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  Reviews by: eeyore_dave  

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Nikon 24mm AF-S Nikkor f/1.4G ED

Review Date: Feb 16, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Optics
Weight and Size

An excellent lens all-around. Excellent optics and colour rendering. I hav enot had any issues with the back/front focus issues. All the images focus as expected and have provided me with some really memorable images. The 1.4 aperture really does give you more creative options. The colour and sharpness comes out very well with Aperture and the bokeh is quite pleasing.

The build and feel is excellent, but a little heavy for my liking, but you pay for the 1.4. My only gripe is that the lens is probably on the expensive side, but given its quality, and likely low-run, it probably is a fair price. This will be one lens I will hang on to for a long time.

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

Review Date: Dec 25, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build quality. Optical quality.
Bulk/size. Cost. Drains battery quick. Closest focus is not that close.

This is one monster of a lens. For me, it certainly looks a lot bigger in real life then in photos. I have only used a Canon 70-200/4L prior to this lens (in the telephoto zoom type), however, using this on a D700 has certainly been worth the pain of the cost (cost above in AUD) and carrying it around. This lens performs so well in practical use. The images it produces are stunning. Obviously part of that has to do with the focal length range, however, the combination of a f/2.8 aperture with VR makes this a wonderful lens for so many applications. The out of focus areas are very smooth and makes a very nice backdrop to portraits and/or pictorial shots. When stopped down, the lens is fantastic at capturing details.

Looking at 100% crops there are some, but minor CA/LCA. Some softness in the corners and some minor vignetting. However, I don't see that as a major problem. When shooting at f/2.8, I am trying to focus the attention in the center of the frame, and the natural vignette helps. The softness also makes the central part more prominent. At smaller apertures, these issues are really not present. Running this through a demo of DXO has showed what it is really capable of, however, I found the DXO results looked a bit too much like over sharpened images, and lacked the naturalness of a manually sharpened image. However, the distortion corrections and CA/LCA corrections worked a treat. Last comment is that I would've like the closest focusing distance to be more like 1.0m rather than 1.5m or even closer. This would allow me to make even tighter portraits and have this lens double up as a pseudo-macro.

Overall an excellent lens and optic, and would sure to be a long term keeper for me. It allows me to make stunning images in a variety of conditions (including low light indoors, D700 @ 3200+ and f/2.8 with VR) as well as architectural/urban shots.

Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G IF-ED AF-S Nikkor

Review Date: Dec 22, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Optical quality. Ability to zoom.
Size, weight and cost. Large easy to damage, hard to clean front element.

This is an absolute stunner of a lens. (Price above is in AUD) Believe the reviews when they say this is the best wide-angle ever made! I have, in the past, used Canon, Contax, Hasselblad, Mamiya, LF, etc. This is absolutely the best one I have yet used in terms of flexibility (ability to zoom) and optical quality. Running the first few images through DXO Optics Pro, showed very little improvement. It just appears to be an overly sharpened image. But what DXO did fix was very, very slight amounts of CA, and the visible distortion. This lens doesn't vignette either!

Recent images taken at 14mm into the sun showed that all extremes of the image to be sharp and pretty much free of any chromatic aberrations, coma, etc. It is absolutely superb. The only complaint is that it does exhibit some distortion. But it is reasonably minor, and with the many RAW processors out there, it shouldn't pose much of a problem.

On the D700 it balances nicely, but I must say this is rather heavy and bulky lens, and the front element does REALLY stick out. Given its high price, but compared with the other Nikon 2.8 zooms like the 24-70 and 70-200, this is well priced. But given the optical quality, the price is superb.

If you are into wide angle, this is the lens for you!