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  Reviews by: sankeycottage  

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Nikon 24mm f/2.8D AF Nikkor

Review Date: May 2, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Solid feel - good price - tack sharp - superb on D3x at 24mm.
Lens hood not supplied with lens - not fast by modern standards.

One of Nikon's less publicised gems this 24mm Nikkor is absolute class! Superb wideangle optics - sharp at all apertures -great contrast - superb colour definition. Now that Nikon has the D700, D3 and D3x this lens has reinvented itself and is a magnificent wideangle on a FX camera!

Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM

Review Date: May 2, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great range for DX mode - tack sharp at nearly all apertures - solid feel - very portable - good price.
Lens shade is flimsy - no manual focus switch on lens.

This is the only Sigma lens I now own. It is comparable to my Nikkors and has a superb range on DX mode. It is very sharp and has excellent contrast and colour rendition. Not very fast at f/4 - 10mm to f/5.6 - 20mm. But as I have a Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 and Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 it is used almost exclusively on my D9o and is perfect for this camera. Highly recommended!

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X 116 PRO DX SD

Review Date: May 2, 2009 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: Solid feel - good range - easy to switch from af to manual - IF you can get a good copy!
The 11-16mm has problems which are widely known, namely - failure to maitain close focus and at 16mm overexposes!

The Tokina 11-16mm could have been a very good lens but too many of them are proving to be faulty. I returned 3 lenses and then gave up. They struggle to maintain a focus lock between 2-5 metres and tend to default to infinity. If you take a photo at 11mm it is ok but when you zoom to 16mm it overexposes by 2 stops! It did this with both my D90 and D3x, all my other lenses are fine. Photo review sites all full of comments on these issues. In future I will stick to quality Nikkors and not sub-standard and cheap 3rd party lenses!

Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM

Review Date: Nov 5, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: $580.00

Pros: Fast lens for standard or portrait. Good focal lenth on D700 or D90. Colour rendition very good and better than normal sharpness for standard lens.
Tried three different lenses all sent back with chronic faults! Sigma's QC is now almost a joke. Lens is quite heavy to have in place for long periods.

I have a Nikon D700 and a Nikon D90 and this lens with it's fast f1.4 and build looked to be a good buy. I have bought quite a few top of the range Sigma's over the years but more and more seem to have in-built faults with them. Neither the original one sent to me or the two replacements worked well. The first 2 would not close focus and the third stuck altogether. There are many similar comments re Sigma lenses and it seems that in their haste to compete with the "Big Boys" that their QC has gone out of the window!

Nikon 60mm f/2.8D AF Micro-Nikkor

Review Date: Jul 2, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $7,000.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Feels and looks good, great sharp images, fast enough at f1.8 under most conditions.
Can hunt just a little under low light, lacks some contrast f1.8 - f4.

This lens looks good and feels the part from first use. The f1.8 is better value than the f1.4 which seems very overpriced. Superb portrait lens with incredible bokeh! It really comes into it's own with crop on a Nikon DSLR camera which uses the "sweetspot" of the lens and is effectively a focal length of 127mm. Highly recommended.

Nikon 50mm f/1.8 AF Nikkor

Review Date: Jul 2, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $140.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Extremely portable and lightweight, inexpensive, very sharp images.
Lacks just a bit of contrast at wider apertures. Not really a negative but the 50mm lens does look very strange on the end of a D300!

It has all been said before but for any Nikon DSLR camera this really is must buy. It is still relatively fast at f1.8 especially with D300's remarkable High ISO noise control. Very good optics and more than a bargain at the price. Should be in everyone's bag.

Nikon 10.5mm f/2.8G ED DX Fisheye AF

Review Date: Jun 30, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $675.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Fun to use, superb quality and contrast, extremely portable, one of the sharpest Nikkors available.
Because of shape front element could be easily marked as filters do not fit.

A superb lens in terms of quality everything in picture is always ultra sharp. This is much more than just a fun lens, by its nature you can be more creative with this than most other Nikkor primes. Forget about comments elsewhere that image software can "correct" shots with this lens. Use it as a genuine Fisheye and you will get the best out of this lens. Try some interior shots of cathedrals, museums etc. for a different perspective. Careful with the portraits though or everyone may end up looking like Barry Manilow!

Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4.5 DC MACRO

Review Date: Jun 29, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Very adaptable with a great walkabout zoom range, in-built AF motor for D40, superb macro feature with zoom lock, great value for money.
Fiddly lens cover when hood is in place. Can hunt for focus ( but so do most other macro zooms!). Not much else wrong with this lens.

Bought this originally for my D40 as a walkabout lens. All my other lenses are Nikkors and this was my first Sigma. This new version has an in-built motor to enable AF on D40. It is a gem of a lens. Great contrast, sharp from f5.6 and ultra sharp from f8. Macro feature on this zoom length makes it one of the most useful lenses I own. It has now become a regular on my D300 as well! Highly recommended as an everyday lens which will capture wideangle to portraits and macro.

Nikon D40

Review Date: Jun 29, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Lightweight, user friendly, picture controls. Price is no more than a high spec compact camera.
Tends to slightly overexpose and blow highlights. Only 3 focusing points. No anti-dust system.

I bought this D40 AFTER buying the D300. I had a Canon G9 as my second camera but the D40 was a much better choice. It is lightweight and can be taken anywhere without worries, especially with some of the lightweight lenses. The 6MP is not an issue with good optics. It does overexpose most outdoor scenes, but I keep it -0.7 EV and this works. Even though it is light and great value this is still a highly sophisticated and high spec camera. Much better alternative than a compact if you already have Nikkor lenses. Highly recommended!