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Why Are There No Lens Profiles for the Canon 24mm Tilt-Shift Lens?

July 13th, 2017

Ron in Texas says:

I’ve recently fallen in love with my new Canon 24mm tilt-shift lens but to my chagrin, I see that Lightroom does not have a lens profile for it! Do you know how I can install one or get a custom profile? I’m using CC 2017.

The reason you can’t find lens profiles for any tilt-shift lenses is that correction profiles won’t work for these lenses as the software has no way of knowing where the center of distortion is. Tilt or shift movements aren’t recorded, so any values would only work with the lens centered.

You can make lens corrections you think are necessary manually but many people would argue this lens doesn’t require any corrections.

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19 Responses to “Why Are There No Lens Profiles for the Canon 24mm Tilt-Shift Lens?”

  • I discovered (couple of years ago) the same issue with the Canon TSE 17mm, but as Larry says corrections are pretty much unnecessary.
    Interesting to hear the reason!
    Chromatic aberration removal still works (what little there is on these lenses) and then I use the manual ‘Guided Upright Tool’ to draw vertical lines on vertical walls etc (often better for other lenses too) to correct any slight inaccuracies I made during capture.

  • The tilts and shifts can and should be corrected for vignetting, distortion, and chromatic aberrations.

    You make presets for your common tilts and shifts then apply them. It’s simple.

    If you’re not using any common or frequent tilts and shifts (fine tuning each and every photo), then you’re best served doing those manually.

  • I recently completed a week-long architectural photography seminar in Santa Fe with Nick Merrick, one of the top architectural photographers in the world. One of his comments during the seminar was something to the effect that you should lock up the “tilt” function on the lens and never touch it again! I tend to agree with that.

  • What would there be to correct? There isn’t any distortion (prior to t/s). The lens (as far as I know) does not report back the tilt and shift position, so software would have to guess at light falloff and sharpness – but then again, wasn’t that the point of doing the t/s?

  • Daniel Price wrote: “What would there be to correct?”

    Depending on the lens, there could be chromatic abberation, pincushion/barrel distortion, and vignetting, among other things.

    ” There isn’t any distortion (prior to t/s).” False

    “The lens (as far as I know) does not report back the tilt and shift position” Correct

    “software would have to guess at light falloff and sharpness – but then again, wasn’t that the point of doing the t/s?” No, lens movements have nothing to do with light falloff (which is not impacted by lenses of any kind, actually), or sharpness. Lens movements help establish the field of view, and the plane of focus. Those two things are entirely independent of any optical characteristics that we might want to correct for, like CA and the other distortions mentioned above.

    Ronald Castle wrote: “you should lock up the “tilt” function on the lens and never touch it again”

    That really depends on what you’re shooting. I tilt my 50mm, and my 90mm often enough to mention. This shot maxed out the rise and also required several degrees of tilt on my 50mm, in order to get the field of view and then the DoF I wanted:
    https://www.scotthargisphoto.com/PORTFOLIOS/Details/13
    https://www.scotthargisphoto.com/PORTFOLIOS/Details/13

  • “No, lens movements have nothing to do with light falloff (which is not impacted by lenses of any kind, actually), or sharpness. Lens movements help establish the field of view, and the plane of focus. Those two things are entirely independent of any optical characteristics that we might want to correct for….”

    I think I know what Scott is trying to say here, but I think it is technically incorrect if you read his comments literally. All lenses vignette to some degree, and the vignetting will increase as a lens is shifted off center. Also, all lenses will be less sharp toward the edges of their image circles. Thus, a falloff in light transmission and sharpness will occur as a lens is shifted off center. Also, tilting of a lens changes the plane of focus, as Scott seems to attest, although this seems to be at odds with his statement that lens movements have “nothing to do with…sharpness.”

    Agree with Scott about Merrick’s comments, which I think Ronald did not represent accurately. I think Merrick was referring to just to using the common wideangle shift lenses for architectural photography with small format cameras, such as a 24mm or 17mm. When using longer focal lengths than this, tilting may occasionally be useful for some subjects. Also, with larger formats, the use of tilt may be needed more often.

  • David, “fall-off” and “vignetting” are two different things.

  • Scott, then I think you need to clarify what you meant above by “light falloff.” Light falloff is certainly what vignetting is, and the term light falloff is commonly used when describing the vignetting characteristics of photographic lenses. Of course the term light falloff can refer to other things as well, which have nothing to do with photographic lenses; but the context here is photographic lenses, and I have never seen the term used to describe anything other than vignetting in this context.

  • @ Daniel Price…

    Great questions and thanks for asking. Scott Hargis knows what he’s talking about. David Eichler seems to be stirring the pot, lol. Back to your questions…

    There’s plenty to correct; vignetting, distortion and chromatic aberrations are present on all tilt shift lenses. Even if you lock them down at zero, each and every tilt shift lens is unique and can be “off” displaying all three forms of distortion (barrel, pincushion and the more complicated mustache). To what degree and how critical it is depends upon the application and end use requirements. For real estate? Maybe not as much as most would care to measure. For evidentiary, scientific, and critical measure? Absolutely important.

    Their is no need for the lens to report back if you note the movements at time of capture and apply your presets in post. Software isn’t guessing anything, you simply create and name the presets you need based upon your common movements, then fine tune them manually as needed.

    Using tilt shift lenses is simple once you learn. The presets save a ton of manual work if you’re shooting them in frequently used movements.

  • Dean, what makes you say that I am “stirring the pot” as you put it? And what basis do you have for being certain that Scott “knows what he is talking about” with regard to this matter? In fact, I am not necessarily saying that Scott doesn’t know what he is talking about, just that he might not be explaining himself clearly regarding one technical matter.

    As far as the presets you recommend, that might work adequately for some applications with lenses that have very low distortion to begin with, such as the Canon 24mm ts-e II, but will be much less useful with lenses that have more distortion or for more critical applications, where even small shifts may result in significant changes in the distortion. Frankly, with my copies of the Canon wideangle perspective control lenses, I often do not need to do any digital rectilinear distortion correction. Normally, when I need to do digital distortion corrections for rectilinear distortion for shifts with perspective control lenses, I do that with Photoshop-Transform. I will note that Capture one has a distortion correction option to move the corrections off center to varying degrees, to account for lens shifts, but this is a generic distortion correction profile which might not work that well with lenses that have strong or wavy distortion.

  • I find it interesting that the subject is on the lack of T/S lens profile, when in reality, virtually all lens correction profiles are approximations anyway. I had a new Nikon lens that no profile existed so decided to use Adobe Labs to create one – which I guess technically you could do with a T/S lens but the lens setting for the many exposures would show you why not. One thing that stood out was the dependent and interrelationship of not only the lens but the camera and it’s sensor. In other words, the samples obtained from a specific lens would be different with the lens mounted on a D810, D610, D4 and of course the full frame lens mounted on a crop sensor. Ever wonder why there is no lens correction for a jpg file, when always used that lens in past…profile developed around RAW. If you want a critically exact, you need to do it yourself with your own camera and lens. Otherwise, you are essentially accepting compromises unless you happen to use the same camera it was developed around.

  • The following technical literature uses the term light falloff, illumination falloff or falloff in irradiance when discussing lens vignetting:

    http://www.imatest.com/support/modules/uniformity/
    http://vision.ai.illinois.edu/publications/on%20Cosine-fourth%20and%20Vignetting%20Effects%20in%20Real%20Lenses.pdf
    http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/lens-corrections.htm
    https://help.phaseone.com/en/CO8/Editing-photos/Lens-Correction.aspx#item13
    http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~sensing-sensors/readings/vignetting.pdf
    http://www.red.com/learn/red-101/lens-vignetting

    The term light falloff is commonly used to describe the decrease in illumination with distance, which I would guess is what Scott was thinking of. In fact, a decrease in illumination with distance is present with all photographic equipment that uses a flat sensor or film plane, resulting in natural vignetting, which may be accompanied by optical or mechanical vignetting.

    This kind of info is now readily available on the Internet. I happen to have been aware of this for many decades, from my studies at the New England School of Photography, reading technical equipment reviews in photo magazines, and reading books on photographic technique such as the Ansel Adams series and Stroebel’s View Camera Technique. However, if you don’t think that I know what I am talking about, you have the authoritative sources above for your own reference.

  • @ David Eichler…

    Look elsewhere for someone to stroke your ego.

  • Dean, my only purpose has been to try to ensure accurate information. If you disagree with the info I have provided, then I suggest that you provide a counter argument instead of engaging in personal insults.

  • @ David Eichler…

    It wasn’t meant as a personal insult. I was simply stating a widely held and universally accepted truism.

    You follow that spiraling argument all the way down with yourself while I move on unscathed, lol.

  • I have been reading and occasionally participating in the conversations on this blog for some years and have rarely encountered uncivil comments here. I consider Dean’s comments about me to be highly uncivil and, I believe, unwarranted. He has attacked me personally, mischaracterized my comments and attributed motives to me that he cannot possibly know and that I believe are not exhibited in my comments above. Even though I have explained this he nevertheless persists in these attacks. If he had made these comments in a private context, I might not really care. This is not about my feelings being hurt. However, when he makes such comments in public it reflects badly on me, since he seems to be questioning my motives and integrity. I therefore request that Dean retract his comments about me or that Larry remove any of his comments about me if Dean is unwilling to do so.

  • Looks that way to me too, David.

  • @ David Eichler…

    Please stop emailing me at 1am, calling me “trollish”, rambling on about how you “went overboard”, then demanding that I remove my comments.

  • Dean, the only reason I emailed you was to try to take this interchange offline and spare the audience here any more of this sort of thing. I did not “demand” that you remove your comments. I asked. I did not ramble. My comments to you were short and to the point.

    Your comments about me do seem trollish to me. Barring some sort of explanation and justification from you for your attitude towards me, I can think of no other explanation than that you are just trying to goad me, which is wholly unwarranted and inappropriate, as is your public response above to a private email.

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