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  Reviews by: Dirk Hiemstra  

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Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X 116 PRO DX SD

Review Date: Jan 25, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, very good IQ, less distortion as competitors. Built like a tank.
Small zoom range

Sold my Nikon 12-24mm 4.0 to buy this. Says it all.

Tokina 50-135mm f/2.8 AT-X 535 AF PRO DX

Review Date: Jan 25, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp en good contrast, even at 2.8 ! Light compared to 80-200mm 2.8. Small. Built like a tank. Closest focus 1 mtr.
No SWM. Hard to get, discontinued ?

On a DX camera I tried the Sigma 70-200, Nikon 80-200 AFD, Nikon 80-200 AFS and allthough perfect lenses, they didn't match my style of shooting. Looking for a portable, zoom portaitlens with very nice bokeh, this is it. Sharp from 1 mtr onwards. Usable in home. The 70-200 for DX (only) ! Should have bought earlier.

Nikon 300mm f/4 ED-IF AF-S Nikkor

Review Date: Jan 9, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, fast and well built.
No Vr.

The only way to go to a "normal" 400mm is this tele + TC 1.4. It is a shame Nikon does not have a affordable 400mm 5.6 AF-S. Thought I should go the Sigma route but honestly, the 300 AFS + TC is the only way if you want to have excellent image quality. Should have bought this years ago. Wow !

Nikon 24-85mm f/2.8-4D IF AF

Review Date: Jan 9, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp wide open ! Nice colours, versatile macro setting 1:2, very nice bookeh through 9 blades diafragm
No AF-S, no fixed aperture

The best kitlens I've ever had. Great for my portraitstyle of shooting. Even macro 1:2 is very usable. Really sharp wide open, top sharp one stop closed. Amazing Swiss Armee Knife. Fast for a non AF-S.

Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 EX APO IF HSM

Review Date: Nov 18, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp from the beginning at 2.8, even better at 4.0, nice colouring, fast HSM. Accepts Sigma TC 1.4.
Closest focussing at appr 1.5 mtr

Quite a surprice for the price. No complaints apart from the weight.

Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 EX Aspherical DG DF

Review Date: Nov 14, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Stopped down it is sharp. Real sharp.
Heavy. Clutch system, no manual override. A bit soft at 2.8

I had the possibility to make a comparison to the Nikon 24-85 2.8-4.0. Hands down for the Nikon. On the other hand, the Sigma aint a bad lens, it is very, very good on F4 and above

Tamron 18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF) AF

Review Date: Jul 19, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Range, sharpness, IQ
None for the purpose I use this lens

For everyday use this lens is excellent. I have the motorised version for Nikon D40/D60 and it is fast and silent. Faster than most screwdrive lenses but not as fast as AF-S. Although all depend on range (18-250 is more range than any other lense). For specialities I use other lenses, for day to day family use I use this one. Super ! Better (sharper) than Tamron 18-200. Worth every penny.

Sigma 150mm f2.8 APO Macro DG EX HSM

Review Date: Jul 1, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness is unbelievable ! Fast AF for a macro. All time manual override. IF. Very high IQ.
Doesnot accept Kenko/Soligor TC's.

I started macro with a Panagor 90mm MF and thought it was superb. Then I found a second hand Sigma 90mm AF and switched directly. After that I saved some money to buy a second hand Nikon 105 mm AFD. Wow, what a piece of equipment. And then this masterpiece was looking at me.. It is the best I've ever seen in macro, specially for bugs and other tiny creepy creatures. I confirm all positive reviews rated 9 and more.. !
Only drawback: I had to buy a new Sigma TC 1,4 because the Kenko/Soligor did not work: it hunts for some seconds and leaves the battery indicator blinking on empty.

Sigma 24-60mm f2.8 EX DG Lens

Review Date: Dec 27, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $100.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness, bookeh, speed

Bought mine second hand for 120. Cheapest new price is around 240 in Europe. Fantastic lens for my style of family pictures (indoor portraits). A little soft at 2.8, sharp from 3.2, extremely sharp from 4.0 eevn in the corners ! The best I have seen in the priceclass up to 500,- in this range. Allthough the range could be a little wider (+10 on both sides will do) I find this an extremely useful 2.8 lense. The little quality difference with Nikons 17-55 2.8 will be completely equalised by the big price difference. There is no cheaper way to enter the lightgroup of 2.8 users.

Sigma 400mm f5.6 APO Tele Macro HSM

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

Pros: Sharp, good contrast even at 5.6, better at 8.0. Decent built. Cheap second hand
Out of programm ! Hunts sometimes in low light.

I am talking about the non-HSM version for Nikon. For the price you cannot find any better 400mm in the market. Sharp to the edges. Can easily be used with a teleconverter such as Kenko PRO 300 1.4. I did some tests to see the difference with the Nikon 80-400VR and concluded the Nikon (on 400mm where it wil be used mostly) can not compete the Sigma, VR does not give better images and the details with the Sigma (on monopod) are unbelievable. Don't think of 135-400, 80-400, 170-500 or 50-500 if you can find one of these !
Also no problems whatsoever with Nikon, all apertures can be used, all working nicely.
It's a shame Sigma discontinued the lens !!

Nikon 70-210mm f/4-5.6D AF

Review Date: Nov 27, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros: Price on second hand market
Not that sharp, lacks a bit of contrast

Nice lens, but can't compete the newer Nikon stuff. Especially sharpness and contract are a bit disappointing. In general the low cost plastic 80-200 gives sharper pictures and the 28-200G or 18-200VR is a far better choice.

Nikon 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF

Review Date: Nov 27, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Good value for money. Sharp. Nice macro. Lightweight.
No wide angle on DSLR

I was looking for some kind of a low budget 200mm solution going together with a kitlens and found several possibilities as the 70-210, 55-200, 80-200 and 28-200 D. The expensive 18-200 VR was no option budgetwise, neither were the 2.8 varieties... 28-200D has no added value apart from the aperture ring and the "professional" weight and pictures from this lens are poor. Also my copy of the 70-210 gave me (to)soft pictures. The only lens equaling the picture quality of the 28-200G was the 80-200, even the 55-200 did not come close. Changing lenses is no big fun, you always miss the ultimate shot, so I decided to go for the 28-200G. As already stated, picture quality is very good compared to its rivals and this lens is a very nice lightweigthed walkaround lens for mainly outside the house: you only could miss the wide end, but I didn't..