Okay, now it’s time to review a cool and unusual lens: the Canon TS-E 90mm lens. You can get this lens from Amazon, B&H Photo or Adorama.

The TS-E stands for Tilt Shift lens. If you don’t know what a Tilt-Shift lens is, it is basically a lens that allows you to control perspective distortion (the converging effect that you get when you shoot tall building from below).

Canon TS-E 90mm Lens

Lens Score (APS-C Sensor)
Optical Quality: (4.5 / 5)
Build Quality: (5 / 5)
Value for Money: (4 / 5)

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They do it by shifting the optical path off its horizontal axis.

Now, most people will wonder why you would want to have such lens. Most will argue that you can fix the distortion in Photoshop.

They may be right, but you will lose image quality when you do that.

In addition, there is another thing why you might get this lens for landscape photography. You can get deeper depth of field with LARGER aperture.

Yes, this lens also allows you to control the amount of depth of field as well.

If you see the price, you’ll notice that this is not the lens for everyone. If you are a photographer newbie, then I would advise against getting this lens.

However, if you are shooting professional architecture or landscape photography, then this is an absolute lens to get.

See the complete Canon TS-E 90mm review below.

Technical Specs

Official Name:
Canon TS-E 90mm f/2.8

Focal Length Markings:
90mm

Features:
TS-E – This is a special lens used for professional architecture photography. The lens features a tilting mechanism for controlling perspective distortion and depth of field.

EF – Compatible with both Canon cropped sensor camera and full frame DSLR camera.

Full Technical Specs (from Canon’s website):

Technical Specifications
Groups / Elements 5 / 6
Angle of View 27°
Number of Blade Diaphragm 8
Minimum Aperture f/32
Minimum Focusing Distance 0.5m
Filter Thread 58mm
Weight 565g
Dimension (Diameter x Length) ø73.6 x 88mm
Macro Magnification Ratio 0.29X

Optical Performance

Sharpness

Being a professional lens, center sharpness is superb at any aperture. Just like the center sharpness, border sharpness is superb as well at any aperture.

To get the maximum sharpness, shoot at f/4.

Sharpness Scale (from Best to Worst):
(5) Excellent
(4) Great
(3) Good
(2) Fair
(1) Poor

Center Sharpness

Focal Length / Aperture f/2.8 f/4 f/5.6 f/8 f/11
90mm Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent

Border Sharpness

Focal Length / Aperture f/2.8 f/4 f/5.6 f/8 f/11
90mm Great Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent

Distortion

Being a TS-E lens, you can expect this lens to have 0 distortion.

Well, this is supposed to be a lens that control distortion, so it is normal here :)

See the distortion grid test below.

Canon TS-E 90mm Distortion Test

Distortion Test

Vignetting

Vignetting is non-existent at any aperture. Considering the price you pay for this lens, this is well deserved.

See the vignetting test chart below.

Canon TS-E 90mm Vignetting Test

Vignetting Test

Chromatic Aberration

As expected, this lens has negligible chromatic aberration at any aperture.

Chromatic Aberration Scale (from Best to Worst):
(5) Negligible
(4) Very Low
(3) Low
(2) High
(1) Very High

Chromatic Aberration

Focal Length / Aperture f/2.8 f/4 f/5.6 f/8 f/11
90mm Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible

Build Quality

Materials

Made of superb quality metal. Made in Japan.

Focusing

The focus ring operates smoothly. The lens will extend when you focus on closer distances.

Note that this is a special TS-E lens which means you will NOT get the autofocus feature.

Image Stabilization

There is no Image Stabilization feature on this lens.

Compatibility

Being an EF lens, this lens is compatible with both Canon cropped sensor and full frame DSLR camera such as Canon 5D Mark II or 35mm film SLR camera.

Sample Image

Below are some sample shots that I took using this lens. Click on any thumbnail to open the image.

Canon TS-E 90mm Sample Image 1

Sample Image 1


Canon TS-E 90mm Sample Image 2

Sample Image 2


Canon TS-E 90mm Sample Image 3

Sample Image 3


Canon TS-E 90mm Sample Image 4

Sample Image 4


Canon TS-E 90mm Sample Image 5

Sample Image 5

Conclusion

Here is my conclusion for this Canon TS-E 90mm lens.

Given the price, this lens gives the absolutely perfect performance.

In terms of optical performance, it is perfect. It is very sharp both on the center and borders, have 0 distortion and perfect chromatic aberration as well as vignetting control.

In terms of build quality, it is super solid. It is made of metal and will stand the test of time and professional use.

Note that this is a TS-E lens which means it will not autofocus with any camera.

I would not recommend this lens if you are new to photography. This is because this lens is geared towards specific photography crowd and you really need to know how you will use this lens before purchasing one.

If you are a professional architecture photographer, you will want to have this lens in your bag.

See my conclusion below for the summary:

Drawbacks

  • Expensive. However, given the performance, the price is justified.

Positives

  • Excellent optical quality. Sharp on the center and borders.
  • Perfect distortion control
  • Excellent vignetting control
  • Chromatic aberration is non-existent
  • Superb and solid build quality

Good For

  • Professional architecture photography
  • Professional landscape photography

Not So Good For

  • Anything other than the above

What Others Are Saying…

by “ShutterFlash”

This lens is a macro, a short telephoto, a portrait lens, and a landscape lens that offers new creative possibilities. Because depth of field can be manipulated as in a view camera, this is proving to be my most versatile lens in my bag, in spite of the fact it is “just” a 90mm prime lens…
Click here to see the full review

by “AV Rob”

I also own the newer Canon 24mm 3.5L mark II tilt shift so I wasn’t sure if I’d be happy with this earlier version of a Canon tilt/shift but I wanted to add tilt/shift capabilities in a 90mm. After using it for a few weeks, I must say it is a very impressive lens. While this one does not sport the “L” designation…
Click here to see the full review

Where to Buy

Canon TS-E 90mm Lens

Lens Score (APS-C Sensor)
Optical Quality: (4.5 / 5)
Build Quality: (5 / 5)
Value for Money: (4 / 5)

Visit Website

Support this site, get the lens using the following links below (to my favorite stores) when you’re ready to make a purchase:

Thanks for reading my Canon TS-E 90mm lens review and I hope this helps you in making a correct purchasing decision.

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