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  Reviews by: Patricio Murphy  

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Tokina 12-24mm f/4 AT-X 124 AF PRO DX SD

atx124afprodx
Review Date: Sep 24, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent build. Sharp, outstanding image quality, specially if you consider the price tag.
Cons:
Will vignette with standard polarizers.

Might sound too enthusiastic, but I give this lens an absolute 10.
Does this mean it's perfect? No, not at all, but it's better than you'd expect for the money. A lot better. It's built like a much more expensive lens, gives oustanding image quality.
Can't ask more. Absolutely happy with it.


 
Sigma 400mm f5.6 APO Tele Macro HSM

23_05_1_
Review Date: Mar 30, 2010 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros:
Cons:

Just a correction on my previous review: the AF on the 400mm f/5.6 APO (I forgot to mention that I own a non-HSM version, don't know if there actually was a HSM for Nikon) is a lot better with my D300, so that's something to take into account.
On a camera with good AF, I had no problem in capturing action birds in flight shots.


 
Sigma 400mm f5.6 APO Tele Macro HSM

23_05_1_
Review Date: Oct 31, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Outstanding image quality, specially if you consider its price. Good tripod collar. Close focusing. Good MF grip. Focus limiter. Despite other opinions, for a 400, it's light. It weights the same as my 80-200 f/2.8
Cons:
Slow AF

In short: amazing value. This lens delivers outstanding image quality with no objectionable aberrations, lots of detail and very good contrast and is physically light enough for handholding (and carrying).
Construction is good for the money. Actually very good for the money. It features an AF/MF ring, a focus limiter switch and a detachable tripod collar. You probably have already read all this stuff :-)
Manual focusing is a breeze, it's very comfortable, the lens shade helps keep stray light at bay and provides protection to the front element.
AF is plain bad. You don need to prefocus if you plan on shooting birds in flight, and even then it may hunt and you may lose the shot, but once it adquires focus on my D200, it works. It takes a little getting used to, but once you do, you can make it work. I get more in focus bird shots than I do with my MF Nikkor, so for me it's great. For non action subjects it's OK.
The Macro thing refers to its close focusing ability, which is great for lots of uses, including confident birds.
I sure forget something, probably someone already mentioned it!

I'm rating it very highly taking it's price into account.


 
Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF]

1750diII
Review Date: Mar 16, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp Constant f/2.8 aperture IF
Cons:
Provided lens hood slightly missaligned Extendes while zooming, a potential source of dirt getting inside the lens or the mechanics

For the price, excellent. Compared it in the shop against the Tokina 16-50 f/2.8, better build, but AF on the Tamron was way better.
Contrary to other reviewer, I find it very lightweight, focuses fast and accurately, it's extremely sharp.
I bought it during a trip. I was also carrying my 20mm f/3.5, 28mm f/2.8 and 50mm f/1.8, all very sharp lenses. While the zoom wouldn't survive a thorough comparison against the primes, it's good enough to have rendered the primes obsolete: it has stayed on the camera eversince I bought it. That speaks about how I feel about it.
It's a compromise, yes, but a good one. Useful focal lenghts with exceptional image quality in a fast zoom.
Only drawbacks I can mention are the cheap lens hood that is slightly missaligned and is easy to get moved and vignette (anyway, at least it comes with a lens hood...) and the fact that it extends while zooming. It comes with a lock to prevent creeping, but it will collect dust if used in dusty environments. Build quality is OK, good enough, but not outstanding.
It's a lens I highly reccomend, no doubts. Now I can carry one body with 80-200 f/2.8 and the other with 17-50 f/2.8 and have a wide range of focal leghts covered with excellent image quality.