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  Reviews by: LarryFRCGP  

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Sigma 150mm f2.8 APO Macro DG EX HSM

Review Date: Dec 6, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Razor sharp, fast silent focussing, comapct size, nice shoe mount

Never had a sigma lens until this one. Been argonising over a perfect macro lens and was undecided bewteen this 150mm f/2.8 and the Nikon 200mm f/4 micro-nikkor. Saw a lot of sample pics and was indeed more impressed with this sigma 150mm. Need the f/2.8 for my ageing eyes too.

My friend was persuading me to buy the Tamron 180mm f/3.5 macro which is more costly than this sigma. After seeing my pics, he asked me if I wanna trade this with his Tamron 180mm!!

Fuji FinePix S2 Pro

Review Date: Oct 12, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,560.00 | Rating: 3 

Pros: Digital version of the Velvia 50. Good colour rendition.
too plastiky feel of the body, cannot cope with Zoom gaints like 28-70mm AF-S(not to mention the 70-200VR!). CF card writing speed too slow. Only writes to FAT16 format card, and MOST OF ALL--notorious for its CCD sudden black-death!

If not for the CCD sudden black-death(that cost me US$488 to repair---OUCCH!), I would rate it a 10. Still asking for a refund form Fujifilm Hong Kong-SAR, who at time of writing ,still refuse to refund the cost of replacing this already world-wide known CCD problem. My S2 Pro died in August, their advisory notice on *certain* serial numbers came out this month. But Fuji, please, ALL S2 pro are prone to this fault, forget about the darn list of serial numbers!

I won't recommend this product until Fuji sort out this messy CCD fault.

Nikon D2Xs

Review Date: Oct 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Tank like, fast shooter, lightning speed with AF-S lens (17-35, 28-70, 70-200). Thought F5 was the ultimate until this. Boy, every $$ worth!
High ISO too grainy (why Nikon? Is that so tough a problem?), colour settings can be tricky

Never know what 12.3MP mean until I shot with this D2X. **Microscopic** level of details, may I say, esp using lens like 85mm f/1.4, the 3 AF-S "zoom kings" (17-35, 28-70, 70-200) or even the AIS 35mm f/1.4 (I need the DK-17M eyepiece with my ageing eyes). Colour tones and WB are superb. You can choose the colour of your own taste with the Adobe RGB mode I(portraits), II(mixed), III(nature). For me, I like RGB mode III most, perhaps ingrained by my earlier use of Fuji S2Pro.

I know if I wait on for another 6 months, I can pay less for the same camera. But heck, by now (3rd week of owning), I have racked up to 2000+ shots with this babe. Worth every $$. Thank you Nikon, surely deserves my faithfulness to your comapny since my first FG20 body in 1982.


Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR

Review Date: Oct 7, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,580.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Reference-standard sharpness from 70-200mm. Superb colour rendition. VR mechansim is extremely useful and reduces wastage shots. Built is tank like. In all, a dream. Worth every cents, even 2x the list price!
I would prefer a crinkled finish personally.

I have owned 3 AF 80-200mm zooms prior to this one and I was never convince Nikon can do it right for that focal length. All until I tested out this 80-200mm VR after a long wait and I found myself paying it before I realised!

Zooming is silent and lightning fast. Focusing is dead on and with VR, you can be sure of the focus even down to 1/15s. As pointed out by other professionals, there seem to be a sweet spot with VR--Set to Normal, it works best when exposure ranges from 1/15 to 1/30. Below 1/5 well, you need God's hand to assist you.

The lens hood is a plus and I find I am using it 95% of times.

I was about to buy a $400 Glitzo tripod gor this babe but the more I experience with the VR, the less I find myself needing it.

Literally, the ultimate of Nikon's three non-DX AF-S Zoom Kings.


Nikon 28-70mm f/2.8 ED-IF AF-S

Review Date: Oct 7, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Tank built. Professional crinkled finish. Impeccable sharpness [email protected] 28mm f/2.8. Almost inaudible and instant focsing on F5/D2X.
A bit heavy, a bit expensive

One of the three non-DX AF-S "Zoom Kings" of Nikon (17-35mm, 28-70mm, 70-200mm VR G). I bought it shortly after my 17-35mm AF-S despite I already owned the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 LD Xi macro (which is a legend in itself).

This lens has superb colour rendition and best sharpness @70mm f/5.6. The lens hood is very sturdy and impressive. Only complaint is its weight for its focal length, oh well, I guess good things doesn't come light. So be it.

For three times I thought of selling it to fund the ultimate Zoom (the 70-200mm f/2.8 VR-G), since I already have the Tamron, but three times I kept it in my bag. Ended up forking anothr 1.5 grand for the 70-200mm VR-G!

A keeper lens that can lasts forever.



Nikon 85mm f/1.4D IF AF Nikkor

Review Date: Oct 7, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Solid feel, professional finish, reference-standard sharpness for a portrait lens

Never know a lens can be that sharp. I'll say it gives microscopic resolving power at f/5.6-8. Works equally well on my F5 and D2X. Best for wedding/function candid shots.

Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF-S

Review Date: Oct 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Unbelievable sharpness. No(I stress no) chromatic abbrevation. Solid professional feel. Tank like. Dropped from 3.5 feet on wooden floor once and still works without a hiccup.(Please don't use it as a standard test--LOL). No ghost/flare. Simply. the best AF-S Zoom Nikkor IMHO.
Can't find any

Bought this lens with S2Pro as I first started out with digital photography, after 20 yrs of nikon experience(moving from FG20 to FE2, F3, F5). At first I didn't notice the prowess of this lens until I show the 8x12" prints to my friends after my Paris trip and he commented if the prints were from 6x6 negatives!

My sample showed better sharpness @17mm than 35mm. At f/5.6 it attained its best. Flare/ghosting is never experienced. As for its sturdy built, I can testify that with the fact it remained in perfect working order after falling 3.5ft from my desk to a maple wooden floor!(It has the lens hood on, guess it took the force of the plunge). The floor had a little dent on the contrary. <<P.S. Thsi test is not recommeneded for your sample if you own one!>>

In my 20 years with Nikon MF lens, I will never believe any zoom lens can be better than a prime until I experienced this 17-35mmf/2.8 AF-S. It just re-washed my cerebrum so to speak. Thank you Nikon.