August 18, 2011
The Canon TS-E 17mm f4 L is a fantastic lens for landscape photography where an extreme wide-angle perspective is required. The main drawback with the lens is that it's not possible to use neutral density filters without a little DIY (do it yourself) work. I was inspired by Aender Brepsom's article where he modified a TS-E 17 lens cap to support a Cokin X-Pro filter holder, and have used a similar solution to mount a Lee Filters SW150 Filter Holder for the AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED.
Mounting a Lee SW150 Filter Holder on a Canon TS-E 17
With the lens stopped down to f8, there is no effect on the image when the lens has no shift or tilt, and I have not yet evaluated the effect of shift or tilt. There is plenty of excess plastic on the remnant of the lens cap, so I'll probably remove some more to reduce possible vignetting when shift and/or tilt are used.
AddendumI have since removed some additional plastic from the remnant of the lens cap and have tested the lens at f5.6 with tilt and shift motions. It looks like there's no problem with vignetting. I took all vertical shots with the filter rails aligned to take the filter from the top, like for a graduated neutral density filter, and could see no difference between clean shots and shots with the filter holder installed, even at f5.6 with 5° of tilt and 10mm of shift simultaneously. The lens can go to a maximum of 6.5° of tilt and 12mm of shift. In my experience shooting real-life scenes, I haven't used more than about 3° of tilt, and the corners start to get a bit soft by 10mm of shift.
Addition on September 24, 2013Lee Filters has announced on their website an adaptor to mount their regular Foundation Kit, which holds 4" or 100mm filters, on the Canon TS-E 17mm.
This new ring will adapt the Foundation kit filter holder to fit the Canon 17mm TS-E lens and will allow more than half of the total amount of movement that is normally possible with this lens before vignetting - we feel that this is adequate for most uses and using the smaller 100mm system will allow the use of popular 100mm filters such as the Big Stopper and Proglass range. You can even use the 105mm polariser if you allow for a small amount of cutoff at the corners.
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