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Nikon 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5D AF

1971NCP_180
Review Date: May 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $265.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: lens quality, build, weight, macro
Cons:
really none. Would prefer a 1:1 macro ratio, but you're generally not going to get that with a zoom

I bought this lens, mainly because I couldn't find the price I wanted on the Nikon 105 micro. I've been more than happy with it, and I use it as my "walk-around" lens more often than the kit 18-70mm that came with the D70. I take a lot of close-ups, and I've been very pleased with its macro capability. The zoom range lets me use it in a variety of situations, and the optics are terrific at all focal lengths.

If you want to see some photos taken with it, check out my gallery at http://www.pbase.com/gecreech/closeups.


 
Tokina 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 AT-X 840 AF-II

atx840af2
Review Date: May 15, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $480.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Solid build, price, sharpness at smaller apertures, compact
Cons:
Softeness at wider apertures (unacceptable below f/8).

I bought this lens to capture wildlife with my D70. It's solidly built (a little heavy), but compact compared to other lenses in the same category. My complaint has been the unbelievable softness at wider apertures. At F/8 and above, you can achieve good quality but below that, forget it. I've only tested it through f/22, and the sharpness improves as aperture gets smaller.

All in all, though, if you want high magnification and you can't afford the $1,400 Nikon 80-400 (which hasn't been rated much better, anyway), then go for the Tokina. I haven't found a better option, particularly for the price.