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Nikon shows perspective-correction lens prototypes

Look, but don't touch: Nikon shows off 45mm and 85mm perspective-correction lenses due to arrive this summer.

Nikon's PC-E Micro-Nikkor 45mm f/2.8D ED Stephen Shankland/CNET Networks

LAS VEGAS--Nikon just introduced a 24mm "perspective correction" lens, but the camera maker also showed off two new prototypes of the same ilk.

As promised last week, Nikon showed off a new PC-E Nikkor 45mm f/2.8D ED at the Photo Marketing Association trade show here. Also under a glass booth was the PC-E Micro-Nikkor 85mm f/2.8D.

Note that the latter model lacks the "ED" suffix that indicates extra-low dispersion glass used to maximize sharpness and minimize chromatic aberration. Nikon last week employed the ED suffix in describing the lens, but there was a conspicuous rectangle carved out of the name badge right where those two letters would have appeared.

Regardless of what the 85mm lens composition and name, it definitely looks different from Nikon's existing PC Micro-Nikkor 85mm f/2.8D.

Nikon's PC-E Micro-Nikkor 85mm f/2.8D lens Stephen Shankland/CNET Networks

The perspective-correction lenses, also called tilt-shift models by rival Canon and others, let a photographer optically alter the perspective of a view, for example changing the vertical lines of a building so they are parallel rather than convergent.

Architects are a particular market for the specialty lenses, which aren't cheap: Nikon's PC-E Nikkor 24mm f/3.5D ED will cost $1,930 when it goes on sale this fall.

The two new perspective-correction lenses "are scheduled to become available through Nikon authorized dealers during the summer of 2008," Nikon said last week.

Speaking of coveted lenses, Nikon also showed a D3 SLR with the newer 14-24mm zoom lens mounted--both sawn in half down the middle. All I can say is I hope it was a factory reject.

Nikon's newer D3 SLR and 14-24mm zoom lens, shown here sawn in half. Stephen Shankland/CNET Networks