning how the different settings work (separately + together) but it's definitely worth your time. Also, it's manual focus, so practice before you use it on a big job. Definitely worth the money and so much fun to use!

              Works with a variety of cameras. I shoot with a 40D currently but if I consider upgrading to a mark, I can use the lens with that model as well.

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              • No

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              (5 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

               
              2.0

              Sunset Landscape Problems

              By Photographer

              from Maryland

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Pros

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Indoors/Low Light
                  • Landscape/Scenery
                  • Night Photography

                  Comments about Canon TS-E 45mm f/2.8 Tilt-Shift Lens:

                  This lens will have significant problems with point sources of light -- specifically when maximum shift is applied. Photographing a landscape with the sun just above the horizon caused substantial lens flare artifacts.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  (3 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Great lens.

                  By Drew Fallout

                  from Freehold, NJ

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Durable
                  • Easily Interchangeable
                  • Lightweight
                  • Strong Construction

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Video

                    Comments about Canon TS-E 45mm f/2.8 Tilt-Shift Lens:

                    This lens is great. A lot of fun and can be used practically. Obviously it can be used for the "miniature" trick, but also works well as a standard 45. It also work well for straightening out edges when doing architecture. Would make sure that you have a good 24-70 and 70-200 in your kit before buying this. It can be limiting at times.

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                    • No

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                    (2 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Perfection

                    By Amanda

                    from Dallas

                    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Consistent Output
                    • Lightweight
                    • Nice Bokeh
                    • Rugged
                    • Strong Construction

                    Cons

                    • Poor in Low Light

                    Best Uses

                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Weddings/Events

                    Comments about Canon TS-E 45mm f/2.8 Tilt-Shift Lens:

                    I love this lens, so worth every penny . Easy to use and very sharp. I use this for weddings and portraits.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Effectively delivers as promised

                    By RonD

                    from New York City

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Close To L Quality
                    • Durable
                    • Great Focus Possible
                    • Unique Capabilities

                    Cons

                    • Manual Focus
                    • No Independent Rotation

                    Best Uses

                    • Architecture
                    • Artistic
                    • Landscape/Scenery

                    Comments about Canon TS-E 45mm f/2.8 Tilt-Shift Lens:

                    Solid construction, good performance. It takes a bit of practice to get the hang of using the tilt and shift functions, but after a session of experimentation it has gone smoothly. The focus you can achieve in either mode can be very sharp, though it does require manual focusing as in all TSE lenses. In short, if you need tilt/shift capabilities, this lens does a great job.

                    It would be handy if you could rotate the tilt and shift sections separately (as with the new 24mm TSE), but doing so using a small screwdriver wasn't that difficult - you just couldn't do it ad hoc in the field.

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                    • No

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                    (0 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Awesome

                    By Clark Matthews

                    from Leesville, South Carolina

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Consistent Output
                    • Nice Bokeh
                    • Rugged
                    • Strong Construction

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Macro Photography
                      • Night Photography
                      • Weddings/Events
                      • Wildlife Photos

                      Comments about Canon TS-E 45mm f/2.8 Tilt-Shift Lens:

                      Very sharp prime lens even without any tilt/shift. Has not been off my camera since I got it. Has the solid, heavy, precision feel to it that makes manual focusing easy and reminds you that this lens is not a toy. (EOS focus confirmation is there if you need it, though) Tilt/shift opens up opportunities too numerous to mention. Had no idea (T/S) could add so much to any type of picture subject. My only regret is that I did not get (the FD version) for my old Canon A-1 30+ years ago.

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                      • No

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                      (0 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Great creative lens!

                      By shutterstruck

                      from Fort Worth,TX

                      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Consistent Output
                      • Durable
                      • Easily Interchangeable
                      • Nice Bokeh
                      • Rugged
                      • Strong Construction

                      Cons

                      • Slow Focus

                      Best Uses

                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Night Photography
                      • Video
                      • Weddings/Events
                      • Wildlife Photos

                      Comments about Canon TS-E 45mm f/2.8 Tilt-Shift Lens:

                      This lens will take a bit getting used to but it's a great addition to my lens collection. This is a good mid range TS lens and is great for both landscape and portrait!

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                      • No

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                      (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      4.0

                      Sweet creative lens

                      By shutterstruck

                      from Fort Worth, TX

                      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Easily Interchangeable
                      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                      • Lightweight
                      • Nice Bokeh

                      Cons

                      • Poor in Low Light

                      Best Uses

                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Weddings/Events

                      Comments about Canon TS-E 45mm f/2.8 Tilt-Shift Lens:

                      The first lens I received was faulty due to connection error with the camera. However, BH was being great as always and made the exchange process very simple. I received a good lens a few days later. This lens took a bit getting used to with the tilt and shift function. It is not an everyday use lens but does give interesting photographs with a little creativity.

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                      • No

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                      (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      3.0

                      Sharp at close range

                      By Matty_BSC

                      from New Haven, CT

                      About Me Pro Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Nicely built
                      • Smooth focus ring

                      Cons

                      • Lock knobs very small
                      • Slightly soft
                      • Tilt and shift opposite

                      Best Uses

                      • Macro Photography
                      • Weddings/Events

                      Comments about Canon TS-E 45mm f/2.8 Tilt-Shift Lens:

                      I do a lot of product still life's and I bought this lens for minor perspective corrections but mostly for increased DOF. When shooting small prodcuts close up this lens was as sharp as any L but at distances over 15 feet I found this lens was quite soft even at f22. I did find the creative uses for portrait and wedding photography out weighed the shortcomings of the lens in the studio.

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                      • No

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                      (11 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      4.0

                      Great for Landscape

                      By tk1138

                      from Denver CO

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Good build quality
                      • Unique effect

                      Cons

                      • Manual focus only

                      Best Uses

                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Product Photography

                      Comments about Canon TS-E 45mm f/2.8 Tilt-Shift Lens:

                      Unless you think you need a Tilt & Shift Lens, you probably won't use it much, that said it's a very interesting tool. For a manual focus only lens I do use it moderately, and plan to use it more once spring is in bloom. The 45mm focal lenght on a FF camera yeilds a "normal" perspective when prints are made and viewed at the typical 2:1 distance from print to size of print ratio.

                      Tilting the lens changes the angle of the plane of sharp focus, meaning you can make just a "slice" of a scene in focus, and with the rotate function of this lens, you can chose the angle of the slice. Seven degrees of tilt is more than enough for most landscape, a decent amount for close product photography such as food, and not nearly as much as I'd want for macro. The maximum magnification on this lens isn't very high, so it's not really a great macro lens. Using extension tubes puts the space between the lens and the camera's focal plane which makes the tilt less significant – it's workable, but there are better solutions, such as focus stacking.

                      The Shift feature changes the distortion which lets you take architectural pics without having the vertical lines merging – I've only used it for this purpose a couple of times. You can also introduce distortion deliberately for fun portraits.

                      The lens rotates 180 degrees (moving the shift and tilt effects relative to the body) with 30 degree detents and both the tilt and shift functions are symmetrical, so you can get any orientation you like relative to the body.

                      As it's shipped, the tilt and shift features work 90 degrees apart. It's possible to change them to be aligned with a good screwdriver, but that's not for the faint of heart so I won't detail the steps here. It would be nice if there was a purchase option with the features aligned as it's generally more useful. I have used both features at the 90 degree settings, but it's more for "creative" than for documentation.

                      One common use for these lenses is to create a miniature-model effect by using a high tilt setting, large aperture, and often a high vantage point.

                      I generally use a tripod with this lens, and often use live view at x10 magnification. My work flow is something like: set the tilt and shift about where I want them, frame and focus the shot, adjust shift and tilt adjustments, reframe, refocus, and iterate. If there's any tilt, reframing will require refocusing, so I reframe first and refocus as the very last step.

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                      • No

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