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  Reviews by: firewireguy  

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Sigma 150mm f2.8 APO Macro DG EX HSM

Sigma_150_macro
Review Date: May 23, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Amazingly sharp lens. I've never had to apply any sharpening in post produciton with this lens, it's just incredible. The focal length is really good for me. It's supurbly built and the tripod collar is interchangable with my Nikon 70-200. The bokeh lovely.
Cons:
None
 
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO MACRO HSM

145_small_1_
Review Date: Jul 28, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Picture quality - great contrast and colours, build, fast focusing, internal zoom and focusing, weight, constant f/2.8
Cons:
none

I love this lens. I moved to it from a Sigma 70-300 F/4-5.6 DG Macro and it's just a world of difference.

The contrast and colours that come out of this lens are great and the constant f/2.8 is wonderful. It is sharp throughout the range too, even wide open. The build quality is top notch with a quality Sigma EX finish. It's reasonably heavy, but I find that it's easier to hand hold because of that. The focusing is very fast on my D50, as good as the Nikon AFS lens I own.

The lens cap is rubbish, but I can easily live with it for the quality of this glass and the images it produces.

The "macro" ability throughout the zoom range is great too, I love using this for picture of flowers.

Some examples:

http://gallery.fwgx.co.uk/main.php?g2_itemId=1735&g2_enterAlbum=0
http://gallery.fwgx.co.uk/main.php?g2_itemId=1733&g2_enterAlbum=0
http://gallery.fwgx.co.uk/main.php?g2_itemId=1742&g2_enterAlbum=0
http://gallery.fwgx.co.uk/main.php?g2_itemId=3455&g2_enterAlbum=0
http://gallery.fwgx.co.uk/main.php?g2_itemId=3487&g2_enterAlbum=0

and some portraits:

http://gallery.fwgx.co.uk/main.php?g2_itemId=2035&g2_enterAlbum=0
http://gallery.fwgx.co.uk/main.php?g2_itemId=2025&g2_enterAlbum=0
http://gallery.fwgx.co.uk/main.php?g2_itemId=2103&g2_enterAlbum=0


 
Nikon D50

d50
Review Date: Jul 28, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Good size, ergonomics, ISO performance, build quality, price, battery life is insanely good
Cons:
lots of menu diving to do occasionally. No decent grip available with controls like the 300D. Viewfinder is small but not bad for this level of camera. The built in flash does not work well at all with close subjects but is ok at a few feet

I've had mine for about 18 months now and for the price these days you can't go far wrong with this camera. It takes great pictures has a lot of decent features. It can take AF-D lens' too which makes it better than the D40x for me as I can use the nikon primes with it. The high ISO performance is good, the resolution is more than enough for what I do and I've made great prints at 12"x9" without even getting close to a resolution issue. It fit in your hand very nicely, although I would like it if it were a bit bigger like the D70/200. Good all round entry level DSLR which will serve most newcomers to the field very well indeed. I think the lack of a grip is a big pain as I would love one for portrait work.

It's hard to criticize the camera really as all my gripes with it are gripes that I'd have with any other camera of this entry range. It isn't really fair to compare it to what I now want from a camera because I'm now looking for more pro level features and ergonomics.


 
Bogen/Manfrotto 3021 Tripod Legs

product_83
Review Date: May 5, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very sturdy, will go very low and very tall (I'm 6'5" and can use it comfortably stood up), reasonably priced, center column will go horizontal, ideal for low down macro shooting.
Cons:
A bit heavy but I'm not complaining.

I was always loath to spend a reasonable amount of money on a tripod that I could put towards another lens, but I needed a new tripod to shoot a friends wedding so I thought I'd go all out and get a good one. But having stumped up the cash I am very happy that I did. I have paired it with a 486RC2 ball head which holds my 70-200f/2.8 very nicely. It's very well built and even with the center column extended to full hight is still reasonably stable and more than high enough even for me.

The weight isn't that bad really, but I don't carry it on my back.


 
Nikon 28mm f/2.8D AF Nikkor

1922NCP_180
Review Date: Oct 31, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Light, better built that the 50/1.8, reasonably quiet, good length for group shots indoors, cheap, very close and pretty quick focusing
Cons:
Still quite plasticy, afs would be nice but I've never had a massive need for it.

I got mine second hand off ebay for 70 and think it's a great lens for the price. I find that the 50mm f/1.8 is a bit long on a digital for shooting more than one person indoors during parties etc, this lens provides a good compromise that works well. I can also use it as a wide angle lens on a film body if I ever manage to afford one of those. Pretty sharp lens and nice bokeh. I'd definatly reccomend this lens, especially for the price you can't go wrong.

 
Nikon 50mm f/1.8 AF Nikkor

1906NCP_180
Review Date: Aug 21, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Light, cheap, f/1.8, only 52mm filter size so filters are cheap, front element does not rotate when focusing so circular polarisers are usable
Cons:
Very small and light when used to the 18-70mm Nikon but easy to get used to. Loud AF, attaching to the camera is a bit stiff, poor rear cap

The built quality could be better but it's more than adequate for those that don't make a habit of dropping things. The AF is noisey when it hunts.

This is my first prime lens and I've only been out shooting with it once but I really like it.

The small DoF is something I'll have to get used to but I can see myself using it a lot as I tend to like small DoF. It's been razor sharp at the aperatures I've used it at so far (1.8 - 11). The Bokeh is awesome, very smooth.

I got mine brand new imported form HK for only 70, and I got an awesome lens. Couldn't be happier with it.