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  Reviews by: Jeff Spain  

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Nikon 35-70mm f/2.8D AF

Review Date: Jan 15, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $440.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp lens, light, sharp,
some flare in front lit situations

Razor sharp lens! This lens is sharper than my 85mm or my 80-200 mm zoom. Superb IQ. It has the old push pull zoom, but you get use to it. The lens tends to lose contrast when facing into direct light, so use a lens hood or your hand.

This is the best value on pro glass around. For a fraction of the price of the new zooms in this range you can have a pro quality lens. Highly recommend. The 35-70 range is out of favor on DX cameras, so take advantage of the fire sale prices.

Tokina 19-35mm f/3.5-4.5 AF 193

Review Date: Jan 12, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $150.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Great focusing and zoom rings, sharp images after f8
plastic lens

A very slow consumer type lens. Oddly, it turns into pro level images at F8 to F16. It is sharper than my Nikon Prime lens in this range. Love, love the big tire pattern rubber focus and zoom rings, wish all cameras had this style. Soft wide open or stopped down all the way, CA and some purople fringe wide open.

Drawbacks are it is a very slow lens. I shoot a few landscapes at F16 so this works great. Superb value for your dollar. If all you shoot is pro landscapes, spend 4 times more for the name lens. Highly recommend for 99% of the users looking for a wide angle zoom.

Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8D ED AF

Review Date: Jan 4, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $420.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: quaility, zoom range

I bought this used at the local camera store in the 1990's. This and the 35-70mm was what all the pros used back in the film days. No VR or AF-S, but a wonderful lens. I used this lens all the time on my film cameras. Since switching to digital, I now only use this for sporting events. For events with the 1.5 DX multiplier this becomes a 105-300 mm lens and is perfect for sports! In the studio, I still use it sometimes for portraits, but prefer my 85 mm lens for that.

If you buy a UV filter, you receive a special lens cap that goes with it. The lens is partially recessed, so a UV filter may not be needed as much to protect the glass. Love shooting wide open with the pleasing bokeh around f3.3 to f4

Nikon 28mm f/2.8D AF Nikkor

Review Date: Jan 4, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $210.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: price, weight

Nice lens for 28 mm. Sadly with my stable of DX cameras, I no longer use this focal length. Picture quality is ok, but nothing to write home about. Oddly, my Tamron 17-50 mm zoom takes almost as good a photo at 28 mm and f2.8. The Tamron zoom is DX lens and vignettes wide open.

I will be selling this soon since with DX cameras, I no longer use this focal length.

Nikon 50mm f/1.8 AF Nikkor

Review Date: Jan 4, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $105.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: price, size, weight

Everyone should own this lens. Pro glass at discount prices. It is so small that I just carry it in the pocket of my jacket in case I need it. Shots are extremely sharp from f2.8 and up. Plastic parts, but for 100 bucks what do you expect? Bokeh wide open is a little rough. Best value of any Nikon lens.

Nikon 85mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor

Review Date: Jan 4, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Quality images, great low light photography

This was my all time favorite lens back in the day of film cameras. Great quaility photos and nice bokeh wide open. Since switching to digital, this has become my portrait lens. Portraits shot in the f2.8-f4 range have wonderful defocused backgrounds that makes the subject pop in the picture. Haven't needed the extra spped of the f1.4

Nikon 28mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor

Review Date: Jan 4, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: light, superb quality

The sharpest prime zoom I have ever used. Wonderful glass, solid build. No issues at all. I used this for years on my film camera. Since switching to digital, I no longer use this size lens and it has sat around unused for a few years. Just sold it for more than I paid for it.

Highly recomend if this is your focal length. Most my work is portaits and I need at least 35mm or higher.

Nikon 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5D AF

Review Date: Jan 4, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $435.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Zoom range, light, Macro
Consumer lens

This is a great walk around lens. In my studio, images are not very sharp, need to get to F11 or more for good quality. However, for a consumer lens it is better than I expected. Love the Macro Zoom feature. Not as good as the Nikon prime Macro lens, but better than I was expecting.

I no longer use this lens much for pro work, but it is the Swiss Army knife of lens and great to have for a walk around

Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF]

Review Date: Jan 4, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Price, weight, sharp photos
odd filter size, vignetting

This lens is vastly underrated. I have taken over 20,000 photos with this lens and I am amazed at how sharp they are. One of the sharpest zooms I have ever used. The only other zoom lens that can challenge this is my 35-70 mm Nikon.

The newer AF-S, VR lens are better, but at 2 or 3 times the cost. Wide open, the Bokeh is neutral. Images are very sharp from F4 on. Wide open this lens does have vignetting issues. However, with CS3 this is easily fixed using RAW files.

Odd filter size made be buy step up rings, but otherwise I am extremely happen with this lens and I am a hard core Nikon user.