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Thread: Nikon 85mm PC-E F2.8 as a portrait lens

  1. #1
    Senior Member deepdiver's Avatar
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    Nikon 85mm PC-E F2.8 as a portrait lens

    I went to Nikon website, and i found this picture


    that picture was taken using the new 85mm F2.8 PC-E lens!
    i love the unique bokeh
    However, since i dont have any experience at all with PC lens, i need some advice from all the members here.
    Is it as easy as using Nikon 84/1.4 AF-D to take a picture with this PC-E lens? (assuming that, I only set the focus plane to vertical instead of horizontal)

    just focus at the face of the mode, then "click", I will get this unique bokeh.
    is it true?

    Please advice

    Thx u n advance
    Andree

  2. #2
    Paul.R.Lindqvist
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    Re: Nikon 85mm PC-E F2.8 as a portrait lens

    No its not easy, iv owned the 85/2,8 PC and i would never considering it for portrait, unless i had a sturdy tripod and a fixed setting. Surely there are those who used the 85/2,8 PC "freehand" but its no where near as easy as using a Nikkor 85/1,4D AF. The PC lens is manual and quite heavy and takes time to setup.


    Some applications such as comercial shoots where you need to have a certain part "logo" etc in focus, its unvaluable, but for portraits outdoors i really dont see the benefit.

    Hopefully the new PC-E will perform better, i tested the old one against my Zeiss 85/1,4 in the studio and it couldnt keep up.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 85mm PC-E F2.8 as a portrait lens

    I think it will take some work to get the hang of using the tilt for photos such as you have displayed. You will need to practice with the lens to learn where (and how much) to swing and tilt to put the OOF area where you want it.
    There is a wedding photographer, Riccis, who used to use the Canon t/s lenses for beautiful wedding portraits similar to your sample, so I know it can be done.

  4. #4
    Senior Member deepdiver's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 85mm PC-E F2.8 as a portrait lens

    Hi Paul dan Cindy.
    Thx a lot for the information, it's really helpful.
    I think i really need to try it out first before i decided to buy it or not
    Now i have to wait, until Nikon Indonesia have the lens on stock.
    They have no idea, when will they received this lens >_<

    Andree

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    Re: Nikon 85mm PC-E F2.8 as a portrait lens

    Bear in mind you can also use a Mamiya (645) or Hasselblad medium format lens (required larger image circle) that has an aperture ring on your Nikon via a Mirex Tilt/Shift adapter (about 400 Euros). Gives you the option of using different lenses via TS - with many of the Mamiya manual focus lenses being insanely cheap.

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    Re: Nikon 85mm PC-E F2.8 as a portrait lens

    Much easier to use this lens since the advent of Live View. Working with that you will pick it up in no time but it's still a tripod mount lens IMHO.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Nikon 85mm PC-E F2.8 as a portrait lens

    Superb lens!



    That was a hand-held candid shot (APS-C sensor)!

    The operation is very different compared to the 85/1.4 AF lens. You can get used to it after a bit of practice. I would strongly suggest that you buy a book or look up information on the use of movements in photography. There are right ways and wrong ways.

    Live view, IME, offers nothing special (unless tripod bound).

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    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 85mm PC-E F2.8 as a portrait lens

    ,,,snip,,,

    Live view, IME, offers nothing special (unless tripod bound).

    I would think that a tripod would be mandatory if you were doing movements and using live-view for precise focusing. I think one would have to be an acrobat otherwise. I have this lens and have been meaning to give it a whirl with live-view. I think there is a lot of potential there if you are tripod mounted. It surely would be an aid if someone was just learning how the movements work.

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    Re: Nikon 85mm PC-E F2.8 as a portrait lens

    Vivek

    How far do you find you need to stop it down to get to optimum sharpness? Bjorn's website seems to indicate it isn't that sharp WO.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Nikon 85mm PC-E F2.8 as a portrait lens

    Rob, This lens is plenty sharp. For portraits (like the example shot), f/4 is fine.

    There are some interesting facets to this lens that I discovered. It was introduced with the D1. I really don't know what Nikon were thinking! This lens has some useful UV transmission and is very transparent to IR. The D1 had an UV/IR cut filter much worse than the M8!

    With the newer Nikon bodies (D40x, D300, etc) these issues are not worrisome as they have efficient UV/IR cut filters over their sensors. Hence, the contrast and sharpness is excellent.

    Cindy, There are two types of live view modes available.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 85mm PC-E F2.8 as a portrait lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    ...
    Cindy, There are two types of live view modes available.
    Right, I know. I use it on the tripod all the time for product shots and macro. I just would find fine tuning the focus (by zooming in) and adjusting the swing or tilt to perfection, a little hard to do while hand-holding the D3 steady.

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    Re: Nikon 85mm PC-E F2.8 as a portrait lens

    Any more samples to share? Really intrigued by this lens.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 85mm PC-E F2.8 as a portrait lens

    This is a great lens. Using the T/S handheld isn't that hard so long as you are not expecting micro adjustment precision (live view & tripod recommended!). If there's a look you are going for then it's easy enough to tilt the lens approximately and then move the camera to get the look you are after. Obviously being MF it's a little more work than using the 85/1.4, and the new version is a lot easier to use since you don't have to manually stop down to shoot anymore.

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    Member Y Sol's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 85mm PC-E F2.8 as a portrait lens

    Here are two shots made with the 85 PC-E. This lens is very sharp and
    I use it a lot for my work (food, interior and portraits)
    For me it's one of the better lenses Nikon ever made.

    Y Sol
    Last edited by Y Sol; 7th February 2010 at 12:10.

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    Re: Nikon 85mm PC-E F2.8 as a portrait lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Y Sol View Post
    Here are two shots made with the 85 PC-E. This lens is very sharp and
    I use it a lot for my work (food, interior and portraits)
    For me it's one of the better lenses Nikon ever made.

    Y Sol
    Was the picture of the chef shot handheld?

  16. #16
    Member Y Sol's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 85mm PC-E F2.8 as a portrait lens

    As far I can remember, yes it was handheld.

    Y Sol

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