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Tilt and Shift Equipment  

Table of Content

  Canon Tilt and Shift Lenses
Tilt and Shift Lens MTF Characteristics


Tilt and Shift Lenses

Canon have always produced Tilt and Shift lenses, although I could never afford these for my old FD system. The current Tilt and Shift line-up consists of four lenses, the TS-E 17mm f/4L, the TS-E 24mm f/3.5LII, the TS-E 45mm f/2.8 and the TS-E 90mm f/2.8. There are also some independents out there.  










Tilt/Shift Range

Image Circle Diameter

Filter Dia

Closest Focus

Focus Method

Max Mag/w EF 12/w EF 24

Costs (May 05)

TS-E 17mm f/4 88.9 106.7 719775 820 6.5°/12mm independent directions rotatable 67.2mm N/A 0.25m RFS Not Suported    

TS-E 24mm f/3.5L










0.14/ 0.62-0.49 / 1.21-1.10


[1] [2]
TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II 85.5 106.9 613685 780 8.5°/12mm independent directions rotatable 67.2mm 82mm 0.21m RFS


Not Recommended


TS-E 45mm f/2.8










0.16/ 0.44-0.27/ Not Suported



TS-E 90mm f/2.8










0.19/ 0.43-0.14 / 0.60-0.31




For an amateur photographer probably the most useful (for landscape and architectural) is the 17mm and 24mm. Of course this is only a wide and  standard angle of view on the 1.6 crop factor camera but the increased apparent shift should make up for the reduced angle of view to an extent.

There are articles on the web on how to use  T&S, one important issue is if the tilt and shift axes should be aligned or orthogonal. Canon will change this for you at a service centre although a step-by-step guide suggests this is not too hard.

A T&S lens can also be useful for close-up work when used with extension tubes as this allows the plane of focus to be tilted, very useful when depth-of-field is so limited. In these applications one of the two longer lenses may be more practical to maintain a usable working distance. (Nikon do a nice macro T&S lens).

Using these lenses effectively requires a good tripod with a spirit level for keeping the sensor plane vertical so it is probably not worth having with you for general hand-held use.

I have looked at the technical aspects of T&S lenses on this page.

Go to the macro hardware page to see the estimated magnification and working distances for these lenses with tubes.

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Tilt and Shift Lens MTF Characteristics

In this section I compare Canon’s published MTF data for the three T&S lenses against similar focal length lenses to get an idea of their relative sharpness.

It is worth noting that Canon only publish the MTF data up to 22mm image circle radius. The TS-E lenses have an image circle radius up to 29.3mm with a maximum shift of 11mm. So on a full frame camera we have now knowledge of the edge resolution with shift. However, or APS-C sensors when can the edge performance up to 9mm of shift.

A single plot for stopped down contrast is included with 11mm for the bad side of the image  (the opposite side will of course have improved sharpness)  up to 11mm offset where it runs out. This is the last plot in each group.

Clearly, to maintain image quality with significant shift the lens should have excellent un-shifted edge performance.

The worst case of Sagittal and Meridonal performance is presented here. The average of the two directions are also available in the subdirectory. The EXEL worksheet used to produce the plots can be downloaded here.

TS-E Lenses
TS-E 24mm Shift
TS-E 45mm Shift
TS-E 90mm Shift


Back to MTF TOC

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How Shift Lenses Change your Life

EOS Documentation Project: Canon TS-E 24 mm f/3.5L Tilt/Shift Lens, Canon TS-E 45 mm f/2.8 Tilt/Shift Lens, Canon TS-E 90 mm f/2.8 Tilt/Shift Lens, Image Controls: Tilt and Shift.

Detailed Technical Article for View Cameras but relevant to 35mm T&S use.

Easy to understand view camera focusing article.

News Group Discussion

Canon FD Resources – FD TS 35mm f2.8.


Review: Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L

Avoiding Parallax while Stitching with Shift Lenses

Using 35mm T/S lenses

TS-E 17 mm for landscapes-nature - Canon EOS Forum (inc discussion about tilt causing converging verticals)

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Last Updated 01/10/2010

All Content © 2005-16 Lester Wareham All Rights Reserved     

All material is supplied  as is and without warranty, use at your own risk.  

All opinions stated are the authors own.

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