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Author Topic: Nikkor 24 mm f/3.5 PC-E  (Read 13280 times)
ThomasH_normally
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« on: May 16, 2008, 04:15:36 PM »
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Nice review on:
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/...kon_24_pc.shtml

I use the old Shift 28mm f/3.5 PC-Nikkor for years, and I am glad that Nikon finally upgrades and modernizes its shift lens assortment. Personally I was though surprised by the note from the review that this lens is basically for FX format Nikons only. Even on a D300 some of the knobs of this lens would hit the D300 flash casing. Maybe we could get some images shown how the combination looks like in max. shift and tilt?

This is very regrettable, to say the least. I have also a small Canon system, and there I use the comparable TS-E 24mm f/3.5 L Tilt-Shift lens even on the tiny EOS-400D, called Rebel Xyz something something, I can never remember the El-Bizarro US-Canon Lingo. Even in its max. shift position the TS-E 24mm has space enough to just about touch the flash casing of the smallest Canon body. The combination looks funny: the tiny body and this bulky warthog lens on it, but it works just fine. I love to shoot with this lens.

I appreciate the small video demo on how to focus with tilt by M. Reichman. I used these lenses to shift only, both for architecture and to escape refections of myself, but I do not have much experience with tilting. This video was a real eye opener: Its so easy once you know how...

Thomas
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2008, 06:44:04 PM »
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This has come up in several threads now. Michael's comment is unfortunate, because it apparently has some people thinking the lens is not compatible with the D300 and that's just not true. You can use the full amount of shift in any direction on the D300. Clearance is tight, but it does work. The only issue is that for horizontal shift you have to rotate the lens so that the shift knob is on bottom instead of on top.

I'll post some pictures of the lens mounted (and shifted) on a D300 early next week (do it right now because I just packed all my gear up for a weekend trip).
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ThomasH_normally
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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2008, 08:31:50 PM »
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This has come up in several threads now. Michael's comment is unfortunate, because it apparently has some people thinking the lens is not compatible with the D300 and that's just not true. You can use the full amount of shift in any direction on the D300. Clearance is tight, but it does work. The only issue is that for horizontal shift you have to rotate the lens so that the shift knob is on bottom instead of on top.
[...]
Alright, I appreciate the correction! Regarding the knob position, it is so with the Canon lens as well. The shift knob must be on the bottom for a horizontal shift, so the lens must be rotated accordingly, but the same knob can than shift the lens left or right.

This is the fundamental difference to the knob operation in the older 28mm f/1:3.5 PC-Nikkor, in which case the knob shifts the lens in only one direction, away from the knob. And so the lens must be rotated accordingly to shift left, right, up or down. The shift down with knob pointing up might be obstructed by the flash casing, and anyway, my lens does not have creep enough to stay than in position. Gravity shifts it all way down.

Have a nice trip!
Thomas
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vandevanterSH
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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2008, 09:34:21 PM »
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This has come up in several threads now. Michael's comment is unfortunate, because it apparently has some people thinking the lens is not compatible with the D300 and that's just not true. You can use the full amount of shift in any direction on the D300. Clearance is tight, but it does work. The only issue is that for horizontal shift you have to rotate the lens so that the shift knob is on bottom instead of on top.

I'll post some pictures of the lens mounted (and shifted) on a D300 early next week (do it right now because I just packed all my gear up for a weekend trip).
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196178\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I would appreciate that.
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joneil
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« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2008, 08:16:37 AM »
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This video was a real eye opener: Its so easy once you know how...

Thomas
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-snip-

   I've been using (and still use) view cameras for 12 years now.  One thing I do not like is how the use of movements - be it a view camera or a PC lenses on a DSLR - looks complicated or comes accross that way.  Nothing can be further from the truth.

    The reality is, whatever camera system you are using, just get out there and use it.  Put all the math and technical books away, and just get out there and use the lens and/or the system.   It's not that hard at all once you actually start using movements.

    The second, and very, very important point is this:   When it comes to movements, very often, less is more.    I've used extreme front rise when shooting a church with a large steeple or a mountain, but the reality is, a small shift in movement can made a big difference.

    When you advertisements for either view cameras or PC lenses, they are often show at the maximum extent of their range.   I've seen view cameras twisted up like a pretzel in issues of "View Camera" magazine and I don't remember ever setting up any of my 4x5's like they are posed.   The same is true for PC lenses when I once used them on my Nikons.  The reality is most movements that will use in the field will only be 2-3 degrees one way or another.

     Yes, your mileage may vary, and yes, many of you have excellent photos that are taken with some sort of extreme shift and/or movement.  But I'm talking hwo you end up using the lens on an everyday basis.

    Think of a PC lens the same way you use garlic when cooking - a little bit of garlic goes a long way when making a pot roast, but using a whole pound or a half a kilo of garlic to cook a single roast will likely ruin it.   Movements in any format can be much the same.
   
  My last bit of advice is do not be intimidated at all.   Mount your camera on a tripod, and look while you focus.  Take your time, and you will all be surprized how very intiuitive it can become if you just take your time.  My advice to the first time PC lens (or view camera ) owner is before you shoot anything critical, take  a weekend, go out, and shoot flowers, buildings, whatever catches your fancy.  It's the best and only real way you will learn.  Rome wasn't built in a day.  
joe

PS - just in case you didn't get it - relax and take your time.  
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ThomasH_normally
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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2008, 03:09:00 PM »
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-snip-
    The reality is, whatever camera system you are using, just get out there and use it.  Put all the math and technical books away, and just get out there and use the lens and/or the system.   It's not that hard at all once you actually start using movements.
[...]
I am sure, its a good advice: nothing can replace the practice.

The matter of fact is though that I have my dear problems to see in a regular viewfinder if the frame is sharp after tilt. Here comes in the novelty ingredient as shown in the video: The live view and a zoom ability. This allows to focus sharply with confidence.

Thomas
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2008, 08:23:34 PM »
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Also, darned nice video, Michael   Who needs those high-priced director/cameramen?  

As usual, sound is harder than picture. : )
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Philip Weber
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« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2008, 10:00:39 AM »
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As I want this lens for landscapes (I started the thread on T/S lens last week) it sounds like I would want a service center to change the axis.

Can a local service person do this or does it have to be mailed somewhere? If it's the latter, then where does one mail it to and what, exactly, am I asking them to do to it?

I was discouraged by Michael's recommendation to eschew this lens with the D300 and as I greatly respect his opinion, I decided against dropping $1,900 on a lens that might have limited functionality. After reading this thread, I'm not so sure it wouldn't do the landscape functions I am looking for.

All input for or against buying one is very much appreciated, as I'm new to the PC lens. What is encouraging is that after watching Michael's video and reading the comments in this thread, using one doesn't appear as intimidating as it first did!

Thanks,
PW
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2008, 12:06:05 PM »
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As I want this lens for landscapes (I started the thread on T/S lens last week) it sounds like I would want a service center to change the axis.
You might want to think about the shots you want to take and what this will actually get you to come to a conclusion. I've been using mine strictly for landscape work and I prefer to have them opposite. My main use of this lens is not for perspective control (although that does come in handy some times). I use it more for flat stitching DOF control. The nice thing about the default configuration is that I can use tilt to control near/far focus while using horizontal shift to stitch for more resolution. This also gives you a wider FOV than a single 24mm shot, addressing Michael's other complaint about using this lens on DX (that 24mm is not useful on cropped sensor). That said I do find 24mm can often be useful even for single shots. Not ever image needs an extremely wide FOV.

Quote
I was discouraged by Michael's recommendation to eschew this lens with the D300 and as I greatly respect his opinion, I decided against dropping $1,900 on a lens that might have limited functionality. After reading this thread, I'm not so sure it wouldn't do the landscape functions I am looking for.
It's fully functional on a D300, but not other DX cameras. You can use the full amount of tilt or shift in any direction on a D300 without having clearance issues or having to remove the lens to get it into the correct configuration.

Quote
All input for or against buying one is very much appreciated, as I'm new to the PC lens. What is encouraging is that after watching Michael's video and reading the comments in this thread, using one doesn't appear as intimidating as it first did!
LiveView makes using these (and any other MF lens for that matter) so much easier. You can really dial in the focus right where you want it, something I have very little success with trying to do using a DX viewfinder (even on my D2x with a DK-17m).

I'm relatively new to these lenses as well, and there was a little bit of a learning curve at first, as judging hoow much tilt to use was difficult for me (I would often use too much). But it's not really that difficult, just takes a little practice. The LL article on focusing tilt/shift lenses should be very  useful to anybody starting out, and will shorten the learning curve especially if you use the charts for determing how much tilt to use.

Jeff
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Philip Weber
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« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2008, 09:20:22 PM »
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You might want to think about the shots you want to take and what this will actually get you to come to a conclusion. I've been using mine strictly for landscape work and I prefer to have them opposite. My main use of this lens is not for perspective control (although that does come in handy some times). I use it more for flat stitching DOF control. The nice thing about the default configuration is that I can use tilt to control near/far focus while using horizontal shift to stitch for more resolution. This also gives you a wider FOV than a single 24mm shot, addressing Michael's other complaint about using this lens on DX (that 24mm is not useful on cropped sensor). That said I do find 24mm can often be useful even for single shots. Not ever image needs an extremely wide FOV.

It's fully functional on a D300, but not other DX cameras. You can use the full amount of tilt or shift in any direction on a D300 without having clearance issues or having to remove the lens to get it into the correct configuration.

LiveView makes using these (and any other MF lens for that matter) so much easier. You can really dial in the focus right where you want it, something I have very little success with trying to do using a DX viewfinder (even on my D2x with a DK-17m).

I'm relatively new to these lenses as well, and there was a little bit of a learning curve at first, as judging hoow much tilt to use was difficult for me (I would often use too much). But it's not really that difficult, just takes a little practice. The LL article on focusing tilt/shift lenses should be very  useful to anybody starting out, and will shorten the learning curve especially if you use the charts for determing how much tilt to use.

Jeff
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Thanks so much Jeff, you've been very helpful!
Phil
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ThomasH_normally
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« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2008, 01:26:05 PM »
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[...snip]
I was discouraged by Michael's recommendation to eschew this lens with the D300 and as I greatly respect his opinion, I decided against dropping $1,900 on a lens that might have limited functionality. After reading this thread, I'm not so sure it wouldn't do the landscape functions I am looking for. [...snip]
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196382\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I think that this is the interesting point here: $1900 for a 24mm f3.5 PC lens, as I see it throughout comparable to the Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L, which cost so much less, that you can even get a body with this lens for $1900. I wonder what Nikon was thinking, and what precisely is the rationale behind such pricing. I could not find any hint about that in this review. Imagine that even as a Nikon shooter you would get a small Canon + the TS-E 24mm f/3.5L, you have a ready to go light tilt/shift setup and an entry into a Canon system. I did this some years ago by purchasing an EOS-3 with an IS lens, and never regretted. Back than Nikon's VR was not existing, low light shooting with Canon IS was like a magic. Ever since I am using both systems, every now and than I am getting another Canon lens, the wonderful 24-105 F/4L IS being the last, and so the 2nd system has grown to a full size alternative. I often wonder about the "brand crusades" raged by people who use only Nikon or only Canon and basically literally speculate about merits/demerits of the other system. Most do not know that virtually everything "turns into opposite direction" on Nikon versus Canon: the lens mount, the focusing or zoom ring. I like the ergonomics of Nikon bodies much more, but I consider software menus much better in Canon's.

This shift lens price case might be just the door to a Canon system for you!

Thomas
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Philip Weber
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« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2008, 03:04:51 PM »
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Quote from: ThomasH_normally,May 26 2008, 01:26 PM

I think that this is the interesting point here: $1900 for a 24mm f3.5 PC lens, as I see it throughout comparable to the Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L, which cost so much less, that you can even get a body with this lens for $1900. I wonder what Nikon was thinking, and what precisely is the rationale behind such pricing. I could not find any hint about that in this review. Imagine that even as a Nikon shooter you would get a small Canon + the TS-E 24mm f/3.5L, you have a ready to go light tilt/shift setup and an entry into a Canon system. I did this some years ago by purchasing an EOS-3 with an IS lens, and never regretted. Back than Nikon's VR was not existing, low light shooting with Canon IS was like a magic. Ever since I am using both systems, every now and than I am getting another Canon lens, the wonderful 24-105 F/4L IS being the last, and so the 2nd system has grown to a full size alternative. I often wonder about the "brand crusades" raged by people who use only Nikon or only Canon and basically literally speculate about merits/demerits of the other system. Most do not know that virtually everything "turns into opposite direction" on Nikon versus Canon: the lens mount, the focusing or zoom ring. I like the ergonomics of Nikon bodies much more, but I consider software menus much better in Canon's.

This shift lens price case might be just the door to a Canon system for you!

Thomas



Good advice Thomas and I, too, am not into brand loyalty as much as just wanting good tools to capture my photos as well as possible.

However, buying a Canon would be my third D-SLR platform (I have a Canon G9 converted as a dedicated IR camera but am not counting that). I have been shooting with a Pentax K20D (upgraded from a K10D in February) and it's a heck of a good camera (I'm not a pro BTW).

I just purchased the D300 out of frustration for the lack of super-long glass in a Pentax mount (I have the Bigma and love it but for birds and some wildlife, I've wanted extra reach). So, I ended up buying the Nikon last month (LOVE it BTW) and with it, the Sigma 300-800mm (Holy Smokes...this thing is BIG). I ended up with the Nikkor 16-85mm (very sharp, great all around) and the 70-300mm, both VR-2s.

It seemed like I'd have the best of both worlds in terms of glass (I have pretty much everything I need in Pentax glass, I shoot mainly landscape, and nature/wildlife) and have my Nikon covered from 16mm-800mm (24-1200 (!) with the crop factor).

NOW, I see this PC-E and am with you, wondering why they'd make something that isn't 100% compatible with their DX cameras, which is the bulk of their market. I guess they thought that such a specialized lens would appeal mainly to pros using the D3. At this point, my camera bag and my aching back aren't into lugging THREE systems around...PLUS my bank account is just recovering from the Nikon purchase!

Comparing the K20D and the D300, both have their advantages over the other but overall, I feel blessed to be shooting with the dual platform I have now, and am amazed at how far D-SLRs have come in just a few years. Canon has, of course, a great line-up but I just cannot justify three, based on what I'm doing.

What's nagging at me now is ditching the 70-300 and making Nikon my main squeeze with their f/2.8 70-200 and 200-400 sluggers. I don't EVEN want to think about losing the 16-85 for their fast 12-24 and the 24-70 to make it a foursome + the Big Monster. The K20D would certainly be coming off the bench with that starting line-up BUT...only after another 10k!

So many lenses...so little cash...sigh...
Phil
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2008, 11:25:58 PM »
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Imagine that even as a Nikon shooter you would get a small Canon + the TS-E 24mm f/3.5L, you have a ready to go light tilt/shift setup and an entry into a Canon system.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=198104\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

But why would a Nikon shooter want to enter the Canon system today?

One year ago yes, but today?

Cheers,
Bernard
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jeffok
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« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2008, 11:54:57 PM »
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But why would a Nikon shooter want to enter the Canon system today?

One year ago yes, but today?

Cheers,
Bernard
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Because Nikon still does not have as vast a lineup of high quality lenses as Canon does, that's why. Not trying to start a brand war here, but being both a Nikon shooter till just a few years ago and now Canon, I think many people would agree that, on balance, Canon has the edge in range and quality of glass, notwithstanding some stellar Nikon performers.
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Sunesha
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« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2008, 02:38:51 AM »
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I also feel that 24 PCe is quite expensive one. But people like Bjørn from norway gave 5 off 5(not normal giving 5s). He is picky and I dont know anyone else on Internet with more experience off Nikon lenses. So hopefully the price deliver the image quality for the price.

http://www.naturfotograf.com/index2.html

Myself have used 28PC a older version. But it brings some nasty Chromatic Aberrations.

I will have to check out Canon a bit. But as amateur to buy into a complete other system I feel I waste money on bodies instead off lenses that doesnt lose it value in the same rate.
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Daniel Sunebring, Malmoe, Sweden
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« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2008, 07:29:59 AM »
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Must share this discussion on nikongear.com
http://nikongear.com/smf/index.php?topic=8408.0

Björn is testing it out. Also a lot other. If you want know all about this lens and usage this great link.
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Daniel Sunebring, Malmoe, Sweden
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2008, 06:42:33 PM »
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Because Nikon still does not have as vast a lineup of high quality lenses as Canon does, that's why. Not trying to start a brand war here, but being both a Nikon shooter till just a few years ago and now Canon, I think many people would agree that, on balance, Canon has the edge in range and quality of glass, notwithstanding some stellar Nikon performers.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=198247\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The situation has changed dramatically in a few years both for DX and FX.

My view is that the only shortcoming on the Nikon side are some very fast prime lenses with AF-S. Even there, their 85 f1.4 and 35 f2.0 are still excellent and totally usable for high quality work. There is no practical gap between 1.4 and 1.2 anyway. If anything I prefer the 1.4 compromise. To a lesser extend, Nikon is also lacking some mi-range zooms like a 70-200 f4, but I wouldn't use these anyway (I prefer either a lighter lens like their excellent 70-300 f5.6 VR or a real fast one like the 70-200 f2.Cool.

Otherwise they are currently equal or on Nikon is on top in terms of choise, and more importantly quality. The gap is actually quite dramatic on the wide end zooms side. On the long end, besides the obvious lack of a fast 200-400 Canon, both brands are close to one another.

The Nikkor 24 mm is more expensive because it is a better lens in terms of image quality. Michael didn't want to go there, and I understand, but the fact remains that if you are looking for the best 35 mm T/S wide lens get the Nikkor. The Canon is certainly an excellent lens, and probably a better overall bargain, but if top image quality is the priority, then get the Nikkor.

But I am not trying to convince anyone, great if you are pleased wth your Canon lenses and with the pace at which they are improving. But just check the image quality of the 1ds3 vs 1ds2 with the current Canon wide lenses, and you will see that the system is lens limited. What does that tell you about the potential of the EOS system in terms of image quality?

I have been tempted many times throughout the years to switch over to Canon but never did it because of cost (and to a lesser extend doubts about the interface of Canon 1 series cameras). Nowadays I wouldn't do it even if I were paid to.

Cheers,
Bernard
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ThomasH_normally
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« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2008, 10:32:28 AM »
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[snip...]
The Nikkor 24 mm is more expensive because it is a better lens in terms of image quality. Michael didn't want to go there, and I understand, but the fact remains that if you are looking for the best 35 mm T/S wide lens get the Nikkor. The Canon is certainly an excellent lens, and probably a better overall bargain, but if top image quality is the priority, then get the Nikkor.[...snip]
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=198421\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I am afraid this is a pure speculation at this point of time. This thread might turn into a wrong direction, into yet another Canon/Nikon dispute. The Canon 24mm f/3.5 TS-E is an L lens, what is Canon's top series. This lens is with us for a while, you can see numerous tests of it and examples of work. Considering its top resolution, somehow I doubt that this Nikon will top it.

Frankly, especially in terms of their lenses Canon, has proven many times that they have achieved a very high standard of both design and production. Need an example? Look at the quite shocking downfall of the for years delayed 70-200 F/2.8 VR since people did some tests with it on a D3. I am just paraphrasing Bjarne here: Nikon would be well advised by providing a MK II of this lens.

Thus please, lets wait for some measures before making assumptions about how the both 24mm f/3.5 lenses compare!

Thomas
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2008, 01:01:05 AM »
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I am afraid this is a pure speculation at this point of time. This thread might turn into a wrong direction, into yet another Canon/Nikon dispute.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

As I said, I am not trying to convince anybody. Great if you are happy with your Canon 24 T/S lens. I have read many forum posts from users who were not that impressed but that might be sample variations or un-realistic expectations on their side.

As far as the comparison against the Nikkor goes, there are indeed no one-to-one comparisons published until now, but I am basing my opinion on elements like the 2 following contributions:

[a href=\"http://nikongear.com/smf/index.php?topic=8408.50]http://nikongear.com/smf/index.php?topic=8408.50[/url]
http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/article...shift_ts-e.html

Cheers,
Bernard
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« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2008, 06:55:36 AM »
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As I said, I am not trying to convince anybody. Great if you are happy with your Canon 24 T/S lens. I have read many forum posts from users who were not that impressed but that might be sample variations or un-realistic expectations on their side.

As far as the comparison against the Nikkor goes, there are indeed no one-to-one comparisons published until now, but I am basing my opinion on elements like the 2 following contributions:

http://nikongear.com/smf/index.php?topic=8408.50
http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/article...shift_ts-e.html

Cheers,
Bernard
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=198680\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

As along time Nikon, Mamiya, Canon and now again Nikon Shooter (over the past 20 years), the main reason for me to switch was the lens quality of the new Nikon lenses. I see that as a new system inside the "old" Nikon system. As long I was working mainly press stuff the 1 D mark ii with some lenses was fine. The 5D is a great camera picture quality wise but with wide angle lenses hard to use for architecture or landscapes. The 24 Ts L lens I bought new and sent it back few days later, almost unuseable on the 5D. Two phototographers I contacted had the same view - this lens was great with film but is no winner on digital. In fact distort in photoshop did a better job than this lens.
And about price: the 14 mm L lens of Canon cost me 2100.-€ here in Austria, the Nikon 14-24 mm costs 1650.- € and is better in every aspect than the fixed focal lens of Canon. So I assume that the Nikon 24 Tse is worth every €. With the 1 Ds mark III the optical problems with Wide angle become too painful for me. ( I have done tests for me with this camera and with the Nikon) In the center the Canon has more resolution, at the corners its a total different story, the Nikon wins hands down. For me this is important. Dont feel insulted, your mileage might vary.

Christian
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