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Reader Comment: Canon 135mm f/4L TS-E, Canon Tilt/Shift Lenses

Get Canon 135mm f/4L at B&H Photo.

The Canon 135mm f/4L TS-E is a stunning performer. Even fully shifted 12mm along the long axis it is very sharp wide open at f/4. I rate it the highest performing tilt/shift lens I have ever tested.

Ben G writes:

Hope this finds you well and full recovery from your recent concussion continues progressing well.

While not a current subscriber I’m still a regular reader of your blog. I do have an interest in the 85mm f/1.4 Canon, I even own one myself. It’s a great lens, while it’s definitely not up to Otus levels, with the weakness in secondary axial CA, it’s proven itself a fantastic tool, deployable in so many situations. I know not of great concern to you but the AF is very accurate too, best I’ve seen in an f1.4 lens.

Canon 135mm f/4L TS-E

I suspect the lack of interest may be a function of your readership being heavily dominant in the Nikon system and likely increasingly MF. Your work and findings are highly technical and get into the nitty gritty of things. There’s still an overwhelming negativity towards Canon on the web due to the old Dynamic Range issue, in itself poorly understood but good click bait. From my experience a much bigger issue on the web than the real world when good exposure techniques are deployed. It would be a very interesting post to see a break down of your readership by camera system / manufactures.

I shoot architecture and am finding my contemporaries here in the UK are massively biased toward Canon. This for the simple reason of the 17 & 24mm TSE lenses that invariably are the workhorse tools of the trade. (Nikon do a great 19 but their 24 is useless). The newer Canon 50, 90 and 135 TS-E lenses are only going to compound this bias. From my recent conversations a lot of these photographers also seem to keep a very low web profile and don’t tend to subscribe to photo related stuff, perhaps their free time is very specifically turned away from photography. When I discuss sites like yours I increasingly find myself in a minority. I also worry this is yet more evidence of the general dumbing down of society as they are less and less interested in the details of products, how things work etc. Acceptance rather than analysis seems to prevail in the minds of too many these days.

It’s sad to hear of such a lack of interest in a great set of products but I can’t help feeling that the same from Sony, Zeiss, or just a Mirrorless focused product would have generated an order of magnitude more interest! More buzz than the humble DSLR.

Anyway I digress and ramble on! Keep up the good work, I for one hope to hear of more Canon gear being reviewed on your site, it’s been a long while since you last covered Canon.

DIGLLOYD: the Canon 85mm f/1.4L IS is a terrific lens but until and unless Canon comes up with focusing on the iris of the eye that can compete with Sony Eye AF, shooting hit rate is just not going to be as good. Once one experiences the near perfect hit rate of Eye AF, it’s hard to go back. Still, I really enjoyed the 85/1.4L IS and it’s a lens I’d gladly shoot on Canon.

I like Canon ergonomics, but the dynamic range issue remains a thorny one with the Canon 5Ds R (introduced in June of 2015), even when using ETTR technique perfectly.

Landscape photographers should take a good look at the Canon TS-E lenses. They don’t apply in all situations or even most, but in some cases they can make a huge difference.

As to my concussion I’ve recovered in most respects, but working more than 4 hours continuously or 6-7 hours a day remains a strain; it tires my brain out somehow. The field work on the 135/4L and 85/1.4L over 4 days took me down for two days with a PCS event I’ll not go into here. It’s a source of increasing financial stress (business is slow and I don’t have the stamina to do more than I am doing, working for oneself is nice but there is no fallback game). On the plus side, my body is all fixed up and physically I am well so long as I don’t fry my brain by over using it, such as during The Terrible Two.

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