Canon Ratings and Reviews
Reviews Home / Consumer & Home Office Reviews / EOS Cameras Reviews / Lenses Reviews
Shop Now At Canon
Shop Lenses or
Choose a Category

Customer Reviews for TS-E 17mm f/4L

TS-E 17mm f/4L

A diagonal angle of view of 104° Tilt & Shift with a range of movement of up to +/- 6.5° and 12mm respectively Both UD glass and a specially coated aspherical element to optimize image quality SWC lens coating to control ghosting and flare
Average Customer Rating:
5 out of 5
5
 out of 
5
(8 Reviews) 8
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (8 reviews)
5 stars
8
4 stars
0
3 stars
0
2 stars
0
1 star
0
8 out of 8(100%)reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for TS-E 17mm f/4L
Review 1 for TS-E 17mm f/4L
Nickname: Jay
Location: Chicago
Used this product for: Less than 1 month
Expertise Level: Advanced Amateur
Mostly used for: Travel
Canon Enthusiast: more than 20 years
Product replacement: No

Amazing Lens

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:October 29, 2012
Pros: Superior build quality, Super-sharp images
Cons: no auto focus
I bought this lens after my extreme satisfaction with EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM. I wanted a lens that corrects the super wide angle distortion effect.
I took this lens with me to Paris and used it to photograph cathedrals and buildings. After few attempts, I was able to control focusing without then need of a tripod and captured tall structures up close with virtually no distortion. In the narrow streets of Paris, it is the only way you can capture the beauty of the Parisian architecture.
As described in the manual, aperture and focusing need to be adjusted after tilt or shift. While this may sound complicated, it really is not. You can still take advantage of the in-focus indicator by manually adjusting focus while half depressing the shutter release. Exposure can be easily corrected by viewing the recorded image. In short, I was able to take crisp and sharp images with virtually no distortion by keeping the aperture relatively small and making successive corrections with few exposures, all without the use of a tripod.
20 of 20 people found this review helpful.
Review 2 for TS-E 17mm f/4L
Nickname: AV
Location: San Diego, CA
Used this product for: 6 to 12 months
Expertise Level: Advanced Amateur
Canon Enthusiast: 11 to 20 years
Product replacement: No

Best Lens for me

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:February 17, 2012
Pros: image quality, feels very solid, lots of possibilities, focus ring is very precise
Cons: bulky, heavy, no af, front lens needs care, lens cap is bulky too
I have these lens to use it in architectural photography, but the amazing thing it's that you can do a lot of things with it. It gives you a lot of possibilities to expand your imagination.
Now I use it everywhere I go, for example I go to vacations to Las Vegas with family and I take amazing photos from the city and family only with these lens.
Its a little bit hard to get an exact tilted picture without a tripod, but, they are better than if I take it with another lens.
Quality of the pictures are very good, it's my first L lens and I just love it.
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Review 3 for TS-E 17mm f/4L
Nickname: inspiredlogic
Location: Portland, Oregon
Used this product for: 1 to 3 months
Expertise Level: Professional or Expert
Canon Enthusiast: more than 20 years
Product replacement: Yes

Must Have in the Camera Bag

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:January 7, 2012
I've now owned the 17mm TS mounted on a Canon 5D MarkII for several months shooting home interiors for the Real Estate market. My 'backup' lens is now my 7D with a Canon 10-22mm lens, which is my comparison setup.
I will not go into detail here as many others have already provided that type of excellent feedback. This lens is simply awesome and does what the top-notch 10-22mm lens could not do. When I stand on the sidewalk in front of a building and cannot get back any further due to traffic, the shift capabilities of the lens simply captures all the building while maintaining the straight vertical lines of the building.
The quality is simply amazing. Often when viewing the photo on my computer for the first time, I just sit back and say "Wow" out loud. The build is great and since I always use a tripod, the weight isn't a problem.
Speaking of weight, some have suggested it can be used hand held. This is something I tried and decided I would not attempt again without the tripod. The reason? If I'm outside shooting the exterior of a building or home and it is raining, then it would be much easier to hand hold rather than carrying a tripod.
However, using live view to get focus in addition to trying to keep the camera level both vertically and horizontally is a real challenge. Yes, it can be done, but under an umbrella in the rain, it is a challenge!! Of course, even if not raining all that I mentioned would still be true.
I've also noted a challenge early on with sometimes not getting the focus right. The depth of field for some shots turns out very shallow, which is the opposite of what I need. I'm convinced for an interior shot in a home, I don't need to use the Tilt feature of the lens.
I've also noted that using F8 or F11, F8 seems to give better quality results, so a higher F stop isn't the answer. Perhaps it was just operator error as not all shots have the focus problem.
The bottom line is that if you want to have all the tools at your disposal to produce fantastic results, then spend the money and get this lens. If you can deal with 'bent' vertical lines and crop out much of your shot just to keep verticals straight, then go with the 10-22mm. However, the 10-22mm is made for the EOS line with the 1.6 sensors, which means it effectively is a 27mm lens. It cannot be mounted on my full frame 5DMII.
21 of 22 people found this review helpful.
Review 4 for TS-E 17mm f/4L
Nickname: JohnMac
Location: Redondo Beach, CA
Used this product for: more than 1 year
Expertise Level: Professional or Expert
Canon Enthusiast: more than 20 years
Product replacement: No

a TS-E lens I dreamed of came true!

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:November 6, 2011
Pros: super sharp to the edges, tilt shift, low flare, low c.a., low distortion
Cons: no provision for polarizing filter
I've been an architectural shooter for over 20 years. I've been through several wide lenses starting with the 20mm, then the 17-35, 17-40, 16-35 and I currently have the 16-35 Mark II. While it's the best of the zooms and better than the fixed 20mm, it can't even come close in image quality to the TS-E 17mm. The only thing lacking is the ability to polarize this lens, which is something I do quite often when shooting interiors. So then I need to use the 16-35 instead, but I'm eventually going to get the TS-E 24mm Mark II and then will have that option, albeit not as wide. Otherwise this lens combined with my 5D Mark II creates files that look almost like photo-realistic illustrations. The edge sharpness has always been an issue with other UWA lenses, until this lens. If you think this is an expensive lens, then you're probably not the demographic that should be using it.
16 of 17 people found this review helpful.
Review 5 for TS-E 17mm f/4L
Nickname: Lock,Load & Shoot
Location: Birmingham, AL
Used this product for: 1 to 3 months
Expertise Level: Professional or Expert
Mostly used for: Business
Canon Enthusiast: 6 to 10 years
Product replacement: Yes

Best digital solution vs 4x5

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:March 4, 2011
Pros: Superior build quality, Super-sharp images, ease of use
I'm a professional architectural photographer and a semi-pro landscape photographer. With extensive 4x5 film experience, this lens gets me back to 99% of the capability of a 55mm lens on 4x5 using film.
Some people on other forums have suggested that the bulging front element would cause endless flare problems. It doesn't. I'm often required to shoot interiors with light cans recessed in the ceiling overhead. There is a certain angle approximately 20 to 30 degrees in front of the camera, and 5 or so degrees behind, that will occasionally cause minor flare. In every instance so far I've been able to shade the lens with my hand and eliminate the flare completely. Setting the camera up with illumination directly overhead has never been a problem. I've had extensive experience with the Canon 17-40mm zoom and it has far worse flare issues regardless of the focal length used. I suspect having to tilt that lens up when shooting exteriors contributes to this problem.
Others have suggested that there is a steep learning curve in using this lens effectively. Without 4x5 experience you will have to spend some time getting familiar with the Scheimflug principle in order to use the tilt feature correctly, but the shift feature alone will be usable right out of the box. In shooting architecture, shift (Rise & Fall) is all you will use 95% of the time. Product, tabletop and landscape shots will benefit the most from using tilt. There are abundant resources to help understand the whys and wherefores of using tilt to manipulate the plane of sharpest focus if you don't have experience.
Quite honestly, until this lens came along, I had little inclination to invest in a 35mm or digital solution that got no wider than 24mm. My specialty has always been architectural interiors and too often 24mm just isn't wide enough. That being said, the Canon 24mm Tilt-Shift will be in my gear case very soon because it is a very necessary focal length also. In fact, I just upgraded to a larger rolling case to accommodate the additional Canon Tilt-Shift lenses I will soon own.
Some have suggested that the lens is heavy, bulky and therefore difficult to use handheld. If you are planning to shoot without a tripod this is not your lens. Hiking long distances to shoot scenery and carrying the bare minimum of weight might eliminate this lens, but be aware that there are many landscape photographers willing to carry extra gear to ensure the best possible image. With the lightweight carbon fiber tripods available today, taking the handheld approach simply doesn't make sense to me. There are many light weight zooms available for a handheld approach and I think would be better tools for the job if you want to shoot this way. For the landscape photographer willing to carry the additional weight of this lens, the benefits will be astounding. Employing tilt to ensure sharp detail from foreground to infinity using f/8, as opposed to stopping down to f/16 or f/22, will yield far superior images. Image sharpness gained with using the 17mm Tilt-Shift lens this way will far surpass any conventional lens on the market.
If you ever look at the cross section of a conventional 4x5 wide-angle lens designed without the constraints of a mirror box and lens flange, you will be further amazed at what this lens is capable of. 4x5 wide-angles typically do very well with just 8 elements arranged symmetrically as opposed to the retro focus design employed for SLR cameras. And yet, there is near zero barrel distortion or chromatic aberration. This eliminates at least three steps in post production.
I haven't talked about keeping verticals vertical, but the gain in image quality by doing this in camera is reason enough for me to own this lens.
Last but not least, to suggest that the price/value is less than 5 stars due to the high price tag requires that you don't take into account the amount of gear required to set-up and shoot conventional 4x5. If you compare this len's capability shooting digitally as opposed to using a digital view camera solution, your savings in weight and cost are measured by several pounds and tens of thousands of dollars. Looked at in this light, this lens (along with the Canon 5D Mk II) is at least 10 stars!
109 of 111 people found this review helpful.
Review 6 for TS-E 17mm f/4L
Nickname: Aginbyte
Location: Falmouth, Massachusetts
Used this product for: more than 1 year
Expertise Level: Professional or Expert
Mostly used for: Business
Canon Enthusiast: 6 to 10 years
Product replacement: Yes

The lens I have been waiting for

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:February 10, 2011
Pros: Superior build quality, Super-sharp images
This is simply a magnificent piece of glass. Can be used as a 17mm prime lens and performs better than any other wide angle prime in the Canon lineup. Great quality, no chromatic aberration, solid build. As an architectural lens, it cannot be matched. Shooting European cathedrals and basilicas is very challenging and this lens changes the game. Top to bottom, front to back captures, both portrait and landscape. Replaced the old 24mm standby and the improvement is enormous. Pricey, both worth it.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Review 7 for TS-E 17mm f/4L
Nickname: YMHARNC
Location: Central Oregon
Used this product for: 3 to 6 months
Expertise Level: Professional or Expert
Mostly used for: Travel
Canon Enthusiast: 11 to 20 years
Product replacement: No

Reason Alone to Switch to Canon

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:December 30, 2010
Pros: Superior build quality, Super-sharp images
Cons: heavy vs. other primes, expen$ive, necessarily manual focus only, scary exposed front element
Canon has hit a home run with this lens. Setting aside the tilt-shift functions for a moment, it is a fundamentally stellar optic: incredibly sharp; minimal flare despite its bulbous front element; minimal chromatic aberration; and NO corner softness or vignetting in an unshifted, untilted configuration. As a standard prime, I've never used a higher quality 17mm lens.
But this isn't a standard prime. It is a tilt-shift - a 17mm (!) tilt-shift with a huge image circle that enables users to shift farther with less vignetting than ever before with any 35mm-format tilt-shift lens. To be clear, I'm talking about two different and very important characteristics: the 17mm angle of view; and the larger image circle. This last characteristic is particularly important because the primary benefit of this 17mm lens is its ability to shift. A larger image circle enables you to shift farther while maintaining a high level of image quality.
In my experience, a 24mm lens is, more often than not, simply not wide enough to photograph architectural interior and exteriors; a 17mm lens is. This 17mm lens allows you to do so while maintaining straight vertical lines that prevents the need for resolution-robbing, time consuming correction to compensate for the keystone distortion that occurs whenever you point any standard wide angle lens up. This translates into significantly higher image quality and a huge savings in time spent post-processing. For me, the time savings alone justifies the not-insigificant cost of this lens.
The lens is not just for architecture either. Anyone who has tried to shoot a grove of giant Sequoia trees has experienced the same thing. The trees are all leaning in toward the center of the frame. Sometimes this effect can be an artistic element in a composition but most of the time it's just a problem -- a problem that the TS-E 17 solves beautifully.
It is worth noting that the 17 -- indeed, any t/s lens -- offers this ability without the need for a tripod. Tripods are essential when tilting; for shifting, the lens can be hand held in any situation where a regular lens can be hand held. So feel free to imagine yourself using this lens in situations where tripods are either not allowed or not appropriate.
When it comes to tilting, this lens produces stellar results as well. I use tilt often with my landscapes. Having said that, any 17mm lens has an inherently large depth-of-field making the need to shift the plane of focus to expand depth-of-field less necessary while, at the same time, reducing this lens' ability to achieve selective focus as compared to tilt-shift lenses with longer focal lengths.
Like all tilt-shift lenses, the TS-E 17 is manual focus only. Given that this lens is best suited to a very deliberate style of photography, I don't consider this a con even though I list it as one. The focusing action is buttery smooth. Anyone who has never used a manual focus lens will find that it is not the hardship one might imagine, however live view is definitely your friend when it comes to using the tilt function.
By now it's obvious how much I like this lens. It's heavy compared to other primes; it's [beautifully smooth] manual focus only; it's scary with that front element sticking out; but it does things NO other lens can do and with a level of image quality that is unsurpassed in a 17mm lens. If you shoot landscapes and/or architecture and can afford it, the TS-E 17mm f/4L is a great addition to your photographic tool set.
43 of 44 people found this review helpful.
Review 8 for TS-E 17mm f/4L
Nickname: Chimay
Location: San Diego, CA
Used this product for: 6 to 12 months
Expertise Level: Advanced Amateur
Product replacement: No

Best ultra wide angle lens available for Canon

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:August 26, 2010
Pros: ultra-wide with little distortion, one of the sharpest lenses i've ever experienced, widest tilt-shift available
Cons: price, bulbous lens means not able to fit a filter, difficult to use without a tripod
Having a 17mm tilt-shift lens means I'm able to get shots that no other standard DSLR can achieve. This is an amazing lens, and I'm thrilled by the tack sharp details I get out of this lens with my 5DmkII. This lens was made for architectural photography, and it's absolutely perfect for that. I only wish I could fit a polarizing filter to it, but the design of the lens makes that an impossibility.
26 of 29 people found this review helpful.
©2014 Canon U.S.A., Inc. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. View mobile site