28 PC Super Angulon-Great Performer?

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Any comments please on the performance of the 28 PC Super Angulon R lens. I know it is a relatively specialist shift lens with architectural uses, but can any contributor tell me from personal experience if the lens has average/good/great performance in terms of sharpness, contrast, etc. To date, I have never seen a used example for sale. Too problematic to use? Thanks.

-- wayne murphy (wmurphy@powerup.com.au), February 19, 2002


I have had a 28 PC for the past 3 Years and find it to be a marvelous and indispensable optic. It is sharp, smooth, and after a little practice, easy to use. It is a fantastic lens that is useful for architectural pictures (you will never see "keystoning" again) as well as tight situations where you want to eliminate either the foreground or one of the sides. As I mentionned above, it takes a bit of practice but once you are comfortable in your technique, you will move quite expeditiously.

-- Albert Knapp MD (albertknappmd@mac.com), February 19, 2002.

If you shoot architecture a lot then maybe the lens is worth the cost and bulk (but then, why not just get a LF?). Otherwise this Schneider lens is ok but not stellar. A less-expensive but optically par solution for occastional use would be a Nikon 28mm PC lens either adapted to Leica R mount by a camera repairman, or in conjunction with an inexpensive body like the FM10.

-- Jay (infinitydt@aol.com), February 19, 2002.

Better yet , a canon 24mm tilt/shift lens . It's simply superb ( and even with a canon body , cheaper ) .

-- leonid kotlyar (kotlyarl@mail.nih.gov), February 19, 2002.

I wonder if 24mm might be a bit too wide for distortion-free architecture. Lenses that wide seem to stretch architectural features near the corners of the frame out of shape. Especially true for spherical shapes, rounded column bases, etc. I notice it with my 24mm Nikkor and 38mm Biogon SuperWide-C. Not always such a bad thing, in a case where you need this much width to get the whole thing in; but surely the 28mm is safer in this regard. With my 35mm Nikkor PC I notice no problem at all, and have been wondering whether a 28mm (probably Nikkor, for economy) would be still within the (essentially) distortion-free range.

-- Bob Fleischman (RFXMAIL@prodigy.net), February 19, 2002.

Oddly enough , I can't comment on that since I have the 24 tse on a d30 . It's about 38mm the way I use it . After over 5000 shots , I have not noticed any distortion at all .

-- leonid kotlyar (kotlyarl@mail.nih.gov), February 19, 2002.

Bob. I have a Canon 24/3.5-L Tilt/Shift with a throw away Canon body just for this lens (which is cheaper than the Leica 28/2.8-R PC SA). The stretching effect you refer to is because the camera is not exactly level. With the camera perfectly level (baseplate parallel to groud), there should be no stretching effect at the edges. I think a wider PC/Shift lens is fine, even better because you have a better chance of getting the whole building in than with the less wide lenses. 24mm is not too wide for my tastes. The only limitation is that I would sometimes like more vertical shift.

-- Eliot (erosen@lij.edu), February 19, 2002.

Hello Wayne, I have had this lens for a few years now and I only use it occasionally. I have found it gives its best performance between f8 and f11. IMHO it isn't as sharp as other Leica lenses I use but it will be a great deal sharper than a cropped/overenlarged image from say a 19mm or 21mm lens. Other than architecture, it is also useful for getting unusual aspects in landscapes and where you are unable to move from your current location by using downshift and sideshift. Also if you use filters you will need to make sure you get the hood (as supplied with the lens when purchased new) because it also acts as the filter holder for special order unmounted filter glasses from companies like B+W. Hope this helps Julian

-- Julian Hart (jhart@rydon.co.uk), February 20, 2002.

Wayne: I agree with Julian in that the 28 PC R2.8 lens is very effective in general landscape photography where you want to "eliminate" an unpleasant foreground. It takes a bit of practice but the lens can elevate itself an create a new scene. The lens is made by Schneider to Leica specifications. It is best at F8 to 11 but can be opened up to good effect. The lens' architectural capabilities are amazing and belong in everyone's kit with an interest in these types of photos.

-- Albert Knapp MD (albertknappmd@mac.com), February 20, 2002.

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