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Sigma 24mm f1.8 EX DG Aspherical Macro

24_f1_8_1_
Review Date: Dec 12, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Has unique capabilities, and can produce good results in specific situations.
Cons:
Soft wide open, my sample backfocuses and shoots a full stop underexposed.

Not a lens to be trusted, certainly not one to be purchased without a warranty or at least a return policy, this beast is tough to criticize because it has very little competition (particularly for Nikon users). My sample consistently backfocused by a huge amount; fortunately something I could correct with the focus adjustment settings on my D300's menus. Its chip also thinks it's a stop faster than it actually is, so I have to put +1 exposure compensation on every picture I shoot with it! Why put up with these horrendous faults? Because at f/1.8 and focusing several inches from the front element, it delivers results that few other lenses can match. Shallow DOF and good, useable bokeh with a
24mm lens? Believe it! I'm tempted to lump this lens in the freakish oddity bin with the LensBabies; but if you stop it down it actually behaves itself and performs decently as a mild-mannered wide prime. Still, if you're thinking of using it as a fast normal lens for a small-sensor digicam, make sure you get a properly functioning sample and give it a thorough shakedown before the return period ends!!


 
Nikon 180mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF Nikkor

1940NAS_180
Review Date: Dec 12, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Beautiful results even wide open, stunning between f/5.6 and f/8
Cons:
Screwdriver focusing is a bit slow; that, combined with its tendency to hunt across the entire focus range makes it not a good choice for moving subjects or action in low light.

If your subject is suited to the 180mm perspective (270mm equivalent on DX), and will sit still for you while you focus and compose, you can rely on this lens to produce professional results. Crisp and contrasty edge-to-edge, even wide open, with pure colors and good bokeh. The build is solid metal with a bakelite crinkle finish; it would be at home in a hardwood box lined with red velvet! Good examples can be found at a very reasonable price on the used market. My sample is a non-D version, which handicaps it for iTTL flash use.