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  Reviews by: snegron  

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Nikon 24mm f/2.8D AF Nikkor

Review Date: Dec 11, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $356.00 | Rating: 5 

Pros: Feels well built despite plastic barrel
Over exposes by two stops and appears to have a back focus issue

I needed a small prime in the 24mm focal range for my D200. While I have a 35mm 2.0 AF-D and a 17-55mm 2.8 AF-S, I was looking for an all-around small lens with a semi-normal field of view (at least in terms of DX).

I purchased my 24mm 2.8 AF-D new. After testing it I noticed that all the shots I took with it were over exposed by 2 stops. I have the manual focus version of this lens (the Nikkor 24mm 2.8 AIS), and shot the same scene, same light, same camera; the 24mm AF-D over exposed by two stops compared to the manual focus version. same thing happened when I compared it to the 17-55 (set at 24mm).

I also noticed that there was a back-focusing issue with it as well. The subect photographed was out of focus, but the background was sharp.

I'm sure that if I spent the time adjusting my D200 for this lens' shortcomings everytime I mounted the lens onto the body, I might be able to come up with somewhat acceptable shots. However, I don't feel I should have to waste so much time on this one lens when all of my other lenses perform flawlessly on my D200.

I marked down "reccommended" for this lens mostly because if this is the only semi-wide angle lens you plan to get and like the idea of spending time adjusting your camera settings to make the lens work properly, then this is the lens for you.

Also, as you can see by the amount of posts I have here on this site I am not just making this up to either boost the price of this lens or to fiddle with it's final rating number for whatever reason. It seems like there are many people who sign up here just to rate a lens or camera then never post again. I purchased it, I used it, I didn't like it, I sent it back.

Nikon 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5D AF

Review Date: Jul 7, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very sharp, virtually distortion free. For the price you can't find a better lens. Macro function works better than I expected.
Rotating front element, extends a bit too much when zoomed out to 105, don't waste time with the useless goofy-looking optional hood.

I purchased this lens as a walkaround lens mostly based on specs I had read and the fact that it was less heavy and less expensive than my Nikon 17-55mm 2.8. I was pleasently surprised with the results from this lens.

I would say that the images are just as sharp as the ones shot with my 17-55.

Drawbacks for this lens are the rotating front element and the fact that it extends a bit too much for my taste when at 105. Also, I made the mistake of purchasing the optional hood. It looks like one of those collars placed on dogs after they have had ear surgery!

This lens is always mounted on my D70s and I take it with me as a backup lens when I shoot weddings.

I would highly recommend this lens for anyone needing a versatile, sharp lens. You can't beat it for the price!

Nikon D1X

Review Date: Sep 9, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Build quality, overall feel, RAW file sizes are not as big as others so you don't need to spend a fourtune on large cards, image quality
Short battery life, even with buffer upgrade is slow in writing to card, I wish it had higher ISO settings, LCD cover looks like it was made by Tupperware, mint condition bodies becomming harder to get

I love this camera. My prvious DSLR's were D70 and D70S bodies. Out of 5 D70 bodies I was only somewhat happy with one of them. Very different story with the D1X.

The image quality is great. Skin tones, sharpness, and pattern recognition is outstanding. Unlike the D70s that would produce Moire when capturing silk or polyester clothing, I have not seen this problem with the D1X. Noise in low light is still somewhat visible, but not as much as with the D70 series.

Build quality is tough. I have shot several weddings with it and it stands up to the task of shooting several hundred shots per day. Short battery is a problem, but I usually carry several back up batteries and a charger just in case. Also, aftermarket battery from Battery Barn lasts longer than the original Nikon battery. The release latch on the aftermarket battery is cheap and breaks easily, but I removed the latches from my bad Nikon batteries and placed them on the aftermarket batteries. Works great now.

The lack of high ISO is a problem for low light photography. Luckily I have fast lenses to compensate for this problem. I also wish that I could zoom in and move around images on the rear LCD. This would really come in handy when verifying accurate focusing. The LCD cover is a white plastic that looks like it was made by Tupperware and stands out in a somewhat distracting/goofy way, but it does protect the screen.

I have the D1X with buffer upgrade. It still is somewhat slow when writing to a card after shooting several sequence shots, even 3 or 4 shots. I have the bad habit of turning the camera off after shooting several sequence shots in an effort to lengthen the battery life, but it takes a while to write to the card before you are able to shut down.

I like the fact that the RAW files are not as huge as the D2X or D200 and not as small as the D2H or old D1. I shoot weddings in RAW and this does make a difference when downloading and post prossessing 700+ shots per day.

Overall, I love this camera and would buy several more as back ups. Problem is that there are not too many out there in mint condition anymore.

Sigma 135-400 MM f/4.5-5.6 ASP AF APO

Review Date: Mar 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 5 

Pros: Price is not bad for a lens of this focal length. It looks plastic but feels solid and heavy. I like the case for storage. Tripod collar secures lens well.
Much softer than I expected. Looks ridiculous when extended to 400mm with hood on.

I purchased it new and used it about three times in different lighting conditions on my D70. Results were not as sharp as I wanted. After getting a Nikon 80-200mm 2.8, the Sigma was placed back in its original box with its hood, caps, and carrying case and is now resting permanently on a shelf. It's not a bad lens for shooting outdoors in bright sunlight at the zoo or beach, but I would not use it for any paid assignments due to the soft results.

Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G AF-S DX

Review Date: Apr 14, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Solid feel.
Too long with lens hood on.

It feels like solid lens, optically it probably resembles prime lenses within its focal length. My gripe is that I wish it went a slight bit higher than just 55mm, to at least 70mm. So that when I move close to my subjects their heads won't look like large balloons. Word of warning if you are planning on using it on a D70, it weighs more than the camera and is awkward to hold. Also, forget about using the pop up flash on the camera, the length of the barrel causes a huge shadow throughout the picture. Not a bad lens overall, probably cheaper (though inconvenient) to use 3 primes at about the same cost with very similar results.