When I bought
last lens, I was considering the Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II USM for my
next purchase. I went back and forth between that lens and this
lens, the TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II.
In the end I decided that since I already have a good
zoom that I can use, and no comparable tilt-shift lens of any kind, it
made more sense to buy this lens than to replicate something (at least
in type and functionally) that I already have. I have no doubt I will
continue to raise funds to get the 70-200 but really felt this lens was
the next logical item for my type of shooting.
quest to find space in my home, I identified a number of items that
needed to be sold. The funds generated would pay for this lens.
I sold a number of really nice cameras and lenses that were quite
collectible but either redundant or wide of the focus I have for my
collection, which is primarily oriented around
Asahi Pentax products of the 1960's and
1970's. With only some mild misgivings I sold the very rare
SMC Pentax Zoom 135~600mm,
the ME-Super and all K-mount
lenses except the
Soft-85mm, a few
and a number of new but never displayed die cast models. When that
fell short of the amount necessary, I sold the lawn tractor we no longer
use and started on a large pile of Jeep parts that I will never use.
Pretty soon the money was raised to purchase this lens. If I keep
this up I am going to have a nicely empty house and garage and a fat
The lens arrived
on a Saturday and the following day was to be dedicated to a baseball
game in Pittsburgh. My heart sunk because there is no practical
use for an ultra-wide tilt-shift lens at a baseball game.
Notwithstanding, I packed the lens anyway in the off chance that I would
have an opportunity to use the lens during our walk to the park.
Sure enough, the
city center of Pittsburgh is rich with subjects that are best
photographed with just such a lens as this. I managed my
excitement and kept my priority on going to the baseball game, making
mental note that I would make some images with this new lens when the
game was over and we walked back to our car.
At the end of the
game I swapped lenses and we started our walk. I made several
images (see above) using the shift feature, and one using the tilt
feature. I am very pleased with the results though I carelessly
failed to focus accurately a couple times, and was forced to travel
light with no tripod. An additional frustration was the security
guard at PPG Place who interrupted me to stop me from taking pictures of
"the top of the building" due to "concerns following 9-11"... He
didn't resonate with my comment that I can't see the "top of the
building from here on the ground" and admonished me to "keep the camera
pointing at eye level". Hence the images above, though I suspect
the ultra-wide nature of the lens combined with the shift front no-doubt
produced some images shown here that he probably was hoping to
discourage. It's a little dumb given the official web site has
generous images of the towers from several angles, and given that better
images of the "top" may be made from outside the plaza.
Additionally the web site makes no mention of any such rules. So I
have to wonder if it was a slow day for the security guard and he just
needed to assert some control...
Four of the
images above labeled "crop" are taken from the un-reduced full-sized
image, to illustrate the quality of this lens in the corners, though it
unfortunately also highlights my hand-held, careless focusing. The
only real testimony to be derived from those shots is the incredible
lack of chromatic aberration. As this was made with the shift
engaged, the image was made with the outer regions of the lens - really
quite impressive even in spite of my technical goofs. I hope to
return to this location with a tripod and permission in writing to point
my camera "above eye level"...
The sample images
at the top of the page were made with this lens on 4/18/2010.
There appears to be great potential for some nice landscapes from this
I recommend using
"Live View" with the grid turned on (provided your camera has this
feature) to aid in getting the lines parallel and vertical. For
the same effect through the viewfinder, the Eg-D focusing screen is a
must. It's not very expensive and provides the same aid to
alignment as the grid on Live View.