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Nikon 180mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF Nikkor

Review Date: Dec 8, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Size, weight, price, sharp, fast AF even on lesser bodies. Great color and contrast. Great build.
Small hood. AF/MF switch.

This is an excellent lens. It is small and light for a f/2.8 tele. My copy is very sharp even at f/2.8 from corner to corner. I think it is the sharpest lens I have owned so far (and I've got quite a few primes). The AF is very fast, even on my D70s. Colour rendition, contrast and bokeh is excellent. The build quality is excellent.

The only real annoyance is the AF/MF switch, as you have to use the switch on the body AND the lens. And the hood is a bit too short. Not so much a problem for flare but for protection, say in the rain.

Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor

Review Date: Oct 18, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Small, light, sharp, very fast aperture, fast AF, sharp, contrasty.
Bokeh of point light sources can look a bit rough sometimes.

This is my favourite lens. It is small and light and sharp from f/1.4. From f/2 down it is just superb. Contrast is a bit low at f/1.4 but by f/2 it is as good as it gets. I love it for portraits as I can blur the background into a nice creamy nothingness. The only problem is that highlights appear as geometric shapes in the bokeh as it does not have a circular aperture. But really, that is a very minor point, just watch your background if you are that concerned about it.

I just cannot praise this lens enough. It is what I use for most of my shooting, inside or outside. It excells in situations like dark museums or other indoors areas and is great for general shooting outside, giving you crisp, contrasty, beautiful pictures. AF is also fast and precise, although a bit noisy compared to AF-S.

Nikon 20mm f/2.8D AF Nikkor

Review Date: Oct 18, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small, light, sharp, fast, nice contrast.
None really!

An excellent little lens. I used it for discreet wide-angle shooting with my D70s. This is a fantastic lens, small, light, sharp and f/2.8. Contrast is lacking a bit at f/2.8 and there is a bit of vignetting and lower sharpness around the corners but it all goes away by f/3.5. In any case, I find it excellent for real-world shooting, especially in dimly lit internal areas. It also makes a great outdoors lens for street/travel shooting.

Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor

Review Date: Jul 19, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, small, light, cheap, fast AF.
Noisy AF, average construction.

This is an excellent lens. Very sharp, fast aperture, it is tiny and very light and very cheap. There really isn't anything bad in it. The AF is fast albeit a bit noisy and the construction is plasticky but for the price no complaints.

I think the only consideration is whether one needs a 50mm lens. In DX sensors 50mm, for me, is neither long enough (like a 85mm) nor short enough (like a 35mm). But if 50mm is what you want this lens is excellent!

Nikon 18-70 f/3.5-4.5G AFS DX

Review Date: Jul 19, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Light, small and sharp even wide open. Fast and silent AF. Good range.
Build quality reflects the price but it's still good. Distortion and vignetting at 18mm.

This is an excellent all-round lens. It is light and small, has AF-S for quick and silent AF and manual focus override. The lens is very sharp even wide open. Stop down to f/5.6 and it becomes excellent. The price is excelllent for the features and quality offered.

The only problems are the quite pronounced distortions at 18mm (but they disappear at >20mm) and the vignetting when wide open at 18mm.

Generally I think it is an excellent lens for the money and is ideal for travelling light or as a general walk-around zoom. For me, it is the best price-performance zoom lens in the market.

Tamron 90MM F/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 SP AF

Review Date: Jan 20, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp, great colour, accurate AF, creamy bokeh, light, compact. Excellent MF ring. Good build quality. Good flare resistance.
Noisy AF, extends to double its length.

I bought this purely because I found it for 190 in mint condition and wanted to try macro. Wow! This is a fantastic lens and has become my favourite lens! Very sharp even wide open, the colour is great, the bokeh is very beautiful and contrast is very good. The lens is small and light (same size as a Canon 85/1.8 but lighter).

The build quality is good, the MF ring is very smooth and silky and the lens feels solid, yet light.

The only complaints are that AF is slower than normal lenses but that is to be expected from a macro. With the AF limiter it is not that bad, but it hunts in low light more than normal lenses. It is also noisy when focusing. And it extends to almost double the length at 1:1.

But all these are minor problems and the AF is no worse than other macro lenses. In general, this lens is excellent. The image quality is really good and for the price, size and weight savings compared to own brand lenses, one really cannot complain. If you are looking for a ~100mm macro, this is the one to get. And it doubles as a nice portrait lens too!

Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM

Review Date: Dec 26, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Fast aperture, smooth bokeh, very nice colour, good build quality. Not that expensive for what it is. Fast and silent AF. Close focusing.
Soft at f/1.8-f/4. It also vignettes at f/1.8-2.8.

This is a great lens for low light shots. At f/1.8 and ISO 800 you can do miracles in low light and the viewfinder is bright enough so that you can see what is hapenning.

The build quality is very good, the autofocusing is fast and accurate, bokeh is nice and creamy and colour is excellent.

The only cons for this lens is that the corners are soft at f/1.8-f/4. It also vignettes from f/1.8 to f/2.8.

Overall, this is a great low light lens and also makes a great travel prime. With the nice bokeh and wide aperture it can also be used for some very nice environmental portraits. The close focusing ability also allows for some very good perspective effects.