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Sigma 50-500mm f4-6.3 EX APO RF HSM

50_500EX_mdl_1_
Review Date: May 19, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $999.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: insane zoom range (50-500) - price
Cons:
f/6.3

I have 50-500 EX DG HSM Nikon mount

First impressions: not as heavy as you get in your head listening to people talking about the lens and how necessary a tripod is. It definately lives up to its nickname -- the Bigma.

The HSM focus is quick, quiet, and accurate...it just gets right out there where it needs to be and BOOM it locks on. Tracking works very quickly too. Much better than my 80-200 2.8 D ED non AFS.

Anyway, I'd recommend this lens without thinking...it's definately a lot of bang for the buck...although it's definately not cheap (at a grand) but for what you get, it's a decision that should come easy.

And don't believe all the hype about needing a tripod -- I'm not very big and it's no problem to hand-hold it. It's actually easier to carry around while walking than say an 80-200 mounted as the tripod collar flips up and acts as a handle.


 
Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor

2137NCP_180
Review Date: Nov 26, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $100.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Price, good for low-light, light-weight
Cons:
it feels kind of cheap (but heck it is cheap)

I think this lens is a must-have for any Nikon owner. The image quality is superb. For low-light, this lens is awesome.

It weighs nearly nothing and may be cheaply built, but it's cheap, so you won't have to worry about breaking it or something. The image quality that it delivers won't give you any hint of the price you paid for it...for that reason alone, you should get one.

It's great for portraits or headshots, but you will have to get close to frame your subject depending on the effect you want...and for that reason, for headshots with that killer low DOF, I'd say the 85 1.8 would be a better buy -- but if you're saving for the 85 1.8, you won't be mad at yourself for digging into your stash early and dropping a hundred bucks on this lens in the mean time to get you by.


 
Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8D ED AF

1986NAS_180
Review Date: Jul 27, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, fast, great AF
Cons:
it's a little bit heavy, but bearable

This lens is a great lens. It's super fast, and I personally couldn't afford the 70-200 VR, so I found a nice 80-200 used. It's super sturdy...I was a little worried about buying a used lens with no warranty, but once I picked this up and felt how sturdy it was and how great the build quality was, I was sure that even if treated roughly, it would still be fine.

Mine isn't the AF-S version or whatever, but I find that it focuses really fast (on my d70 -- I heard it focuses faster on the d2x and other top of the line cameras).

The only thing I can compare it to from experience is the Canon EF 75-300 f/4-5.6 -- and this lens beats that one up and down the field and then some...superb quality, great colors, fast, and I have no problem hand-holding it at 200mm at a slower shutter speed (1/100 or so) in bad lighting.


 
Nikon D70s

D70
Review Date: Jul 2, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $999.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast buffer speed, fast focusing, incredible dynamic range, feels great in my hands.
Cons:
Dusty sensor from the factory.

I got my d70 after having a 300d for a good while. The 300d always felt so cheap and small in my hands and I always felt a bit 'handicapped' when trying to keep up with the action.

The d70 really flies...I always use the largest picture size and fine quality JPG shooting, and it says it has 9 shots left in the buffer, but it just keeps firing away...It will drop to 7, then back to 8, 7, 8, etc...just keeps going. Whereas on my rebel, it would take 4 shots, pause for about 5 seconds, repeat, etc.

The build quality is great. It feels really solid and for the price, it's a best buy, no doubt. Obviously, the d2x is going to be tougher, but that's not in my price range at the moment.

Some day, I hope to have a d2x and then my d70 can retire to my beloved backup body.


 
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

ef75_300_1_
Review Date: Mar 13, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: gets focal length where it needs to be
Cons:
slow to focus sometimes, hunts for it.

This lens is excellent. I'm not sure why everyone has something bad to say about it. If it's not 'that great' above 200mm, but fine above 200, at least there's the extra 100mm there incase you do need it.

Which I don't think is the case anyway. I can get tack sharp photos up to and including 300mm. If anyone says otherwise, I'd say it's them and not the lens.

It can sometimes be slow to focus and hunt around a lot, but it's certainly not unbearable at all.

GREAT lens for a great price...perfect longer lens for a first time buyer and will definately yield quality results in the right hands.