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  Reviews by: Gary Gray  

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Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G IF-ED AF-S Nikkor

Review Date: Jan 25, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,700.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp-Sharp-Sharp-Clean-Fast-Sharp-Wide-Sharp...did I say sharp.
can't find one

This is without a doubt the best wide angle zoom lens I've ever used.
It is worth every dollar.

Did I mention how sharp it is? Corner to corner at f/2.8.

I tried to find something wrong with it, so I pointed it directly into the bright afternoon sunlight just to see if maybe I could get it to flare. Yeah, I got a tiny flare out of it. About the best flare control I've ever seen on a wide angle lens.

Did I mention how sharp this lens is?

Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED VR AF

Review Date: Jan 20, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Good optics
Poor design characteristics, especially the zoom ring.

This lens has a split personality. Optically it is as good as my Canon 100-400 L, IS, maybe better. Functionally, it leaves a bit to be desired.

From 80-350mm it stays very sharp, at the long end it softens up a bit, but this is common with all lenses of this type.

The only other OS lens for a Nikon body in this rage is made by Sigma and quite honestly, the Sigma 80-400 is a much better design but not quite as sharp. For several hundred dollars less, if you own a crop sensor body, the Sigma may be a better choice.

The autofocus on this lens is hit-and-miss with moving objects. Slow and noisy also. If you intend to use this lens for fast-action sports and moving wildlife, I'd suggest getting something that performed better. If you need a good, sharp functional telephoto zoom as a general walk-about for your kit, this lens will do a good job.

The zoom ring is too close to the camera body and tripod collar and this feature makes it difficult to operate with my big hands. The auto-manual focus selector and lock button is also a strange thing.

Still, I'll keep this lens for the good image quality it produces, until something better comes along.

Nikon D300

Review Date: Jan 20, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,799.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent build quality, excellent image quality.
14 bit mode performance is disappointing.

I've been using Canon DSLR's for the past 5 years and recently picked up a D300 so I wouldn't have all my photographic eggs in one basket so to speak. I also picked up the Nikon 18-200 VR and several Nikon prime lenses to go with this kit.

My main camera body has been and continues to be the Canon 1DsMKII, with a 5D for backup. I sold my 30D and some lenses to pay for this camera.

Simply stated, this camera is a better camera than the 5D in just about every aspect. Color, saturation, white-balance, detail, frame-rate, just about everything is a serious improvement over the 5D. I love my 5D and it is no slouch of a camera either. I'm not a brand specific kind of guy, which ever cameras and lenses do the best job is all I am concerned with.

I run a small photographic business in Colorado and I think this body will give me a good alternative for sports, action and wildlife photography that I couldn't get with a 30D.

I had considered buying the new Canon 1DMKIII before making this purchase, but with all the problems associated with that new body, It was time to find an alternative. I do not regret my choice. This body is less expensive and does everything the Canon 1DMKIII will do.