PC-E Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/2.8D
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Medium-telephoto perspective control lens featuring tilt, shift and rotation capability perfect for portrait, nature and commercial photography.
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PC-E Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/2.8D
Based on 8 Reviews
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Have used this lens in conjuction with D800E documenting changes in a landfill for the last 7 years, stiching picture together up to 4 GB (consisting of over 40 individual photos at mulitiple levels). Easy to index, very sharp impages. Perspective control prevents distortion. Used specifically for creating photos used for regulatory and environmental enforcement testimony. Solid and reliable...! (low resolution picture below, original is 3 GB)
This is a great lens and perfect for still life and product photography. It´s nice and sharp when it needs to be, but has nice bokeh when using larger apertures. I use it often even when not using the tilt/shift function as I find it to be useful as a normal lens too.
I am a big fan of tilt-shift lenses, and even though I am primarily an architectural and interior photographer, I also use this lens for studio product photography. To be able to precisely control the plane of sharp focus, easily puts the entire product in focus. Matched up with a D800e, I get detailed images that rival film in a view camera.
This is an older lens with a push-push button for mechanically opening the aperture for focusing. It is easy to become used to the motions of using this lens with a little practice.
With the controls centered, the in-camera focus assist and exposure works, however; I prefer to use an external light meter for all my work.
The only drawback to this lens is that the tilt and shift are permanently locked in their relation to each other. The axis of the tilt/shift combination is adjustable with hard locks every 90 degrees and detents every 30 degrees. Nikon can rotate the fixed relationship 90 degrees for you at a service center, but it cannot be done on the fly.
Most people are probably buying the newer E version of this lens, but since there are still some showing up used, I´ll add my review. The E version is said to be a little better but this is a hard act to follow, as the older model is bitingly sharp and well behaved.
It´s not that easy to use, heavy and a bit hard to focus manually, and the push button preset aperture takes some getting used to, but it does things nothing else can quite so well. Aside from the obvious perspective control, the shift allows you to remove your own reflections or shadows from a shot, to shift foreground obstacles you can´t get past, and to make beautiful rectilinear panoramas. Unlike the grand old film era shift lenses, this one shifts both left and right without rotating the barrel, and as a result, a three-shot panorama is very easy to do well. The tilt helps with depth of field in macros, combined with the surprisingly sharp small apertures available. It´s more comfortable on a tripod than hand held, but the focal length makes it a pretty decent portrait lens too.
Not the sort of lens you´re likely to carry around a lot or travel with, but when you need what it offers, it´s grand. It also works well with an extension tube if you need more macro.
I use mine with a DX camera, which makes it a bit long, and a bit harder to focus, but it´s still very useful. This older version is compatible with everything, right back to the first Nikon F. If you have a full frame camera, and especially if it´s an older type, keep your eye out for one of these.
I love this PC-E lens with my D700. I´ve owned it for over a year and it gives me just what I need. However, I did send it into Service to have the Tilt and Shift knobs co-aligned, instead of at right angles, as for architecture. Now, there is not much space between all the knobs and buttons. With the Tilt and Shift in-line, I get exactly what I need every time. So I am a happy camper.
Very little vignetting, lateral color fringes and no distortion.
Using Lightroom and Photoshop I developed scripts to batch correct the color fringes and vignetting. At center point ( no shift/tilt ) their is no correction needed. As for when tilt and shift movements are applied, I leave comments on pictures with rise/fall and left/right shift to correct them accordingly. So what´s left to say is that this lens is perfect for macro, product and reproduction. The drag and feel of all the adjustments (focus, aperture, rise and tilt) is just perfect. Someone did their homework. Everything is easy to move and it stays put.
This is obviously a specialized lens, not something that the casual shooter would consider getting. That said, for some very interesting in-camera effects the tilt and shift become quite interesting.
It is a bit of a pain to work with - having to open the aperture in order to focus, then stop down to take the shot. Add to this the need to take either handheld meter readings with an external light meter or use manual mode in the camera and take the reading with the lens in zero position (i.e. - no tilt or shift) and you see that this is a lens that absolutely requires the use of a tripod.
That said, though, it can do things not possible without a lot of post-processing - by tilting the lens appropriately you can keep the surface of a stamp or flower, say, that is not perpendicular to the CCD and not have to use f45 with the requisite ISO 12800 or huge lights.
I use the 105MM f2.8 VR when I´m in botanical gardens or places where a tripod would be cumbersome (or not allowed), but if I am in a situation where the tripod and lengthier time to compose the shot is not an issue, the 85 PC comes out.
I don´t know why it took me this long to get this lens!! I don´t know how I ever survived without it!! This lens practically turned my D3 into a View Camera. This lens is my number one lens in the studio for Table Top Product Photography.