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Author Topic: Nikon D850 with PC-E 45 and 58 1.4 to replace my 5x4 view camera?  (Read 32712 times)

fredrikson

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Hi all,

I mostly shoot documentary (a mix of landscape and portraits) and have been doing that on 5x4 film with a 150mm lens for the last years.
I would like to have digital alternative to that and I am intrigued by the D850 in combination with the 45 shift and 58.
Does anyone of you have experience with that combination and do you think the 45 is still a good lens for this new sensor or does it show its age?

Thans for any advice,
Martin

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Two23

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Re: Nikon D850 with PC-E 45 and 58 1.4 to replace my 5x4 view camera?
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2018, 09:18:03 am »

I shoot 4x5, and a D800E with a 24mm PC-E.  The Nikon lens does a great job and there is plenty of resolution.  I'd say it certainly rivals or maybe even equals 4x5.  I do find the shift a bit more limited on the Nikon than the 4x5 though.  I mostly shoot LF (both 4x5 and 5x7) to use my ancient lenses on.  I have a platoon of lenses from 1845 to 1860, and a second group from 1905 to 1928.  The Nikon 24mm PC-E is my most used Nikon lens.

Here's a shot I took a couple of weeks ago using D800E, 24mm PC-E, and about x5 Nikon SB-25 flash.


Kent in SD
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kers

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Re: Nikon D850 with PC-E 45 and 58 1.4 to replace my 5x4 view camera?
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2018, 11:34:39 am »

I bought the 45PCE together with the 12MP Nikon D3 long time ago...
I think it still can do the d850 that i have... it has some color fringing when shifted- i use it at f8.
Very much like the soft natural render style
if shift is not important than other 50mm lenses are better/sharper ( Sigma 50mm 1.4 art for one)

I have seen reductions in price of the PCE lenses making it more affordable and maybe a sign of new ( expensive ) lenses are being developed.

In some ways 45MP digital is more than 4x5 inch, then i think of dynamic range and ease of use)
in terms of resolution i think you need about 80MP- but with digital you can stich pixel precise...
« Last Edit: March 02, 2018, 04:18:06 pm by kers »
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Geods

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Re: Nikon D850 with PC-E 45 and 58 1.4 to replace my 5x4 view camera?
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2018, 12:32:53 pm »

I have a D800e and both lenses you are inquiring about. There is enough fan fair concerning the D850 that I’ll likely get one in the near term.

I rarely use the 45 since software, in my opinion, has surpassed it, including other TS lenses. With both landscapes and portraits I typically use a panorama mount and stitch in the computer. This allows either very shallow DOF (for portraiture—check out http://ryanbrenizer.com/category/brenizer-method/ ) or an infinite one for most landscapes. Perspective is now easily corrected with the Adaptive Wide Angle Filter, found in Photoshop. Also, there is typically so much resolution it easily allows for very artistic cropping (much more so than when on location with a single shot). The ultimate resolution of this method clearly surpasses 8x10, which I used to shoot, the DOF is as or better than expected, and the resolution as well as tonal smoothness can be as good as the photographer wants...A final thought on this, is that using the pano mount involves the photographer a bit more in the process, like fiddling with all the controls of a view camera—it makes the process more fun.

On the 58: First, all the reviews are basically true. It is a low light and bokeh lens. Sharpness is not its forte. It’s for looks not statistical competition. The user must focus calibrate the lens to get any kind of sharpness. Comparing it to a Petzval-type lens, it’s bokeh is much more pleasing. That said, I highly recommend this lens. For portraits, wide open, it is nearly perfect, for what it is. If you want a wet plate type look, this is about as close as your going to get in a modern optic. Often, though, I do stop the lens down to f/2, just for a little more sharpness. For landscapes, stopped to f/5.6, the sharpness approaches the Otus 55, in the center of the frame. The edges continue to improve until f/11. I have stitched many a landscapes with this lens and have been happy with the results. My fall foliage images, with this lens, blows everything else away.

If I were going to make a recommendation based upon what I think you want, you should get a Really Right Stuff panorama mount plus L-bracket for the camera, the D850, and the Zeiss Otus 55. The Zeiss won’t be clinically sharp but will appropriately resolve what the sensor has to offer. Also, its bokeh is good enough. Also, the cost will be similar to purchasing both the 45 and 58...
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John Nollendorfs

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Re: Nikon D850 with PC-E 45 and 58 1.4 to replace my 5x4 view camera?
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2018, 01:00:37 pm »

I've been quite happy with my D800E, and shoot a lot of stitched image for greater resolution. I started shooting with the 60 MicroNikkor, camera vertical, with about 25% overlap giving me final cropped images of around 300 MB. Quite stunning sharpness and detail when printed 30x60. Found old PS6 usually does a nice job of stitching the RAW files. No special pan bracket or tripod necessary. Use Photoshop to correct lens distortions. simpler and quicker than using my old 28 T/S  Nikkor.

In copying artwork, I regularly stitch 2-3 overlapping frames, with camera mounted on Studio Stand.
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fredrikson

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Re: Nikon D850 with PC-E 45 and 58 1.4 to replace my 5x4 view camera?
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2018, 04:21:16 pm »

Thanks for the suggestions guys!

I am not new to digital photography, for my commercial work I only shoot digital. Used to own a Hasselblad H5D-40, shot a lot of Phase One, just recently sold my complete A7RII outfit and now I only have my trusty old 5DIII...
What I like about shooting 4x5 is for one the process of really slowing down and thinking a lot about composition and everything else before I expose a sheet. I feel that really helps my photography. I am also not able to achieve those wonderful colors I get from Portra with digital, and I think I am really not that bad in post processing. Lastly, when doing portraits on a view camera, the relationship between the sitter and me becomes more "serious", for a lack of better words, resulting in, although very static, more real portaits than I was ever able to achieve with digital cameras including the hasselblad. That's just how I feel.

I compared 4x5 directly to the sony and the hasselblad, shooting the same scenes. The resolution is not quite there yet with the 40 something MP, but it is enough I guess. The sensor in the sony is great, I almost got colors I liked :) (sold it anyways, as this camera is not for me, too small and fiddly, hated the evf and just had to many issues with it)
I also tried the Fuji GFX, not bad, but still, this evf is just not there yet. Maybe with the next sensor generation also the evfs will get better...

I shot a long project about the river which runs through my hometown (see it here: http://www.martinfriedrich.com/295-kilometers ). I started it with the Hasselblad and used a RRS panorama thingy and stitched. That worked well for landscapes, but as soon as there were bulidings or for example bridges in my pictures I was lost with that approach. Maybe my technique was just not good enough. So back to the 4x5 it was. And did I mention the wonderful colors I am able to get from Portra? ;)
You see, I really like to use rise and fall, I like to work slowly, and that's why I thought the PC-E 45 would be the lens which would help me to keep that style of working.
But I also like my pictures sharp, hate soft corners and too much fringing is just annoying.

I guess I will have to rent the D850/45 and also Otus combo somewhere and see if I can live with it, had the D850 for a short test already and enjoyed the camera more than any other digital camera before.

thanks again and keep your thoughts coming,
martin
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fredrikson

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Re: Nikon D850 with PC-E 45 and 58 1.4 to replace my 5x4 view camera?
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2018, 04:23:24 pm »

Oh, thanks for that, never heard of this method before, makes total sense!

for portraiture—check out http://ryanbrenizer.com/category/brenizer-method/
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Jim Kasson

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Re: Nikon D850 with PC-E 45 and 58 1.4 to replace my 5x4 view camera?
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2018, 04:51:42 pm »

Lastly, when doing portraits on a view camera, the relationship between the sitter and me becomes more "serious", for a lack of better words, resulting in, although very static, more real portraits than I was ever able to achieve with digital cameras including the hasselblad. That's just how I feel.

I compared 4x5 directly to the sony and the Hasselblad, shooting the same scenes. The resolution is not quite there yet with the 40 something MP, but it is enough I guess. The sensor in the sony is great, I almost got colors I liked :) (sold it anyways, as this camera is not for me, too small and fiddly, hated the evf and just had to many issues with it)
I also tried the Fuji GFX, not bad, but still, this evf is just not there yet. Maybe with the next sensor generation also the evfs will get better...

If you want to reproduce the 4x5 experience and don't like the GFX EVF, consider shooting tethered. Get the shot all lined up, then ignore the computer and both the camera's finders, grab a remote release, and gaze into your subject's eyes.

BTW, the Nikon 58/1.4 has a lot of focus shift, and the D850's PDAF doesn't compensate for it, but the CDAF does.

Do you shoot the 'blad tethered?

Jim

fredrikson

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Re: Nikon D850 with PC-E 45 and 58 1.4 to replace my 5x4 view camera?
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2018, 04:59:19 pm »

The point is, my subject still looks into the lens of a modern digital camera and not in this weird bellowy thing, which makes them feel special, and rightfully so, as they are.

And yes, in my commercial work I almost always shoot tethered, and have been doing so since the P25 days... But I won't lug around a computer for my documentary work, one benefit of going with a digital system vs the 4x5 is weight and bulk!



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Michael Erlewine

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Re: Nikon D850 with PC-E 45 and 58 1.4 to replace my 5x4 view camera?
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2018, 05:14:12 pm »

I use the the Nikon D850 and love it. I have owned (or still own) most Nikon DSLRs back to the D1X, which I still have.

I have owned the PC Nikons (24mm, 45mm, and 85mm) and considered the 45mm PC the best of the lot. That being said, I have sold all of them except for the 85mm, which I will sell and the reason is that they are nice-enough, but for my work NOT well-enough corrected for my taste.  Too much chromatic aberration IMO. I would use the Zeiss Otus lenses if I were you, in particular the Otus 55mm lens, which will also take light extension.

And of course, the Zeiss Otus 28mm is, IMO, an incredible lens, worth every penny.

Bottom line, I doubt that you will be satisfied with the Nikon PC lenses, but you might.

I do landscape in the warm weather and things like the following in winter. Here is an example of what I do, this with the Nikon D810, APO-Nikkor 105mm, Cambo Mini-Actus, and stacked.

 
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Jim Kasson

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Re: Nikon D850 with PC-E 45 and 58 1.4 to replace my 5x4 view camera?
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2018, 05:14:36 pm »

The point is, my subject still looks into the lens of a modern digital camera and not in this weird bellowy thing, which makes them feel special, and rightfully so, as they are.

Get your self an 8x10 Deardorff with a nice patina. Mount a GFX inside with the lens sticking out. You won't be able to use the GFX controls, but you'll be shooting tethered, so that won't matter.

Problem solved. ;<)

Jim

BernardLanguillier

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Re: Nikon D850 with PC-E 45 and 58 1.4 to replace my 5x4 view camera?
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2018, 06:54:44 pm »

I find that using my H6D-100c on the Arca + Roddy 90mm HR is the closest thing to shooting 4x5. It may also be the best lens ever designed.

Same slow approach but better image quality and 100% sharp everytime with LV.

Obvisouly it is a lot more expensive than the D850 and if you stitch the Nikon is limitless resolution wise. But for portrait stitching is only an option for environmental stuff where the figure occupies a small part of the image.

The Otus 55mm has been my main standard stitching lens on the D800/D810 and now D850. And it works very well obviously. I sold my other 2 Otus in favour of the Nikon 105 f1.4 and 28 f1.4 but kept the 55mm. When I want higher res I use the Voigtlälander 125mm APO or the Leica 180mm f2.8 APO for distant landscape. This lens is optimized for infinity focus and is just incredibly good.

No first hand experience with the 45 T/S and 58mm f1.4. But I own the 19mm T/S and it is the best wide T/S lens available. The 24mm T/S is truly excellent in the center but weak in the shifted corners compared to the more recent Canon 24mm for instance.

What I like most about the D850 is the colors.

What I like most about the H6D-100c is how well it renders tones. You can really get the soft transitions found with 4x5 negatives I find.

Overall the D850 is a MUCH better deal and also much easier to use of course.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: March 02, 2018, 07:35:07 pm by BernardLanguillier »
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Peter McLennan

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Re: Nikon D850 with PC-E 45 and 58 1.4 to replace my 5x4 view camera?
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2018, 07:52:01 pm »

Here's a shot I took a couple of weeks ago using D800E, 24mm PC-E, and about x5 Nikon SB-25 flash.
Kent in SD

Holy crap, what a shot!  To clarify: five flash units? 
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Two23

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Re: Nikon D850 with PC-E 45 and 58 1.4 to replace my 5x4 view camera?
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2018, 08:11:54 pm »

Holy crap, what a shot!  To clarify: five flash units?

Yeah, just five little Nikon SB-25.  I had three more in my car.  I also have x8 White Lightning X3200 monolights with battery packs.  Below is a larger scale shot using the monolights plus x8 small flash (16 total.)  This my hobby--taking photos of trains at night.  Tomorrow night my wife & I are heading up to the middle of North Dakota to photo a railroad trestle that is a mile long that spans a frozen lake.  I'll see how it goes.  Not many do this sort of stuff.  I'm the only one on the Northern Plains.


Kent in SD
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fredrikson

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Re: Nikon D850 with PC-E 45 and 58 1.4 to replace my 5x4 view camera?
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2018, 09:52:36 am »

All very valuable information folks, thank you!

Indeed something like the Arca or an Alpa with a back would be nice, but way too expensive for me these days.
Anybody heard something about an Otus 35 coming? I don't think stitching is the way for me and the 55 is a bit long. I had the 55 Sony-Zeiss on the A7RII and it always was a bit too long, 45 seems to be the closest to the 150 on 4x5...

cheers,
Martin


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Geods

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Re: Nikon D850 with PC-E 45 and 58 1.4 to replace my 5x4 view camera?
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2018, 10:13:26 am »

Check out the Zeiss Milvus 35 f/1.4. I would call it near Otus level but for half the price. There is some chromatic aberration wide open, but they appear to clear up by f/2. Also, the Milvus is weather sealed where the Otus is not...
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Msstudio

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Re: Nikon D850 with PC-E 45 and 58 1.4 to replace my 5x4 view camera?
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2018, 12:51:25 pm »

Having shot large format for years and transitioned to a full digital capture over the last 10 years or so, I went a similar route (just Canon).
For a normal lens I have to suggest the Otus 55, it's outstanding and coming from LF and knowing what a slower approach to photography is and the quality thats available, I think that could be an outstanding choice (no personal experience with the Nikon 58, but I hear good things and some people I highly regard use them).
As for TS capabilities, there are obviously limited choices, I liked the Canon 45mm good enough, but once I started using my Hasselblad more, I quickly abandoned that approach.

Another version of a slow and steady, but very portable, unit is the X1D with an XH adapter for H lenses, and the TS adapter (1.5multiplier) and a H 35 or 50mm lens. And either a normal H lens from your collection or the 90mm XCD.

I personally find the 35mm cameras always lead to a quicker shot and less care on detail. Also, the screen is so small the the depth of field and lens feel never really satisfy me fully. It's fine and theres some great photography done with 35mm cameras, but then theres the MF and LF feel that to me is just so superior.
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heinrichvoelkel

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Re: Nikon D850 with PC-E 45 and 58 1.4 to replace my 5x4 view camera?
« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2018, 03:55:52 am »

just recently sold my complete A7RII outfit and now ...


Hey Martin, coming from a situation close to yours, I was wandering what not to like about the Sony? And going Nikon instead?
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fredrikson

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Re: Nikon D850 with PC-E 45 and 58 1.4 to replace my 5x4 view camera?
« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2018, 07:04:57 am »

Hey Martin, coming from a situation close to yours, I was wandering what not to like about the Sony? And going Nikon instead?
That is a loaded question :)
*RANT
I really wanted to like the Sony, but after trying to use it for two years I gave up on it, too many things didn't work like I personally would have like them to. For example I had some Loxia lenses, the 21 is really good, but did you know the aperture does not stay open until you press the shutter, but is always closed to the set value? So it is always like: focus, stop down, shoot, open up again, focus, stop down... Same with some Sony G lenses! Like seriously? Why in the world did they not implement a technique as old as I can think of? And don't get me started on the menus. Or the much too small body with its much too small buttons and dials and batteries. And I came to realise I still prefer an OVF, those evfs can just not compete with them, especially in high contrast scenarios. And they still lag. And the Sony G lenses, as big as regular nikon or canon glas plus a metabones, so where is the advantage of mirrorless? Why don't they build pro glas especially for the short flange depth, but seem to repurpose regular slr lens designs? And for clientwork (I do fashion and lifestyle stuff) the tethering is much too slow, so I never really used it for that.
RANT OVER*
Sensor is great though!
I guess if I would be a still life photographer I would have kept it and put in an actus only shooting to a computer...
After all it is just a personal choice, for me it did not work and which was even worse, this fiddly thing made me not have an enjoyable experience taking pictures, instead I was fighting a computer...


:)
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fredrikson

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Re: Nikon D850 with PC-E 45 and 58 1.4 to replace my 5x4 view camera?
« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2018, 07:06:42 am »

I personally find the 35mm cameras always lead to a quicker shot and less care on detail. Also, the screen is so small the the depth of field and lens feel never really satisfy me fully. It's fine and theres some great photography done with 35mm cameras, but then theres the MF and LF feel that to me is just so superior.
Exactly my feeling!
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