through the F-Mount -  photography by Jürgen Becker
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Nikon PC-E Nikkor 24mm f/3.5 review

July 5, 2015

Tilt, shift, close focus - the PC-E 24mm is a very versatile lens.

I love my PC-E 85mm! It is one of my most frequently used lenses. Thus, it was clear for me I will try the PC-E 24mm one day.

I bought a used one in early spring and soon it has become an inherent part of my lens setup.

To cut the story short: The PC-E Nikkor 24mm f/3.5 is the best wideangle lens I have ever had on my Nikon!




Tilting geometry:

In my article Tilting the 85mm PC Nikkor lenses you will find some basic information about tilting which is also true for this lens.

Even the equation "d=f/tanα" is true, but you have to take into account that the PC-E 24mm is a retrofocus design. While "f" is the focal length for the PC-E 85mm, I measured "f" to be 78mm for the 24mm lens:

Often criticised: the very small lock screw for the shift movement (cyan arrow). The Nikon service can replace it with a bigger one. But that restricts compatibility with some camera bodies.

78mm and 85mm are very close, de facto the two lenses have the same tilt geometry. I guess it is the same with the PC-E 45mm. That makes it easier for the photographer when swapping between the different PC-E lenses.

Shifting notes:

On a full format sensor in vertical orientation you should stop shifting at 10mm, better at 9mm:

Both images were captured at F11: on the left shifted 11mm upwards, on the right 9mm

If the lens is heavily shifted it should be stopped down to improve the corner performance. With maximum shift in horizontal orientation the corners are acceptable at F5.6 and good at F11.


Sample images:

In a former steel production plant in Duisburg/Germany. Nikon D300IR plus shifted PC-E 24mm at F8.

Nikon D300IR plus shifted PC-E 24mm at F11.

Bog area in Minorca. Nikon D700 plus PC-E 24mm at F11, fully tilted.

A spider's home. Nikon D700 plus PC-E 24mm at F11, shifted upwards.

Snail convention. Nikon D700 plus PC-E 24mm at F11.

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