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Nikon 18-70 f/3.5-4.5G AFS DX

DX-18-70_L
Review Date: Sep 30, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $180.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Price, quality, silent AF, sharpness (stopped down f/5.6)
Cons:
Slow variable aperture

For the price I paid this lens is performing very well. I bought this lens as a temporary solution to a dilemma (won't need to go into that). I have fund it to be responsive and sharp enough for the general use I put it through.

My particular copy does not vignette or have sharpness problems as noted in some previous reviews...I guess it's the luck of the draw.

Only downside for me is speed (f3.5-4.5), but at such a good price it's not so bad. For speed there are primes:)




 
Sigma 15-30mm f3.5-4.5 EX Aspherical DG DF

15_30f35_45_1_
Review Date: Nov 23, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Focal length range, build, sharpness
Cons:
Filtering (only on FF or 1.5 crop). lens flair

I owned this lens for my Maxxum 7D (1.5 crop) and now have it for my Sigma SD14. On the Maxxum it was super sharp, sharper than the Minolta 17-35 f/2.8. My only quarrel with it was when I used a circular polarizing filter it vignetted a very noticeable amount. With the SD14 (1.7 crop) no vignetting is recorded.

On my sd14 the focal range is great. The lens performs well at all focal lengths. The lenses sharpest f-stop on mine seems to be f/5.6 to f/8 @ 30mm. At 15mm f/11 is best. I usually manual focus the lens to the hyperfocal when shooting landscapes at 15mm, this seems to produce the best sharpness.

Lens flair is controlled, but watch the sun! At certain angles to the sun it's very prone to flair even with the lens hood adapter on.

CA is well controlled too.

Too bad it's discontinued. This lens IMO is optically better than Sigmas 10-22 or 17-50.



 
Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 EX Aspherical DG DF

24_70EX_med_1_
Review Date: Aug 6, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $430.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Cost, AF performance, build, sharpness (stopped down a bit)
Cons:
AF noise (questionable), 82mm filter thread, AF/MF clutch

All in all this lens is a sound choice for those on a budget and can not afford the Canikon equivalent. For me spending over 1K on the 24-70L was quite a stretch, so after reading this site I decided to go with the Sigma, and I'm glad I did.

AF speed is good and the noise is bearable, quite frankly I think some folks are too spoiled (or nit picky) when concerning the lens AF noise. Unless you need to be stealthy get this lens... I use a RF for stealthy stuff.

It's quite sharp enough for me and even better at f/5.6 to f/8.

Solid build is quite nice and supplied hood is great, though I am not a fan of the AF/MF clutch mechanism

As for the 82mm filter size it's not so bad. The money you saved buying this lens will pay for more than enough filters. Plus with 82mm, vignetting is not so prevalent.