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Thread: Canon lens for architecture photography

  1. #1
    Hansm's Avatar
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    Canon lens for architecture photography

    Hi
    I want to expand my skills in Architecture photography.
    For this I need a decent lens offcource.
    First I was looking for the Canon 24 mm TS lens but read lots of negative feedbsack about it.
    So Now I'm thinking about the zoom 16-35 mm 2.8 L markII.
    The body I use is the Canon 5D.
    will this lens suit my needs or are other lenses better to purchase?
    The lenses I have right now are the 24-70 mm (the brick) 50mm 1.4 and 135mm 2.0 L

    thanks in advance

    Best regards
    Hans

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    Re: Lens for architecture photography

    Quote Originally Posted by hansm View Post
    Hi
    I want to expand my skills in Architecture photography.
    For this I need a decent lens offcource.
    First I was looking for the Canon 24 mm TS lens but read lots of negative feedbsack about it.
    So Now I'm thinking about the zoom 16-35 mm 2.8 L markII.
    The body I use is the Canon 5D.
    will this lens suit my needs or are other lenses better to purchase?
    The lenses I have right now are the 24-70 mm (the brick) 50mm 1.4 and 135mm 2.0 L

    thanks in advance

    Best regards
    Hans
    Hi Hans,

    The EF 16-35 F2.8L II USM is a great lens - but for architecture (depending on your composition) you'll potentially end up with LOTS of distortion that could have been corrected "in camera" with a TS-E 24.

    The TS-E series have a reputation for having a steep learning curve in that understanding how to focus correctly with them is a bit of a challenge (made easier with Live View, but that won't help you with a 5D), but it's certainly capable of delivering stellar results.

    My standard advice is to not give too much weight to the gazillion reviews out there - you'll go nuts reading them. Canon don't make "lemons" in that price bracket - if some can produce stunning results with one, it makes me wonder why others can't (and I'd suggest that the biggest variable in that equasion ISN'T the lens, if you catch my drift).

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    Hansm's Avatar
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    Re: Lens for architecture photography

    Thanks for your advise Colin.
    I got a call form a neighbor photographer this morning. She informed me that she has a 24 TS-E one and is willing to let me use it for a while.
    I accepted it and have it on my camera right now!
    I'm surpised how much shift you really get while staying in the safe zone between the red marks.
    For shure I will make some testshots tomorrow.

    Best regards
    Hans
    Last edited by Hansm; 9th February 2009 at 01:34 PM.

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    Re: Lens for architecture photography

    Hi Hans,

    Great news - that's got to be the best possible evaluation scenario. Just make sure that when you evaluate it that any lack of sharpness is due to the lens and not a depth-of-field / focusing issue (since they can be a challenge to get the plane of focus right).

    Let us know what you think eh?
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 9th February 2009 at 09:26 PM.

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    Re: Lens for architecture photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Just make sure that when you evaluate it that any lack of sharpness is due tothe lens and not a depth-of-field / focusing issue (since they can be a challenge to get the plane of focus right).

    Let us know what you think eh?
    Sorry Colin
    I don't know what you mean by this.
    If I see the subject is in focus on my screen then the picture should be in focus.
    If I start tilting the lens I understand that this will be challenging. But if I only shift the lens can then still the result being out of focus?

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    Re: Lens for architecture photography

    I am in a similar situation. Mi idea was to switch to Canon FF from APS-C, but then started to see the different options and they are quite disappointing for arquitecture photography.
    Canon's wide angles (17-40, 16-35) have strong distortion, the Canon TS 24 is expensive, old and disappointing for such specialized lens (distortion, CA). The 24-70, a great lens for social events, has its weak point at 24mm with strong barrel distortion.

    So I am at the moment staying in APS-C with the Canon 10-22, the best of all regarding distortion, waiting for:

    Canon to make a new version of the TS 24
    Deciding if to switch to Nikon or even buy a Nikkor 14-24 + adapter.

    BR

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    Re: Lens for architecture photography

    Quote Originally Posted by hansm View Post
    Sorry Colin
    I don't know what you mean by this.
    If I see the subject is in focus on my screen then the picture should be in focus.
    If I start tilting the lens I understand that this will be challenging. But if I only shift the lens can then still the result being out of focus?
    Hi Hans,

    Sorry - didn't mean to trip you up with my comments. All I was meaning is you need to be certain that that any lack of sharpness is due to lens performance, and not due to focusing technique, with focusing technique being somewhat of an aquired art with this lens (from what I've heard).

    From what I've heard, trying to manually focus accurately using only the viewfinder can be quite difficult - hence the advantage of live view cameras where you can zoom in by 10x to preview things.

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    Re: Lens for architecture photography

    I think you need to address what the range of subjects is and your outputs (end results) will be. Do you mean outdoor buildings in a street environs, or inside a Cathedral . . . or all of the above . . . the end results and the diversity of the needs, dictate which tools are required.

    Using your 5D: the very first test to do is decide: is 24mm is wide enough for the type of architectural Photography you will do?

    The next question is to ask what lens speed you will need available, generally.

    The comment that Canon do not make many "lemons" at that higher priced items, resounds in my ears. So realistically, at the top end, you need to consider the 14F2.8LMkII, 16 to 35F2.8LMkII, 24F1.4L MkII TSE-24mmF3.5L and the 17 to 40F4L. . . It is possible that even 16mm will NOT be wide enough for some Architecture Work.

    I would not dismiss the 20F2.8, either, considering you already have the 24 to 70F2.8L.

    I doubt if Canon will revisit the TSE-24 (or the other two), in any great hurry.

    If we are really going to pick nits, and get down to quality issues, for serious Architecture work, Professionals still use, mostly 5x4 - taking advantage of both the comprehensive Camera Movements and the Image Quality attainable.

    regarding DSLR /35mm SLR IMO, there is no comparison with the scope of the combination of the TSE 24mmF3.5L & a 16mm to 35mmF2.8LMkII on a 5D, (or similar format body) compared to the EF-S10 to 22 on an APS-C body.

    The full frame two lens combination, wins hands down - that said I refer to the first point I made: it all depends on what the job is, and, whether you want 5x7 prints or 30 x 40 wall hangings.

    It is also very important to remember that some “distortions” can be nullified by correct technique, apropos camera viewpoint. The "correct" use of wide angle lenses, is not fully appreciated, IMO. One cannot just point and shoot, the elevation and the relative nature of the subject's image plane to the lens is very important to “see in camera”, before the shutter is squeezed.

    Many "in camera" corrections can be done simply by correcting the angle of the tripod's base plate Tilt and Horizion - and coordinating those with moving the tripod six feet to the left or right - but often that is overlooked, or not understood.

    These techniques need to be practiced with your 24 to 70, set at 24mm, on the subjects you wish to photograph, before any other lens is considered, I think.

    It is my guess that you might just have jumped the gun, beginning the question automatically assuming you need another / different / better lens, straight off.

    WW
    Last edited by William W; 9th February 2009 at 10:10 PM.

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    Re: Canon lens for architecture photography

    Thanks for all the replies.

    Canon doen't make Lemons in this price class.
    I have to agree with that point.
    I was really hesitating buying the 24-70 mm because of lots of rumors about bad quality.
    After looking more close in the complaints I noticed that most people were expecting results that can not be achieved. for example: set to 24 mm wide open does not give sharpness till infinity.

    I bought the lens and it's an amazing good lens. Does everything what you can expect from it. Sharp where it should be sharp and so on.

    I was using it for my first architecture challenges and found that 24 mm was normally wide enough. But to get everything I wanted in the picture I should move up to a higher shooting point. However that is not always available. So shift possiblity could be the solution. But again I was reading reviews and noticed lots of rumors about lack of quality.

    Since this is a very specialist lens one has to know how to use it to get good results.
    I have to learn to use this lens and wil give it some time to fiddle out. And also the lady who borowed me the lens is very willing to help and advise.
    The results she showed me last night were very promissing.

    The end product will be to expand my portfolio with architecture photography, so prints in size of 20x30 cm ( 8x10 inch)

    I agree with William that for the real serious stuff the viewcamera will be best choice with
    4x5 inch slides. That hopefully will be the next step.

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