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Author Topic: 85mm PC Nikkor Modification  (Read 11175 times)

Mark Lindquist

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85mm PC Nikkor Modification
« on: February 06, 2008, 04:23:07 pm »

A while back I  saw a tutorial on modifying the tilt shift of the Nikkor 85mm PC lens.
I seem to remember that it was on Bjorn's site, but I can't remember, and I can't find it.

Does anyone know of these instructions?

(To make a small modification to put the tilt AND the shift that are normally at 90 degrees to one another, in the same planes)?

Thanks-

Mark
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bob mccarthy

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85mm PC Nikkor Modification
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2008, 04:38:43 pm »

As delivered, the 85 PC has its shift and tilt movements orientated at right angles. This is incidentally the same way Canon TS lenses are set up. While this design possibly can be advantageous for tabletop and studio work, it is not optimal for nature and landscape photography. Fortunately, Nikon stated in their leaflet that the movements could be made to work in parallel. Not willing to wait for this modification to be carried out, and uncertain about the non-specified surcharge for doing this, I soldiered on to make the change myself. It took just 5 minutes using a small screwdriver and a pair of pliers. Thus I ended up with my 85 PC working literally in parallel to my other TS lenses. I have since modified a couple of other 85 PCs and noted that the modification may be a bit tricky on some of them. If in doubt, hand the lens over to the nearest authorised Nikon repair facility.(Bjorn on Naerfoto)

I looked but couldn't find the instruction complete with photos as I too remembered seeing.

bob
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Mark F

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85mm PC Nikkor Modification
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2008, 04:52:20 pm »

Quote from: Mark Lindquist,Feb 6 2008, 09:23 PM
A while back I  saw a tutorial on modifying the tilt shift of the Nikkor 85mm PC lens.
I seem to remember that it was on Bjorn's site, but I can't remember, and I can't find it.

Here is an article on how to convert a Canon T/S lens which may be of some help:

http://www.outbackphoto.com/workflow/wf_42/essay.html
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Mark Lindquist

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85mm PC Nikkor Modification
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2008, 05:55:29 pm »

Quote
As delivered, the 85 PC has its shift and tilt movements orientated at right angles. This is incidentally the same way Canon TS lenses are set up. While this design possibly can be advantageous for tabletop and studio work, it is not optimal for nature and landscape photography. Fortunately, Nikon stated in their leaflet that the movements could be made to work in parallel. Not willing to wait for this modification to be carried out, and uncertain about the non-specified surcharge for doing this, I soldiered on to make the change myself. It took just 5 minutes using a small screwdriver and a pair of pliers. Thus I ended up with my 85 PC working literally in parallel to my other TS lenses. I have since modified a couple of other 85 PCs and noted that the modification may be a bit tricky on some of them. If in doubt, hand the lens over to the nearest authorised Nikon repair facility.(Bjorn on Naerfoto)

I looked but couldn't find the instruction complete with photos as I too remembered seeing.

bob
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Thanks Bob-
Yeah I have the 85 PC and want to modify it but wanted to refer to the article.  Hmmm, I wonder what he might have done with it, or why it was taken down...

You are right about actually sending it to Nikon, but I was hoping to do it myself or find someone who wouldn't charge as much as they would.

Appreciate your comments-

Mark
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Mark Lindquist
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Mark Lindquist

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85mm PC Nikkor Modification
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2008, 05:56:55 pm »

Quote from: Mark F,Feb 6 2008, 04:52 PM
Quote from: Mark Lindquist,Feb 6 2008, 09:23 PM
A while back I  saw a tutorial on modifying the tilt shift of the Nikkor 85mm PC lens.
I seem to remember that it was on Bjorn's site, but I can't remember, and I can't find it.

Here is an article on how to convert a Canon T/S lens which may be of some help:

http://www.outbackphoto.com/workflow/wf_42/essay.html
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=172806\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Thanks Mark - that article is helpful.  I'd sure like to find Bjorn's article...
It was specific to this lens and very thorough.

Thanks for the link-

Mark
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JeffKohn

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85mm PC Nikkor Modification
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2008, 01:37:47 pm »

I actually prefer the default configuration. I can see how the alternate configuration would make using tilt a bit more convenient, but 90% of my use of the 85 PC is for stitching, and with the default configuration it's possible to tilt while stitching if the situation requires it. If you swap the tilt orientation you cannot use tilt when stitching.
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Mark Lindquist

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85mm PC Nikkor Modification
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2008, 02:21:37 pm »

I emailed Bjørn and he told me he had not written the article, so I must have seen it somewhere else.  He had good advice, which was to use a soldering iron to loosen the loctite holding the 4 small screws - very helpful.

Bjørn says he changes the configuration on site and in the field at will, depending on which configuration is preferred.  I'm not quite that ready to mess with my lens out in the puckerbrush like that but I wouldn't mind doing the modification under optimal circumstances.


Mark
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ucs308

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85mm PC Nikkor Modification
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2008, 02:13:15 am »

I am not sure I understand the "issue", in fact I am not sure I understand the significance of modification the OP was talking about.

I have this lens and have not used it much other than for table stop stuff.. I was going to use it for taking and then stitching multiple images together and found this thread because I am looking for a decent tutorial on where to start with this.

Anybody care to elaborate on the problem the OP is trying to solve and in your case Jeff why you can't use the lens for stitching if configuration is changed?  Links to an explanation will work too.

Thx in advance..



Quote
I actually prefer the default configuration. I can see how the alternate configuration would make using tilt a bit more convenient, but 90% of my use of the 85 PC is for stitching, and with the default configuration it's possible to tilt while stitching if the situation requires it. If you swap the tilt orientation you cannot use tilt when stitching.
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JeffKohn

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85mm PC Nikkor Modification
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2008, 01:46:52 pm »

Quote
I am not sure I understand the "issue", in fact I am not sure I understand the significance of modification the OP was talking about.

I have this lens and have not used it much other than for table stop stuff.. I was going to use it for taking and then stitching multiple images together and found this thread because I am looking for a decent tutorial on where to start with this.

Anybody care to elaborate on the problem the OP is trying to solve and in your case Jeff why you can't use the lens for stitching if configuration is changed?  Links to an explanation will work too.

Thx in advance..
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It's not so much a problem per-se, as a matter of preference. As shipped, the Tilt control is on the opposite axis as the Shift control, ie if you're shifting left/right you can only tilt up/down, and vice versa.  If you want to tilt and shift in the same direction, you need to make the modification that Mark was talking about.

As for my issue with stitching, you can still stitch after making the modification, you just can't use tilt while stitching. If you did, the plane of focus would not match up on the overlapping images when you tried to stitch them.

With the lens in its default configuration, I can use horizontal shift to create panoramic images while at the same time using tilt on the vertical axis to increase depth of field. That can be pretty handy since at 85mm you don't always have as much DOF as you would like.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2008, 01:48:18 pm by JeffKohn »
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« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2009, 10:19:02 am »

James Riley at the forum of dpreview wrote:

"WARNING: DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK! I ASSUME NO RESPONSIBILITY.

This modification allows you to tilt and shift in the same direction, instead of at 90deg.

It is recommended that you send it back to Nikon to do this. When I got the lens, brand new, I had a project which needed the feature quick, so I just winged it.
1) You need a small phillips head screwdriver, and a small cutter.

2) With both lens and rear caps on, you can see 2 sets of screws (4 each) around the midsection of the lens. One set nearer to the front, the other the rear. The latter is what you want to tackle. To double check, the screw tops of that set should be facing the rear.

3) With the lens front side down on the table, gentle but firmly remove each of the 4 screws. Took me a while to get them to even move.

4) With that done, the lens breaks into two sections, and you will realize that the rear section is just a dummy case with the shifting mechanism and no glass, and a electronic ribbon cable coming from the front section to the rear of the rear section. The ribbon cable is actually longer, but has been "shortened" going back-and-fore and tied with a tape.

5) You will need to remove the tape to release the full length of the cable, in order to do the rotation. This is where the small cutter comes in. Very carefully, slowly, and gently, cut the tape, bit by bit. Do not twist or bend the cable, and don't even dream about accidentally cutting any part of it.

6) Now you can rotate the rear section 90deg from the original, there should be only one direction to make everything goes fine later, figure it out yourselves.

7) The trickest part is putting the rear and front sections back together WITHOUT grabbing parts of the ribbon between metals. You are going to have to play around with it to make sure of that. Once again, do this slow and carefully. Perhaps do the shifting and tilting to the full extent to make sure everything is fine.
8) Now put the 4 screws back in place.

Wowla!

I thought it was pretty "brave" to fool around with an expensive and NEW toy like that, but since then I have found that others have done it already, including Bjorn, as described on his site.
Good luck.

--
JR "

"Good luck" also from my side...
thom.
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Baxter

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« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2009, 12:02:50 pm »

I was talking to the guys from Nikon UK at the Robert White digital day on Saturday and this is not a mod that they offer or perform.

If I bought a TS lens, then I too would want the ability to have both tilt and rise/fall simultaneously. With my 5x4, I cannot recall having used swing and rise/fall. Thus it is a bit worrying buying such a lens, knowing that I'd have to do the work myself and incur loss of warranty etc.

Thanks for posting the method to modify the lens, I too had previously seen somewhere else - with pictures too - was it Nikonians? My membership lapsed when the fees were introduced.
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JeffKohn

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« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2009, 01:19:36 pm »

Quote from: Baxter
I was talking to the guys from Nikon UK at the Robert White digital day on Saturday and this is not a mod that they offer or perform.

If I bought a TS lens, then I too would want the ability to have both tilt and rise/fall simultaneously. With my 5x4, I cannot recall having used swing and rise/fall. Thus it is a bit worrying buying such a lens, knowing that I'd have to do the work myself and incur loss of warranty etc.

Thanks for posting the method to modify the lens, I too had previously seen somewhere else - with pictures too - was it Nikonians? My membership lapsed when the fees were introduced.
You might want to look into the new Hartblei T/S lenses, or maybe the Rodenstock counterparts if they ever start shipping. With the "super-rotator" design tilt and shift axis are completely independent of each other.
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Tony Beach

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85mm PC Nikkor Modification
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2009, 09:31:04 pm »

Quote from: JeffKohn
As for my issue with stitching, you can still stitch after making the modification, you just can't use tilt while stitching. If you did, the plane of focus would not match up on the overlapping images when you tried to stitch them.

I use a pano head and shift the camera and lens back so they rotate over the nodal point.  I want the shift to be used to prevent tilting the camera up or down while doing this; so that function is always on the vertical axis.  I do not think your plane of focus argument will apply to me; actually, I'm almost certain it will not.

I was trying to take shot the other day and wanted to use the tilt function to bring some foreground detail into focus, but could not because my 85/2.8 PC-micro is still in the default alignment.  Also, as I applied tilt it shifted the perspective and I was unable to recover the framing I wanted without having the shift function on the same axis.

I had tried to change the shift alignment the first day I had the lens but one of the tiny screw heads began to strip and the others wouldn't budge so I abandoned the effort.  It will be well worth the approximately $125 or so in cost to me to have Nikon do this modification for me and I look forward to having that done when my work picks up.
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Leping

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« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2009, 01:55:59 am »

Quote from: JeffKohn
As for my issue with stitching, you can still stitch after making the modification, you just can't use tilt while stitching. If you did, the plane of focus would not match up on the overlapping images when you tried to stitch them.

This is not true.  For sufficiently distance subjects there is basically no different raise/lower the lens or the back in opposite directions, with a tilt in place.  With a fixed lens to back distance, fix the lens and moving back up and down obviously work, so it is the same thing move the lens down and up without refocusing.  Try it and it will stitch perfectly (unless you have something nearby).
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