Canon Announces 3 new Tilt Shift Lenses - What to Expect

September 05, 2017

John brings you to speed on Canon's current line of Tilt Shift Lenses and lets you know what to expect from the 3 new lenses announced at the end of August 2017.

The Shift and Tilt functions of the TS-E 24mm are demonstrated in this live video and the independent rotation of the Tilt and Shift axis on the 24 and 17mm are explained vs the fixed axis on the existing 45 and 90mm.

This advanced independent rotation of the Tilt and Shift axis will be coming to the new 50, 90 and 135mm TS-E's michaels is committed to expanding our Hire Selection of TS-E's as soon as these new TS-E Lenses ship.

The new 50, 90 and 135mm TS-E's are expected in November.

Check out our longer format video called "Optical Tricks with Tilt-Shift Lenses"

The Current Lineup: Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Lens

Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II Lens

Canon TS-E 45mm f2.8 Lens Canon TS-E 90mm f/2.8 Lens

The 3 New Lenses: Canon TS-E 50mm f/2.8L Canon TS-E 90mm f/2.8L

Canon TS-E 135mm f/4L

Check out our range of Canon Lenses for hire:

With these new 50 and 90mm units arriving we expect to see some previous versions of the 45 and 90 coming in as trade so keep an eye out for some great second hand deals at michaels.


Canon Announces 3 new Tilt Shift Lenses - What to Expect

(John Warkentin)

John Warkentin here from Michael's camera.

There have been some very interesting announcements in the world of tilt shift lenses this week from Canon.

So I thought we would do a live broadcast here and give you a little introduction to tilt shift lenses.

And, do some live samples with them and tell you a little bit about what Canon has got on offer.


So, sitting in front of me here, and we're in the Canon shop within Michael's Camera, so if you want to come in and watch me broadcast live here on Facebook you are more than welcome.

If you've got questions for me, put them in the Facebook comments, and let's cut to the chase and talk a little bit about tilt shift lenses.


So, in the current Canon line there are four tilt shift lenses.

Starting with the ultra-wide 17 mm here - which I'm just going to pop the lens hood off here, because it's got a beautiful front element on it here.

[Takes lens hood off first camera in the row]

This is a very fancy lens, and sort of one of your go-to for ultra-wide angle architectural photography.

And, of course, historically, that's where tilt shift lenses have been used, but there's so much more.

And that's what I want to talk about.


So, that's the 17 mm.

That was introduced into the line I think about seven or six years ago, so it's a current generation.

Then, I have on my 5D Mark IV, the 24 mm - that's also an L-series lens. You can tell they are L-series because they've got the red ring around the front.

Again, this was released a little bit after the 17 so it's been in the line for I think it's about 6 years or so.

Also, another classic go-to lens for the architectural photographer.

Pretty good for interiors as well.

But again, but there's more to it... there's a lot.. tilt shift lenses are a crazy beast and that's why I want to get you excited about it!

Now, in the current line - and these are about to be replaced with the new announcements - there is the 45 mm; this was not an L-series lens; and a 90 mm; again, was not an L-series lens.

So, Canon has decided to update the line and these two lenses will be replaced.

The 45 will be replaced with the new 50 mm, so it will be a little longer, but really you're splitting hairs there; but it will be an L-series, and it will be a macro tilt shift lens. So they have basically changed the line around so that these new lenses can focus a little bit closer.

That's really interesting, because macro photography and tilt shift are a match made in heaven.

So the 90 mm will be updated, again, the new 50 and the new 90 that will replace it, they are L-series lenses.

They've got fabulous new lens coatings on them; it will also be a macro.

It will be f/2.8; the 50 is a 2.8, and then the newest one in the line is the new 135 mm f/4. Again, it's a macro version.

So, nobody's ever had a tilt shift lens at that focal length, so that's going to be very interesting.

It'll be a real popular lens, this 135 mm, for product photographers, and possibly for portrait photographers.

So I'm pretty excited about it.

Now, unfortunately, they were just announced this week so we're not going to be seeing them in the store until probably November.

As soon we get them, I'll be the first to tell you about it and I'll obviously be playing with them.

We're committed at Michael's to putting all the tilt shift lenses into our Hire department.

So, if you've ever wondered about tilt shift lenses and you'd like to have a little play without the risk of ownership, hire one! Hire it for a day; hire it for the weekend, and if you love it as much as I do you might want to buy one, and so remember if you choose to purchase a lens after you've hired it at Michael's within 30 days, 50% of your hire fee will go towards the purchase of the lens.


So, let's get the Live Feed from our 5D Mark IV, and feed it into the video here....

I've got... I've got to take a look at what I'm shooting here... probably just nothingness...

[video feed changes to the 5D and is blurry]

I'm going to put it on the tripod over here and I'm going to use the lenses I've got on the table as my sample.

So, let me just carefully put this on the tripod.

[Video feed changes back to the other camera to watch John put the 5D on the tripod]

Okay, now, let's bring in... so this is the 24 mm; let's bring in some subjects.

And what I want to do - ooh, playing tops here - I want to have a little bit of fun looking down this line of lenses, and I want to see the labels on them.

So I want to go like so...

[Lines up the lenses with the labels visible to camera]

And this is where it gets really interesting.

Because there are two aspects of a tilt shift lens - there is tilt, and there is shift.

Shift is historically where these things were used.

Shift enables us - and I'm going to demonstrate it right now.

Let me get this - things are just causing me a little bit of problems here.

[Adjusts camera on tripod]

Hopefully, do we have a signal from the camera? Are we still okay on the signal from the camera?

Give me a thumbs up if we're good.

[Voice from off camera answers]

Oh, I got a thumbs down over there.

Let's just make sure we've got that coming in.


So, I might get Matt to come around here.

I've got my safety net.

So, what we'll do is get you - you got enough wire there Matt?

Okay. So we'll see looking at the back of the camera.

So, we are in - I'm going to put it in stills mode here so that we'll get it up and I'll turn Live View on...

There we go!

[Image appears on the back screen of the camera on the tripod]

Okay. so here's our picture with our lenses.

Now, what I want to do is demonstrate what shift is all about.

So, the camera is on a tripod, the lenses are on the table here, they're not moving; the camera's not moving and now  I am shifting the lens down.

So you see that the frame is going up. This is very interesting.

[As John adjusts the lens on the camera, the view on the rear screen changes]

This is enables me to take a picture of a building and correct for distortion.

So, when you take a picture of a building, sometime when you look up, all of the verticals of the building get like a pyramid, and they go in like this. [Makes a pyramid angle with his arms]

Or if you look down, they diverge.

With the tilt shift lenses shift mode we can deal with that.

So, let me... I'm going to raise my tripod up a little wee bit and we're going to take a look at what we've got out here.

[Raises the camera up on the tripod to eye level]

It's a manual focus lens; that's another thing one has to remember with tilt shifts.

Let's get ourselves... make sure that we've got no tilt.

Let's get focused here.

There we are, we're in focus.

Now, what I want to do is, I want to zero the shift - so I'm going to put it up into the zero mode and just give it a little bit of a lock here - and now, I'm going to aim the camera up.

I want to show you how verticals change.

Notice how, to see the top of the roof here, we've got the lines that are starting to bend in a little week bit.

[On the screen the angle of the roof in the screen image is slightly inward]

So, now if we level the camera again - and I'll just go over here and I might bring my exposure down just a little wee bit, we're just a little overexposed there... there we go.

Now, I'm going to tilt up.

So, the camera is level...

Sorry, I'm not going to tilt, I'm going to shift.

Now we're looking up but the wall is still vertical, and we can go up quite a ways; almost a complete frame.

[Camera zooms in on the screen and it shows that the roof no longer appears to be at a slight inward angle - all walls are vertical and straight)

So as you can see that I've got Shannon over here on the camera, right in front of me - she's waving - and she's at the bottom of the frame.

Now, if we shift all the way down, we can bring Shannon almost to the top of the frame.

So this has shown us a very interesting feature of it.

Obviously, the tilt shift lens is producing such  a huge projection on the sensor - we call it the large circle of light - and I'm kind of like.. I'm moving the sensor around behind the projector.

And so, I've just basically proven that we can shoot a whole frame above and a whole frame below.

Now, these two frames we'd stitch together.

So, I've basically taken a horizontal view of the store here and I can put the lower frame together with the upper frame and this is a 30-megapixel camera, I can get an almost 60-megapixel picture just by doing two frames.

Or, if all I really wanted to do was make sure that I had a nice level picture that's aimed low - for example what I've got right now, which I'm showing the lenses that are in front of me as well as a little bit of the shop floor and whatever - but again, everything is nice and level.

Yes, you can correct this stuff in software - Lightroom's got some one button functions to correct it - but it's destructive.

If you want to do it right, you want to do it in camera and the shift function on the tilt shift lens is the appropriate tool for that.


So now, let's talk about the next feature of these lenses, which is the tilt.

So I'm going to bring the tripod down a little wee bit now and I'll get Matt to come behind me.

[Drops tripod and adjusts image on the camera on the tripod]

I'm going to zero the shift. I'm going to do that.

Now, this is kind of cool: What I want to do is, I want to bend the focal plane down this line of lenses, and by shifting the lens is exactly how I do that; but as you see, I've got the tilt going up and down right now.

But, there's a solution for that.

What I can do is, I can hit the rotator here and now I'm rotating the tilt axis, independent of the shift axis, and I've got a release over on this side.

I don't know if you can sort of show it here. I'll bring it through.

[Matt focuses on the external rotator of the camera lens]

It's kind of pointed in here.

If I stand out of the way maybe Matt can show it for us.

There are two little metal levers here: One is the rotation axes between shift and tilt, and the other is the rotation axes of the complete lens.

So, now I'm going to rotate the whole thing back.

So now, I have the shift axes left and right.

Okay, so now as you can see on the scale over here - I'll just unlock it so it moves a bit smoother - so now I'm shifting across the sensor versus up and down.

And, again, I've got my tilt again on the horizontal axes.

So, this is very powerful.

I can independently rotate how I'm shifting and how I'm tilting.


And that is what is unique to the L-series tilt shifts.

And we did not have that feature on the old 90, and on the old 45; but on these new versions - the 135 that's coming, the 50 that's coming, and the 90 that's coming - they will all operate exactly like this, and this is a much needed feature.

People have wanted this for years and it's finally coming.

If you do happen to pick up one of these copies used at a very good deal - and we'll probably have a few coming into the store here - it is possible to undo these four screws here and rotate the tilt and shift mechanisms so that they are on the same axes.

But they are nowhere near as flexible as the L-series ones.

So, this is a really big upgrade and it's exciting that Canon's doing it.

We've been waiting for years for these new lenses to come out, and we know they're going to be optically superb, and functionally superb.

So, let's get ourselves back to where I wanted to be.

I'm going to null out my shift.

And put that into the axes.

Now, I've got my tilt on the vertical axes - so I'm tilting across this axis here.

So, I'm going to bring my camera down a little bit, and I'm going to get in a little closer to my lenses here.

Matt brings the camera down to view the back of the Canon screen]

So, now, what I want to do it, I want to focus on the front Canon lens - now that is the 90 mm - so let's just go here.

We're going to zoom in on this, so let's just zoom in with our Live View here.

[Image zooms in on the back of the camera screen]

Okay, now I'll just move that with the cursor down here.

Adjusts screen view on the camera]

Okay, so there we are.

I'll just adjust my focus here so that's nice and sharp.

I can zoom in one more time, probably, with that button.

There we go. Okay, so that's nice and sharp.

Now, what I want to do, is zoom out. Okay.

And now, I'm going to move this a little bit further down this way, and this a little bit further.

Hopefully, they're in line.

Maybe I'll do a little bit like so.

[Adjusts the lenses on the table]

And now I'm going to use the tilt.

And I'm going to zoom in again a bit here.

Okay, so now let's go over to here and you can see that that second lens - the 45 mm - is completely out of focus.

Now, by tilting the lens, you're going to see that I'm going to possibly bring it into focus here.

[Adjusts tilt on lens and the image on the screen moves in]

Now I'm going to look here and I'm going to bring that back in.

Now, the 45 is in focus.

Let's zoom back over here.

This is where Live View is a God send with these lenses.

Now, let's adjust our focus again.

And get that and I want to look at both of these at the same time.

So there's an interplay between the tilting and the focus.

There's a lot of math involved in this but you're never going to want to do that.

So, it's a just matter of playing with these two and getting it when you're on the money here.

So, let's get there... now we're getting closer.

[Adjusts the tilt and shift and focus on the camera]

Okay, look at that. So now you can see that I'm starting to get both Canons in focus here.

Keep in mind, I'm wide open at 3.5 on this lens.

So, let's just get this here. There we go.

[Adjusts the settings some more to get the two Canon labels in focus at the same time]

Got the back one in. I've got to bring the front one in.

It's a little bit tricky, but it's kind of fun playing with this.

Once you get the hang of it you can get pretty good.

So, what we're trying to do here is extend the plane of focus.

Okay, so, let me just take a quick look there.

[John stands up to check the physical lens]

Okay, yeah, so I'm tilted in there.

Let's go a little bit further here.

[Adjusts the lens controls again]

I've got to move it in all the way here.

There we go.

Okay, now we're very close.

If we zoom over we can see that we probably even have the last one pretty sharp.

This is where shooting tethered and bringing the photos in a little bit...

I might be just a little bit close on the first one here; let's bring that in a little bit further over here.

There we go.

So now you can see we've got the 90 in focus, we've got the 45 in focus, and down here, we've got the 17 in pretty close.

Let's zoom in just a little bit more.

I might just be able to fine tune this just a little bit more.

There we go.

Seventeen, 45, and the 90 is pretty close!

[Adjusts focus and zoom and all three lenses appear in focus at once]

The nearest lens is maybe 30 cm away from the camera, and the furthest is maybe 60 or 70 cm away, and we're at 3.5; so if we quickly go back to our regular setting here, at no tilt - and you can see, if we go back to the back of the camera - there's no way we can have all of those in focus.

[When changing the lens back to "normal" settings - the focus angle changes and only one lens is in focus]

So, now we've just got the 45 in focus, but the 17 isn't, and of course, the 90 isn't

And if we adjust our focus ring we see that there's quite a bit involved.

If I zoom out a bit here, you can see there's the front one is in, then the middle one, then the last one.

It's not possible to have them all in focus.

So what we've achieved here is, we've bent the plane of focus.

Normally, a lens focuses on a plane just like this.

[Indicates a vertical line]

We've bent it and we've taken it almost perpendicular to the camera.

I mean, that's just crazy.

It's so exciting to be able to do this!

Well, when I end the video I'll let the slides run.

You'll see that when you really do a massive bend of the plane of focus, the world can look like a miniature.

And of course, because all of these cameras now shoot video and superb video, all of your tilt functions and of course, your shifting functions are available to the video shooter.

You can get extremely creative.

Cinematographers dreamed of having this capability; it just didn't exist in their platforms.

Now that we can shoot cinema with these Canon DSLRs, we can play with all the different lenses. This is really adding some very unique tools to your toolkit.

It's exciting stuff.

So, that's how we bend it to increase the depth of field along the path in the picture.

We can draw the user through something.

We can take a picture of a watch band and the face of it in macro photography, for like a product website, and the watch is on an angle, yet we can keep the whole band and the face of the watch all in focus.

But the other area where it gets really creative, is if we use the tilting function just to blur a picture.

So, if I bring this up a little bit - I'm actually going to change lenses right now.

I'm just going to go put the 90 mm on, which is more of a portrait length.

[Removes lens and replaces with the 90 mm]

Possibly shouldn't do this when you've got the camera in Live View, so I just broke a cardinal rule there... but anyway, that's fine.

And I'm going to hold it up by hand here.

Let's get it into.. there we go.. Live View.

So, I'm just going get a better exposure here.

[Matt brings the camera around to the rear of the tilt shift camera and shows the screen]

So, let's take a look at... well, you know what I'll do, I'll take a look at our camera shelf here.

So, we're just going to focus in on that camera.

Now, I want to bend it vertically, so I'm going to rotate it so I can use the knob on the other side - you can rotate this thing 180 degrees, it's really interesting, and you just put your little finger in there and you get on to that little rotation wheel.

Keep in mind this is the previous generation 90, so I cannot do the independent rotate of the tilt and shift axes; they are 90 degrees apart. You have to physically take the thing apart with these little four screws here; use a jewelers screwdriver to do that. You can do that yourself, it's not a big deal. There's a little ribbon cable in there, you have to be careful. But anyway!

I want to basically have my tilt on this axis, and what I want to show you is how I can do this.

[Holds camera up and points at the camera on the shelf]

So, I want to focus in on the word Canon, but you see how everything below the frame is out of focus here. All that is nice and fuzzy, and we're at 2.8.

So I'll take my exposure up a little wee bit here.

Now, if I do it in this direction... [Turns the camera into portrait orientation] You can see how only the center of the camera there - I've got to hold it nice and steady here for Matt to video - that everything off to the side is out of focus.

So it's quite interesting.

I'll take a picture of Matt and then we'll look at it on the back of the screen here.

So, let me get out of Live View so i can actually take a picture...

[Snaps a shot]

And when you're using this... there we go, okay....

So you see how I've got it at maximum tilt?

I'm going to zoom in here.

So you see how blurry it is on that side?

[Image of Matt is zoomed in and blurred on the side]

But the plane of focus is going from his eye and over to the poster behind him.

So there's this wedge of focus, so that's actually readable on this side, but not on the other side.

So, I'm not about to say that that's a great portrait of Matt, but he is a good looking guy; however, you use this creatively... it's really interesting stuff!

It's turned out to be quite popular with wedding photographers!

And believe it or not, that's how I discovered the tilt shift lens.

I always knew I wanted to play with one, but I met a wedding photographer who was shooting with them.

So, very exciting stuff.

So let's kind of wrap this up and I'll see if there have been any questions on Facebook for us and if there's anybody in the store here that has a question  - doesn't look like anybody is actually paying attention to me, but that's alright.


Have there been any comments on the Facebook at all there that we need to address?


Okay, that's alright!

You can ask your questions later; I'm always here to answer them.

Remember, these new tilt shift lenses from Canon are going to be exciting; they're going to be optically superb.

I'm really looking forward to having a play with them; I want to use this 135 mm. I think it's going to be a very interesting lens for portraiture.

As soon as we get them in, we're going to put them in the Hire department here at Michael's so you can test them out.

And, again, like I said earlier in the broadcast - if you want to hire and purchase within thirty days, 50% of your hire will go towards the purchase price.

So that's actually a nice little incentive - give it a try, if you like it you can get a bit of a discount when you purchase.

The existing 24 is in Hire; we have the older 90 mm is available for hire.

We'll probably sell it used when we get the new one in, so that might be something you want to look for.

Optically, the old 90 mm - which I've got here - is a superb lens.

A lot of product photographers have loved this for years.

This has probably been in the line for twenty years or so.

But, it was a very good design.


The 45 - which is my personal lens - I'll probably continue to use it, because i like it.

It has a few little quirks about it optically; it has some lens flare that I rather enjoy.

I like to use it with you know, event photographer and get some flashes in the picture and cause lens flare; it just has this beautiful ability.

The 24 mm, that's in Hire; very popular for anybody who has been shooting interiors for houses for sale or some exteriors; and of course, the 17 mm with this big, beautiful hunk of glass coming out of the end of it - that's available as well.


So, if you're interested in tilt shift lenses, find me on Facebook; ask any questions that you want; and we look forward to helping you out and getting you excited about tilt shift lenses.


Thanks for joining us on this live Facebook broadcast.

We love putting these videos on for you, and we look forward to seeing you at Michael's camera.

Take care and have a great Friday evening.


Bye bye now.

My Cart (0)