I have a Nikon D800E and want to have shift/tilt. I am mainly focused on having shift, because I want to stitch photos to get broader ratios without cropping.

I am considering two options:

  • Nikon PC-E lenses, which are very expensive (about 1500 Euro, I would buy the 45mm and the 85mm)
  • a Mirex adapter and Hasselblad Zeiss lenses (thinking of the Zeiss Makro Planar CF 120mm and the 50mm CF Distagon)

From what I have read online, opinions about the image quality (resolution, sharpness) of medium format lenses on full-frame DSLR vary. Would medium format Hasselblad or Zeiss lenses on an adapter be good enough to compete with the PC-E lenses on a full-frame DSLR?

  • Have you considered doing this in software? – Unapiedra Jul 24 '13 at 19:07
  • @Unapiedra - Tilt/shift perspective correction is going to be better than doing it in post. – John Cavan Jul 25 '13 at 0:15
  • @JohnCavan You're still going to have to stitch the multiple images taken with the shift at various positions together. Scroll down about 3/4 of the way to see the composite from 12 frames shifted in each direction. the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/… – Michael C Jul 25 '13 at 4:26
  • Regarding tilt/shift in optics vs software, I still need to do the test but the center/edge sharpness of a TS lens with no tilt/shift should be significantly higher than the edge sharpness with tilt/shift such that its entirely possible doing it in post could be sharper, certainly on a D800(e). – Shizam Jul 25 '13 at 4:58
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    He doesn't want to use tilt at all. I don't understand what software correction everyone is talking about. He wants to use the shift feature in each direction and then stitch together the resulting photos to increase the FoV for a given focal length without increasing the sensor size and without giving up the resolution he would sacrifice if he used a wider lens and cropped the 3:2 result to get the aspect ratio he wants. – Michael C Jul 25 '13 at 14:10

Not a comparative answer, but Nikon has their current-generation PC-E lenses on their "recommended" list for the D800 in the Technical Solutions document. According to Nikon, the subset of lenses in this list offer maximum resolution of all the lenses they make. In other words, they are a top-notch choice.

(To be honest, though, I also wonder if this list simply includes the newest and most expensive lenses to get users to spend more money.)

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    Of course they do... I'm sure that when I bought the 70-300mm f4-5.6 to put on my D800 there were screams of anguish. :D – John Cavan Jul 25 '13 at 0:14

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