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  Reviews by: Remy  

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Nikon D3

d3
Review Date: Jul 18, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Superfast, huge amount of features, thorough ergonomics, great build and durability
Cons:
a bit on the heavy side

Coming from a history of a D70, F5 and lastly a D200, the D3 is in a whole different league of its own. From the great output the sensor offers (be it jpeg, nef or tiff) to the handling, speed, battery life and so many options, it will never let you down.

Did I mention the low and high ISO performance? Be it at ISO 200 or ISO 6400, it shows remarkable accurate colour and white balance registration. No more doubting to go above ISO 800 or 1600 if necessary like with the D200: ISO 3200 not enough? The D3 can go 3 stops higher.

FX gives you the option to play with shallower depth of field, 50 is 50 again, and wide is wide again.

For sports and wildlife shooters who need much reach, a D300 is probably a better option.


 
Nikon SB-800 AF Speedlight

sb800
Review Date: Oct 19, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Versatility, power, wireless control (both master and slave). Power down to 1/128th. Bounce card built in, omnibounce and filters are included, as is a flash-foot to put the SB800 on. Zoomable flashhead, completely rotate-able too. Also quite sturdy for a plastic product.
Cons:
Could be cheaper, but nothing else actually.

Last year I bought one SB800, later on followed by a second. These are great flashes and even though they are not cheap, they are wonderful. Good power and versatility, TTL-capability and much more. Perfectly usable on or off-camera, and work great with flash umbrella's or reflectors. Great in a wireless setup.

Definitely recommended.


 
Nikon D70s

D70
Review Date: Oct 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Speed, build quality, features, i-TTL capability including commander modes, remote control, matrix metering, overall image quality, batterylife, intuitive controls.
Cons:
limited ISO-range (200-1600), noise at ISO 800 and above, smallish viewfinder compared to F5, D80, D200 and D2-series, RAW-buffer limited, automatic white balance not so good.

I bought my D70 in oct 2004, so it's nearly 2 years old now. Still going strong with over 30,000 exposures done. Great strengths are its overall speed, base image quality (both NEF and JPEG) and battery life.

As you grow to learn to use it as a day to day tool, the appreciation of its design begins to grow too. The controls, the features, the menu, the main and sub command dial, the iTTL-flash CLS functions: it all works seamlessly together to being a great tool.

These days the D70 has seen some successors in the D70s (larger screen), D80 and D200 (more speed, MP and features) and in a smaller brother which is the D50.

Still, after almost two years, the D70 performs great and if I'd have to choose again without any glass, I'd make the same choice.


 
Nikon 85mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor

1931NCP_180
Review Date: Oct 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness at every aperture, contrast, colour rendition.
Cons:
Close focus distance: minimum of 85cm.

I bought this lens after the 50mm: a light teleprime for not too much money. This 85mm feels just sorted right: great sharpness, contrast and colour: AF on a D70 is ok, on a D200/D2-series just good. From f/2.8 and up incredibly sharp. Tight build, and good focus ring for manual focussing. One of my best lenses, but sees too little application: both because of its tele-characteristics, and because of the only con for me: minimum focus distance of 85cm, which is just about the worst of any of Nikon's short primes. The 50mm has a min. focus dist of 45cm, for instance.

Still, all in all a great lens and highly recommended for anyone interested in this range.


 
Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR

2139NAS_180
Review Date: Jun 6, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, autofocus speed and accuracy, contrast, build quality, lens hood, filter size, VR
Cons:
These are small compared to the pros: weight needs getting used to, the price is a bit high compared to some competition. Minimum focus distance is also a minor quirk (1,5meter in AF, 1,4 in MF mode).

Bought the 70-200 a few weeks ago after debating which lens to get: a Sigma APO 70-300, a Sigma 70-200, a Nikkor 80-200 AF-S..etcetera. I decided to go with 'the best' right away: I've seen more than enough upgrade-paths around me and would not want to do the same. Get it right, right away.

The lens is definitely one of the best Nikkor-zooms: very well built, stellar optics, great AF-S, great VR with horizontal panning detection and active mode, the list goes on.

The few downsides are small (see pros and cons): if you don't have a telezoom yet or are looking to upgrade: definitely look at this one despite its hefty pricetag.


 
Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM

111_small
Review Date: Apr 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Fast focus with HSM, EX quality build, good zoom and focus ring, full-time manual focus override. Also, 10mm wide end is just great.
Cons:
not too sharp wide open, not f/4 all the way like its bigger brother the 12-24 or the 12-24 offerings from Nikon/Tokina. Also (not for me but maybe other people) not meant for full frame: it's a DC-lens.

Bought this lens in december and it's a keeper: fast and silent AF, great wide view, EX build quality and good optics. I use it on a D70 and have made several hundred shots with it. The ultrawide is something you need to get used to: 20mm is 'regular' but zoom out to 10 and you have a great wide view.

Some less nice things which keep this lens from getting a perfect ten are: not so sharp wide open, stopping down one or two stops helps a lot: also not f/4 all the way when you need that extra stop, but then again: for the price it simply can't be beaten.


 
Sigma 18-125mm F3.5-5.6 DC

4882618_125dc_1_
Review Date: Sep 22, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Price, contrast, overall quality, zoom range
Cons:
vignetting, non-constant aperture, slow AF

It's a great lens, for the money. Don't expect miracles: but for the price, it's great. High points are the zoom range and pretty good image quality for this price: low points are the slow/noise AF and vignetting at large apertures. Also, at 125mm f/5.6 is not fast at all: but then again, it relates to the price.

Definitely a great walkaround lens for people on a budget who don't mind the drawbacks.