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Nikon 20mm f/2.8D AF Nikkor

1913NAS_180
Review Date: Apr 14, 2016 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Small and lightweight, a cracking lens
Cons:
A little soft in the corners on a full frame, just crop them out.

I have read some of the reviews on the internet and they all pick up on valid points and concerns regarding this little Gem of a lens.
If you troll the internet looking at review after review after review you will find many reasons not buy this lens.

For budding photographers spending their hard earn'd cash on a lens they want to own for years and enjoy the results of, it is not easy to persuade those with little or no experience of a given lens to spend their cash, if negative reviews that only focus on lab results are the only thing they have to go by.

Here are the facts concerning the Nikon 20mm 2.8d

Firstly - it is light, small, well built with wonderful glass incorporated within it, when you know how to use it.
Secondly - yes in the corners it is a little soft when used at anything other than mid range apertures, I could pick fault with any lens if i wished to.
Thirdly - yes it is a little noisy when using auto focus, so what, its not that noisy, use it in manual then, where you will find the focusing barrel to be lovely and smooth to use, in low light is when you will need the auto focus most, and so what if it is a little noisy, the auto focus is fast and snappy and very accurate,

I have owned mine for a few years now and use it on my d800, when used creatively this little Gem of a lens sparkles, Its resolution in the center wide open is remarkably sharp, contrast levels are superb, and everything just gets better and better all the way up to f11, after which diffraction starts to take its toll on Image quality.

If you want to spend your life reading lab results and reviews from people picking endless faults with everything in life then you will miss out on what this wonderful little lens is capable of.
On the other hand if you are type of person who just wants to get out there into the BIG WIDE world this lens will bring to you, then get out there and enjoy it.

Don't worry about the lenses distortion, use it to be creative, it is easily corrected for architectural photography if needed.
Remember, your camera is a tool, and so are your lenses, a bad workman will always blame his tools.

Use this little lens with thoughtfulness and creativity and it will defiantly not disappoint.
Learn its strengths and rejoice in them, I do with mine :-)

I want you to understand what this little Gem is capable of.
Buy, cherish, and enjoy :-)

Regards
Steve


 
Nikon 50mm f/1.4G AF-S Nikkor

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Review Date: Apr 14, 2016 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: A total joy
Cons:
Auto focus a little on the slow side, but not really a problem unless shooting F! Cars

When I first acquired my Nikon 50mm 1.4g a few years ago I was a little worried if I had indeed made the right choice, after all I only had reviews to go by and some reviews were a little pessimistic concerning focus issues when the lens was wide open at 1.4
I went ahead with the purchase anyway for low light creative work, weddings, portraiture and for general walk about work, to be honest right now it is the only lens I take out with my d800 when I'm in public places.

50mm is the perfect lens as it is the closest focal length to what our eyes see, connected up to my d800 it can also be used as a zoom, as the d800 images can be cropped right in and I still end up with a large extremely usable image.

For portraiture with the lens set at f2.2 wow :-) all I can say is stunning, wide open at f1.4 the lens is a little soft and lacking in contrast but this can be overcome with careful processing.
Once the aperture opens up to between F3.5 to F8 the lens easily out resolves the sensor on my d800, impressive to say the least.
I find my 50mm to be wonderful for creative portraiture, especially when used for black and white photography with fairly high ISO settings, It is a tool and when used as such and you have learn't its creative ways, you will be most pleased you bought one, trust me :-)
Regards
Steve


 
Nikon 200mm f/4D ED-IF AF Micro-Nikkor

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Review Date: Apr 14, 2016 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: everything
Cons:
Me not using it correctly

Well now, where do I start, A gift from the Gods, hows that for a start :-)
This is a comprehensive review of this 200mm f4d, so please read to the end.

If wildlife, macro photography and telephoto portraiture is your thing, then look no further.
I have owned this lens for years now, and I treasure it.
The Images that can potentially come out of this beautifully crafted joyfulness will take your breath away, and help you realize that nature is far far more beautiful and magical than you could of ever of realized without it.

This lens in It's current form i feel is coming to the end of It's life, I have a sneaky feeling Nikon will soon be replacing this Gem.
It has been around a long time now and I can tell you this much, no matter what lens Nikon replaces this with, to bring it up to date with It's new look line up of lenses, It will not be bettered, it will just have new clothes surrounding It's perfect optical design i.e afs etc.

Buy one now is what I am suggesting to you,
Maybe this is why Nikon still hasn't replaced this 200mm version yet, don't miss out because you want to wait for afs etc, no afs is part of this lenses beauty, I love listening to the most beautiful whispering quality sounds as it finds It's perfect focus, such a joy on a Pro camera.
A joy also on a non Pro camera in manual focus, it is a joy to use, trust me.

This Lenses strengths are as follows.

Wide open at f4 the Images are perfectly sharp across the whole frame on a full frame camera, at f4 the images do lack a little contrast, but nothing that cannot be easily corrected with careful and loving processing.
Once this lens gets to 5.6 and beyond, contrast and colour reproduction are mesmerizing.
Bokeh at close distance is a buttery dreamy work of art, for me the Bokeh of this lens touches my soul and kisses it.

My lens is at it's best from 5.6 up to f9, after which it starts to suffer from diffraction, which is something every lens has to put up with, even closed right down it is far better than most and can be used for creative purposes, after all a lens is just a tool for your creative endeavors.
As far as distortion goes, forget it, what minimal distortion there is, is completely irrelevant in the field.
Focus manually with the beautifully designed and wonderfully smooth focusing barrel for close up macro work ok

Trying to use the auto focus on very near critters will frustrate you. Close up macro is all about feel and technique, use manual.
Auto focus works like a dream on birds and on a pro camera will even track bees, well I have learn't that mine can if I play by my lenses rules, you are entering into a relationship when you own one of these, a relationship that should be treasured, It is all about give and take and the willingness to learn, humbly :-)

Focus is quick and precise at tele ranges, it is only at macro distances you will find the lens may hunt a bit, like I've said, use manual for very close distance.

This lens will last you a lifetime if you look after it, the Nikon lens hood for it screws in beautifully and never falls of, is sturdy and also protects the front glass element, I never leave home without mine attached, its a part of the lens after all.

The tripod mount is a also a joy to use, loosen the screw and it glides around making hand held photography wonderfully comfy.
Fit a tripod to it and you have one very sturdy setup.

I have not found a weakness in this lens, any weakness I may of felt this lens had, I now realize we're my weaknesses.
The camera the lens, both tools, become a Master craftsman and learn how to use them :-)

If you wish to see what this lens is capable of then please take a look at my website, ( steven-poulton.artistwebsites.com ) all Images of Bees and butterflies are taken with this lens, and many more.

Investment in this lens will lead you on a journey of discovery and wonderment, the like of which you would never know without it.
If you are ready for the joy this lens can bring, I salute you :-)

Regards
Steve