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Lens Reviews

The 19mm f/4E ED PC NIKKOR – User Review

Miguel Lecuona (miguellecuona)

Keywords: ultra, wide, angle, perspective, control, pc, tilt, shift, ts, lens, miguellecuona

I joined Nikonians exactly for the purpose of buying this Perspective Control Tilt/Shift lens, as I knew I wanted to incorporate it into several creative options for clients, and wanted to ramp up the learning curve. Found a great article on site and joined as a Gold member immediately. So happy to be here.

Unboxing the new PC Nikkor 19mm F/4E ED and heading out to put it to work immediately, here are my impressions from a few days’ work.

It is a big boy!
Click for an enlargement


At $3,400 and such a formidable build, the one thing I don't get is why Nikon shipped it with only a soft pouch. The 14-24mm at least had a soft-side custom zip-up case. With the knobs, protrusions and value of this lens, it should come with its own Pelican custom hard case!

Side by side comparison of the 17mm PC with the 14-24mm
Click for an enlargement


What a pleasure to use this lens in the field. I had a ranch shoot already booked and the lens arrived in time to take it out for a few turns. The basics - manual focus, field of view, and even the clearly marked DoF aperture engravings on the barrel - left me pretty clear-headed for thinking about composition and changing light conditions.

Without a built-in butterfly lens hood, there is some flare to manage when shooting into various backlit angles.

The lens cap is a sturdy bayonet mount, and I definitely am creating the habit of covering that lens while moving from scene to scene, off and on tripod, or climbing atop the Land Rover.

The 19mm wide angle produces a very useful field of view, basically able to cover a 90 degree angle, and with subjectively very good distortion characteristics.

There was not much time to work with the various options for Tilt-Shift but I found the controls easy to work, intuitive and well-designed. A few notes:


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Dan Victory (Tekkie) on April 5, 2017

Thanks for your review! I also purchased this lens recently. I would just say to all, be careful when using the shift for panos/ landscapes. If you have close foreground, the shifting of the lens can still produce parallax errors against the main subject that will make stitching more difficult. If using this lens for landscapes with foreground, I would prefer to use a nodal slide at its tested setting for the lens and leave the shift at zero. (Or use a longer lens). However, using that method, you can now keep your verticals as they should be, especially when looking up or down with the camera.

Jon Nadelberg (jnadelberg) on March 5, 2017

Ribbon awarded for his multiple contributions to the Articles section

I'm so happy to see that they built this lens This has been a major whole in their lineup for years. I might get one now.

William Dyer (wmdyer2) on February 9, 2017

I also agree that, given the extreme price of this lens, delivering it in a draw string pouch, rather than a sturdy case, seems inappropriate. I remember when Nikon lenses of this price range came with a padded aluminum case!

William Dyer (wmdyer2) on February 9, 2017

Thank you for this review. I too just recently purchased the 19mm f4. I traded in the 24mm f3.5 PC which I liked very much. However the 19mm I found to be sharper, especially in the corners, better constructed, and better weather sealed. The only downside, aside from the painful price of the lens, is the bulbous front element which makes me a bit nervous being out in the weather. I snap on the lens cover whenever I move the tripod!

Glenn Koury (Glenn_K) on February 3, 2017

Awarded for his generous contributions to the Nikonians Articles section

Great work, Miguel! I really like the interior shots of the small store and how the lens works in those settings. Seeing a PC lens in action, especially in beautiful areas such as yours, is very interesting and informative. Thanks for sharing! Glenn

John Mischle (JM3) on January 25, 2017

Thank you for sharing the information,images and your enthusiasm! Enjoy.

Miguel Lecuona (miguellecuona) on January 23, 2017

Awarded for his generous contributions to Nikonians Articles

Thank you Ernesto (great name -- that is the name of my great uncle, by the way). A few more images are posted to the main thread Unboxing the 19mm F/4 under Manual Lenses. Nikonians members have offered some great advice and resources regarding additional reading on Tilt-Shift mechanic and use in the field, as well as filter system options. Am enjoying this community very much.

Ernesto Santos (esantos) on January 19, 2017

Nikonians Resources Writer. Recognized for his outstanding reviews on printers and printing articles. Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas, including Landscape Photography Awarded for his extraordinary accomplishments in Landscape Photography. His work has been exhibited at the Smithsonian. Winner of the Best of Nikonians Images 2018 Annual Photo Contest

Excellent article Miguel, and welcome to Nikonians! It's great to read real world experiences with new gear, especially when a lens like this is a considerable investment.