Nikon PC-Nikkor 35mm F/2.8

Shift lens • Film era • Discontinued

PC Perspective Control lens.

Model history

Nikon PC-Nikkor 35mm F/2.8P7 - 70.3m⌀52 1980 
Nikon PC-Nikkor 35mm F/2.8P8 - 70.3m⌀52 1975 
Nikon PC-Nikkor 35mm F/2.8P8 - 70.3m⌀52 1968 

Designed for

Features highlight

Shift 0..11 mm
Lens rotation
Fast
Preset
9 blades
MF
Compact

Compatibility

  • Non-AI lenses cannot be used on Nikon digital SLR cameras (except for the Df) or late (AI) film SLR cameras. However, non-AI lenses can be fitted to the Nikon FM, FE, EL2, F3, F4 and Nikkormat FT3 cameras which used the AI metering system but allowed the metering coupling lever to be disengaged. The F5 could have this mechanism fitted as an optional extra. Non-AI lenses can be also fitted to the Nikon F2A and F2AS cameras because the AI mechanism was fitted to the removable metering prism.

Specification

Production details
Announced:January 1968
Production status: Discontinued
Production type:Mass production
Original name:Nippon Kogaku PC-NIKKOR 1:2.8 f=35mm
Nikon PC-NIKKOR 1:2.8 f=35mm
Optical design
Focal length:35mm
Speed:F/2.8
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount:Nikon F
Flange focal distance:46.5mm
Diagonal angle of view:63.4° (35mm full frame)
44° (Nikon F APS-C)
Lens construction:8 elements - 7 groups
Diaphragm mechanism
Diaphragm type:Preset
Number of blades:9
Focusing
Closest focusing distance:0.3m
Maximum magnification ratio:<No information>
Focusing method:<No information>
Focusing modes:Manual focus only
Manual focus control:Focusing ring
Tilt and Shift mechanism
Shift range:0..11mm
Tilt range:Not available
Lens rotation:Yes
Tilt/Shift rotation:-
Physical characteristics
Weight:335g
Maximum diameter x Length:⌀70×62mm
Accessories
Filters:Screw-type 52mm
Lens hood:Screw-type HN-1 (round)
Teleconverters:<No information>

*) Sources of data: Manufacturer's technical data ● Nikon/Nikkormat Sales Manual (March 1972).

Manufacturer description #1

Ingeniously designed, the PC-Nikkor permits photography of fairly extensive subjects without tilting or inclining the camera. It provides a facility never before possible, except with large view cameras equipped with swings and tilts and a movable lens board.

The PC-Nikkor is extremely useful in architectural, industrial and commercial photography and where perspective compensation in enlarging the negative is difficult.

In the PC-Nikkor, a micrometer lead screw control permits moving the optics off-center as much as 11mm. The effect is the same as is produced on a view camera having a 3-inch rise and equipped with a 9-1/2-inch lens.

The entire lens mount rotates so that correction can be made in any direction - horizontal, vertical or diagonal. There are 12 click-stop positions at 30 degrees intervals. In the normal position, the lens is also an effective intermediate wideangle with an angle of view of 62 degrees.

Manufacturer description #2

A wideangle lens of retrofocus design, the PC-Nikkor incorporates the lens shifting feature for control of image perspective.

In covering large rectangular subjects, for example, a tall building, the photographer has to tilt his camera upwards to include the top of the structure, especially when working at close range. The result is that in the photograph the walls of the building appear to converge, as if the building were falling over backwards.

With the PC-Nikkor, the photographer is able to shift the lens horizontally, vertically or diagonally to include the top of the building while keeping the film plane parallel to the wall surface to eliminate unwanted converging lines.

The front part of the lens may be shifted by as much as 11 mm off-center by means of a micrometer leadscrew. In addition, the entire lens mount may be rotated a full 360° with click-stops at every 30°.

By combining the parallel movements with full circle rotation, the lens can be shifted to any desired direction by 11 mm.

This feature renders the lens highly valuable for architectural and interior photography, especially when using color or monochrome reversal films which do not accommodate perspective correction in the process of enlargement.

Due to its shifting and rotating mechanism, the diaphragm has to be preset manually. There are eight settings on the aperture scale-from f/2.8 to f/32.

When perspective correction is not required, the PC-Nikkor may be used as a conventional medium wideangle lens with excellent results.

The photographer may also take advantage of the shifting movements of the PC-Nikkor to make panoramic pictures by joining two exposures. Its advantage over an ordinary lens mounted on a panoramic equipment is that it is able to maintain the film plane parallel to the subject at all times, and hence, the pictures will match perfectly.

As long as the film is in the vertical plane - the camera held parallel to the subject - there is no perspective distortion. But shooting in this position with a conventional lens frequently produces unbalanced* composition. When photographing a tall building, for instance, the top of the building is cut off, and unwanted foreground is included because the camera is usually held close to the ground level. To include the top of the building and reduce the foreground, the camera must be tilted, but this results in converging vertical lines. Similar distortions result in horizontal lines when photographing a long line of buildings with the camera tilted.

However, with the PC-Nikkor's shifting and rotating movements, the photographer is able to get balanced composition without tilting the camera. The film plane remains vertical while the center of the lens is placed on the line connecting the center of the subject with that of the film.

Theoretically, the converging verticals would be acceptable in terms of the perspective that is true to life. But the human eye will not psychologically accept such vertical convergence while it is quite prepared to accept the same effect in the horizontal plane.

Obtaining panoramic pictures without perspective distortion

When a conventional lens is used for photographing panoramic scenes by employing a two-section technique, the overlapping portions of the two exposures may not match perfectly when joined. This is because the camera has to be moved after the first exposure to get the second half of the panoramic scene, thereby giving rise to shifts in the film plane. With the PC-Nikkor, two separate exposures can be made without moving the camera. Simply shift the lens vertically or horizontally and shoot the first half of the scene. Then rotate the lens mount a full 180 deg. to make the second exposure. The result is a pair of frames that match perfectly.

How to operate the PC-Nikkor

The PC-Nikkor may be shifted by as much as 11 mm off-center in a plane parallel to the film, and the entire lens mount rotated through a full 360 deg.

Grip the camera parallel to the subject plane and shift the lens by turning the knurled shift knob, observing the correction of perspective distortion and checking how much of the subject is included in the viewfinder. The shift scale, calibrated in millimeters, shows how far the lens has been shifted. The permissible degree of shifts depends on its direction. This is because the picture format is rectangular while the lens produces a circular image area. The numbers engraved on the rotating lens mount indicate the limits beyond which image deterioration occurs.

But it is still possible to compensate for any image distortion by composing in such a way that unimportant background elements, such as sky or earth, are brought to the corners of the frame in the direction of the lens shift.

From the editor

A new faster version of the PC-Nikkor 35mm with a few cosmetic changes. Optically it is far better than its f3.5 predecessor.

Lenses with similar focal length

Sorted by manufacturer name

Nikon PC-Nikkor 35mm F/2.8 ⌀52Pro 1980 
Nikon PC-Nikkor 35mm F/2.8 ⌀52Pro 1975 
Nikon PC-Nikkor 35mm F/3.5 ⌀52Pro 1962 

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35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm

Travellers' choice

Note

Among autofocus lenses designed for 35mm full-frame mirrorless cameras only. Speed of standard and telephoto lenses is taken into account.

Professional lens (Top class)

One of the best shift lenses

According to lens-db.com; among lenses designed for the same maximum format and mount.

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Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film.

The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

MF

Sorry, no additional information is available.

Shift lenses

Shift lenses are high-quality lenses, usually wide-angle, that provide a parallel shift facility like the sliding lens panel of professional large-format cameras for correcting converging vertical lines and manipulating the perspective especially for use in architectural and product photography.

Whereas normal lenses designed for 35mm full-frame cameras have an image circle diameter of 43.27mm so that all four corners of the image are inside the image circle, shift lenses provide much larger image circle (60mm or even more). Decentration of the lens is possible within this area.

Vertical shift is the most popular: upward when photographing high buildings, and downward for product shots, so that the camera does not have to be tilted. When the camera is tilted either upward or downward, perpendicular lines are not imaged as perpendicular, but rather converge upward or downward, which is very pronounced in wide-angle shots and can be very irritating.

Lens rotation

By using rotation, the direction of the entire lens can be switched.

Tilt/Shift rotation

By using Tilt/Shift rotation, the relationship of the tilt and shift operation directions can be switched from right angle to parallel.

Original name

Lens name as indicated on the lens barrel (usually on the front ring). With lenses from film era, may vary slightly from batch to batch.

Format

Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),

where:

CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.

Mount

A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance from the lens mount to the film or sensor can also be different.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Flange focal distance

The flange focal distance (FFD), sometimes called the "flange back", is the distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane.

Focal length

The focal length is the factor that determines the size of the image reproduced on the focal plane, picture angle which covers the area of the subject to be photographed, depth of field, etc.

Speed

The largest opening or stop at which a lens can be used is referred to as the speed of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture is, the faster the lens is considered to be. Lenses that offer a large maximum aperture are commonly referred to as fast lenses, and lenses with smaller maximum aperture are regarded as slow.

In low-light situations, having a wider maximum aperture means that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed or work at a lower ISO, or both.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. For example, a magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size".

Electromagnetic diaphragm control system

Provides highly accurate diaphragm control and stable auto exposure performance during continuous shooting.

Manual diaphragm

The diaphragm must be stopped down manually by rotating the detent aperture ring.

Preset diaphragm

The lens has two rings, one is for pre-setting, while the other is for normal diaphragm adjustment. The first ring must be set at the desired aperture, the second ring then should be fully opened for focusing, and turned back for stop down to the pre-set value.

Semi-automatic diaphragm

The lens features spring mechanism in the diaphragm, triggered by the shutter release, which stops down the diaphragm to the pre-set value. The spring needs to be reset manually after each exposure to re-open diaphragm to its maximum value.

Automatic diaphragm

The camera automatically closes the diaphragm down during the shutter operation. On completion of the exposure, the diaphragm re-opens to its maximum value.

Number of blades

As a general rule, the more blades that are used to create the aperture opening in the lens, the rounder the out-of-focus highlights will be.

Some lenses are designed with curved diaphragm blades, so the roundness of the aperture comes not from the number of blades, but from their shape. However, the fewer blades the diaphragm has, the more difficult it is to form a circle, regardless of rounded edges.

At maximum aperture, the opening will be circular regardless of the number of blades.

Weight

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.

Filters

Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.

Teleconverters

Teleconverters increase the effective focal length of lenses. They also usually maintain the closest focusing distance of lenses, thus increasing the magnification significantly. A lens combined with a teleconverter is normally smaller, lighter and cheaper than a "direct" telephoto lens of the same focal length and speed.

Teleconverters are a convenient way of enhancing telephoto capability, but it comes at a cost − reduced maximum aperture. Also, since teleconverters magnify every detail in the image, they logically also magnify residual aberrations of the lens.