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Nikon 18-70 f/3.5-4.5G AFS DX

DX-18-70_L
Review Date: May 29, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp! Small and light weight, easy to use, relatively cheap for how it performs, saturated and contrasty colors. Excellent lens.
Cons:
None for the price of the lens.

This is my 2nd copy of this lens and to my surprise it is A LOT better than my 1st copy that I got last year.

After starting out with the 18-70 last year I was never too happy with the performence, espeically the soft and dull images when you use it wide-open. I sold the lens and got something else to replace it and never thought about it again.

Until just last week, of course.

Out of curiosity I went to the local store and picked up a brand new 18-70 and it BLEW ME AWAY with its performence.

*just a note, I've owned and still own some of the following lenses and they've been known to be very sharp and contrasty, so I think I have an idea of what "sharp" is Smile

50/1.8, 50/1.4, 17-55/2.8, 80-200/2.8 AF-S, 300/4 AF-S, and Tamron's 28-75/2.8
*

I have test images to show that the 2nd copy is JUST AS SHARP as the 17-55/2.8 AND the 80-200/2.8 AF-S, at wide-open apertures to about f11. That's right, I couldn't believe my eyes at first so I ran through even MORE tests just to make sure that I didn't do anything wrong.

And the result turned out to be the same. THIS LENS performs IDENTICALLY to the 17-55 at ALL APERTURES! The ONLY difference would be the build quality and the low-light AF performence (because the 17-55 is a 2.8 lens).

I've heard that there are copies ot the 18-70 out there that perform at an extremely high level and it looks like I lucked out and found one of them... this will be my light-travel lens when I don't want to carry the 17-55 around.

Excellent excllent lens... provided that you get one of the sharp ones.


 
Tamron 28-75MM F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF)

2875mm
Review Date: Dec 21, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fast aperture, good build quality for a consumer-grade zoom lens, price, reasonably fast AF, SHARP (when you get a good copy). light compared to other lenses in the same zoom range.
Cons:
1st copy was bad and had to go back to the store to get a 2nd copy - poor quality control on Tamron's part, not AF-S, wish it was a bit wider, color's a bit warm so use Pre-WB instead.

Again with the quality control issue that's been associated with this lens, Tamron REALLY needs to have this figured out or they'll scare all the potential customers away.

Bought the lesn based on glowing reviews on this site and on some photog sites, I kinda knew there was a good chance that I might have to do a few more runs to the store to get a good copy and unfortunately that's what happend.

1st copy was soft at f2.8, overexposed everything and the hood was too tight to put it on smoothly. Took it back to the store and tried out another copy and immediately I saw the difference between the two, even the sales clerk was surpirsed at how big of a difference it was.

Did some more tests after I got home and wow, the "good" copy totally blew my mind as to how sharp the images were. I compared them to the ones taken with the Nikkor 50 f1.8 (known for its sharpness and low price as well), and what do you know, they're SO close that you couldn't tell them apart if it wasn't for the warmer color of the Tamron glass.

Overall I'm very happy with this lens but for potential buyers - beware that you might have to go through a few copies to find a good one, or you migt have to ship it back to Tamron for re-calibration.

Highly recommended for its low price, great sharpness, excellent optics and reasonably fast AF - but only if you get a good copy Smile