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Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX Micro-Nikkor

pic_001
Review Date: May 20, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $199.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: SHARP, very, very sharp, great color saturation and contrast, AF-S, good close up capabilities, light and compact
Cons:
Won't work as full frame on my eventual FX body

Not sure who moderates or manages this section here at FM, but the photo shown for this lens here is wrong. The image shows a Nikkor 60mm f2.8 AF-S Micro, not the 35mm f2.8.

 
Nikon 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR DX -Nikkor

pic_001-1
Review Date: Jan 19, 2010 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Sharp, compact, spot on focus, quick and quiet AF.
Cons:
A bit more vignette that I would like at the tele end (for stitched panos).

Easily the best kit lens I've used (Nikon or Canon) including much more "expensive) ones (Canon 18-55mm IS or not, 28-135mm IS, 17-55mm f2.8 IS or Nikon 18-55mm VR, 18-70mm, 18-200mm VR, etc)

 
Nikon 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR DX -Nikkor

pic_001-1
Review Date: Jan 19, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, compact, spot on focus, quick and quiet AF.
Cons:
A bit more vignette that I would like at the tele end (for stitched panos).

Easily the best kit lens I've used (Nikon or Canon) including much more "expensive) ones (Canon 18-55mm IS or not, 28-135mm IS, 17-55mm f2.8 IS or Nikon 18-55mm VR, 18-70mm, 18-200mm VR, etc)

 
Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC

18-50f28
Review Date: May 21, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros:
Cons:

Maybe this is not the place -- but shouldn't there be a separate entry for the EX Macro version of this lens?



 
Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM

efs60_28macro_usm
Review Date: May 20, 2007 Recommend? | Price paid: $380.00

 
Pros: Compact, lightweight, price, can use with onboard flash, fantastic bokeh, fast ring USM with full-time manual over ride, etc
Cons:
not FF

(Samples at bottom)

Lets face it, you'd be hard pressed to find an optically bad macro lens. In my experience the 60mm is every bit as sharp as the other macro I've used (Canon 100mm, Sigma 150mm and 105mm, and Nikon 60mm and 105mm VR). So rather than compare the Canon 60mm (disclaimer - one of my favorite lenses ever) with any of these other fine macro lenses, I'll just point our some reasons why I find this lens so incredibly useful and used:

1. I like to travel light. The Canon is barely larger than most 50mm 1.4 lenses. It also does not extend when focusing - something no other compact macros can do to my knowledge (Nikon 60mm, Sigma 50, Canon 50mm f2.8, etc). This lens packs wonderfully into almost any small bag for your kit.

2. Since the lens does not extend and is compact (see above) it can be used with the onboard flash even at 1:1 without casting a shadow on your subject -- not sure if any other Macros can pull this off. This allows me to travel even lighter since I don't have to pack off camera flashes or on lens macro ring flashes. Purists will scoff at onboard flash use, but I think that I've gotten some damn good photos using it, especially since I would have had NO photo at all since I would rarely if ever carry the amount of equipment required to do this otherwise.

3. The lens has a very nice ring-USM focusing system. As fast or nearly as fast as any lens out there.

4 Price. Yes I have a budget, not many true macros out there that go for less.

5. Absolutely wonderful bokeh, oh so buttery!! Canon talks about rounded aperture blades, yadda, yadda - something they did works well here. While the background smears wonderfully together, the lens is amazingly sharp wide open.

6. 60mm on a crop body is 96mm - that combined with #5 makes for a very nice portrait lens. Got more use from this lens for that reason than the Canon 85 1.8 (a wonderful lens) that felt a bit long on my 30D.

7. For reasons of it's compact size, light weight and quick focus, the lens is JOY to hand hold (hey less stuff to carry!!). I've even have used the lens very successfully holding the camera in one hand.

Down-sides?

1. You have to work pretty close/stealthily with a 60mm macro - more so than a say 150mm Sigma, but this is well worth the trade off for the Pros outlined above - size, on-board flash, etc

2. No can do on FF bodies - not really a problem since I can't afford these bodies. It might also not be the ideal lens to use with Adriana Lima - but for the same reason, I'm not too worries.


There you have it, some samples:

Bokeh:

http://www.pbase.com/pyanez/image/79071462

http://www.pbase.com/pyanez/image/79083170

Macro with on-board-flash:

http://www.pbase.com/pyanez/image/61531223

http://www.pbase.com/pyanez/image/79048687

Sharpness wide-open (or nearly so):

http://www.pbase.com/pyanez/image/59467741

Holdability (one handed shooting):

http://www.pbase.com/pyanez/image/59467741

http://www.pbase.com/pyanez/image/76299503

Portraits:

http://www.pbase.com/pyanez/image/60356474

Many more examples here:

http:/www.pbase.com/pyanez/macro


 
Tamron 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di II

18_200mm
Review Date: Mar 5, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Range
Cons:
Sharpness, CA, focusing speed

Did a careful side by side comparison between this lens and the similar Sigma 18-200. I found the Sigma to be better in almost very way - including: sharpness, focusing accuracy and CA. The one positive for the Tamron was that it proved to be a longer lens than the Sigma which had noticibly shorter reach (~180mm).


 
Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

ef_28-135_35_1_
Review Date: Feb 24, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $110.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Fast USM, Sharp, Compact, Nice Range, Price, Solid Build for Consumer Lens
Cons:
Sometimes low contrast, Not Wide Enough on 1.6X

Very nice lens especially for the price (I picked mine up used). You can see lots of samples at:

http://www.pbase.com/pyanez/patagonia


 
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

EF10-22
Review Date: Feb 24, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, Close Focus, Color Richness
Cons:
Price, EF-S only

Great lens, probably my favorite lens. Wish it was not EF-S for future camera bodies.

Lots of Samples Here:

http://www.pbase.com/pyanez/patagonia


 
Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM

efs60_28macro_usm
Review Date: Jul 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: SHARP, pretty fast USM, compact, good build quality, excellent contrast and color, short lens allows usage of built-in flash for macro work
Cons:
EF-S digital only - this doesn't bother me, but it might others, price higher than other non-canon macros, but these don't have USM (which is nice for non-macro work)

My corneas as still bleeding from how sharp this lens is...