So I'm reading through the main blog...in the weekly recap there's something about three new Schneider tilt/shift lenses. In the comments, a poster points to Arax (and posts a website link) as a manufacturer of tilt/shift glass much cheaper than the Schneider and well cheaper than Nikkor "PC" lenses.
I'm trying to discern the quality (or lack thereof) of this Arax glass. I'd like to try to do some t/s photography but I'm not ready at this point to splash out $1500+ for Nikkor or $2K, $3K, or more for Schneider glass. Certainly there's some measure of "you get what you pay for", I'm not an imbecile, but if I can get good results on the Arax, at their pricepoint ($500-$700) I'd be happy to "settle" for good results.
Does anybody have first-hand experience with Arax/Kiev/Arsat (three brands, same optics) t/s lenses? My Russian wife (don't mention the Cold War; I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it) and I have found a review by a Finn and handful of short comments from users but nothing that approached the depth of knowledge of the people who write here. We found the history of the Kiev factory and as far as we can tell these lenses are modified pieces of leftover stock, but that doesn't tell us if they're any good.
Anybody ever shoot these? Thanks.
PS: That rumoured 17mm Nikon PC looks very sweet, but who knows the cost if/when it gets made.