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Nikon 300mm f/4 ED-IF AF-S Nikkor

1909NAS_180
Review Date: Sep 23, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, fast-focusing, usable with the latest Nikon teleconverters, and you can handhold it and still produce sharp photos
Cons:
Tripod collar (Nikon really needs to do a better job on this...this is NOT a new issue!), lack of VR

I own a previous version of this lens (Nikkor 300mm H), and I bought the 300mm AF-S when I bought my D100...what can I say, I was seduced by autofocus! On the D100, I found the AF somewhat sluggish, and sometimes it seemed to "hunt" for a place to focus. Now, with the D200, it is wonderful....much faster focusing, and it locks on very well, even with moving creatures. Even using the Nikon TC 1.4, I find the photos to be tack sharp! Although it would always be preferable to use a tripod with this lens, I often use my car as a "blind" to photograph birds, and this lens a good size and weight for handholding....and, still produces good results. I think VR would be an improvement, but the extra weight might cancel out the added benefit. Occasionally, I hear a high-pitched whine in the AF when I have not used the lens in awhile, but it goes away after a minute or so of use, and it doesn't seem to affect performance. I would recommend this lens to anyone who enjoys photographing birds and other wildlife!

 
Nikon 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR

2145NCP_180
Review Date: Sep 22, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Good size for carry-around, light weight for size, VR
Cons:
Somewhat soft at 24mm

I bought this lens in March 2005, after waiting on a list for the 17-55mm DX VR lens. I wanted something besides my 105mm micro lens to take with me to the desert. After reading Moose Peterson's review of this lens (note: he has since switched to the 17-55mm DX VR), I decided to give it a try. I never took this lens off my D100 during the two weeks I spent at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and Cuyamaca Rancho State Park! It is just great for carrying while hiking and capturing that reptile or butterfly that stops briefly then moves on. This lens zooms in so far that I even used it for plant close-ups. And, I cannot say enough about VR....this camera sold me so much on VR that I bought the new 105mm AF-S VR lens. I have since passed the D100 on to my husband, but the 24-120mm AF-S VR lens came with me and is now the main lens I use on my D200. If I could only use one lens on my camera, it would be this one!