Nikon PC-E Nikkor 24mm f/3.5D ED Review

December 29, 2010 | Zoltan Arva-Toth |


The PC-E Nikkor 24mm f/3.5D ED is the most specialised lens we have tested to date. When used as a “simple” ultra-wide lens, it is extremely sharp across the frame, with no vignetting or edge softness to speak of, which is great news for landscape photographers. Of course, most prospective buyers will consider this lens for the sophisticated movements it enables. A maximum rise of 11.5mm combined with the ultra-wide angle of view means you can photograph pretty tall buildings from a relatively short distance, standing at ground level.

You do have to be aware though that at full shift, the lens vignettes badly, and the edges get quite soft – this is the reason we did not give full marks for image quality, even though it's excellent at other settings. We also marked the lens down in the design department, chiefly because you can't combine rise/fall with downward tilt, a problem that could have been avoided by enabling independent rotation of the shift and tilt axes.

There is no question that the PC-E Nikkor 24mm f/3.5D will serve demanding landscapists and architectural photographers well – provided they own a Nikon D3 or one of its successors. Unfortunately, there are all sorts of compatibility issues when trying to use the lens with older or lower specified camera models, including anything that has a pop-up flash with a protruding flash/prism housing. This makes the PC-E Nikkor 24mm f/3.5D lens an even more expensive proposition than it appears to be on its own.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 3.5
Features 4
Ease-of-use 3.5
Image quality 4.5
Value for money 3.5