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01-16-2020, 10:58 AM - 2 Likes   #1
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PC-Nikkor 28mm 3.5 shift lens adapted to k-mount

well.... i wanted to try a shift lens, since i was getting tired of correcting everything in post, and curious about using one anyway. i waited for an older nikon shift lens to pop up for auction on ebay, and then pulled the trigger.

the nikkor has no aperture lever to worry about, and no electric contacts at all. i was a little worried about the construction of the lens mount, not knowing how much of a mess it would be to take the original mount off. in my mind i would loosten a few screws, and a spring and ball bearings would get launched into the carpet and the lens would be impossible to use.... but as it turns out, it was fine. i have a lathe, a drill press, and some jis screwdriver bits, and those were the only tools i needed. i cut the k-mount flange off all some $9 extension tubes, and machined it to fit the back of the nikon lens, then trimmed a little off the back so the registration distance would be ok (err on the thicker side so that you don't loose infinity focus). getting the holes in the exact right spot too some figuring... and i wanted it to be perfectly level with the camera, and it turned out well. the only problem i had was chewing up one of the original screws, which i then had to drill out. the good part about destroying one of the original screws was that i got to order a bag of all new ones. to go back to nikon mount, you just switch mounting plates, and that's it.


anyway, i had to go to new york from work, and gave the new (old) lens a spin on the k-1. it takes a little gettting used to composing and adjusting for light loss, but the nikkor has a neat aperture stop feature. you set the stop ring to the aperture you want, and the actual aperture ring is then free to open for focusing, the slide to the stop for composure. the focus ring of course turns the wrong way, which i can never get used to. i kept forgetting to open the aperture for focusing (and get focus conformation.... which doesn't happen at f11) so not every picture was what i consider usable. there was a little barrel distortion that i corrected for, and wb was a little off.... otherwise not a lot of work in post. is it the best lens ever? no. is it horrible? no. i expect it's about the same quality as the pentax 28mm shift, but there are many more nikkors available, so the price can be pretty reasonable, and it was worth a shot, especially considering how smoothly the conversion went. except for the screw i had to drill out.


two takeaways from my first use:

1. any time you're photographing a wall or a building, you should use a shift lens. you can make an argument for anything remotely rectangular... it's really neat to play with.

2. damn, now i want a really great dfa* shift lens... or as close as i can get. if i do decide to adapt a mf shift lens, i'll have to sell this one to pay for it, so that's a pain.

3. kind of wish it was 24mm? or 50mm? or 100mm? wait, did anyone ever make a shift zoom?

some examples!







01-16-2020, 11:39 AM   #2
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Does the Nikkor have built-in filters?

I have the Pentax A 28 mm shift, and am generally pleased with it,
except when the built-in filter, which I set to "Skylight",
catches some internal reflection and causes a color shift on a highlight.
01-16-2020, 12:14 PM - 2 Likes   #3
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Very cool!

Those who are not handy with machine tools can check this out:

Nikon and Zeiss ZF lenses for Pentax cameras

Leitax Nikon to Pentax-K mount
01-16-2020, 12:37 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Thanks for posting and well done!

I have been very curious about doing similar things as sadly there are not so many choices for wide to ultra wide primes. Sadly I don't have a Lathe though.
The Leitax mount looks interesting too.

01-16-2020, 05:49 PM   #5
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
Does the Nikkor have built-in filters?

I have the Pentax A 28 mm shift, and am generally pleased with it,
except when the built-in filter, which I set to "Skylight",
catches some internal reflection and causes a color shift on a highlight.

no built in filters, but it takes a 72mm filter thread.
01-16-2020, 05:50 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by kiwi_jono Quote
Thanks for posting and well done!

I have been very curious about doing similar things as sadly there are not so many choices for wide to ultra wide primes. Sadly I don't have a Lathe though.
The Leitax mount looks interesting too.

Well, I have this one and its now ~ 300 US in China, the shifting works in APS-C but not works well in full frame. But it can use well as a normal ultra wide in full frame.

Venus Optics Laowa 15mm F4 1:1 Macro Lens Reviews - Venus Laowa Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database
01-16-2020, 05:58 PM   #7
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Join Date: Dec 2013
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by kiwi_jono Quote
Thanks for posting and well done!

I have been very curious about doing similar things as sadly there are not so many choices for wide to ultra wide primes. Sadly I don't have a Lathe though.
The Leitax mount looks interesting too.
yeah, plenty of people have used leitax... they seem to sell well reguarded kits... and you can buy the screwdrivers, etc through them too.


i don't know what other shift lenses are like, but this one is screw drive to shift and has stops every 22.5 degrees and rotates all the way around.
01-16-2020, 06:03 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by sculptor666 Quote
well.... i wanted to try a shift lens, since i was getting tired of correcting everything in post, and curious about using one anyway. i waited for an older nikon shift lens to pop up for auction on ebay, and then pulled the trigger.

the nikkor has no aperture lever to worry about, and no electric contacts at all. i was a little worried about the construction of the lens mount, not knowing how much of a mess it would be to take the original mount off. in my mind i would loosten a few screws, and a spring and ball bearings would get launched into the carpet and the lens would be impossible to use.... but as it turns out, it was fine. i have a lathe, a drill press, and some jis screwdriver bits, and those were the only tools i needed. i cut the k-mount flange off all some $9 extension tubes, and machined it to fit the back of the nikon lens, then trimmed a little off the back so the registration distance would be ok (err on the thicker side so that you don't loose infinity focus). getting the holes in the exact right spot too some figuring... and i wanted it to be perfectly level with the camera, and it turned out well. the only problem i had was chewing up one of the original screws, which i then had to drill out. the good part about destroying one of the original screws was that i got to order a bag of all new ones. to go back to nikon mount, you just switch mounting plates, and that's it.


anyway, i had to go to new york from work, and gave the new (old) lens a spin on the k-1. it takes a little gettting used to composing and adjusting for light loss, but the nikkor has a neat aperture stop feature. you set the stop ring to the aperture you want, and the actual aperture ring is then free to open for focusing, the slide to the stop for composure. the focus ring of course turns the wrong way, which i can never get used to. i kept forgetting to open the aperture for focusing (and get focus conformation.... which doesn't happen at f11) so not every picture was what i consider usable. there was a little barrel distortion that i corrected for, and wb was a little off.... otherwise not a lot of work in post. is it the best lens ever? no. is it horrible? no. i expect it's about the same quality as the pentax 28mm shift, but there are many more nikkors available, so the price can be pretty reasonable, and it was worth a shot, especially considering how smoothly the conversion went. except for the screw i had to drill out.


two takeaways from my first use:

1. any time you're photographing a wall or a building, you should use a shift lens. you can make an argument for anything remotely rectangular... it's really neat to play with.

2. damn, now i want a really great dfa* shift lens... or as close as i can get. if i do decide to adapt a mf shift lens, i'll have to sell this one to pay for it, so that's a pain.

3. kind of wish it was 24mm? or 50mm? or 100mm? wait, did anyone ever make a shift zoom?

some examples!





I've converted done several Nikkor lens. I have a 24 (beautiful) a 55 1.4 that's better than all my manual 50s but not up to f50 1.7. a 135 (meh, not up the smc 3.5). My favorite is the 85mm , works great l@ 1.8 but big and heavy, probably my favorite lens of all . I use the m48 adapter with a flange/ to replace the nikon mount

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