Wednesday, October 10, 2012

PC-E NIKKOR 24mm f/3.5D ED

May be I was so bored that went out yesterday and bought the PC-E NIKKOR 24mm f/3.5D ED lens.  On the other hand, I can also say that I have considered this lens for a long time and for the coming trip to the US finally pushed me to act.  The lens is a manual lens that has two functions: tilt and shift.

In order for all the vertical lines in the above image to be parallel, I have to not only keeping the camera level but also have to position the camera right in the middle between the ceiling and floor.  Here, all I have to do is to keep the camera level and "shift" the lens up or down a bit to get the composition that I want.

Then I can turn the lens 90 degree.  This time, I have to position the camera level and in the middle between the ceiling and floor then shift the lens from left to right.  I took one picture on the left and one on the right.  Stitching the two together, I have a perfect panoramic image.  Usually it is hard to stitch images from 24mm lens for panoramics, here it was piece of cake.  Otherwise, I would have to use a 85mm lens, position the lens at its perfect nodal point then rotate the camera to take several images to get a perfect panoramic.

Now I tried the "tilt" function.  I placed the camera in the "portrait" position, first focused on the flower then started to tilt the lens downward till I could see the sofa and piano came into focus.  I rechecked the focus then took the picture.  Everything now is all in perfect focus.  I have to correct the prospective a bit in the PTLens because the "tilt" function not only shift the focusing plan but also the prospective.  It could be a problem in the film days but not at digital age.  It will also not be a problem for landscape photography.  The idea is to tilt the lens to get perfect focus for very close foreground and distant background then shift the lens for panoramic.

Here is a more dramatic demonstration of the "tilt" function.  I managed to get both the watch and all the way to the pencil holder all in perfect focus.

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