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Canon drop-in filter adapter with tilt/shift

  |   Articles and reviews, Canon EOS R, Filters, Lens, Review, Tilt / Shift   |   No comment

Tilt-shift with the Canon drop-in filter adapter

Using a polarising filter behind the lens

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Canon produce a range of adapters for mounting EF lenses on RF mount cameras. Keith has been looking at one with a built in polarising filter, along with Canon TS-E tilt-shift lenses.

The filter used in this case is the ‘Canon EF-EOS R Drop-In Circular Polarizing Filter A’

Adapter at B&H ($299)



The new Canon RF mount has a significantly shorter flange distance (lens to sensor distance) than the EF mount. This means that an adapter is required to bridge the distance.

Canon has been shipping RF mount cameras with a basic adapter, which I’ve used with my EOS RP. This is covered in more detail in my EOS RP review.

In testing the R5, Canon also lent me the ‘EF-EOS R Mount Adapter with Circular Polarizer’, which makes use of the space to allow the insertion of a filter. Other filters are available and it shouldn’t be too long until we see a range of third party specialist filters in the mount (IR and extreme ND for example).

Here’s the filter and plain adapter [click on images to enlarge]


The gold pins connect the lens electronics to the camera.


The filter slides out when you release the lock button.


A geared movement system enables quick rotation of the filter to change the polarising effect.


Fiting the Adapter

The adapter just fits to the lens. This is the TS-E17mm F4L tilt/shift lens [detailed TS-E17 review]


The pair than just mount normally to the R5.


The filter pops out of the side.


Of course, you could keep the adapter on the camera and use the filter to keep dust out. A plain glass filter is also available.

Does the filter get in the way for lens shift?

One concern that I had about using the filter with any form of lens shift was that it would partly block the light path. This would exacerbate the subtle vignetting that you get at wide apertures and strong lens shift. It’s a form of vignetting on the opposite side to where the lens is shifted. It only tends to show at wider apertures. It becomes important if you want to stitch multiple shifted images.

Suffice to say – it’s of limited concern to most people. I’ve covered it in more detail in my TS-E lens reviews [TS-E50mm review]. It’s very easy to see with the help of my old light table.


For completeness, here are vignetting tests for the TS-E50mm and TS-E17mm at full 12mm shift with the filter adapter and the plain adapter.

17mm shift 50mm shift 

The slight skew is due to my not setting things up precisely enough – that’s not what I’m testing though.


Remember that these tests are processed to give a feel for the presence of vignetting and are not precise optical tests!

My take away from this is that the filter assembly does not contribute any significant vignetting. You still need to shoot at f/8 and above to avoid it.

A polariser for the TS-E17

If I use the TS-E17 on my 5Ds then I need some sort of shoebox contraption to mount huge flat filters in front of that protruding front element.

At full shift, the field of view of the lens is more like that of a 10mm lens, meaning that some light comes through any front filter at a low angle. This can produce a form of vignetting and magnify any imperfections in the filter. A high quality filter to fit in front of the lens is also going to be rather more expensive than a small one behind it.

It’s far easier to put the filter behind such lenses. However you can’t easily do that with EF mount cameras, although some wider lenses have the holder/clip in place to use gelatin filters.

The adapter gives plenty of space, and the angle which light is comes through the filter is reduced.

Here are two shots with slight vertical shift, taken at different filter rotations. They show the strong effect of a polariser on water. [click to enlarge images]

canal with polariser 1canal with polariser 2

One issue with using very wide lenses and a polariser is that polarization varies across the sky. This means that it’s possible for your blue skies to go very dark in parts, whilst other parts hardly change.

These three shots with the TS-E17 at modest vertical shift are at  roughly 45º differences in filter rotation.

vjp polariser 1vjp polariser 2vjp polariser 3

Careful use of the filter can give attention to different elements of the scene when you have reflective surfaces at different angles.

windows with polariser 1windows with polariser 2windows with polariser 3

Adapter concerns?

I know some people have what to my mind seems an almost irrational dislike of adapters. To me, they get a job done, expand what I can do, and let me carry on using old but perfectly good kit. The Fotodiox tilt shift adapter I use with my Mamiya M645 lenses is a superb example of this.

For the TS-E 24/50 and above I can just get a normal screw fit filter and use it. However, filter solutions for the TS-E17 are to my mind cumbersome, and expensive. Using a polariser with the TS-E17 needs care, but once again it’s a tool that’s useless until you actually need it.

This filter is useful enough that when I finally get a mirrorless camera to replace my 5Ds, I will get one of these adapters.

There is a short video (6m) that complements this article.


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