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

Review Date: Feb 2, 2017 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Superb utility and build! The way Nikon once built them.
Can't shoot landscapes at F2.8 with sharp edges.

I have had the holy trinity for some time (14-24/24-70/70-200). Seldom used the 14-24 because of its weight and protruding objective. I felt under equipped with two camera bodies for fast moving jobs because the 14-24 isn't a lens you want to swap out in a hurry.

That's all over now. I use the 17-35 on one FF body and the 70-200 on the other. The 40-65mm "hole" in the coverage is not missed and I get the vital wider end (I never use my 50mm prime the FL leaves me bored). So much smaller/lighter than my 24-70.

At first my 17-35 looked soft because my copy needed some Micro AF adjustment. Maybe that's why D200 users reported softness? However, it's really a FF lens. The build quality takes me back to my AIS lenses-it actually has an engraved paint filled F stop ring.

You can get good used deals-I did (mint like with a filter for $700). Don't buy a squeaker (AF noise) because repair of the AF module is expensive. If Nikon ever makes a replacement you can be sure they will charge lots more than the $2K they do now for this 17-35.

Samyang 35mm f/1.4 Aspherical UMC

Review Date: Jun 9, 2016 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: My copy is super sharp wide open. Can be used for night photography at infinity when an AF lens will not focus. Moderate price and high performance wide open. The Nikon version is chipped for focus confirm.
MF-of course. Long and a bit heavy. The price you pay for an optically excellent design.

Chipped to work well with Nikons (accurate MF confirm). The only 35mm lens lens I know of that is sharp at F1.4-good contrast and sharpness. I keep it for night photography and daylight landscape.

Really nothing like it. I would gladly pay twice as much for a fast AF version.

Canon EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye

Review Date: Feb 25, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp wide open even at the corners with FF. Moderately priced. Small and handy. I use it naked and with PTlens and Image Trends software (both for about $60). I always have it with me and wish I used it more.
Noisy focus. Must tape the lens edge for the cap to stay. Watch for you feet in the bottom of frame.

Not much else to say. The 15FE is much sharper, cheaper than the rectilinears (14mm, 16-35, etc) because you don't pay for all that extra rectilinear glass on the front (recti-linearization is better/cheaper performed with software).

Nikon D3

Review Date: Sep 30, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Superb performance at ISO 6400! Fast fps and effective focus modes. A fine partner for the latest zoom Nikkors. Wonderful LCD VF with which you can verify ultimate focus. etc. A, long awaited, breakthrough for Nikkon and wonderful competition for Canon.
Too small buffer which can be upgraded for too much. Not enough Nikkor fast primes.

Nikon's sensational 24-70 and 14-24 can't be equaled. The D3 falls between the Mk III and 1Ds Mk III in features becoming a more versatile camera than both. I now have both Canon and Nikon systems to have the best of both.

Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS USM

Review Date: Sep 15, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $5,210.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Wonderful contrast and colors. F 2.0!! IS works as low as 1/5 of a second.
$1300 more than the Nikkor and Canon's own 300mm F2.8. Where's that Tupperware cover for the objective?

The best IQ of my 16 Nikkor and Canon lenses! And that's at a, fearless, wide open F 2.0-no need to stop down except for bright light and more DOF. It appears to edge out my Canon 300mm F2.8 IS and that's saying a lot.

The IS is fantastic! I look for excuses to use this lens. Really captures images that you can't get otherwise. A fine lens for portraits on FF. Hand holding very possible but after a while-strenuous.

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

Review Date: May 3, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: An incredible value and sharp wide open..
Noisy, rough focusing and less than good build quality.

This might have been the "older" model. A loaner while waiting for my Nikkor to arrive. I was surprised at how sharp it was wide open but more than annoyed at the focusing.

Due to the build quality I consider this a semi-expendable or light duty lens. If you only have $400 it's the only way to go.

Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED NIKKOR AF-S

Review Date: May 3, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,700.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp wide open. Smooth and quiet
It's so good you wish for more reach on the tele end. so you don't have to change up. Pricey when compared to the competition

Not much else to say except that I sold my, extremely well calibrated, Canon 24-70 (from a 14 lens Canon inventory)
because if 'm going to shoot a 24-70 it's going to be this Nikkor.

Canon EOS 1D Mark III

Review Date: Jun 5, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast accurate focus, moderate weight with good "Skin," Hi ISO, 10 Fps, versatile menus and features, long batter life, really big buffer, a fine big LCD and viewfinder.
Makes me wish for a Hi ISO FF (15Mp) sensor.

Really a bargain considering the features and capabilities. More than I expected. Canon could probable sell these for $6K. Compared to my 5D it has, apparent, lower IQ (but only above 100%). The buffer outlasts both of my 5Ds. Hi ISOs (3200/6400) are new freedom.

Action shots in very dim light are all sharp if I do my part (I have to MF my 5ds). Ten Fps for 2/3 frame bursts capture dancer's pose variations-so far no buffer overruns. The 1.3X Crop is a useful compromise between FF and 1.6X. Everything is first class. I feel like someone peeked into my head to see what I really needed in a camera and then added some features for later.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

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

Pros: Finally a lens to match the quality of my 35, 85 and 135 Ls.
New issue cost.

After one evening of shooting 200+ images (at F2.0 and below) I trust this lens-I have learned not to trust my 50mm F1.4 under the same conditions.

Canon EOS 5D

Review Date: Feb 27, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: $3,300.00

Pros: Follow up 5D comparison to the new D200: The 5D beats the Nikon D200 hands down-at and above ISO 800. The D200 has a good shape convenient buttons/features and low weight-BUT.
D200 image and noise quality is poor at ISO 800.

The Canon continues it's dominance over Nikon in chip sensors. Just a few photos comparing the D200 @ 800 vs 5D @ 1600 showed much more noise/grain and a disturbing lack of picture data from the D200.

If anything the D200's noise is worse than the D70. In CS2 the D200's file just didn't have much "There" there. Forget ISO 1600/3200.

I returned the D200 and am selling all my modern Nikkors (not happy to see the wonderful 70-200 go either). I plan to buy a second 5D body when the prices come down.

If you do the math on actual sensor area (per Canon's own dimensions) it works out that a 1.5/1.6 crop chip is about 40% the area of a FF!

Canon was wise to keep the D30's chip at 8MP and not make the pixels smaller and noiser-even though they gave up advertising bragging rights.

I take candids and with Canons fast lenses and ISO 1600 I have no use for a flash. The pictures look much better than the eye sees it. Truly a miracle camera!

Canon EOS 5D

Review Date: Jan 15, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very Low Noise, High Res, Wide Dynamic Range! Big viewfinder and display screen with RGB. Makes beautiful pictures!
Dim data in viewfinder in strong light. Minor: Direct print options, etc would be better replaced with more custom setting memories. Nice to be able to name custom folders.

After a 30 year layoff (with Nikon FTn and 10 Lenses) I waited until I could get a digital camera that would let me shoot like I was used to. I bought the D70 13 months ago and began low light photography of Flamenco Dancers in performance.

I was getting so/so images (@ 1600, F2 & 1/125 + lots of sharpening in photoshop) with the D70 and was considering the D20 for a little better noise performance when the 5D was announced. I couldn't wait for the usual internet discount and (gulped at the $3300) bought it at my local camera store.

After some time with the 5D I can't bear to pick-up the D70 or
look at the pictures I took with it. To use a film comparision
it's like I changed formats from 35mm to 6X7cm. The range and quality of fast lenses is tops to (I just bought my 9th lens-7 L's).

I am hoping to protect my investment in so many Nikkors with
the D200 when it comes available but I am suspicious of a
Nikon chip that has smaller pixels and no FF. Would be interested in comments ref D200 vs 5D.