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Archive 2013 · Nikon 45mm PC-E. To do or not to do?
  
 
alexmacdougald
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p.1 #1 · Nikon 45mm PC-E. To do or not to do?


Hi all,

Been following the forum for quite a while and know you all have a lot of knowledge on all things Nikon. So, I wanted to pick your brains a little.

I will be buying some gear in the Autumn and am toying with the idea of adding the 45mm PC-E to my list. Basically, I like to do a lot of architectural photography, hence my thinking for going with the lens. I've also read it can be used as a general purpose lens for things like landscapes and portraits. And I've seen some amazing examples of both from the likes of Ryan Brenizer, for example. And being a top lens, am also thinking it would hold its value fairly well, if ever I came to selling it.

What I wanted to know is how easy is the lens to use? Specifically, if I took it out onto the streets, would it be easy enough to snap away with it? Or is it a lens that is more suited to being mounted on a tripod and to take the time to set the shot up?

For info, I will be getting the 24mm 1.4 and already have a 50mm lens, so I was looking for something in between the two which would give me some interesting results.

Thanks a lot in advance!

Alex



Jun 17, 2013 at 09:38 AM
MikeW
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p.1 #2 · Nikon 45mm PC-E. To do or not to do?


it isn't a walk around lens. You really need a tripod to compose your shot & adjust focus, tilt & shift.


Jun 17, 2013 at 03:23 PM
alexmacdougald
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p.1 #3 · Nikon 45mm PC-E. To do or not to do?


Thanks a lot Mike. That's what I suspected. Would like to use it as a portrait lens, as much as an architectural lens, and I don't do studio shots. Being able to use it without tripod would be handy to capture on the move pictures.


Jun 17, 2013 at 03:31 PM
Zichar
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p.1 #4 · Nikon 45mm PC-E. To do or not to do?


I'd throw in a contrasting view - that it's perfectly fine without
Search for agentbird who posts in the Your Best Nikon Shots and Manual Focus Nikon Glass thread, uses the 45PCE handheld with much aplomb
Went out shooting with him once when he was in town, and I'm a convert
Use the tilt to isolate subjects
With some practice, you can get a rough gauge and visualise the wedge of focus too
I've done shift panos handheld, no biggie
As a con, it is bulkier than bringing out a normal prime, so that may be a consideration

Here's a recent pano, handheld
No tripods in the dimly lit church
Hold still, camera resting on left hand, right hand turns knob, presses shutter, repeat










Jun 17, 2013 at 03:42 PM
alexmacdougald
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p.1 #5 · Nikon 45mm PC-E. To do or not to do?


Interesting. Basically it's either the 45mm or Sigma's 35mm 1.4. A completely different lens I know, but it's mainly because I would like to use it as a walk around and it wouldn't be so bulky. Plus, I've never used tilt-shifts before so there's a lot of unknown (not too worried about the learning curve though. Could even be fun).

Thanks for the insights!



Jun 17, 2013 at 03:54 PM
ckcarr
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p.1 #6 · Nikon 45mm PC-E. To do or not to do?


It's definitely a specialty lens. If you have not filled your lens gaps for the type shooting you do, it would be advisable to do that first. You don't have to do that and can be "off the wall" with one lens, but I like having most ranges covered with AF-S type lenses first.

I know nothing about using the lens as a walk around lens, I use mine exclusively for landscapes. But that's with tripod, remote, level, etc... It's my favorite of the three. Absolutely tack sharp.

You may or may not have fun with the lens. Personally if you are doing primes as a walk around, I'd go for the 35mm f/1.4 Nikon or Sigma first.

And just out of curiosity, what is your camera body and all current gear?



Jun 17, 2013 at 04:30 PM
alexmacdougald
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p.1 #7 · Nikon 45mm PC-E. To do or not to do?


I think you're right. It would make more sense to cover all the main bases first and then go for the specialty, one-off items after that. I would use it a lot for landscaping and architecture shots so it would come in handy there.

I have yet to get the gear (had to sell my last stuff off last year and am going to be rebuilding in September). I'll be using the D800 along with Nikon's 24 1.4, 50 1.8, 50 1.2, Zeiss 100mm Makro and Nikon's 70-200. Nikon's 85 1.4 will be added at a later date for portraits etc...So, given those focal lengths, the 35 would sit nicely in between the 24 and the 50.

Thanks for the help



Jun 17, 2013 at 04:46 PM
MikeW
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p.1 #8 · Nikon 45mm PC-E. To do or not to do?


I find it very difficult to change the tilt or shift while hand holding, it is awkward & I am worried I will end up dropping it.

Maybe you could set the tilt to what is generally ok, but if you want to play it is far easier on a tripod.

Fun lens though, but as for isolating subjects, noone seems to care for it, friends/family/members on here



Jun 17, 2013 at 05:56 PM
TSY87
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p.1 #9 · Nikon 45mm PC-E. To do or not to do?


If you plan on doing some tilt stuff, I would highly recommend a tripod. Although you can handhold it, its not ideal.

You can still use it as a normal 45mm prime but its only f2.8, manual focus only (im okay with this) and its really clunky if you arent going to be doing any tilting or shifting.

I bought one used on here and ended up selling it for about what I paid. It just wasnt for me, though there are times I wish I had it still. Maybe some day...



Jun 19, 2013 at 07:51 PM
Keith B.
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p.1 #10 · Nikon 45mm PC-E. To do or not to do?


Based on my having acquired a Nikon 24 PC-E a few months ago, I agree that it is better to fill out your set with the standard, useful-for-most-situatiuons primes and wait till later for the exotics.
Also, I'd add to MikeW's statement that it is very difficult to accurately adjust the tilt and shift while handholding; for deliberate funky focus effects it's easily operable hand held, but for the classic uses like architectural shift and landscape depth of field extension it's more of a tripod thing.



Jun 19, 2013 at 11:02 PM
 

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biggbird
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p.1 #11 · Nikon 45mm PC-E. To do or not to do?


Just to add to Zichar's response, here is AgentBird's Flickr.

Have always loved his T/S shots, and hence would love to get one some day! But plenty of more practical things on the to buy list for me beforehand I think. Plus, I'm not good enough with normal lenses yet to go fiddling with something harder :P



Jun 19, 2013 at 11:25 PM
paregorike
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p.1 #12 · Nikon 45mm PC-E. To do or not to do?


I recently bought one and love it. It is very versatile. Very sharp. Colors are well saturated and contrasty. One more thing: MACRO.


Ron



Jun 19, 2013 at 11:30 PM
agentbird
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p.1 #13 · Nikon 45mm PC-E. To do or not to do?


I use mine mostly hand held and on full manual. It takes some time to master, but it is a joy to use. But if you plan to play around with the focus on it it takes some stopping down to get sharp results on the newer high megapixel bodies. If full tilt is applied, I usually stop down to 5.6 to get sharp enough results, on a D800E mind you. If you shoot wide open with full tilt it looks like motion blur in the areas which are supposed to be in focus.

Another nice thing is that it handles very small apertures without too much diffraction.
I use mine up to f/22 without too many problems. Only for long exposures in daytime with a 10 stop filter though.

Here are a few samples from the 45mm PC-E on D800 and D800E, maybe a couple from a D3X too:






























Jun 20, 2013 at 06:17 PM
CGrindahl
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p.1 #14 · Nikon 45mm PC-E. To do or not to do?


So Anton gives us another master class in use of the 45 f/2.8 PC-E. As always, I love your work and what you produce with this lens takes my breath away. I know this kind of photography doesn't suit everyone's taste, but to my eye it is magical. That you're able to isolate a discrete element of a scene that is sharp while the rest slips into a sort of alternative reality always amazes me. Thanks for sharing so many photos. This lens still tempts me but only because of what you do with yours...


Jun 20, 2013 at 06:41 PM
workerdrone
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p.1 #15 · Nikon 45mm PC-E. To do or not to do?


^great set Anton. You probably just sold a couple of these lenses


Jun 20, 2013 at 07:02 PM
mshi
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p.1 #16 · Nikon 45mm PC-E. To do or not to do?


Almost everything in photography is a trade-off, and you have to balance it based on your own value system. For me, the tilt-shift look can be easily achieved or faked in post. So is the DOF correction.


Jun 23, 2013 at 03:38 AM
3D.Doug
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p.1 #17 · Nikon 45mm PC-E. To do or not to do?


For handholding, you could always lock the tilt shift down, then you just have a solid optic 45mm fantastic lens. the detail this lens is capable of is scary, think Macro as well as general photography.

I almost feel ashamed to show any shot after that above group of shots, wow! But
This shot is not all that beautiful, but it definitely shows detail of D800e with 45mm PCE is capable of:










Jun 23, 2013 at 04:47 AM
Alan321
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p.1 #18 · Nikon 45mm PC-E. To do or not to do?


Just make sure that it fits your camera with room to spare for rotation and shifting. Specifically, watch out for the protruding built in flash that overhangs the lens mount.

PC-E is great (although I have only used the Canon versions) but for internal architecture you may still wish for a shorter focal length to get a greater angle of view in each photo. And then you might want the 85mm version for other scenes. They're addictive little beasts.

Shorter PC-E lenses are harder to use hand-held because it is more difficult to judge the effects on focus and DOF with the increased DOF of a short focal length. It is much easier at longer focal lengths but then you lose the angle of view.

If you use it hand-held then you will benefit from a camera with a large and bright viewfinder
and/or a good implementation of live view. The D800 lv is a bit of compromise for handheld work. DX cameras have small viewfinders.

- Alan



Jun 23, 2013 at 04:58 AM
ckcarr
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p.1 #19 · Nikon 45mm PC-E. To do or not to do?


The 45mm and 85mm pc-e lenses fit fine.


Jun 23, 2013 at 08:50 AM
3D.Doug
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p.1 #20 · Nikon 45mm PC-E. To do or not to do?


I would say Alan is correct. Inside, the 24mm PCE would be my choice. Also, exterior whole buildings the 24 PCE would be my choice. The 45 would be better for portions of a building, or portions of inside, or inside where you have plenty of room to back up from target. But these lenses aren't the most fun to hand hold, regardless. Tilting and shifting while handholding is not only cumbersome, it will also yield very spotty results.

I used to own the 24mm, and sold it, I am not sure why. I wish I had it back, honestly. I would probably want to keep my 45 too though.



Jun 23, 2013 at 03:25 PM
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