At the time of writing, Canon offers a number of tilt-shift lenses for its DSLR lineup, including the 17mm f/4L, the 24mm f/3.5L II, and the 90mm f/2.8L Macro. But all of Canon’s TS lenses are manual focus only, and Canon has not yet produced a tilt-shift option for mirrorless shooters.
If the rumors are right, Canon will release two wide-angle TS lenses:
- A 14mm f/4L lens
- A 24mm f/3.5L lens
The 14mm f/4L lens should be perfect for ultra-wide landscape photography; with a 14mm focal length, you gain the expansive field of view that’s especially popular among pro landscape photographers. It’s a perspective that cannot be matched by Canon’s current tilt-shift offerings (Canon’s widest TS lens is the aforementioned 17mm f/4L, followed by the 24mm f/3.5L II).
The 24mm f/3.5L, while perhaps less groundbreaking, offers a “standard” wide-angle perspective. It’ll undoubtedly excel when shooting landscapes, architecture, and even environmental portraits, either as a conventional lens or with the tilt-shift effects applied.
But what’s the value of a tilt-shift lens?
Lenses featuring tilt-shift capabilities allow you to address certain problems posed by architecture and landscape photography (though the TS effect is also just cool!). Specifically, tilting the lens adjusts the plane of focus. You can use this to produce a “miniature” effect, where all the elements look small and human-made – or you can use it to keep certain elements in focus while blurring out other elements.
So a landscape photographer might use the tilt effect to keep an entire scene in focus from front to back, even with a shallow depth of field. And a portrait photographer might use the tilt effect to creatively blur out all but the subject’s face.
You can also shift the lens; this essentially lets you choose a vantage point off to the side of your camera, but without having to move the camera body. It’s invaluable for architectural photography, where shifting the lens upward prevents unwanted distortion. You can also use the shift effect when capturing panoramas in landscape photography (it makes for beautiful, easily stitched results!).
Currently, Canon’s tilt-shift lenses are relatively expensive, and I doubt this RF-mount glass will break the mold, especially given the added autofocus capabilities. But we’ll ultimately have to wait and see; Canon Rumors suggests a “first half of 2022” announcement (one that should, incidentally, come “alongside a high-megapixel camera”).
So keep an eye out for more information. And if you’re thinking about purchasing a tilt-shift lens, you might want to hold off until these RF-mount options have been unveiled.
Now over to you:
What do you think of Canon’s potential tilt-shift lenses? Would you be interested? What draws you toward tilt-shift glass? Share your thoughts in the comments below!