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Nikon 35mm f/2D AF Nikkor

Review Date: Feb 8, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, excellent image quality, no noticeable distortion or CA

This is my walkabout D300 lens. In fact this is never off. My only other Nikon lens is the 18-200 VR and once you get used to the performance of this prime you'll only want quality.

At f2 it's a little soft but from f2.8 to f8 it is excellent. It focuses a little slowly but as a walkabout/travel lens it's perfectly adequate. On my D300 it's equal to the old 50mm field of view so you have to think about composition but for the image quality and price it's well worth the hassle.

Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED DX VR AF-S

Review Date: Feb 8, 2009 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 5 

Pros: VR, good enough for holiday snaps
Soft images, lens creep - it knocks into everything when you walk around

This is a jack of all trades; a master of none. On my D300 the quality of images with VR are marginally better than my non OS sigma 18-50 f2.8 on my eos 400d.

It is a good starter lens for a D80 or D40 but the D300 deserves better. For the D300 this in hindsight is a waste of money. If you are going spend 900 on a D300 you might as well get better quality lenses to match the D300 sensor.

My Nikon 35mm f2 stays on my D300 and I will get a 50mm f1.4 and a 70-200VR in due course. The 35 f2 hand held produces much sharper and better contrast images than the 18-200VR at 35mm. Sometimes the images are so soft I wonder whether the VR is working properly. It's even soft when using a tripod!

Regarding build quality the lens is very good in my opinion. Apart from having to return the lens to get the malfunctioning silent wave focus motor replaced it has performed ok. The worst thing about this lens however is the lens creep. If you don't mind your expensive lens self extending and bashing everything near you then that's ok. For me, the continually fully extended lens is irritating at best.

Anyway in conclusion, this is a solid lens good for holiday snaps because of the range but if image quality is important to you, look elsewhere.