Thursday, 12 June 2008

Nikon 24mm PC-E one month on.

Well I have had the 24mm PC-E for over a month now and it is awesome. As I noted before it is a specialised lens but the more I use it the more uses I find for the tilt/shift functions. I originally got the lens for my super wide panoramics where I stitch 6 or 8 images from two rows together to create a fantastic field of view. I shift the lens up to shoot one row and down to shoot the next to get a larger vertical field of view. I did have to get a longer nodal plate, this lens is huge, but I needed a longer plate for the huger (is that a word?) 14-24mm. The plate I chose was the MPR-CL II nodal slide from Really Right Stuff. The most sturdy nodal plate around.

Of course it is great for shooting city scapes and as a 24mm lens it is amazing. Tack sharp and handles flare and backlighting better than any other lens I have used.

The one thing that does keep surprising me is how often I am using it for my landscape work. I am reaching for it now all the time for adding a little tilt for extra depth of field and a little shift to straighten converging trees, no more looking up at waterfalls and as for wildflowers, well roll on spring.

This has gone from being what I thought would be a seldom used exotic lens for panoramas to a must have lens for all my landscape work. I love it.

Now to the bad bits. Well there is only one and that is the knobs and levers to adjust the lens are way small. almost impossible to use with glove on and we have been out shooting on some cold mornings lately. I am looking at a way to glue on a small lever to the locking knob and enlarging the adjustment screw to make my life a little easier in the cold. I will report back if I manage to find a solution.

And one piece of advice when it come to using this lens, a little movement goes a long way!

Bye for now.

All photos take with D3 and 24mm PC-E
Top an eight frame pano
Middle screen shot showing the 8 frames to be merged in PS
Bottom a little tilt goes a long way, focused from 24cm to infinity with 3 degrees tilt.

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