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  Reviews by: trenchmonkey  

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Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG HSM OS "S"

Review Date: Jan 24, 2016 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build, weather/dust sealing, AF speed, push/pull zooming, lots of customization available via the dock, IQ wide open...stopped down to f8? Fuggeddaboutit!!
Heavy for those less fit, lame tripod foot. There was no 9 1/2 option ;)

Bought one of the 1st refurbs available (Jun '15) and felt 6 mo.
in hand a decent time to form an valued opinion. Hell of a lens
for the money. 900mm FOV on my D7200, stupid fast AF, and
best of all...I've yet to fine tune my copy. OS not bad, couple
three stops. The push/pull option is a dream in the field. Plays
well with my D810/800's but prefer the 'reach' of the D7200,
SO looking forward to using it with the D500 in Mar. The build
is 1st rate, Nikkor prime quality. Made in Japan, as are all the
new Sigma offerings (have 5 total) Do yourself a favor and give
one a try. Nothing beats the speed of a naked lens and this zoom
gives you 600mm...only bested by the 600f4 >@ 5X the price.
Always one to backup my words with pics, check my Uploads.
Had the 200-500 and 80-400 with w/o TC's...guess what I kept.

Nikon D600

Review Date: May 27, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Only 2 reviews?! The 'monkeys take. Awesome IQ, great backup FX body.
1/4000th shutter, no dedicated AF-ON button

Buddy called and said "why are there only 2 reviews of the D600
on FM?" (same for the D610) Fine, I'm on it. Initially I thought
poorly of a 'crippled' FX for $2000. After the oil spray debacle I
had the chance to set a couple up for his & hers Xmas gifts for
old clients of mine. Ran a couple thou thru in 3 days and dialed
'em in. No big, they were happy. I got to looking at some of my
shots after the holidays. Real torture test stuff: BIF, sports and
low light. I kept coming back to how great the files looked. Very
good sensor, I was impressed. The 39pt AF handled everything I
threw at it. (having attained guru status with the D7K AF this was
pretty similar) Fast forward to early this Spring. Did my trade and
pressed it into service on a couple of weddings, gave to my 2nd
and it did a solid job in horrible light. So now I have a nice 'throw
in da truck' FX body I can shoot pretty much anything with. Swell
deal for those on a budget. 20K and no dust/no oil, happy times!

Update: look for a refurb/used with the "fix" Nikon will repair or send you a D610 if they can't...N/C. Tough to beat that reality.

Nikon 300mm f/4 ED-IF AF-S Nikkor

Review Date: Sep 6, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Light (handholdable) sharp wide open, takes a TC well
Don't care for the plastic sliding hood (replaced w/metal)

Had a couple of these over the years, along w/ the 300 f2.8 VR
on hand. Kinda relegated to 2nd fiddle and under appreciated.
The f2.8's gone and when I need 300 vs 70-200 VR II/TC (280)
this now gets the call. Great AF in low light and I can shoot for
hours w/o tiring. IQ is excellent, bokeh really pretty sweet @f4
Give one a try if on the fence, grew a beard waitin' for the f4VR Wink

Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 EX DG HSM

Review Date: Jul 6, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Totally silent fast AF, easily 4 stop OS, tack sharp wide open :O

Wow!! Leap of faith thinkin' this would be the answer over
the 70-200 f2.8 VR II and TC-14E II combo I've been using
for my rodeo gigs. Found myself at 230-280mm 90% of the
time. Having f2.8 in this zoom range is money!! It's heavy,
I lugged around the likes of the 200 f2 VR/300 f2.8 VR and
I'd put this glass somewhere betwixt the 2 for handheld joy.
This is the new and improved OS version, came triple boxed
from our friends @ B&H. You've seem my work, believe it! Wink

Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR AF-S

Review Date: May 1, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great IQ/range in a compact package, really struts it's stuff on FX
It's not f4 :O

Let's cut to it....I love this lens. I'm on my third copy, no...nothing wrong
with the first two. Just sold them for lack of use. Fast forward to an FX
transition last year. Picked up another copy on the cheap and am just
blown away by the IQ it delivers. Great colors/contrast even the bokeh!
If I don't want to hump around the 70-200/300 f2.8 VRs this lil guy will
get the call. Candids, landscapes, flowers, portraits, rodeo, and even BIF
all captured SOOC with stunning clarity. Best bang for the buck, period Smile

Nikon TC-17E II 1.7x AF-S

Review Date: Aug 14, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: One of the true perks of shootin' Nikon.

Coupled with fast primes this TC really shines. Outstanding IQ/AF speed
with my 200 f2/300 f2.8 VR's This little addition has actually saved me thousands
of dollars not having to purchase a when that happens! Smile

Nikon TC-20E II 2x AF-S

Review Date: Mar 4, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Well built, very positive no play. Cheap way to double FL with fast glass.
One size doesn't fit all, plays well with some...not so with others in your stable. Ya gotta do yer homework. Great things can happen with the right combos.

Thang, you got a BAD copy. I've had several of all three...1.4/1.7/2.0
and there IS some
sample variation. I suggest too, some of the lower ratings may be due to operator error. I'm not gonna tell y'all it's a 10 BUT with proper lens selection and
good long lens technique, stopped down excellent results can be obtained
on the cheap.
I've gotten insanely sharp images with the 70-200 f2.8 VR, granted the keeper rate was
less than 25% on moving targets handheld, but it's a zoom. It's great on the 200 f2 VR
wide open, even up a notch at f5.6 AF hardly affected. Plays pretty well with the 300 f2.8 VR
too at f8 but not
as crisp as the 1.7 and I can live with that. I'm givin' it a solid 9 and have the shots
to back it up. The alternative is layin' out 8-10 grand and humpin' a 5 or 600 around.
I can handhold the 200/300 with this all day long. Works for me. Smile

Nikon 300mm f/2.8G IF-ED AF-S VR

Review Date: Oct 5, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,350.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, fast, gorgeous bokeh
Wish I'd bought it sooner. :)

One word...Awesome. Wide open goodness, 3D on a D3. Takes the 1.4/1.7
quite well with little loss of AF speed. Consider the RRS replacement foot,
makes a great handle. Handholdable especially with BushHawk. VR is
superb, static shots at 1/60th with TC commonplace with good technique.
I come from the 300 f2.8 IS/1DmkII school of BIF...I'm blown away. The
2nd best lens I've shot since turning to the dark side. #1's the 200 f2 VR
but not by much. It's a little more than the Canon version, the 200 f2 VR was
quite a bit less. I'd never hold price over IQ and this suckers got that in spades. Smile

Canon EF 35-350mm f/3.5-5.6L USM

Review Date: Mar 15, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Range, colors, contrast, build, ultimate (pre 28-300) walkaround

Always wanted to try an uber zoom. Pretty sharp wide open,
stop down 1 or so and it becomes very sharp. AF very fast,
using this primarily with a 1D as my "throw in the truck" kit.
Excellent color, contrast...what you'd expect in a L zoom. I
knew it didn't have IS when I bought it, so I've got nothing but
great things to say about it. Long lens technique comes into play
if you're expecting sharp keepers due to it's heft but I've taken
amazing landscapes and turned around and nailed BIF without
changing lenses and THAT is worth every penny spent. I don't
think sample variation is the cause for mixed reviews, you need
to keep the shutter speeds up and have some skills to make this
sing but so far I love what I'm hearing.:)

Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

Review Date: Feb 19, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,025.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Stellar IQ, light, sharp, fast, love the built in hood, IS handy, great value.

It's a 10! Some guy writes...
"overall a good lens, however for pro uses, you need the 2.8, speed winners and sharpness, with or without converters."
Duh!! you knew it was an f4 when ya bought it!! Gave it a 6.???
Awesome bang for the buck, folks. I've got the 300 f2.8 IS and I'm
hangin' on to's that good.:)

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM

Review Date: May 27, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $899.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp wide open, absolutely sick by f5.6. Great color/contrast/nice bokeh for an f4. Fast accurate AF, 1.4x well tolerated.

Awesome, I know abit about fine Canon glass and this is just
an engineering marvel. One of my favorite lenses ever.:)

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

Review Date: Mar 31, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Light, fast and accurate AF, excellent IQ for the money.

Had to post a review after reading previous post with a 2 rating!!
With lens cap off and mayonaise wiped off front element this is
by far Canon's best bang for the buck. Everyone should have one
of these in their bag. It's that good. This is the Bo Derek of
consumer glass...period.