Expensive but soooo worht it
I agree - it is not your everyday lens, not even your every week lens. To be honest, if you do not have a need for it will quickly become your once-in-a-quite-long-long-while lens. Then you may feel disappointed, but it will not be because the product is not good, it will be because you didn't bother to think whether you really need it when buying it.
It is also a demanding lens to use - you most probably will use a tripod (unless you have super steady hands), be patient, and take some time to learn how to use it. Btw - architectural and landscape photography, where this lens finds most applications will require a tripod and some patience (when composing) in most cases anyway.
However, when you do need features of this lens and take time to learn how to shoot with it - nothing comes close to quality you will receive.
If anybody claims that he/she can do the same with regular lens and some post processing while retaining the same quality, he/she either never really used this lens or doesn't really needed such lens and doesn't want to spare time to learn how to use it. If a bit of PS magic would give you the same effects / quality no one would buy TS lenses any more and manufacturers would stop producing them. Somehow, Canon not only has not stopped, but they are refreshing (24 mkII) and expanding (17) TS lens line).
Asking for a fast autofocus in this lens - when at least 50% (if not more) of joy from using it comes from manipulating the focus pane, point and DoF - is like asking for a big trunk in a sports coupe. With respect to infinite DoF by tilting instead of gong down to f16-22 and loosing detail due to diffraction - please refer to YMHARNC review.
Expensive? Definitely yes. But are other special application tools that you know of or use - when compared to regular items of their category - cheap?
February 8, 2012
Very crisp and clean images. Tack sharp. Improvement on the Gen 1 version of this lens. Can be used for a variety of things: Architecture, landscapes, macros, shift and stitch panoramas. Fantastic versility. If you've shot large format and miss the controls, get this lens. Yeah, it's expensive. Mostly for pros.
November 6, 2011
Extremely useful for handheld photography
If you have looked up resolution on this lens on The-Digital-Picture you already know it is incredibly sharp and distortion free. It has become my favorite lens for the type of industrial work that I do for heavy industry.
However, I want to address a caveat that several reviewers have made: that it is essential to use a tripod with this lens especially when the tilt function is used. Nonsense. I have taken many pictures with the tilt function hand held. It is not that difficult to set up focus from near to far by going back and forth a bit with the tilt function. When you get it right, all that's necessary is to maintain the same camera angle to the subject. You can stand up, squat down, pivot left or right and the tilt function will work just fine as long as you hold the camera in your hand with the same angle.
This ease of use makes the tilt function amazingly useful for many sorts of photography that are commonly encountered in factories, mills, mines, pipelines, and such. I rarely use a tripod for any photography and hardly ever need to use one with this lens.
October 24, 2011
Rock solid, razor sharp, virtually no distortion or CA. But understand why you need one before you buy one. If you won't use a tripod then buy something else and be happier.
October 23, 2011