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Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR AF-S

70-300vr
Review Date: Jul 17, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, light, excellent VR
Cons:
Slightly soft at 300mm (but not nearly as bad as I expected)

I am an amateur but do my best. This lens continues to surprise me. I bought it a few years ago next to my Nikon D50 and thought it was a very nice lens for its price. Then I became more critical, upgraded to a D90, and started buying more lenses (mostly third-party lenses but with good reviews).. and by now I think it is a great lens.

Between 70 and 200mm, sharpness is really excellent and comparable to that of my Tokina 100mm F/2.8 macro. 300mm is less perfect but still good. For the occasional bird and wildlife, images taken at around 270mm/F8 (which have slightly better quality than when taken at 300mm) and scaled up to 400mm have nearly the same quality as pictures taken with my Sigma 400mm F/5.6 prime. The AF-S focus is obviously much better than that of the (non-AFS) Sigma, and VR works great.

The lens is nicely compact and lightweight. And it must have a good build, because I dropped it once onto a concrete floor, cracking the plastic viewing glass above the distance scale, but everything is still working flawlessly.

All in all, one of my best buys.



 
Tokina 100mm f/2.8 AT-X 100 AF PRO D

AT-XM100PRO_D
Review Date: Jul 16, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp; useful macro range
Cons:
Over-exposes on Nikon D90 when stopped down; filter ring screws loose

As a beginner in macro, I like this lens. It has a great price, is very sharp and fairly fast, although maximum aperture decreases in macro range. I did run into two issues, though. I have no idea why, but on my Nikon D90 pictures with this lens (only) come out over-exposed by 1 stop at all apertures except wide open. This is consistent and easy to compensate (but also easy to forget). Also, shortly after arrival the tiny screws around the filter ring loosened. One had came loose altogether and I was lucky to find it in the plastic bag I keep the lens in. A small QC issue, I presume, and after tightening they now seem OK.

Overall, an attractive lens for my purposes.