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Nikon 60mm f/2.8G ED AF-S Micro-Nikkor

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Review Date: May 22, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp at all apertures, fast accurate focusing
Cons:
You have to be very close to your subject to achieve 1:1

This is my favourite lens. Itís sharp, razor sharp, right across the frame (DX in my case) at all apertures. Iíve heard people say that it focuses slower than the Nikon 105mm macro lens but when I tried the two side by side in the shop before buying this lens I found that on a D7000 or D7100 the 60mm was far superior for focusing. The 105mm lens just wouldnít autofocus below 18Ē or so, I just hunted continuously. The 60mm lens focuses quickly and accurately from its closest distance right up to infinity.

The only thing I would say is that this isnít the lens for 1:1 insect photography because you have to get the front element of the lens within a couple of inches of the subject to get 1:1 magnification. Other than that though itís superb lens, one of Nikonís best and reasonably priced for what it delivers.


 
Nikon 300mm f/4 ED-IF AF-S Nikkor

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Review Date: May 22, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp wide open, great bokeh, great build quality, very fast and accurate focus
Cons:
No rear element so susceptible to dust ingress, no weather sealing

This is a great lens, once youíve used it you realise what a compromise variable aperture long zoom lenses are. I used to have a Sigma 120-400mm OS and the 300mm f4 is in a completely different league.

It has really nice build quality, the focusing is fast and reliable, the image quality at f4 is superb and the bokeh is really nice too. Also, you might think 300mm is a step down from 400mm but if youíre photographing at close range this lens doesnít focus breath at all so itís actually longer than the Sigma 120-400mm was at 400mm at distances up to about 16 to 18 feet. Iím pretty sure focus breathing will be an issue with most other longer zoom lenses too.

So in summary a great lens that completely delivers on what it promises. The only real negative (other than a lack of weather sealing), which is more something that just makes you nervous than a real problem for most people, is the lack of a rear element so if you get dust in this lens itíll stay in there. Not a great feature if youíre changing lenses in very dusty conditions.


 
Nikon 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED AF-S DX VR Nikkor

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Review Date: May 22, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Wide zoom range, very good sharpness for a super zoom
Cons:
No distance scale, chromatic aberrations are a little high at times

I used to own the Nikon 18-200mm VR lens and itís pretty good but very soft at anything less than f9 from 100mm upwards. I bought this lens, cheaply, as part of a kit when I upgraded my camera and Iíve done a few tests on it. The 18-140mm at 140mm is amazingly sharp wide open, way better than the 18-200mm was. The VR works as well as it did on the 18-200mm. Even the bokeh is reasonable although still quite busy compared to a decent fast prime.

The only thing I really miss is the distance scale. So a definite step up from the 18-200mm. If youíre interested have a look at my review where I compare the 18-200mm VR, the 18-140mm VR and the Sigma 150mm f2.8 macro lens http://www.philharbordphotography.co.uk/nikon_18-140.html