Nikkor 85mm f/2.8D PC Micro

Original release: 1999
Angle of coverage: 28'30'
Physical size: 4.3 x 33 inches (10.9 x 8.4 cm)
Weight: _27.3 0UIICeS (77/5 g)
Filter size: 77mm
Lens hood: HS-7
M.F.D.: 1.3 feet (0.4 m)
Aperture range: f/2.84/45
Unique features: Tilt/shift mechanisms

The purpose of the 85mm f/2.81D PC lens is simple: to provide greater creative control over depth of field and perspective via the lens' tilt/shift in a 35mm format. While not being the sexiest lens around, it sure does deliver on its design purpose. First and foremost, this is one razor-sharp lens! But it is for the technically oriented. For example, this is not an AF lens, but the electronic rangefinder in the F5/F100 still functions.

Once the lens is mounted on the camera body, there is a locking lever near the base of the lens that, when depressed, permits the photographer to turn the lens to shoot horizontally or vertically. There are two click stops in between horizontal and vertical, permitting diagonal correction. Once You frame Ul.) Your Subject in the viewfinder, the next thing you need to do is take a meter reading. On the F5 (the H 00 as well), the aperture control via the Subcommand dial on the body is gone; aperture control must be done using the preset aperture ring on the lens. There is a CPU in the lens, so aperture changes on the barrel can be communicated to the body and the correct shutter speed noted. Once YOU tilt or shift the lens, you can no longer use the TTL ambient light meter in the camera. All metering must be done prior to any lens movement.

The preset aperture on the 85mm f/2.8D PC can be held open for view i ng/focus i ng via the aperture stopdown button (this is a cool feature!). This button holds the aperture open for viewing during focusing and composing but must be pushed, closing the aperture to the preset opening to take the actual photograph, to obtain the correct exposure.

The tilt mechanism in the 85mm f/2.8D PC is for controlling depth of field. There are two knobs for this action, one that actually tilts the lens barrel and another that locks the lells ill place. The motion of tilting is silky smooth and you can easily tilt in full, horizontally and vertically, without fear of the image moving off the film plane. This can make a dramatic change in your plane of focus, vastly increasing your depth of field.

The shift mechanism of this lens is for perspective control. The instruction book that comes with the 85mm f/2.8D PC does an excellent job (via before and after photos) of giving the owner creative ideas on how this feature can be used. BasiCdlly, Shifting the lens moves the lens barrel parallel with the film plane, moving the placement of the subject on the film plane while maintaining focus.

Nikon created this lens with the macro/tabletop Shooters in mind. This is why I believe the tilt and shift mechanism90 degrees from each other. You cannot use the shift mechanism to recompose after tilting, for example.

Where shooting with the 28mm PC or 5 mm PC lenses, it is,
confusing to the first-time user, the 85mm PC really isn't. The
combination of today's camera bodies with a CPU on the lense for
metering Is a whole lot easier, making this lens literally a snap to
use. It is particularly suited for the technically oriented photographers
who is looking to squeeze every millimeter of DOF out of an image. I'm very pleased to report that the lens delivers just that!