Is the 85 PC-E usuable for macro

Rob Zijlstra

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I heard lots of times about this lens that is should be great/wonderful/fabulous/etc as a macro lens. The combination with tilt shift should almost make it a miracle, because of the extended focus area, which in principle would be as big as you wanted. Problem is, I can't find any macro pics made with this lens.
As you might know I own the 24 PC-E and it can be used as a macro, only problem is that the subject should be a few inches before the front element of the lens.

My question:
Is there someone here who owns this lens and has some experience using it as a macro lens? Maybe a link to some macro pictures made with this lens?
 
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It is a 1:2 lens (just like the Zeiss that I am currently using - see shots in the Macro forum) so it will work. The ability to align the object with the focal plane would certainly allow for "deeper" DOF. But you are correct, there don't seem to be many that use it for macro.

As you own a T/S, the next question is how complicated would it be to use a T/S in the field handheld?
 

Rob Zijlstra

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As you own a T/S, the next question is how complicated would it be to use a T/S in the field handheld?
If you use it 'normally' or with Shift then no problems at all.
The fun starts when using tilt. My lens is recalibrated so the tilt is horizontal. Now try to imagine how you can tilt when holding the body + lens in one hand ( ~2 kilogram) and then fiddling with the tilt and the focus-ring. You cannot keep the camera long enough in one (horizontal) position to get this right: so you need a tripod.
 
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Although I have never used one, I suspected as much. That is probably why they are never used in the field for moving subjects. I have seen some flower shots taken with them, but nothing that you couldn't accomplish with a "regular" lens.

Most of the close-up or macro shots I have seen are studio "product" shots - static subject, full control of lighting. The do appear to work well for that purpose, but image stacking will do the same thing.
 

Rob Zijlstra

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Chad,
For some examples look at my 52 week thread (link below) page 40, pictures # 140, 141, 142, and especially on page 38: #130 & #131

These where made without tripod, but with NO tilt and NO shift (except #142)
 
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It is a sharp lens, no doubt about that, but I wonder if you would see a difference between it and a 105VR when not using the T/S functions?
 
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It definitely gives a unique perspective and should be useful for close shots with the very close MFD & near 1:2.
 

Rob Zijlstra

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Thanks Chad, now let's see if anyone has some pics with the85 PC-E on macro...
 
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I have a few macro photos with the 45mm PC. I just started using it. My biggest problem is that it only focuses down to 1:2. I might have to buy a close up filter to do what I'd like.
 
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If you use it 'normally' or with Shift then no problems at all.

Now try to imagine how you can tilt when holding the body + lens in one hand ( ~2 kilogram) and then fiddling with the tilt and the focus-ring. You cannot keep the camera long enough in one (horizontal) position to get this right: so you need a tripod.

? I've used a tripod for my PC-E lens only when I was doing focus stacking, and even with that a tripod isn't really necessary unless you absolutely need the entire frame for your subject.

I don't understand why this would be even remotely challenging. :/
 

Rob Zijlstra

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I don't understand why this would be even remotely challenging.

With a tripod I can place anything, including the plane of focus exactly where I want it. If you use tilt handheld that is impossible, because you cannot keep the camera plus lens in exactly the same horizontal position for more then a few seconds. If you're tilting, you tilt the lens down or up, so when you tilt the whole camera a bit up or down (which you normally never notice), that tilting effect is stronger or weaker as a few seconds before. Mind that I speak about horizontal tilt here.
And yes, of course you can shoot without a tripod: with some experience you can more or less accurately set the tilt setting you need.
 
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... with some experience you can more or less accurately set the tilt setting you need.

You PC lens guys should do a Scheimpflug tutorial. I've done a fair bit of shooting with a shift-tilt 4x5 press camera. I got to where I could get a floor in focus, but most other planes ... It's difficult to keep all 3 angles aligned!

I find it useful to sketch out the angle of the sharp plane of the subject, that of the lens, and of the sensor/film to scale on graph paper. Then I have an angle to aim for when holding the camera. Of course one can also use high iso/small f-stop to help with the imprecision.
 

Rob Zijlstra

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You PC lens guys should do a Scheimpflug tutorial.

Hm, I don't want to hear that name again! If all planes are swinging or tilting when hand hold, it gives an interesting visualization in my head...
 
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It is a macro lens and everyone uses it for macro. Perhaps you mean micro?

I refer you to macro economics and micro economics.
 

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