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  Reviews by: Chad Gladstone  

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Nikon 35-70mm f/2.8D AF

Review Date: Jan 30, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp and contrasty, great value - a sleeper for the price
Limited zoom range; prone to flare

Sensational lens with a limited zoom range. I have always desired this lens for its optical characteristics and discrete size, but resisted the urge because of the lack of silent wave focusing. With the aquistion of the D200, the focus speed is acceptable and its optical preformance has exceeded my expectation. Its range is perfect for portrait work where space is limited. The lens is well built and quite heavy for its modest size. Be mindful of flaring when shooting in direct sunlight even with the attached HB-1 hood, it can be objectionable. Despite the flaring issue, it is a real bargain and at a third the price of the 28-70, it sacrifices little, if any, preformance to its larger sibling (apart from the obvious lack of af-s and 7mm of wide angle).

Nikon 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR

Review Date: Jul 1, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $510.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Extremely useful range - even for aps/digital; minimal distortion at tele end and controlled CA throughout the zoom range; fast af-s focusing on virtually any body; VR very practical at the long end - even in moderate lighting; size and weight very managable for its difficult zoom range; lens hood is included.
Not the sharpest lens out there and some distortion at wide angle (could greatly benefit from DXO); consumer grade design (variable aperture and reversed zoom/focus rings).

When I first received this lens I was a little disappointed by its sharpness but that was solely because I was shooting a legendary pro VR lens exclusively up until that time. When compared to other consumer grade optics this lens performs extremely well - especially considering the difficult zoom range it covers. That versatility, coupled with the practicality of VR makes this lens one of the finest optical compromises (a size and budget conscious) consumer can buy. It is simply the best wide to medium tele travel lens Nikon currently has to offer and despite the QC problems that some early adopters reported, I have not had, nor heard of such problems by other consumers in some months.