Nikon 35mm PC shift lens changes colors

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by bayareamusician, Apr 20, 2005.

  1. In the shifted position the image gets cooler. Is this common with
    shift lenses or this particular model, or is there something wrong with
    my lens? It's from the 1960s or 1970s 35/2.8 Nippon Kogaku, and I mount
    it on an N90s. The N90s manual says not to use this lens, so maybe the
    color discrepancy is the reason why, although it mounts and shoots with
    no problems. I bought it used several years ago and the seller
    indicated it was modified. I don't remember how...AI? Anyway, I guess I
    should use a warming filter or maybe get an older body. Any thoughts?
    bayareamusician, Apr 20, 2005
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  2. Does the image just get cooler (or darker) in the viewfinder or also on
    Chris Loffredo, Apr 20, 2005
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  3. It gets darker in the viewfinder as I shift, so I compensate. It seems
    +1 to +2 stops is correct, depending on the amount of shift, and the
    lens only clicks at full stops. But I can also see a color change as I
    shift the lens. In comparing the non-shifted and shifted prints, the
    coolness is obvious.
    bayareamusician, Apr 20, 2005
  4. You do know that you are supposed to meter with the lens unshifted, and
    then shift the lens (keeping the unshifted exposure values)?

    The color shift is probably due to the exposure being off.

    I've used an older PC Nikkor (35mm f/3.5) and a Ukranian Arsat 35mm
    f/2.8 extensively without any sign of color shifts!
    Chris Loffredo, Apr 20, 2005
  5. You might not know that you are supposed to meter with the lens
    unshifted, and THEN shift the lens (keeping the unshifted exposure values)?

    The color change is likely due to the exposure being off.

    I've used an older PC Nikkor (35mm f/3.5) and a Ukranian Arsat 35mm
    f/2.8 extensively without any sign of color shifts!
    Chris Loffredo, Apr 20, 2005
  6. I've used this lens extensively in the past, though I no longer own it.
    I never noticed any color shift at all, and the falloff while shifted
    was minimal.

    If i recall correctly, the reason for the prohibition on the N90 (and
    others) was because the lens flange would damage the electrical
    contacts on the body. The solution was to mill away part of he mount to
    clear them. Does your lens show evidence of this?

    Either way, the color shift (or lack thereof) would not be affected by
    any such modifications.
    Scott Schuckert, Apr 20, 2005
  7. bayareamusician

    Gordon Moat Guest

    I have a lens of close to that vintage. While the view through the
    viewfinder (depending upon which Nikon body) can change dramatically, the
    results on film should be very even, and without colour shift.
    These are preset lenses, and do not contact the AI tab on the mount. Early
    version were not cut away at the back, and could foul, or damage, the AI
    tab. One modification was to remove some material from the back of the
    lens barrel to avoid fouling the AI mount tab.
    Use the lens with some transparency (slide) film, and check the results.
    If it seems there is some colour shift, you might actually have a damaged
    lens. There are many elements internally, and if any one of them is not
    aligned, or has fogged, or has problems with the coatings, then you could
    have some problems.

    All is not hopeless in a situation that the lens elements might not be in
    the best shape. You could always use the lens for B/W, or try it for
    creative ideas.

    On the N90s, or newer bodies, one problem is that the lens mount could
    internally contact the electronic connections in the camera body. If that
    happens, you could short out the camera. I was at the PhotoImaging &
    Design Expo yesterday, and specifically asked about using a shift lens on
    newer Nikon mount bodies. The recommendation from Nikon on brand new
    cameras was the F6 or FM3A. There is a newer 28 mm shift lens, and that
    one is okay to use on the D2X.

    When I checked with Fuji about the S2 and S3, I found out that one of the
    engineers had tried an older shift lens on an S2, and shorted the
    contacts. The S2 at the lens mount is similar to the S3. Asking a Kodak
    engineer about the SLR/n, I found out that the problem is the lower grip
    fouls the shift lens at some rotations, which Kodak admits is a design
    flaw. Interestingly, the SLR/c has more room, and can use Canon tilt/shift

    Some might wonder why bother at all. While a large format camera with
    movements will work better, the reality of some photo situations is that
    the time and space requirements for some locations do not allow setting up
    a large format camera and managing to get enough images on location. These
    tiny shift lenses are convenient in some special circumstances and

    Overall, I would state that the 35 mm f2.8 shift lens is one of the best
    performing 35 mm focal length lenses I have ever used. While f2.8 is not
    very fast, the results using the lens unshifted are quite good. The
    biggest problem is that the preset aperture really slows you down.

    I hope that helps, and that you find your lens is in good shape. Best of
    luck to you.
    Gordon Moat, Apr 20, 2005
  8. Nikon lists in its manuals which lenses cannot be used. As far as I
    can tell, shift lenses are generally okay provided that they are compatible
    with Ai cameras.
    Philip Homburg, Apr 20, 2005
  9. bayareamusician

    Bandicoot Guest

    In another thread I mentioned recently using a Pentax LX to get a set of
    night pictures where I had to work very fast - I had only a few minutes
    before the site closed and the security guys locked everywhere up. The lens
    I was using was the Pentax 28mm shift: no way on Earth I could have done the
    shots in time with a large format camera.

    (I suppose I could have used my 6x6 with a 45mm shift lens, but I didn't
    have it with me on that job, and that wouldn't have given me the metering
    that the LX offered.)

    Bandicoot, Apr 21, 2005
  10. Well, I don't know what the problem is. The prints showed the color
    shifts, and maybe it's just bad processing from the lab or bad film. I
    shot some slides and sent them to another lab, so I'll see what they
    look like when I get them back.

    Meanwhile, I put the lens on my D70. Again, the manual says not to use
    this lens (based on its serial #) on the D70, as it did for the N90s,
    yet I don't see any mounting or electrical problems on either body. I
    guess there is a possibility that an unmodified lens could do some
    damage and Nikon wants no liability in that regard.

    The nice thing about the D70 is that I can see my shots right away,
    which is essential, given that I cannot meter this lens at all on the
    D70 (according to the manual, PC lenses will not meter on this body).
    So I use the sunny 16 rule and LCD screen to get proper exposure.
    Fortunately, I do not see any color shifts like I did on the negative
    film. That's definitely a good sign. The 1.5x factor makes this a 53mm
    lens, which is still useful but not as much as 35mm. Hence, I'd like to
    shoot film, and if the slides have good color, then everything's OK.
    bayareamusician, Apr 21, 2005
  11. bayareamusician

    Gordon Moat Guest

    I hope the slides tell you a bit more. The only other thing I can think of
    is perhaps some flare from edge lighting, though if you used a hood, or
    changed camera to scene position, then that would not happen.
    I wish I knew more about the details of the modification. The 35 mm shift
    lens I have is not modified. When I went to the PhotoImaging & Design
    Expo, and asked if I could try the lens on several different bodies, the
    reps didn't want to try it out. However, they had no problem with my
    mounting it on an F6 or FM3A.
    Normally, when I use any shift lens, I meter using my Sekonic L-358. I
    find that faster than metering unshifted, and then shifting and setting
    aperture and focus again. When I use the lens unshifted for imaging, then
    the in camera meter is fine (if your camera will work that way). If I
    recall correctly, the D70 is based upon a N80 or lower specification SLR.
    Yes, the crop factor is a problem, and even the 28mm shift lens would be
    affected. However, I don't see any shift lens as one you would use often,
    so a little bit of film use with one will not break the bank account.
    Hopefully, your slides will look fine, and the problems will be solved.
    Gordon Moat, Apr 21, 2005
  12. bayareamusician

    Gordon Moat Guest

    None of the shift lenses are AI, nor AIS, but the later manufactured ones had
    more material cut away (than earlier versions), allowing them to not foul the

    This is only an issue on the earliest versions. Since the OP remarked that his
    was a Nippon Kogaku labelled version, that one is too early. He mentioned that
    it had been modified, but I don't know what areas need to be changed to allow
    mounting safely on newer gear, so that leaves a question on his lens. If the
    modifications are more like the later shift lenses, then he should be fine.
    Gordon Moat, Apr 21, 2005
  13. Both the 28/4 and the 35/3.5 do not extend beyond the lens mount. After the
    modification to fit Ai cameras they should be safe for AF cameras as well.
    Philip Homburg, Apr 21, 2005
  14. bayareamusician

    Gordon Moat Guest

    I have a 35 mm f2.8 Nippon Kogaku shift lens. While the optics do not extend
    beyond the mount, that is not the issue of using this on later camera bodies. One
    area that is not clearing the AI tab is the lens outer barrel. It would be easy
    enough to machine that down. On the FM, FE, F3, F4, and modified F5, there is a
    button to move the AI tab out of the way, making that not an issue on those

    The electronic sensors are inside the mount diameter. It would seem that part of
    the bayonet of the lens might make contact inside the mount of the body. That has
    nothing to do with the optics. Do you know what exactly is done to modify these
    older lenses?
    Gordon Moat, Apr 22, 2005
  15. Well, the first thing to do is indeed to machine down the aperture ring (for
    non-Ai lenses with an automatic aperture) or just any part of the lens that
    would damage the Ai tab on other lenses.

    On the surface of the lens mount is a sensor (for Ais lenses) and the
    mechanical AF coupling. Those two are designed to handle old lenses.

    Inside the camera may be two sensors for Ais (this applies to the FA and the
    F4). If the lens extends far enough into the lens mount that it hits those
    two, you may have a problem. (Unless it is an Ais lens of course :)

    Then there are the AF contacts. Some old lenses hit those.

    There may be an issue with the mirror. Some old lenses require mirror lock up.
    I am not sure if some newer cameras have bigger mirrors which would make it
    impossible to use certain lenses.

    Anyhow, back to the shift lenses: they do not extend into the lens mount,
    so they can't damage any AF or Ais parts.

    All that is required is to machine down the part that damages the Ai tab.

    (Of course, if you do something Nikon says you shouldn't, it is your own

    I put my 16/3.5 on my F4 before I read in the manual that I should not do
    that. As far as I can tell, nothing went wrong.
    Philip Homburg, Apr 22, 2005
  16. bayareamusician

    Matt Clara Guest

    It might be worth your while to write John White of Ann Arbor, MI on the
    subject. I've dealt with him (converted my
    pre ai 55mm macro), and he's a real friendly fella.

    Matt Clara
    Crop factor might help improve the quality of the image as the sensor won't
    be exposed to the very edge of the image circle.
    Of course, you'll have to take a few steps back to get the shot... ;-)
    Matt Clara, Apr 24, 2005
  17. bayareamusician

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Okay, I had read about that for some AI spec lenses, that they might foul the AF
    coupling. Some AI lenses have extra blacked out tabs that extend into the barrel
    mount area, which I think originally were just for blocking stray light; mostly those
    are not on similar focal length AI-S lenses, and also not on shift lenses.
    There is a similar issue with the BR-2 reversing ring. Apparently there is a later
    version called a BR-2A. I get the feeling that comparing both of those might indicate
    what more to machine away.
    Good point. Some of those types of lenses are somewhat rare, and becoming quite
    Makes more sense. I was under the impression that the bayonet edges were the problem.
    What I think happened is that Nikon just do not want to list lenses compatible with
    newer bodies, when those lenses have been out of production for a while.
    Not familiar with that one. Fisheye?
    Gordon Moat, Apr 24, 2005
  18. bayareamusician

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Interesting that his site does not mention the shift lenses. Once you use one
    of these a while, you start wishing more lenses has shift capability. Anyway,
    since these are pre-set lenses, and not AI, AIS, nor other, perhaps he has some
    ideas, so I will pop him an e-mail.
    Gordon Moat, Apr 24, 2005
  19. Yes, a very nice fisheye, the predecessor of the 16/2.8. One of the
    advantages is that the filters are inside the lens instead of behind the
    rear lens element where even smallest amount of dirt becomes visible.

    I got one of Ebay that was converted to Ai with an Ai aperture ring.
    Philip Homburg, Apr 24, 2005
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