Perspective control objectives are commonly associated with architectural photography. However, their capacity to regulate the distribution of depth of field make them susceptible of consideration by macro photographers, discipline where DOF is always a limiting factor. The 85mm f/2.8D PC Micro Nikkor is tried here from the perspective of the nature photographer, not only to learn about its quality but to also understand its functionalities as applied to this specialty.
The universal photographic format was born from Oskar Barnack when in 1925 applied the use of 35mm cine movie film to the camera he was designing. The Leitz camera, later Leica, was ridiculed for its subminiature format, but his proposal ended up being the foundation for modern photography. As vastly proven, such format is most convenient and adequate for action photography and offers enough sensitive surface for static images of high quality, now greatly improved by modern films. And so it is used for the majority of nature photography work.
However, the compact design prevented from keeping tilt-shift movements of the optics, an essence of view camera photography. Through bellows and gears big format cameras can modify the distance between the film and the lens, displace it reciprocally in the horizontal or vertical, or change the angle of the lens axis through rotation. These allow for spectacular manipulation of the apparent subject size and relative position, as well as depth of field and perspective.
Fortunately for us Nikonians, the vast Nikon lens catalog contains shift lenses in 28mm and 35mm focal lengths for the typical applications in architecture, plus the 85mm f/2.8D PC Micro Nikkor, also for still-life and close-up photography.
The lens is compared here to the 105mm f/2.8D AF Micro Nikkor, being this one most likely owned by those contemplating the acquisition of the 85mm PC.
Tested for Nikonians and readers of Fotonatura, the Spanish-speaking nature photography forum, we also take this opportunity to thank Nikon Spain and its official Spanish importer, Finicon S.A. for their support in making this article possible and its publication here.
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