Film Camera?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by roman_thorn|1, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. Hi folks! Please forgive me if this question comes across a little silly. Anyway, I'm really interested in shooting Architecture. I want to get the best quality without having to step up to a larger format. The two lenses I am most interested in is the TSE 17 and TSE 24mm. Since my budget is restricted and I don't have a FF camera, I was considering getting a used canon Eos 3 or something similar. I'm actually a Nikon shooter but for this type of work I feel canon is better equiped. So, I'm curios what restrictions or limitations am I placing on my self shooting slides and having them scanned. And, will the two TSE lenses work with older Eos film bodies. Any thoughts would be appreciated...cheers!
  2. High quality drum scans are excellent but time consuming and expensive. You can quickly pay for a used 5D with film, processing and scanning fees. I still scan my old sides and to get really good quality--good enough for large prints--I have to use 4000dpi and 16X multi-sampling. 1 or 2 passes can be pretty noisy, especially in shadows.
    And, yes, the TSE lenses will work with any EOS body.
    EOS 10S & EF 28-105 USM • Fujichrome side scanned with FS4000US (16X)
  3. The Canon EOS 3 is a wonderful camera, if you go the film route.
    However, because of high demand it is also one of the more expensive of the Canon EOS film line. For some details on all of the possibilities look at Canon's historical "museum" on line ( ) from roughly 1990 to 2000 for models that have the latest bells and whistles but are film cameras, In addition to the EOS 3, look at the EOS 10(s), the EOS 1 or 1N, or even the still current model the EOS 1V.
    A EOS 5D Model 1 would give you a digital 35mm sensor camera for around US$1000 to 1200 on eBay.
    I'm saving for my own TS-E 17mm, but in the meantime, I'm using my PC-Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 fully manual (as it always was) on my own 5D - bought for that purpose.
  4. Using the 17mm TSE without live view would be totally impractical. I strongly suggest that whilst the EOS3 and 1V are superb cameras, they are totally unsuitable for use with the newest TSE lenses.
  5. I've been using shift lenses since 1971 on 35mm bodies. A tripod will suffice at worst, and it is by no means impossible to view the effect through the viewfinder while hand holding, especially with a grid viewfinder.
    Maybe easier with "live view", but not "totally impractical" by any means without. I admit I've gone no further than 24mm wide with these, but can't imagine such a difference for another 7mm, even at the wide end.
    BTW, of course, the 5D has no live view either, if you take Scott's injunction to heart.
  6. Hi Scott! Could you be more specific. I'm pretty sure tilt shift lenses pre-date live view. I'm not trying to start a debate, just want to know what limitations I would have...thanks
  7. Roman, JDM,
    If shift is the main reason for getting the lens then, on film, you are just as well served with a MkI 24, and I agree, through a viewfinder, or hand held, it is not too difficult to get rightish, though for my uses it is not accurate enough.
    If tilt is an important aspect of either lenses use then trying to work through a viewfinder is just not going to happen, particularly with the woefully inadequate adjustment knob on the lens and its scale. You cannot use tilt effectively with these lenses through a viewfinder.
    But this is really missing the point of both these superlative new optics. They are as good as it currently gets, to hand hold them makes little to no sense, you can only get the results they are capable of delivering if you use the best techniques, a tripod is the most basic of these, but live view really is the key to unlocking their amazing potential. Failing that, tethering and trial and error could work, but again, not on a film camera!
    Now a 17mm is a touch over $2,000 and a 24 a touch under. I would work out which lens was more important and go for that one and get a FF body with live view. The 17 works well with a 1.4 TC so you get a 24mm too. It doesn't work well with the 2xTC though. The 24 works even better with a 1.4 and adequately for most uses with a 2xTC with a modest shift or any tilt.
    Prioritise, but to get quality results that compare well to the best medium format film budget for a ff digital camera with live view.
  8. There is nothing wrong with using a TS-E 17 or 24 on an EOS film body such as the EOS 3 or 1V. I purchased a mint EOS3 last year for $100. Check for good deals on EOS film bodies.
  9. Sheesh, how the hay did furry chested cavemen manage with T/S lenses in the 90s, before friggen' digital and LV? Wasn't that hard. I've had more success with the angle eyepiece than LV. Ambient light often washes LV out to the point of being useless (unless you put a freakin' towel on your damn head).
  10. Puppy, Donald and JDM,
    Have any of you tried to use the tilt on a 17mm TSE, either with live view or through a view finder? You would need the eyesight of a hawk to have any chance of getting your plane of focus anywhere near where you wanted it. My experience is it is not possible to use tilt accurately, or effectively, via a viewfinder. The angle finder idea is a good one but at only 2.5x (I seem to remember, maybe wrongly) it is too under powered, 5x on live view does not work anywhere near as well as 10x.
    Please feel free to post images you have shot with effective and accurate use of tilt that you did via a viewfinder.
  11. So Scott, besides using a view camera, with tilt and shift, are you saying no one got accurate tilt corrected photos using 35mm SLRs before digital? That doesn't seem to make sense. But maybe you are right. I'm just asking.
  12. Accurate and sharp tilt has been a bastion of MF/LF film architecture photography for decades.
    If you are going film, then you can get a Horseman MF in 6x9 or 6x12 with inbuilt tilt, shift, for about $1200. You also have the added bonus of using it for panorama landscapes too.
    Architecture photography is not the realm in 35mm. You could also look for a Hassy Arc body on ebay.
    Do more research....there is a whole world of MF photography out there to help you.
  13. Yep.
    4x5 with ground glass and a loupe was the answer pre live view for quality architecture. That is why the two new lenses have sold as well as they have, they are serious lenses that sell to pros who couldn't do what they do with a 135 system before. Another major upgrade, and a nod to the necessity of being able to use the feature, is the independent control over shift and tilt rotation.
    Think of the maths, the J line stretches from 22 feet to 3 feet in under a degree of tilt, on the 17mm that is about 20º of rotation on a 1/3" sized knob with no indents, you can't do it with the maths and you can't do it with the viewfinder. The wide angles are particularly prone to this difficulty, the 90mm has been a popular product shooting lens for years, but the tilt is much more visible and pronounced at f2.8 and 90mm than f4 and 17mm, but most shooters had NPC backs for their 1 series cameras anyway, polaroids were the live view of the film era.
  14. Wow! Thanks every one, thats some serious food for thought. It appears I have a lot to learn.
  15. When shooting digital, you have the advantage of being able to shoot high dynamic range imagery (HDRI) and also to composite multiple shots into panos (either vertical or horizontal). You can also easily adjust perspective in post processing.
    I would think that a used full-frame camera (5D Classic) with a 17-40mm lens would be a relatively inexpensive start to architectural photography.
    I would not balk at architectural photography using my present 40D and 12-24mm Tokina lens as long as I had a good tripod and access to a full fledged image processing program.
  16. Roman,
    Fortunately there are many very good resources out there. Here are a few links. The first one has a graphic illustration of the difference between shifting in software and the MkI 24mm TSE, the MkII is considerably better. The link I posted earlier has an example of HDR and stitching too.
    I hope they help.
    And the final one, a review of the TSE 24mm MkII, written by the legendary Harold Merklinger, the author of several seminal papers on focusing and tilting. The links at the end of this article are the absolute definitive work on focusing the view camera (tilt shifting).
  17. I confess that the tilt feature is much less used by me than the shift feature. I do mostly one kind or another of architectural photography. I have done this on 4x5" cameras as well as with TS-E and PC-Nikkor lenses in 35mm over the years back to the 1960s.
    Of course, for the highest quality, you do have to use a tripod, but that's true of all photography, not just TS-E lenses. I still think you are making a convenience into a necessity in regard to "live-view".
    However, while I haven't yet amassed the capital necessary to get one of the TS-E 17mm lenses, I am saving, and somehow for my purposes, like those of everybody else who used these lenses before "live-view," the viewfinder works quite well for me.
    In my opinion, the key to successful use of tilt and shift in architectural photography is that no one notices that it has been used.
  18. We used the Polaroid's more to check exposure. On the view camera you saw what you needed to due to the size of the ground glass. And still, the Architectural photogs I know today still prefer the view camera.
    Do these new tilt lenses cover both axis? swing and tilt? It's funny, the view camera I used at school was one of those calumets with no geared control knobs, you unloosened them, and then moved the adjustment and then tightened it. It was like practicing Yoga with both hands working the movement and propping the loupe on the glass with your eye socket:). I missed out when the school bought a bunch of very nice toyos to replace them. Anyways thats a digression, I wonder, since Architectural shots are usually set, would a laptop and tethered set up in live view work well to verify the corrections with the DSLR's?
  19. If getting an image 11x14 or larger is your goal, you would get better iq with a D700 and an older 28mm pc - superior to any 35mm film or small sensor. A 17mm on full frame is overkill for most exterior architecture but great for interiors. Again though the shift is less important in interior shots and the D700's ability in low light is great. Go with full frame (Nikon) digital - you won't be sorry.
  20. Barry,
    With the two newest Canon TSE's you can rise/fall and shift any amount and you can swing and tilt at any angle all at the same time, a vast improvement on the earlier TSE's. My Polaroid comment was towards 135 format use of tilt, not MF with ground glass. The one consistent complaint with the Canon TSE's is the adjustment knob ratios, for the money a better geared movement would have been far more satisfactory.
    The 5D MkII and the new Canon TSE's, even just the 24 MkII, are a vastly superior architectural arsenal than a D700 and a 28mm PC. The extra pixels the Canon has really count when you start fine tuning the shot in post and the Canon lenses all have tilt, a very worthwhile addition.
  21. are standing close to the edge in being pig headed about Canon. Thats not the issue here.
    Neither 35mm solution is economical compared to the amazing value and range of adjustments that the MF or LF choices give you.
    And as for needing FX, again not necassary if you have a lens that keeps everything aligned. Here are two shots taken with the Tokina 11-16/2.8, on a DX body.
  22. And, another
  23. are standing close to the edge in being pig headed about Canon. Thats not the issue here.​
    Surely you jest. Not sure I know what you are talking about. I don't think I said anything bout Canon or Nikon or Volkswagen etc. You must be a PC user! Actually, I don't really give a f about who's camera or lens one buys or uses, in fact I think the over concern I see on Photo net generally about equipment is a detriment to developing photographic ability, but again, I digress. I was just curious and interested about this type of lens generally in 35mm. I think its pretty cool that these kinds of corrections can be done on a slr or dslr.
  24. Yeah, Barry and I stand together on the pig-headed side of Canon and the coolness of being able to so much in a 35mm sort of framework.
    The remarkable thing about the 17mm TS-E is that it does work for outside as well as inside. Even 24mm is a big step forward over the 28mm shift lenses.
    And Barry, don't call us "surely." :)
  25. Will one of those lenses fit on my Leica? Oops, wrong forum...
  26. Scott
    I agree that the 5D and the new Canon TSE lenses are great and the 5D offers some real advantages in architecture but how do you fit this kit into the phrase "limited budget" in the original post? I am sayong that a limited budget approach is to get a full frame digital body over a film body and get an older 28pc (which are less available for Canon) for a combination with superior image quality. Since the poster expressed a preference for Nikon - this is a Nikon solution superior in image quality to a Canon film solution.
  27. Warren,
    Limited budget is subjective. Roman, the OP, asked "I want to get the best quality without having to step up to a larger format. The two lenses I am most interested in is the TSE 17 and TSE 24mm." My earlier suggestion was to drop one of the $2,000 lenses and get a suitable body instead, budget balanced (I don't work for the Fed!).
    Even the MkI 24 TSE from Canon, available at comparative give away prices, has considerably more functionality than the Nikon PC. The poster did not favour NIkon's, he showed most interest in the new Canon lenses, justifiably, as they are game changing tools. Were he a Canon shooter with a need for a specific Nikon optic the limitations could be worked around, the 14-24 springs to mind as it can be used on Canon bodies, but if you want one of the asked about two, the only realistic route is a FF Canon digital body.
  28. Scott
    I agree that the 5d is a good choice but I really question the need for tilt in most architecture shots so I don't understand your claim of more functionality for this application - they are not "game changing" lenses for architecture where a tripod mounted, slow process makes their automatic features and tilt less important.
    My first post was mostly about avoiding film if you want to get good prints above 8x10 with small detail which is the lifeblood of architecture photography without needing to go the high end route of a 5D and the latest TSE. Those refinements may make adifference above 16x20 and worth going after (I'm waitng for a higher res body to replace my D700) but Roman's restricted budget may make the 16x20 tradeoff acceptable.
  29. I went into different way by getting the Hasselblad Flex body and use it with the Hasselblad 50MM Lens, the scanner is the Epson Pro 750, Canon have no much better quality than nikon, you can go for a nikon F5 or F6 and a TS lens ued from or b&h, I have the F5 bought as D condition from b&h for very reasnable price.
  30. Warren,
    It is true that for architecture tilt has long been considered less important, but it is still very useful, relying on DOF and various focus methods to keep highly varying subject distances in sharp focus is largely eliminated, most pro architecture shooters use tilt. The only aspect that makes them game changers, as Richard Sexton points out in my first link, is that the combined functionality of live view, ff high pixel counts and the quality and functionality of the latest two TSE lenses from Canon have made 135 format photography viable for over 90% of his work, high level architecture. He can now take the same images with different gear, that is a game changer. The images might not be new, but the way they are captured is.
    To claim that I suspect you have not used either of the two newer Canon TSE lenses, the 17 is unrivaled in any format and the 24 is the sharpest, least distorted and most aberration free ultra wide most testers have ever seen.
  31. Scott
    I'm not trying to argue a point - I am genuinely confused about the push to tilt and shift lenses. I understand using tilt on a large format with the depth of field problems of the average 90mm on 4x5 - even if rarely needed for most architectrue where most of the subject is at infinity usually (as appposesd to landsape where you might want a near bush in equally sharp focus to a distint hill) With the 35mm format though the dof of a 24mm (let alone a 17mm) just seems to make tlt a usless option. I could see the need for product photgraphy but not landscape or architecture. I say this having recently killed my credit card on a Nikon 24 pce - but I got it for low color firnging and the extra 4mm over my 28pc. Am I missing something and should I stasrt playing around with the tilt mechanism?
  32. Warren,
    No antagonism here I assure you, just healthy discussion. Absolutely play with the tilt on your new 24, it is great fun controlling what is to be tack sharp. Isn't it like the old Canon's though, it is factory installed in one orientation? I find even with the 17 DOF can't be relied on for keeping things sharp, one use I make of it for distant and low subjects is to tilt forward a little to bring the plane of focus close to the ground level, this often leads the eye in, or anchors the subject, people like their car parks, drives, grounds and paths sharp as well as the subject building.
    I believe the push to tilt is a result of its usability (including Nikon's comparatively recent adoption of it onto their PC lenses), this again comes back to live view. Pre live view tilt with wide angle 135 format lenses was a cute feature that enabled "toy" style images by winding it fully the "wrong" way, and educated guesses as to where to get your J line when used "correctly". Now it is a fully workable feature that can maximise the lenses capabilities. You needed to be able to see what the lens was doing to be able to use it, which takes us all the way back to Roman's first inquiry, "could he use the lenses on a film camera?", well yes they will physically fit, and work, but you won't be able to use them effectively because you can't use tilt effectively through a viewfinder, and, even for architecture work with ultrawides tilt is still a useful feature.
    Your two examples show the limitations of non shift lenses for architecture, the horizon has to be through the center of the frame and it only works for single story buildings, or you have to be far away. To work around those you have to manipulate the images in post.
    I'm not saying you can't take a picture of a building without a T/S lens, far from it, I was just answering in relation to the thread where the OP was talking about $4,000 worth of lenses. You can't shoot quality architecture without some specialised equipment.
  33. This is great folks. I love reading these discussions...I'm learning so much along the way. "Scott", thanks a bunch for all those links. Miy interest in the 17 TSE was geared toward Interiors. Question is do I need a 17 and a 24 or skip the 24 and get a 45, maybe vice versa. Anyway, hope you won't mind if I drop you an email from time to time if I have any further questions? Thanks again everyone...cheers!
  34. Put your money in the Lenses! Timeless advice, and especially in your situation, where you are specifically seeking particular lenses. First things first, get ONE of the lenses, and a cheap body to use with it, and see how it goes/how you like it. Then sink more money into it, after you know through experience what you NEED.
    You were on the right track. Get a cheap Canon Full Frame Film camera, such as a Rebel 2000. This will only set you back pocket change, like $16 (!). Has 35 Zone evaluative metering, a most important feature, and was a decent film camera (I had the Rebel, which was a step below it). if you want to go a little higher end, get an Elan 7E, at $79. But really, this would be just for your ego, all you need is a camera with a decent meter and working shutter.
    Optionally, get a magnifying loupe for the viewfinder that fits Canon. You can use this later too, when you upgrade to that full frame digital camera,
    Order a few rolls of Provia 100 or E100G slide film. Tray the new Ektar 100 negative film also if you like. slide will give better scans, less grain, and better resolution, but trying a roll of the ektar would not hurt either for the extended dynamic range. Ok, say you get a roll of each from BH Photo or Adorama, your talking about $20 total, shipping included.
    So, your at $36 dollars invested, now for the big hit - pro processing and high resolutions scans to CD from North Coast Photo. See the Ken Rockwell site for full rez 15+MP scan samples. Slide developing plus these scans will set you back $20/Roll, expensive, but wont break the bank.
    Get your 24TSE Lens, and try shooting a few rolls, see what works, what doesnt, and learn through EXPERIENCE what you really need. The film camera route will cost mere pocket change, will give you the experience, and may in fact give you the results you need. You may even find it fun. at any rate, it allows you to start shooting Full Frame Now, without the expense. Get that 17mm before a fancy Full Frame with Live View, IMO.
  35. Why does the horizon need to be through the center of the frame? I'll put the horizon where I like. I got $400 for these shots, so the customer is the final arbiter.
    I've just sold the 11-16, and am upgrading to FX. I'll look at the 24mm PCE Nikkor which shifts and tilts, but at $3100 I can buy a full Horseman or Linhof MF tilt/shift system with change left over.
  36. Roman,
    Emails are very welcome. I actually got my 17mm TS-E for very specific interiors. As I said before, the 17 will take the 1.4TC and is still better than the MkI 24TS-E. I'd suggest getting one lens first, the 17 is certainly an interior shooters dream, and probably the situation where tilt is least useful, but stitched shift shots are very good. Then go from there, I will be getting a 45 and 90 when they are upgraded to the newer spec. But before you get any of them, just try with an ultra wide zoom, see what focal length you need, the 24 is a nicer, sharper and more user friendly lens than the 17, but if you need the width, then nothing else will do. Much of my shooting with the 17mm TS-E is stitched shifted interiors, this gives me an equivalent 11mm focal length rectilinear image with zero parallax.
    Why does the horizon need to be in the center? First rule of converging verticals! If you try to put it at the bottom of the frame then the buildings walls will appear to lean in. To correct that you need to distort in post or shoot with a center horizon and crop hard. If you have worked out a way of overcoming basic geometry then please post an example. Here is an example of the horizon very low in the frame, a more than one story building, and no corrections/adjustments in post. This kind of image can only be shot with a system with shifting capability.
  37. Scott
    I thought you might like to know that this idea of a DSLR being an effective tool for documeiting architectrue is getting a lot of attention. I was just at a conference about documenting historic builidngs and a large format photographer there made a convincing case that unless you are going above a 20x24 print, a 35mm ff format 20 meg camera and a shift/tilt lens is the way to go.
    For historic preseervation where the accent has been on archiving the trend for years has been B&W because of color shifts in all slides and negs over time. Digital color has become a possibility. A process where you include a standard color chart to calibrate the "real" color is a must but the digital data won't shift over time. In spite of having to transfer files regularly to new media because of technology changes, this is a ***HUGE*** deal to historic preservationists.
  38. I can't imagine using tilt without live view, but that's admittedly because I haven't tried it. Even on a view camera it's hard without a loupe, though, and I have 20/15 vision. Either get a used 5D to complement the lens or buy a field camera (or try to get a deal on an old Hartblei super rotator for the Nikon). A field camera and a couple lenses is cheaper than the equivalent digital kit by far and not much heavier for potentially slightly better image quality.
  39. Warren,
    It is exciting isn't it? What is more, the 20mp per 20x24 print is not a limit, here is an image I shot the other day just playing at the beach, it is perfectly stitched and aligned, it is a MF equaling 35mp native, as a top quality print it will print to 20x44. Just a snapshot but a bit of an eye opener. The 17mm adds too much distortion I know, but imagine doing this with a 24 or 45mm.
    The last time I was at Angkor Wat (early last year?) they were digitally photographing the main bas-relief friezes, it was a laborious task with a huge wheeled camera setup that resembled a large tin box. I thought then that technology was going to fly past their efforts before they even finished the job in hand. I think it has.
  40. Scott
    Yes it has. At the conference I was at, some people from Notre Dame had photographed parts of the forum in Rome with gigapan and had images which were incredible. They said they at one point pointed the divice straight up and photographed an underside of an arch 40'+ in the air and then examined the stiched image to get details that were not visible to the naked eye. We are just at the beginning of real high res capture of large scenes
  41. I suggest that you go to or, and try the lenses out for a while to see what you think first hand. You can even rent a 5D or 5D2. I don't think they have any film cameras.
  42. I haven't read through all the posts, but I would tend to go for a 5D Mark 2 and a 17-40 F4L and fix perspectives in Photoshop or lightroom and rent a TSE when needed. The main reason I see to use a TSE is to get product out faster as you don't have time to use photoshop. However, that is negated if you are using film anyway as you have tyo wait for developer anyway. A 5D2 plust 17-40 will be much faster turn around time and probably equal or better quality than film camera if you have to scan images.

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