Non-Nikon manual focus lenses - Part II

NCV

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Hi Nigel:
These look excellent--very nice work. I agree with Bart, you should place these in the Nikon manual focus thread--more appropriate there, than in this thread. Regarding your comments, yes, generally, the longer the lens you use for this type of subject, the less distortions you get. However, this is not because of the lens' distortion. There are 2 kinds of distortions. Geometric are distortions which are intrinsic to the lens itself, things like barrel & pincushion are good examples. However, the kind of distortions to which you refer here is called perspective distortion & has nothing to do with the lens or its focal length; rather, it has to do with keeping the sensor parallel to the subject. Normally, in architectural shooting one is limited by space, so wider lenses are needed. Some quick research on Google reveals all of this more clearly than my little paragraph. Best, jt

Thanks for the explanation.

I have picked up three PC lenses in the last year, a 24,28 and this new 35. It is interesting to play with the visual perspective effects each one gives.
 
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You are welcome. I should have mentioned, but was strapped for time, another issue with perspective distortion is relevant here too. The wide angle lenses make closer stuff in the composition look larger than they are relative to the stuff further away. Again, this is not due to any fault of the lens itself, but is due to the physics of putting so much stuff into the frame, on 2 dimensions. You are correct that, if one shoots a building with a 50mm lens & with a 18mm lens (on an FX body, in particular), then juxtaposes the 2 images, the 50mm shot will indeed look more natural. But, as you know, in architectural shooting, one rarely has the room to back up for longer lenses. An exception is some college campuses, where large buildings often have large spaces between them, and often a large "quad" which allows you to center yourself in the quad and pic off near perfect shots of the various buildings with virtually no distortion at all.

I hope you keep placing your excellent work in this forum--I very much enjoy it. Best jt
 
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Hey Nigel, like you, I'm turned off by distortions in my pictures. Because of that, I learned to utilize distortion-correction soft-wares to my best advantage. Both geometric & perspective distortions are nicely & easily corrected these days. I even suspect, the reason PC glass is so much less expensive than in earlier years, is directly related to the success one can achieve in soft-ware. What do you think?

My Sigma 24mm 2.8 macro is a nice lens, but uncorrected it has significant barrel distortion & heavy vignetting. But, in very little time in PP, I easily eliminate all of this. I can even correct perspective distortions to the point where I do not even see it: and I am picky. LOL I've heard many people say that "barrel distortion does mot show in landscape shooting." This is BS IMO. When you shoot mountainous terrain, barrel distortion smears out the sense of steepness in the mountains to a large degree, large enough to bother me.
 

NCV

Joined
Jan 31, 2019
Messages
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Real Name
Nigel
Hey Nigel, like you, I'm turned off by distortions in my pictures. Because of that, I learned to utilize distortion-correction soft-wares to my best advantage. Both geometric & perspective distortions are nicely & easily corrected these days. I even suspect, the reason PC glass is so much less expensive than in earlier years, is directly related to the success one can achieve in soft-ware. What do you think?

My Sigma 24mm 2.8 macro is a nice lens, but uncorrected it has significant barrel distortion & heavy vignetting. But, in very little time in PP, I easily eliminate all of this. I can even correct perspective distortions to the point where I do not even see it: and I am picky. LOL I've heard many people say that "barrel distortion does mot show in landscape shooting." This is BS IMO. When you shoot mountainous terrain, barrel distortion smears out the sense of steepness in the mountains to a large degree, large enough to bother me.

Up until quite recently I used DXO Viewpoint to correct the verticals in my Architectural shots. After reading a nice article on the Northlight site about PC lenses, I decided to try out a cheap Nikkor 28PC on a D700. I later updated to a D810/800 combo.

My first impression that optical correction is more "natural" looking than software correction. Also it is much easier to compose WYSWG with a PC lens rather than trying to guess the area you will be cropped out. The image quality is more consistent across the frame.

You will see it written that PC lenses must be used on a tripod. But you can go hand held and then correct the much smaller keystoning problems in Viewpoint.

I think they sell cheaply, because they are completely manual and not connected to the camera for aperture information. This makes using them a bit complicated and long winded. Working with these lenses is a slow process and you need a lot of patience.

I also like the slow deliberate way I have to work with these lenses on a tripod when I can. It reminds me of the pleasure I had working with my old 5x4 view camera.

Another good architectural lens that can be had for little cash is the Sigma 12-24. Again I like this lens on a tripod where micro camera shake is removed. It is a lens with very little distortion.
 
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Sigma 24mm 2.8 Macro

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50 Carl Zeiss Ultron f/1.8 M42 lens, on a sony a7II. Could be used on a Nikon Z as well, I guess.

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Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 M mount on Z6 - this is my first manual focus lens on the Z and I'm just starting to learn how to use it. These images are from the Plummer House which is owned by the city and used as an event venue.

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Beautiful results and well focussed!
Thanks, it's a learning process . . . It's a lens I've been thinking about for a couple years. I always find it takes time to learn how to use a lens and wanted this for a trip planned in a couple months.

The last image made use of the close focus helicoid on the Voigtlander adapter.
 
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