Site Sponsors
Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Built quality of the Nikkor PC-E lenses

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    251
    Post Thanks / Like

    Built quality of the Nikkor PC-E lenses

    I'm sort of disappointed with the built quality of my 3 Nikkor PC-E lenses.
    The optics are great,however the mechanical parts are not great.
    Compared to the newly released Canon TSE lenses, the Nikkors are a joke.
    Especially for the sort of $ they cost.
    Also,I noticed CA with the 45PC-E ,that I also had with my Canon 45 TSE.

    Any comments?

    Cheers,
    Willem.

    Love the D3x!

  2. #2
    Mort54
    Guest

    Re: Built quality of the Nikkor PC-E lenses

    I only have the 24 PC-E, so I can't comment on the other two in the series. Regarding the 24 PC-E, I don't have any complaints. I don't have any shifting or drooping in any of the axis when I tighten down any of the axis (if that makes sense :-). There's no slop in any of the joints. Tolerances seem tight and well controlled. The movements are precise. There is some plastic used in the body, and time will tell how well that wears. But on the plus side, the use of some plastic results in a surprisingly light lens. All in all I'm happy with my copy.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    111
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Built quality of the Nikkor PC-E lenses

    Diglloyd (a blog and paid review site) had similar complaints on his blog.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Arlington VA
    Posts
    746
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    11

    Re: Built quality of the Nikkor PC-E lenses

    I use all three, the 24, 45 and 85. My complaint is the same I had with the Canon TS-E. The knobs are too small and, on the Nikon, one cannot really lock the lens in position, only tighten. However, I have never had a slip or slide when shooting, and the glass is beautiful.

  5. #5
    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, WA
    Posts
    5,802
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    564

    Re: Built quality of the Nikkor PC-E lenses

    I don't think that build quality is the issue but more of a design decision by Nikon with the PC-E lenses. I have all three and personally I think that the build quality is actually excellent both for all the mechanical components and the optics too.

    However, I do agree with Digiloyd with respect to some of the design decisions:

    1) There is play in the tilt mechanism if you don't tighten the lock screw. It isn't because the lens is poorly made - it's because it's a sloppy design that would be much nicer if there were no play when the lock is released and this will affect the image quality. If you lock the lens after dialing in the tilt/shift then there is no problem. This seems to more of an issue with the 24 vs 45/85 PC-E lenses as far as I can tell.

    2) Lock controls - personally I think they're too small. Again this is design vs build quality. They work but are fiddly IMHO.

    3) The tilt gearing ratio - personally I'd prefer a slower geared tilt mechanism as it's too easy to over/under correct the tilt of the lens.

    4) The rotate release control is too close to the body lens release button. You need to be very careful when operating the rotation release control not to release the lens itself from the body. It took me a while to get the feel of this and I can easily understand people pressing the wrong button and watching their $2000 lens fall off the camera body. That would make for a BAD day.

    As regards the comments about the Nikons being a joke compared to the Canon - can't agree with that. The lenses reflect the modern trade off of weight vs purpose and this carries over to the design & controls. If you want industrial robust design and construction then you need to look at the Zeiss (Hartblei) super rotators. I had the 45 Super rotator prior to the Zeiss hook up and it was military grade construction (and weight!!).

  6. #6
    Subscriber Member kit laughlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Two suitcases and the latest MBA
    Posts
    1,334
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Built quality of the Nikkor PC-E lenses

    I have the 24 PC-E; with the 14–24/2.8, it is my workhorse for architecture.

    I am a DAP subscriber, so am familiar with Lloyd's work. I very seriously considered changing gear base (again!) when I read his review of the 17 TS-E: independent tilt and shift axes on a lens that is extremely sharp with all aberrations well controlled. A dream lens for me. The first thing I did with my new PC-E was change the tilt axis orientation to be coincident with the shift axis, and I use that combination for well over half the interiors I shoot.

    For my 45–50 and 80–90 equivalents, I am considering the Mirex plus Hasselblad lens on Nikon F combination. I can't justify spending three times as much for the 45 and 85 PC-Es, as much as I would like them.

    I agree that the lock knobs are too small, and am considering having these modified.

    I agree 100% with Graham's comments re. gear ratio on the tilt axis—you really have to wonder if there is a single photographer on Nikon's design staff: on the 24, I cannot think of a single instance where I have used more than 2 degrees tilt; different for table top work with the 45, of course. If I were designing these three lenses, they would have three different gear ratios on the tilt axis AND these axes would work like the Canon's do.

    Re. CA: I have noticed a touch (1-2 pixels around v. bright light sources) but easily controlled. None would be better, of course! Cheers to all.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    251
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Built quality of the Nikkor PC-E lenses

    Why on earth do you want tilt on the 17 TSE?

    I even never use tilt on the 24 PCE.

    If they only would bring out a 35 PCE.

  8. #8
    Subscriber Member kit laughlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Two suitcases and the latest MBA
    Posts
    1,334
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Built quality of the Nikkor PC-E lenses

    I use tilt on the 24 in most shots: infinite DOF. I have made a number of images that clients like where the foreground object is very close (inches from front element) that no amount of DOF (from aperture) could capture. On the D700 (Live View) I can see clearly that 1–2 degrees of tilt (assuming camera height is ~1500mm from floor) brings everything into the same plane of focus, even if you are stopping down to ƒ11, and the big monitor confirms everything is sharp—genuinely sharp, front to back.

    In my experience, tilt is needed if the foreground object is close enough to the front element that aperture won't do what you want, DOF-wise.

    I would love a 35 PC–E too.
    Last edited by kit laughlin; 12th December 2009 at 02:38.

  9. #9
    Member Y Sol's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Netherlands/Germany
    Posts
    164
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Built quality of the Nikkor PC-E lenses

    I've just tested the Mirex Hasselblad/Nikon adapter. The quality of the adaptor is very good. The Mirex is connected with a T2 adaptor to the Nikon. The quality of the T2 adapter could be better, it fits not 100% tight on the D3x. Nevertheless, all together I'm surprised how good the old Zeiss Lenses are compared to the Nikon. The lenses I tested were: Zeiss CF 40mm,
    Zeiss CF 50mm and Nikon 45mm PC-E, tilt was 4 degrees and the camera a D3x. I tried to get the same magnification. I'm not a landscape shooter, my job is shoting hotel interiors and food. Here are some test shots I've done from our X-Mas decoration.

    Overall I like the build quality and handling of the nikon 45 PC-E better
    than the Mirex/Zeiss combination.

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

  10. #10
    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, WA
    Posts
    5,802
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    564

    Hartblei T/S alternatives

    Is anyone using the Hartblei Super-rotators with the new Zeiss glass?

    I've read Lloyd Chambers review and I'm intrigued about replacing all of my Nikon PC-E's with the Hartblei set instead. It's a bit of an investment but no worse than buying some fast long glass, and if the quality is good enough it would make it worthwhile. That said, I can't complain about the sharpness in particular of the PC-E's.

    The Hartblei/Zeiss glass looks pretty phenomenal, tilt/shifted or not.

  11. #11
    Subscriber Member kit laughlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Two suitcases and the latest MBA
    Posts
    1,334
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Built quality of the Nikkor PC-E lenses

    Graham, what is the cost of the new Hartblei/Zeiss combosódo you have that info. handy?

    Y Sol: thanks for posting those examples; they look fine to me. Did you end up with any preference for either the 40 or the 50 (like price, or min. focussing distance)?

    cheers, k

  12. #12
    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, WA
    Posts
    5,802
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    564

    Re: Built quality of the Nikkor PC-E lenses

    I hope you're sat down ... http://hartblei.de/en/srz-set.htm / http://hartblei.de/en/hartbleipricelist.pdf - 8904 euros for all three. It seems a lot but if the lenses are as good as claimed then it's comparable to other MF Zeiss or Leica glass.

    Looking on the bright side it's probably a better investment with a far longer life and less depreciation than another DSLR.

  13. #13
    Member Y Sol's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Netherlands/Germany
    Posts
    164
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Built quality of the Nikkor PC-E lenses

    Kit, I allready owned the Zeiss CF40 and CF50. I teste the Nikon 45 PC-E this
    weekend and I'll not buy it. The Zeiss/Mirex works very fine one the D3x.
    And I would love to have a 18 PC-E and a 35PC-E from Nikon.
    (no I'll not go back to Canon)
    It's also possible to use the old Mamiya 645 lenses on a Mirex adapter.

    Ydo

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    251
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Built quality of the Nikkor PC-E lenses

    To Ydo,
    to me all those images look the same.
    I have all 3 Nikons PC-e lenses and shoot with a D3x.
    Also the lens you want to try is the 85 PC-e.
    Unbelievable in sharpness.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Arlington VA
    Posts
    746
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    11

    Re: Built quality of the Nikkor PC-E lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Rethmeier View Post
    To Ydo,
    to me all those images look the same.
    I have all 3 Nikons PC-e lenses and shoot with a D3x.
    Also the lens you want to try is the 85 PC-e.
    Unbelievable in sharpness.
    +1 - Actually both the 45 & 85 are fabulous lenses. The 24 seems to suffer a bit of resolution loss at full shift, especially in vertical position. I too would love to see a 35 - actually a 32MM PC-E.

  16. #16
    Subscriber Member kit laughlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Two suitcases and the latest MBA
    Posts
    1,334
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Built quality of the Nikkor PC-E lenses

    Y Sol,

    I think that I will be getting the Mirex and one of those older Hasselblad lenses. Do you have any preference for the 40, or the 50, in terms of minimum focussing distance or anything else?

    And, as far as I know, it is not possible to use the Mamiya lenses on the Mirex with the T2 Nikon F mount; I asked Mirex's designer about this. He said that only the Hassy > Mirex >T2–Nikon F combination works for Nikon. cheers, kl

  17. #17
    Workshop Member kuau's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Park City, UT
    Posts
    1,071
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    34

    Re: Built quality of the Nikkor PC-E lenses

    Hi, just came across this thread, I have all 3 PC-E lenses and a d3x, I love them all, just have to make sure to lock them down before you shoot, and yes the tilt is a must on the 24 pc-e for DOF, shooting the D3x and all of these lenses the best resolution is at F5.6 to f8. I sent my 24mm into nikon to have the axis changed, works great, now I just wish I had sent them all in for the mod. Oh well I think I will send in the 45 and 85 in soon.
    As mentioned Diglloyd has some excellent info on all of these lenses and I signed up for DAP to well worth the money, he is always testing the latest stuff and a quality nut.

    Steven
    Steven Kornreich
    www.kuau.com

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •