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Nikon 85mm f/2.8 PC Micro-Nikkor

1458NAS_180
Review Date: Jun 1, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $100.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, corrects linear abnormalities pretty well and interesting toy for a week-end
Cons:
cost, build might be suspect over time, cost....

The $100 price was a week-end rental cost. I would never actually buy one of these, as the cost would never meet the practicality of owning one. I have an old calumet 4x5 with several lenses that cost less than 1/3 this lens retails for. And....it does all that this does...and more, only much better.
I rented it because I wanted to do some architecture photos digitally. It worked pretty much better than expected, but if I ever need one again, I'll just rent it.
Otherwise, if you've got way more money than you need, and would rather have a lens that's equal in cost to a great tropical island vacation, buy one of these...for sure.


 
Nikon 200mm f/4D ED-IF AF Micro-Nikkor

1989NCP_180
Review Date: May 30, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: on a dslr, an INCREDIBLE 300 f4 macro lens !!!!!!!!!!!!! Sharp, sharp, sharp. Great macro ability
Cons:
none, so far

7/6/03 update:
I was recently asked through email about the price paid for the lens, the guy asking where? at this cost...well, here's a disclaimer.....
I always buy my equipment used.... KEH (can I say that Fred?) or any number of other places like camera shows? Maybe, ...an online auction.
I guess I've been lucky so far.

This lens becomes an incedible 300mm f4 MACRO lens on a dslr, giving a fabulous 1/10" dof @ f4 and 2 ft !!!!!!
You better have razor sharp site for that. Talk about controlled selective focus..... I've filled the frame with a grasshoppers head and got just the tip of of one eye in crystal clear sharp focus. It's great fun for birds, concerts, camping and any macro you might try...
Get one, it's fun the whole family will enjoy !!!! Oh....try it for portraits or at a wedding....outstanding.


 
Nikon 60mm f/2.8D AF Micro-Nikkor

1987NCP_180
Review Date: May 30, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $340.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, crisp color rendition, close, close focusing, 90mm on nikon dslr
Cons:
none

This has become my new "favorite" lens on my Fuji dslr. It's sharp versatile, has excellent color rendition... macro is incredible...and best of all, it's now a fine portrait lens with macro-ability(?) !!!
It's the lens that usually lives on my camera while I'm walking point a-b, driving or hiking. It's size and weight are perfect for on camera hiking and general hoofing around the city or backcountry.
Get one and see for yourself.


 
Nikon 20mm f/2.8D AF Nikkor

1913NAS_180
Review Date: May 30, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $330.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, crisp and fun
Cons:
on a dslr, it's 30mm :/

For film, it's one of the most "fun" lenses I like to use. On the dslr.....well, it's still a nice, sharp, semi-wide angle almost losing that awful glare problem you get without a shade. It's a nice all around wide angle lens you can use for almost any shooting. indoor or out. The barrel effect on close-up is kind of fun too, used sparingly.
Great lens and way, way cheaper than most inferior 3rd party zooms.


 
Nikon 180mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF Nikkor

1940NAS_180
Review Date: May 30, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Next to the 105 2.5. possibly Nikon's sharpest, most versatile prime lens.
Cons:
none

I don't use this lens as often as I probably should, considering the speed and quality of the glass. It's mechanical build is superior to most zooms and 3rd party lenses, and can withstand years of abusive use. Should last forever under ideal conditions. It's a bit too long for portraits(?), and maybe too short for wildlike.....but if you walk around with it for a day or two, with just this lens, you'll see why it was a photojournalist's favorite lens for so many decades.
The new 70/80-200 f2.8 zooms are close to this in quality, as far as sharpness, but over all color rendition and sharpness belong to the 180 f2.8, hands down.


 
Nikon 50mm f/1.8 AF Nikkor

1906NCP_180
Review Date: May 25, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $65.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, excellent color, fast focusing
Cons:

I actually use this lens more often then my 50 f1.4.... don't know why, guess because it's so cheap and works so well.
Probably one of nikons best lenses.


 
Nikon 300mm f/4 ED-IF AF-S Nikkor

1909NAS_180
Review Date: May 25, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light, sharp and quick focusing, mostly, reasonably priced used
Cons:
not a 2.8

It's not a 2.8, so those early morning/dusk shots of the flocking geese are out, kind of. It's as sharp as it's very expensive bigger brother....
But, it's so light, my girlfriend doesn't even complain about carrying it up a hill in her backpack!!! The much larger and much, much heavier 300 f2.8 would mean I would have to carry something, and as it is, I'm pretty busy looking around. I'd hate for her to get so tired of carrying camera equipment that she couldn't cook and set up camp, right???
So, do it for her, guys...
Get the smaller. lighter, cheaper 300 f4
It's a great lens


 
Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor

1902NCP_180
Review Date: May 25, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $105.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Incredibly sharp and contrasty lens at f1.4-22! Cheap, considering. great all around lens for general shooting
Cons:
None, so far

Sharp, sharp lens with fantastic color rendition, and as a plus, with d-slr(1.5x), makes a great f1.4 portrait lens as well!

 
Sigma 17-35mm f2.8-4 EX Aspherical

17_35f2_8_4EX_1_
Review Date: Mar 30, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $245.00 | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: cheap, fair results with proper use
Cons:
kind of soft wide open, but at 5.6 or better at the wide end,it's a good lens 5/25/03- sharpness, color issues

I rated this lens great because of the price and quality of the lens itself.
The photos I've taken with it have all been acceptable, sharpness and color wise. Some even excellent, under ideal conditions. What I would expect from any well made, high quality lens.
The body and mechanical parts probably won't hold up under a photojournalists demand for years of happy use, but for an average to frequent shooter, it's fine.
It focuses quick and accurately at all focal lenths and the glass is aspheric and multicoated. At 17mm it's a bit "barrelly", but I sort of expected that.
It's good enough for pro use, but it's toughness is still a question???

5/25/03- update.... The lens, after more regular use, has proven to be shy on the sharpness with my d-slr. Color rendition is pretty sad as well, in spots?!?
It's pretty fair for film use, but has some real issues for digital for some reason.
I'm selling it and buying the nikkor 18-35. I don't think the loss of 1mm will make a difference, and I know the quality should make a big difference.
As far as recommending it, I'd say if you find one under 250, it might worth taking a look, but 300+, forget it. Save a few bucks and get the real thing.


8/6/03 update.....it's good for 5x7 color/b&w print work, but one of the worst wide angle lenses I've ever used for shooting chromes. I gotta get rid of this thing......