This is one amazing lens wrapped in a lot of perceived complication. 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 24mm 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 24PC-E up there and out of the reach of most shooters (but you can rent it easily).
“Why do you have the 24PC-E?” That’s a really common question and the simple reason is, it’s the corner stone of my Ultra Wide Pano kit. The 24PC-E is a stunning lens for landscape photography. In this role, it’s manual focus and tilt capability give you complete control of the DOF and point of focus. 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!
So I was thinking, and that’s a very dangerous thing in itself, about the most asked questions that could be best answered by videos rather than sending folks to a web page to read. That’s when it came to me to produce a series of videos on using the lenses I have in my camera bag. So over the next month or so, I’ll keep producing and posting videos on lenses. Now we’ve made some changes to improve the video quality but sadly, the wind was a pain so there is a little wind noise at times in our better looking video. Oh well, small steps.
Then, when we were driving back from shooting this video, the winds of the incoming storm was kicking up snow off the crest and in the setting sun, well, had to make a couple of snaps. This is what I came up with.
Photo captured by D3x, 70-300VR on Lexar UDMA digital film
As promised, here’s some trivia on the new 24PC-E lens. I’ve shot with it for about a month now, starting at the March Moab DLWS event. It can be used as a “regular” 24mm lens with manual focus put that’s not truly how it’s meant to be used. Simply put, it’s an amazing piece of optical technology. Its Tilt is vastly more than what I expected, the Shift is what I expected. The panos it produces are stunning. It is a very sharp lens with amazing edge to edge quality.
It’s purpose, operation and shooting tips I’ve written up in a four page PDF you can find here. Hope it helps.