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Nikon 105mm f/2D AF DC-Nikkor

1932NAS_180
Review Date: Sep 30, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Build Quality; IQ; DC control; Compact Size; Balance with large bodies; Recessed Front Element = Flare Control; Good MF action
Cons:
Not AFS;

Cameras Used: D2x, D2Hs

This lens has become one of my favorite lenses - the build quality, image quality, defocus control, flare control, balance with large bodies, and most importantly the compact size. Because of the size, this lens has found itself in my travel bag to replace the 85/1.4 which takes up lots of real estate in a bag.

This lens shared a lot of time with the 85/1.4 as the focal lengths are almost comparable. The MF action is pretty smooth, but the lack of AFS makes it difficult to shoot subjects with quite a bit of action (sports/kids/moving events). The AF speed is ok, but it does tracks well and snaps right into focus w/o hunting. The DC feature is a great feature that works well for portraiture, events, & still life shots.

This lens is an great example of excellent nikkor lens build quality. It is a tank and the image quality is excellent.


 
Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G AF-S DX

DX-17-55_L
Review Date: Sep 30, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Build; IQ; Fast AF; Weather-sealed; Balance with D2 pro bodies
Cons:
Size/Weight; DX-only

Cameras used: D2x, D2Hs

This lens is my goto close quarters event lens. The AF speed, the IQ wide open is very good, stopped to f/4 - 5.6 is excellent, focal length coverage make it perfect for event photography in close quarters with a 1.5x crop DSLR. For indoors, just throw in the SU-800, 2x SB-800 or SB-600s and you can pretty much cover any event.

Weather-sealing is a huge plus as well; For outdoor events, I really just carry this lens + the 70-200 to cover 90% of the shots.

The versatility of the lens makes it a mainstay in my bag for event photography, but it has not made my shortlist of favorite lenses. I suppose I'm more favorable to primes around 85 to 135 (35mm equivalent) and less to wides & zooms.


 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

ef50mmf_14usm_1_
Review Date: Jun 4, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $250.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Decent build for the price; Fast at 1.4; Sharp and Contrasty at f/4 and up; excellent bokeh; silent focus; accurate color
Cons:
Not too impressed with the manual focus action both in USM full-time manual on auto mode and manual mode; Very soft wide open;

I first shot with the 50/1.8 II, the lens was sharp, contrast, and light but wasn't too impressed with the build.

I purchased the 50/1.4 used for the better build quality, the full-time manual, and image quality. The lens is really soft wide open, it needs to be stopped down to f/3.0 or higher to get super sharp images. The color, contrast, and bokeh are very good for the lens.

My biggest complaint may just apply to the copy I have used, the focus ring isn't really smooth, and the turn-to-focus ratio is much to high for my tastes (which translates to large turns to focus). This factor didn't make shooting with this lens very enjoyable for my tastes. I luckily found a 50/1.8 Mk1 that gives be the best of both worlds.


 
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

ef85mmf_18usm_1_
Review Date: Jun 4, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $275.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast AF; Excellent Bokeh; Silent focus; Sharp and Contrasty; Excellent value; Excellent build quality.
Cons:
None

This is one of my favorite lenses in the lineup for portraiture and candids. The AF with the this lens is one of the fastest I've shot with, just lagging behind the 70-200/2.8L non-IS.

Shooting close quarters indoor candids, I tend to find this lens on my camera almost permanently for the working distance, the speed for lowlight, and the AF speed. This lens is very sharp around f/3.0 and up. Contrast and color are very good. Bokeh is pleasing.