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Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED DX VR AF-S

55-200dx
Review Date: Nov 5, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $150.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Light, good VR system, compact. Way better at f/8 and /11 than any lens this cheap has any right to be. Should be in everyone's compact kit. Look for refurb versions for as little as 150, and get the VR version.
Cons:
Terrible MF capability.



 
Sigma 20mm f/1.8 EX DG Aspherical RF

20_f1_8_1_
Review Date: Nov 5, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 5 

 
Pros: Wide and fast.
Cons:
Wasn't sharp on DX. Giant 82mm filter. Getting pretty big. It went back to the store. Awkward MF clutch.



 
Sigma 24mm f1.8 EX DG Aspherical Macro

24_f1_8_1_
Review Date: Nov 5, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $175.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fun macro ability. My copy was ridiculously sharp on DX, even from f/1.8 (kicked the 20/1.8 hollow).
Cons:
77mm filter. Exposed front element. Awkward MF clutch.

A great option given the few fast wides for DX.

 
Nikon 85mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor

1931NCP_180
Review Date: Nov 5, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Small, quick AF, good rendering, a bargain. My favorite lens.
Cons:
Spinning MF ring can get in the way a bit. As you stop down the apeture doesn't remain quite as circular as one would like, so it's usually used wide-open.



 
Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor

1902NCP_180
Review Date: Nov 5, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros:
Cons:



 
Nikon 20mm f/2.8D AF Nikkor

1913NAS_180
Review Date: Nov 5, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Compact.
Cons:
Softer than I'd like; even on DX.



 
Nikon 180mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF Nikkor

1940NAS_180
Review Date: Nov 5, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Razor sharp. Smaller than a zoom. Great manual focus feel.
Cons:
Slow AF. MF clutch is annoying.


Buy the older versions; they're all the same optically.


 
Nikon 10.5mm f/2.8G ED DX Fisheye AF

10
Review Date: Nov 5, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: It's ridiculously fun. Compact.
Cons:
It's far more expensive than the manual focus Samyang alternatives that exist now.



 
Nikon 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED DX AF-S

18-135dx
Review Date: Nov 5, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $150.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: A very useful range.
Cons:
The falloff never bothered me; it bothers some people. Lacks VR.

It's an absolute bargain at ebay prices these days. The lack of VR does make it mostly a daytime lens.