A winter’s morning in Melbourne with the Canon TS-E 17mm f/4 tilt shift lens on a Sony a7II

Written by Gary on July 28th, 2019

Last weekend I had time for a short walk in Melbourne’s mid-winter sunshine and I decided to bring along my Sony a7II with Canon TSE 17mm f/4 tilt shift lens.

I shot most of these at f/8 or f/10 hand held and with the shift position optimised for the height of the buildings while trying to keep the camera level. I used the zebra mode to manually focus although given the aperture and wide depth of field this was not going to be critical.

Some of the images I decided to shoot in continuous 3 shot AE bracketing mode in case I decided to create a HDR in Affinity Photo, although most of these were mainly processed to B&W in OnOne Photo RAW 2019.

You can click on these to open up a much larger version.

3 shot HDR of Melbourne Conference Centre and the Polly Woodside ship
3 shot HDR processed to give a typical color HDR effect – some like this effect, some hate it.
hmm… I am not sure this has been corrected perfectly but then I am not an architectural photographer professional.
3 shot HDR with shift hand held into the low morning sun.

The question is, would these have been better had I used the new 61mp Sony a7R IV instead of this 24mp camera – the only way you would see the difference is if I posted a small crop or the full size images and you zoomed in to pixel peep at the detail, or perhaps if I printed a very large wall print and you moved in close to view it.

If I really wanted lots of megapixels, I could have used this 17mm tilt shift on the new Fujifilm GFX 100S 102megapixel medium format camera but then this lens behaves more like a 14mm lens, and at full shift there will be some vignetting. If you want to see more on Canon tilt shift lenses on this camera system, see this Youtube review.

Hence for most of us, 20-24 megapixels is plenty!

Why didn’t I use my Olympus OM-D E-M1 II?

Unfortunately there are no shift lens options available for Micro Four Thirds that give you 17mm field of view in full frame terms, and of course this Canon lens becomes a 34mm on Micro Four Thirds, although I could use my focal length reducer adapter to get it back to around 24mm field of view.

I had hoped someone would make a Four Thirds to Micro Four Thirds adapter with shift capability so I could use my superb old Four Thirds Olympus 7-14mm f/4 Super Pro lens in this manner but even then I am not sure the image circle will allow for sufficient shift without vignetting, but this lens does allow me to go wider at 14mm full frame equivalent which may then require less shift.

I could have used my Olympus mZD 8mm f/1.8 fisheye and then de-fished it and then adjusted keystone effect and cropped, or perhaps my Olympus micro ZD 7-14mm f/2.8 would have sufficed for this purpose – but either way, I would lose pixels and potentially a little image quality by post-processing in this way.

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II has in-camera keystone adjustments so much of the guess work can be removed which does allow for better compositions if you do have to resort to keystone post-processing.


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