The 85PC-E is a 2nd version of this lens, the firs being very sharp just not simple to use. No longer is that the case. It is a manual focusing lens with the ability to tilt and shift and while doing so permitting aperture control (that’s what the E stands for). You can use this lens as a standard 85mm manual focus lens but in these days, most are lost without AF. The purpose of the PC-E series is two fold: corrections for doing architecture, straight line photography and extended DOF control. This combination of quality and flexibility puts the price of the 85PC-E up there and out of the reach of most shooters (but you can rent it easily).
“Why do you have the 85PC-E?” That’s a really common question and the simple reason is, it’s part of my Ultra Wide Pano kit. The 24PC-E is a stunning lens for landscape photography. The 85PC-E is not so much a landscape lens as it is a macro lens. Most don’t pick up that the PC-E lenses are macros and the 85 is stunning so it’s how I use it a lot. With it’s tilt abilities, control over DOF is pretty simple. Having a 77mm front elements means it can utilize all the same filters you should carry for the 24-70AFS and 70-200VR2 which is real convenient for the landscape photographer. But don’t let the PC-E aspect of the lens scare you off. Here’s a 4pg PDF on using a PCE lens that makes it real easy to make the most of this gem!