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  Reviews by: Jeroen Wijnand  

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Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G AF-S

2141NCP_180
Review Date: Sep 3, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $130.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Very fast AF not prone to hunting at all. Silent AF-S. Nice contrast and color
Cons:
zoom and focus rings too close together for my big hands.

I bought this used just to get a taste of what "real" AF-S is like. I like the AF-S part. IT's accurate and quick. The first few pics I was looking at the distance scale to see if it really was focussing.

Pics are good, nice contrast and colors. It's very sharp. There's some distortion at the wide end and it really does need a hood.

I'm selling mine because I'm too prone to grab both the zoom and focus ring simultaniously and that messes up my shots.


 
Tokina 100mm f/2.8 AT-X 100 AF PRO D

AT-XM100PRO_D
Review Date: Mar 30, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Well build, sharp, nice AF/MF switch mechanism
Cons:
AF hunts a bit in low light/low contrast situations

I was looking for a macro lens in the 90ish mm range and I was on a rather tight budget. The tamron, the 105mm sigma and this tokina were on my short list. The sigma didn't feature the nice AF/MF clutch the tamron and the tokina had. (why doesn't nikon use this on it's primes?)

The tamron was almost 40 euros more expensive and I really couldn't see the point of that.

Took this lens home, mounted it and was immediately amazed. It focusses well, precisely and close. Even at minimum focus distance the AF still works well.

Wide open it's not at it's best yet but it's by no means soft, it will still give many consumer zooms a run for their money. Stop down a bit and at f4 things sharpen up, sharpen up pretty amazingly. I get the feeling this lens outperforms my D50. Color rendition is very neutral with a very slight tendency to warmer tones.
AF is reasonably quick for a screwdriver model and in decent light quite usable.

Build is excellent, especially for a lens in this price range. It's hard to tell which parts are metal and which are heavy duty plastic. Crinkly finish gives it a classy look.

All in all, if you're in the market for an entry level macro lens I really would recommend you look at this as well as the tamron.


 
Nikon 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5D AF

1971NCP_180
Review Date: Aug 29, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $180.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp Very usable range 1:2 macro at the flick of a switch
Cons:
Front element rotates when zooming hard to find a second hand copy ugly hood

When I was looking for a lens to replace my 28-80D and my 35-70 3.3-4.5 I decided I didn't need wider than 28mm but that a bit more range would come in useful. I also had so much fun with the macro option of the 35-70 that I also wanted some sort of macro function on the new lens.

After reading tons of reviews this one ended on my shortlist. Took me 2 months before I found a used copy for a mere 125 euros.

This lens is now my walk around lens and it has not yet disappointed. Must have shot 3000-4000 pics since I bought it 8 months ago. CA has only been an issue on 5 shots.

It's sharp, it focusses really quickly, the manual focus ring is very usable but since infinity to 0.5 meters is only about 50 degrees rotation it does take a bit of getting used to.

Macro mode works exceptionally well, it's razor sharp in the center, focusses to about 15 centimeters and even AF works well. Macro is only a matter of flicking a switch (only from 50-105mm) which means that if you're walking somewhere and you see an interesting bug or plant you dont even need to change lenses.

Some people state that the front element rotates. Not entirely true, it's an IF design so it doesn't rotate while focussing. It does rotate a bit while zooming.

The intended hood isn't that easy to find and is very ugly so I opted for a generic 62mm screw in hood.

This lens will probably stay with me untill I wear it out or untill I can afford a fast 28-70ish lens and even then I will probably keep it for it's 1:2 macro.

All in all a very good lens which I'd recommend to anyone.