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Nikon 19mm f/4E ED PC-E Dual Aperture Series: Evaluating Sharpness at 12mm Shift (Mosaic, Nikon D810)

See my wish lists at B&H Photo including my Nikon wish list.

Nikon PC Nikkor 19mm f/4E ED PC-E

See reviews of tilt/shift lenses in DAP and my October overview of Nikon 19mm f/4E ED PC-E.

The Nikon 19mm f/4E ED PC-E is in effect a medium format rectilinear fisheye lens projecting a huge image circle. To maintain high image quality over a 35mm frame at 19mm is a challenge, but to do it over an area 4X or so larger is a major challenge indeed.

Accordingly, something has to give, and it seems that the “give” is in allowing a significant amount of field curvature, such that that the placement of focus becomes a key determinant for image quality when fully shifted, particularly when shifted the full 12mm along the long axis of the frame.

On a hunch based on what I saw in the first few shots, I explored focus placement on a planar subject, and I was handsomely rewarded with a finding that is essential reading for anyone using the Nikon 19mm f/4 PC-E. This evaluation presents two aperture series from f/4 through f/11, each with its own focus.

Nikon 19mm f/4E ED PC-E Dual Aperture Series at Maximal Shift: Focus Placement is Critical

Includes dual series from f/4 to f/11 at image sizes up to 28 megapixels with huge crops.

f11 @ 8.0 sec, ISO 64; 2016-12-03 18:11:40
NIKON D810 + 19.0 mm f/4.0

[low-res image for bot]
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