Tilt Shift Lens  

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Ulana
(@uswitucha)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 433
September 8, 2019 11:58 pm  

I have the opportunity to buy a second hand Nikon tilt shift lens 24mm PCE.  It's been in the back of my mind for a little while now for architecture and landscape work.  I am finding that LR and PS do not always solve the problem.    I am also interested in learning how to use it for panoramas. 

I would appreciate your views and your experience. 


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John Motzi
(@jmotzi)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 339
September 9, 2019 7:07 pm  

Hi Ulana,

The 24 PCE is a nice lens but of course it is heavy and specialized.  I had one for several years but never quite adapted to its use and the sold it last year. You should interpret that as i never put in the time/practice to adequately master the tilt feature.

As a shift lens it can be very useful.  You keep the camera level and then shift the lens up or down to capture the subject without the keystone effect.  It's also a handy way to do stitching - you make an image shifted on one-way, at center and then shifted the other way (by rotating the housing).  So for example, you can make a 44 x 36 mm capture by using portrait orientation and shifting left and right.

With regards to the tilt - 35mm is such a small frame that only tiny amounts of tilt are needed (typically less than 2 degrees), and for me that became much too fussy.  Here is a great article - it's a bit dated now but still very very good: http://www.davidsummerhayes.com/Focusing%20the%20tilt-shift%20lens.pdf

The manual focus is quite nice - I really enjoyed that.

I also bought the 45mm PCE when it first came out and I have kept it for studio work.  It has a nice long focus and the tilts and shifts can be useful in the studio.

Raaj has the 19mm PCE so he may want to put in his two centimes.

Somewhere in my closet I have the OLD Nikon 20mm PC lens;  It's shift only and back in the day of crop sensors (aka Nikon D70), I did zillions of panos using the shifting up/down for the vertical pano and then camera rotation ( https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1301176-REG/really_right_stuff_pano_elements_lr_pc_lr_lever_release_panning_clamp.html ) for the horizontal pano.  Ha ha that was back in the days before Photoshop CS and you had to do all the aligning & stitching manually.  How different life is today with PT-GUI.  Anyway here is a recent article on that old lens: https://fstoppers.com/originals/trying-vintage-nikon-28mm-pc-lens-fujifilm-gfx-50r-334896

If you can - try to rent it or borrow the 24mm lens first to see if it's for you.

Did I even answer the question 🙂

JM

 

This post was modified 7 months ago by John Motzi

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Ulana
(@uswitucha)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 433
September 9, 2019 9:33 pm  

Thanks John you did indeed.  Coincidentally what took me down this path was a 28mmPC that was for sale as well.  And thanks for the resources.  I will take a look at them.

Ulana


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Raaj
 Raaj
(@rshinde)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 838
September 10, 2019 9:18 pm  

I don't have much to add to what John wrote.  I have several of the PC Nikkors and some other assorted PC lenses, including the Pentax MF lenses.  The latest I acquired is the 19mm Nikkor and it is probably one of the sharpest lenses I own.  A pleasure to use.  Terrific for using the shifts on either side for panoramas.  Did I say brutally sharp? 🙂  The Contax PC Distagon is another superb PC lens that is relatively easy to adapt to the Z7, though I haven't played with it much.

A few of the Russian Arsat PCs and derivatives are quite good if you can find a decent copy, though I suspect they would not fare very well in the >24M sensors.

Cheers!


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