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  Reviews by: mholdef  

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

Review Date: Oct 9, 2010 Recommend? | Price paid: $2,000.00

Pros: Superlative image quality across the range
Bulky and heavy

This lens is a beast. In the studio I use the 85/1.4 90% of the time, but take this lens out for the tight head shots.

It's 90% as good as the 85 which is saying alot.

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

Review Date: Aug 22, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp with great contrast

I use this lens mostly in the studio to complement my 85/1.4D which I use 80% of the time.

My initial fear was that for the 20% of the time this lens would disappoint compared to the 85mm at the coct of versatility.

In fact it doesnt disappoint at all in this area, the only downside is the wieght.

If not for the weight this would be my studio lens 100% of the time.


Nikon 35mm f/2D AF Nikkor

Review Date: Feb 28, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very good image quality, fast, lightweight
Not a 10, but not much to complain about either

I use this lens on a D700.

When traveling, this lens and my 50/1.4 get the most mileage for street photography as lightweight and discrete.


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

Review Date: Dec 5, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great sharpness, color, contrast and control of distortion
Exposure of front lens element (but oh so beautiful)

This lens is superb, plain and simple. Have loved using it on my D700. Nothing really negative to say about this lens given the range it covers at such a wide angle.


Nikon 85mm f/1.4D IF AF Nikkor

Review Date: Nov 29, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Color, bokeh, sharp even wide open, construction, lightweight
Autofocus is reasonably fast but faster would be welcome, screw-in hood

I bought this lens for portraits in combination with my D700.

I've been very pleased with the image quality which exceeded my expectations at least wide open at f/1.4.

You can see some of my first images in the galery below, most having been taken wide open.


Nikon 105mm f/2.8D AF Micro

Review Date: Sep 7, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp, beautiful color and bokeh. Superb construction.

I just switched from a Canon 5D to a D700 and needed to replace my Canon 100/2.8 Macro, which with the 5D was already a great combination.

The Nikon is even better !!!

The boken and color are superb, and this is the sharpest lens I currently own.

Portraits also come out wonderful although you really can count every hair or pore in a person's face - so by all means there is no need for any sharpening in post production!

The lens is very well built and although heavier than the Canon, balances quite well on the D700.

In close-up work, I use the lens with VR and autofocus turned off, as neither is of any use. Handheld however, the VR comes in very handy provided the distance to subject is not too close, and autofocus is quite good.

A few sample images can be seen in my nature gallery at:


Nikon D700

Review Date: Aug 28, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: - Delivers images that have beautiful, accurate color and which are very sharp - 14 bit RAW offers greater dynamic range in shadows and highlights - Outstanding image quality up to ISO 6400 - Superb body construction and handling - Large number of custom functions allowing you to "personalize" the camera to your needs
- Very minor, but can only bracket up to 1 stop! (would like to go to 2 stops for HDR series)

I owned a Canon 5D for 3 years and loved it, but was looking for a step up in various areas. The D700 delivered on all these points and it has been a real pleasure to take pictures with it.

When I shot film I had owned a Nikon F100 and I always preferred Nikon to Canon for the body ergonomics but until last year Canon offered a better sensor with better image quality over Nikon. This all changed with the D3 and now the D700.

12 million pixels may seem to be a bit on the low side, but I know from experience with the 5D that you can produce large, beautiful prints, having recently done an exhibit with prints sized at 80x120cm.

The key thing is to have a clean, well exposed image from the start. With the 5D, this was possible up to ISO 800 but with the D700 there is a 1 to 2 stop advantage, so the same should hold up to ISO 3200...

Digital technology will continue to grow but the D700 is well rounded, and amazing camera across the board that I highly recommend.



Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

Review Date: Oct 15, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, contrast, color and bokeh are all great across the zoom range with very good results wide open
A bit heavy but not a huge burden

I sold my 135/2L (which was a superb lens) in favour of a bit more versatility and do not regret it.

This is about as good as a zoom can get and the results come close to the better primes.


Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

Review Date: Oct 1, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very good contrast, color and sharpness at center and edges throughout (on Canon 5D).
Not as good on wide end but good to have 24mm for "emergency use"

Up until recently I was an "all primes" man, having shot Leica for a number of years. I converted to digital last year and since my love for photography has only grown.

Looking for lenses that I could use for travel, I invested in the 24-70L.

I was very pleased with the result, even wide open, and made comparisons with the 35/1.4L. The 24-70L held its own very well against the 35L, being a bit behind in f/2.8 to f/5.6 range but beyond there is little noticeable difference.

This said, in the f/2.8 to f/5.6 range, the lens is very good.

Very difficult to ask more from a zoom lens in my opinion and I'd highly recommend it to any own, particularly those shooting full frame.


Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L USM

Review Date: Apr 1, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Outstanding contrast, color, sharpness and bokeh, to be expected in a lens of this caliber. Great build and feel.
A bit on the heavy side but handles well and then again this is not a "walk around lens" so you don't feel the weight in your hands (only in your bag which you do feel!). Focusing is also a bit slow but not really an issue for me.

Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

Review Date: Dec 2, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp lens with great bokeh and superb build.
The front thread on mine is a tad bit tight screwing in filters, but as I keep a UV filter on it permanantly this is not an issue.

I was looking for a number of lenses for the Canon 5D I wanted to buy and, having come from Leica M, wanted to be sure to but the best telephoto for portraits and some landscape use.

I called the Canon Pro Service center here in Paris and discussed the wide gamut of lenses Canon has available. When we got to the topic of whether to buy the 85/1.2L, the Pro center said while the 85 was a great lens, he actually preferred the 135/2.0L - said its performance was fantastic and that it was one of Canon's best lenses and great value for the price.

I have had this lens for about 1 month now and have not been disappointed.


Canon EOS 5D

Review Date: Oct 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fantastic image quality. No disappointment coming from film. In fact opens new horizons and greater control of the entire photography workflow.
Build quality is very good but if increased a half noth would be excellent.