PC-E Lens Conversion Experiences

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by eajames, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. I've purchased a new 45mm PC-E and would like to have the shift axis aligned with the tilt axis for landscape work. Would those of you who have had this done by Nikon USA tell me about your experience. I'm particularly interested in:
    1) The cost of converting a new lens. (Nikon USA couldn't provide a cost over the phone - strange.)
    2) The approximate turn-around time.
    3) The quality of the work performed.
    Thank you.
  2. Just a comment. I have the 45.
    Have wanted the conversion but just as many times I'm glad it is in its stock mode.
  3. Usually swing is not my thing, but I appreciate your comments. Of course there are landscape situations where I would use the stock configuration, but for the most part I use a bit of tilt with rise or fall. It's a shame that Nikon puts us in this position.
  4. I did the conversion to my 85mm T/S Nikkor. It wasn't difficult as long as I followed Bjorn Rorslett's instructions. You must be sure to have both the large tilt and shift knobs on the same side, otherwise you can tear the internal ribbon when you shift (Note that both small locking knobs are together on the opposite side). If you are careful you can do the conversion in about 20 minutes. The only problem that I had was loosening the 4 small cap screws with an Allen (hex) wrench. They were very tight.
  5. I had the rotation carried out on my 85mm Micro PC lens. Didn't do it myself but my very friendly shop in Dereham UK did it for me - they have the tools and the eyesight.
    Their observation was that upon initial inspection they didn't think it was possible as the ribbon was too short but after urging by me looked again and found the ribbon is partly folded under a plate in the innards behind the four screws cover.
    Apparently an easy operation but the knobs can only go one way and they are very close on the same side.

    They say it is actually very easy so long as you turn one half in the right direction. I believe Mr Rorslett does it in the field to suit the situation.
  6. If you're really into T/S, the best solution is to go with Canon. The second-best solution is to learn to change the tilt axis alignment yourself.
  7. Some of the PC-E lenses require a longer internal cable to change the relative orientation of tilt and shift, so I would advice going to Nikon for that. I'm happy with the default orientation of the axis though for landscape another orientation would sometimes be useful.
  8. The thought of switching to Canon did cross my mind, but it's not a sensible option for me. I found a thread on dpreview where a gentlemen mentioned it took Nikon USA over a month to get his lens converted, presumedly because they had to order the longer ribbon. This is what I was trying to avoid - a long, drawn out Nikon USA cluster. The suggestions to do the work myself are appreciated, but I'm the sort who gets nervous when the rear cap is off a lens - torquing out those four screws on a new $2K lens would be unsettling.
    The window of opportunity for me has essentially closed when I read of the potential turn-around time with Nikon USA. I'm going on an extended trip at the end of the month and I've decided to make due with the default orientation for the summer. Perhaps this is the most sensible approach - to spend a few months with the default orientation and see if I can use it to my advantage for stitching. I can see myself cursing in the field now.
    Thank you all.
  9. The Nikon USA El Segundo quote for having the shift axis rotated 90 degrees is, drum roll, $305.00!
    Plus tax and shipping.
  10. After reading for some time on the internet over the past nights i decded this morning to do the conversion myself.
    I have done the conversion on the older but still brand new 85 PC version, not the PC-E.
    The flex wires were each bundled with a tiny piece of sticky black tape. After having removed the tape very carefully by cutting the tape on the side of the flex wire, i turned the square assembly 90 degrees, and make sure that the locking knobs for tilt and shift come on the same side of the lens assembly. Carefull assemble the unit again, and before screwing it back together test if every thing moves easy and fluent.
    Also test the button that closes the diafragm several times before screwing back the final assembly together.
    If you make the rotation in the wrong direction, the flexcable will get stuck in mechanical parts. This is easy recognizeable when the locking knobs are on opposite sites of the lens after assembly.
    Be sure to have absolutely the correct size of screw driver before you start.
    It took me less than 15 minutes to complete the job ....
    Only try this when you are an experienced person with affinity for small mechanics and be very very careful with the flex cables.
    Last line : Do not do this at home, you could ruin a perfect and beautiful expensive lens.
    I also do own the 85 PC-E wich will not be converted, but now can use either lens for the specific job.
    In case of questions you can send me a personal message.

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