Photoshop actions

  Reviews by: williamkazak  

View profile View recent posts View reviews Add williamkazak to your Buddy List
Nikon 85mm AF-S NIKKOR f/1.8G

Review Date: Jan 7, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp, good flare resistence with lens shade, nice bokeh. Very useful focal length for portraits (on DX too). Weather sealed at mount. Lens shade does the job.
Kind of "chunky". Not thrilled with 67mm filter size. Hood bayonets to the outside making it even more "chunky". Plastic filter threads. Build quality is a question because it is so light.

I have always had a Nikon 85mm F1.8 lens as an essential and affordable telephoto lens in my kit. From time to time, I have enjoyed various 105mm Nikon lenses but I always seem to go to the 85mm for price/performance and indoor usability. I wish that this lens was more "barrel shaped, like the 105 lenses. This "chunky" lens is harder to carry and needs a wider "lens pouch" than its companion lens, the new 50mm F1.8 AFSG. The attached lens hood bayonets onto the outside making the lens more chunky than any other 85mm F1.8 Nikon lens. I wonder about the build quality. It is so light in weight and the plastic filter threads are just silly in a very good lens like this. You can screw in an aftermarket 67mm lens shade to make the lens less chubby. I know that is useful for DX. Make your own tests for FX. I have an adapter ring that allows me to use my extensive collection of 52mm filters if I want to use them on this 67mm lens. Same thing for the companion lens; 50mm F1.8 AFSG lens, which takes 58mm filters. Adapt it to 52mm.

Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX Micro-Nikkor

Review Date: Nov 23, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Nice focal length on crop body. Handles flare situations well.
More distortion than Nikon 35mm F2D. This lens "hunts" the AF sometimes.

I tried liking this lens but I had the 35mm F2 AFD which I liked better for less distortion and less hunting in AF. This lens handles flare better but it "hunts' more in AF. Toss up! I sold tat first version and I eventually got another which seems much better. Sold the 35mm F2 AFD.

Nikon 12-24mm f/4G ED-IF AF-S DX

Review Date: Nov 8, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $750.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very wide. Not too large. Light weight is good and makes the lens easy to hold and to use. No flare.
Large lens shade and 77mm filter size. Price. No focus scales.

I finally got myself a real wide angle lens. Even though I am a prime lens fan, I traded a guy who went completely FX my 20mm F2.8 and $200 for this lens. On DX, 20mm is not really wide so I knew that I was missing out. This lens is so wide that it is fun and creative. As a wedding photographer, I need to watch how wide I go so as not to distort people on the edges when using this lens. Nevertheless, I just shoot and I hope my WA maturity will develop soon. Picture quality is great. No flare issues so far. I had an 18-70 and it flared too much so I got rid of it. General shooting, especially indoors, is so nice to do with this lens and F4 shooting has not bothered me because I often use an SB800 flash but F5.6 is definitely a sweet spot here. I actually tried the D300 popup flash with this lens and it worked with no cutoff. I still cannot believe that. I don't like the huge lens shade. It makes the lens seem huge when it is really not that big. The front glass is very close to the plastic outer ring, so using a shade is mandatory. Lightweight means that I have no problem bringing the lens with me on location and holding it. I wish it were 72mm filter size to match the 180mm and the 105 DC lenses. You have to try this lens to see for yourself what it can do for you. Landscape shooters-why would you use a zoom? A zoom is for fast moving subjects.

Nikon 85mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor

Review Date: Jun 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $390.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Indispensible lens on my camera all of the time. Great for portraits and all around shooting. Nice for flowers too. Compact with pleasing bokeh. Flare not a problem with shade attached.
Not happy with 62mm threads because I have a lot of 52mm filters.

Being a people photographer and a prime lens fan, this is my favorite lens. On a DX body it has a little extra reach and I like the distance from the model that this lens affords me. As a walk around lens it is compact and the AF is never really a problem for me. I don't shoot speed races of any kind so I don't need this to be AFS. Make your own tests. That is the only way to find out what a lens will do for you.

Nikon D300

Review Date: Aug 1, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,740.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Price is excellent for the image quality. More features available than I will ever use. Build quality is very nice. Battery life is great. Preview screen on rear is a very nice size. Viewfinder nearly 100%.
The rear screen is hard to read on the beach.

I waited for this camera to appear because I did not want the D200. I need battery life and this camera delivers. The feature set is more extensive than I will ever need and I don't need a grip.
I use the Nikon F6 and this camera is in the same league in auto focus, handling and ergonomics. It is responsive and has a very nice feel for a shooter with smaller hands. I have used F3's, F100's, D70 and D70s bodies. None of these bodies are massive nor had a built in grip either.
I am very happy with this D300. Thank you Nikon.

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

Review Date: Dec 22, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Great focal length range for people and events.Ed glass.AF is nice.Sharp enough for portraits.
Cannot trust the build quality over time.Flares in backlight situations.67mm filters.Cannot be used on the edges at 18mm.Not F2.8.

I bought mine with a D70S kit because I needed another camera and I like the D70 series from Nikon.This lens is nice enough for general use but pushing it into pro like situations reveals it's shortcomings.Flares outdoors in backlight situations.Not an F2.8 and with variable aperture you never know where the aperture is going to be when you set the camera on manual and the lens at F3.5.Cannot trust it at 18mm with people or groups because of the distorted edges.This lens is sharp enough for people and portraits but if you really want to see sharp try the 105mm F2 AF-DC or the 105mm F2.8 AF-Micro Nikkors.
This lens is for general snapshots and for that purpose, it excels but it is not a pro lens.

Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G AF-S

Review Date: Nov 21, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: $230.00 | Rating: 5 

Pros: I love the 24-85 zoom range.
Awful internal flare at 24mm. AF jerks into focus.

I had this lens for a day before I sold it to someone who really needed it. The sharpness was fine compared to the 18-70mm kit lens but the flare was so awful I could not believe my eyes. It had internal flare (fog) at 24 mm and it created an unbelievable streak across the viewfinder as well. Whenever it got close to the sun at the other focal lengths it flared a great deal, more than any zoom I ever used. Also, it seemed to jerk into focus using the AF mode. I could not understand what that was all about.
I was so disappointed and I could not believe Nikon made such an awful lens. I love the 24-85 focal length and I used to have the 24-85 F2.8-F4 which is superior to this one. No wonder this lens is discontinued.

Nikon 105mm f/2D AF DC-Nikkor

Review Date: Nov 21, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $710.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Pro build quality.Very sharp.I love the balance and feel shooting at F2. Great colors for people pics.
The manual is less than helpful but the lens is great.

I bought this new for a great price. I wanted to try defocus effects for people at weddings and I wanted to try shooting at F2. The balance is amazingly good on the D70s. I know this lens is Pro quality and the crinkled finish is real nice too. It is compact enough to put in a Tamrac lens pouch and place on your belt. The built in lens shade is handy but the glass is recessed so you hardly need to use the shade anyway.
This is a great walk around lens for outdoor candids of people. I shot an indoor birthday party/reception with it and I tried all kinds of apertures with flash with great results. The defocus takes a little getting used to as the manual suggests setting the defocus aperture the same as the regular shooting aperture. I think there is more defocus by setting the defocus aperture differently than the shooting aperture. Make your own tests but the distance of the background will be a factor in the defocus apperance so you might never really know for sure. Don't worry, just shoot at F2. The bokeh is splendid with or without defocus. You will be amazed at the fun you will have shooting at F2. This is an extremely creative tool and it will change you for the better.
I hate to admit that my beloved and great 105 F2.8 AFD Micro is taking a back seat to this lens. (Sold now). This Defocus lens goes to three feet and the Micro Nikkor goes to one foot, so that is one main difference. This defocus lens does the AF much better and works very well in low light situations. This is such a great tool and I am extremely pleased to own it and shoot at F2.
Now I know why people love their 85mm F1.4 lenses because these kinds of lenses are very special and extremely creative tools.

Nikon D70s

Review Date: Oct 5, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Lightweight.Versatile.Handles as easily as any film camera.Lots of controls to grow with and they are in the right places.Pros can use it too.Adjustments available for most any situation.Rugged.Nikon AF lenses.Battery life is great.Color mode choices available.Great value.
No ISO 100 available.Flash results need constant tweaking,even with the Nikon SB800 flash.

I have been using the D70 for a couple of years.I even bought the D70s because I like this camera so much.I use it for the beach and for weddings.It is that versatile.A friend of mine has built his wedding business upon this camera.
The camera shoots fast enough for me.The battery life is amazing.This camera works and there is no need for snob appeal.Portraits go slightly toward the red.This is corrected in Photoshop.I recommend it.

Nikon SB-800 AF Speedlight

Review Date: Aug 30, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 5 

Pros: Probably the only real choice for a Nikon camera. Nice to use and compact. Thoughtfully good options with the soft disc and the built in bounce card.
Exposures can be all over the place depending upon the subject and what they are wearing. Cannot figure out what the manual does because it does not really explain this flash and what it can and should deliver. AA, TTL, iTTL, M, GN equals what the?? I just want it to work with my Nikon cameras set on manual and not to override my manual settings which it seems to always want to do. TTL-BL cannot be relied upon for a consistent flash fill so it is better to just place it on TTL or AA and dial the flash EV up or down as necessary which can really slow you down. The menu scrolling is a real pain. Adding the fifth battery holder is a very good idea but you had better use a tweezer to do it.

Using this flash looks like it will be fun and easy until you go outside in the sun and try to photograph a bride in a white dress or a groom in a black tuxedo or anyone else in the sun. The manual is a total waste of resources and should be rewritten in practical terms without the Nikon hype and geek speak. This flash seems to affect all of your camera settings that you have chosen and reassigns it's own exposure to your scene.
TTL is supposed to work but gives me a headache, or should I use the term iTTL? That is Nikon tecno speak that I don't really understand either. Tell me all about AA? M? I just want it to work with my camera on manual.

Nikon 105mm f/2.8D AF Micro

Review Date: Jun 21, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Useful for film or digital.Great all around telephoto.Good speed.Essential focal lenght to have in the bag.
AF hunts.Lens shade makes it as long as the 180mm F2.8.

I use this in the home for bride getting ready pics. I can pick up her necklace, headshots and also candids of the other people in the house. Outdoors it has a nice reach and I can throw the backgrounds out of focus esaily.On the digital it becomes a nice 150mm. This lens is sharp. No complaints. The speed is nice and thru the viewfinder it looks good.
I still have the manual version of this lens and they both are real nice. It works well on the beach and flare is no problem at all in the sun. The lens shade really does the job and I always leave it on this lens.
There is a need for a close focusing 105mm, not only for macro but for people and other all around shooting.

Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor

Review Date: Jun 20, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: $375.00

Pros: Low light ability,compact,versatile focal length especially on digital,works with film.
Higher flare levels than 35mm F2 Af and less sharp,especially when used wide open.

After further review-I have been using this lens as a part of a dark reception three lens speed kit.It goes real well with the Nikon 20mm F2.8 AF and the 35mm F2 AF.These three lenses work on film or digital.They can get you dancing pics,cake cuts,intros,garter toss,creative pics,etc.The 50mm can get you headshots or waist up pics in the house and is extremely versatile just to have on the camera and be ready to shoot with.I think it is more versatile on the digital the more I use it because of the extra reach of the digital factor.You can throw backgrounds out with ease with this 50mm if your ISO allows it.
The 35mm F2 is a better quality optic in my personal experience but not as versatile as this 50mm.The 35mm seems sharper to me and has less flare than the 50mm.
I also think that everyone should carry a 1.4 just to see what you can do with it.When the lights go down-the 1.4 comes out to play!

Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor

Review Date: Jun 9, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $375.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very nice lens,especially good focal length on digital and for dark rooms and usable inside.Works on digital and film.Compact.
Slight flare in backlight.

I like this lens better on digital for the focal length gets to 75mm and is F1.4 which is not bad for headshots and dark receptions and dancing pics.Maybe better than to carry the 60mm F2.8 Micro because of its ability to shoot in the dark and inside.
Backlit situations outside caude a little concern but not enough to worry about.

Nikon 35mm f/2D AF Nikkor

Review Date: Jun 9, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Compactand an essential focal length,good close focus ability,very little flare and works on film and digital.
A little pricey but you do get what you pay for with this one.Could be F1.4 with CRC.

This lens seems sharper than my AF-50mm F1.4.Also,less flare.This is a perfect normal lens on the D70.Nice wide angle for film.This is nice to use at a dark reception.Carry it at all times.

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

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

Pros: Nice balance,easier to carry than 80-200 or 70-200 and sharper than any zoom lens.
Noticeably softer at F2.8.

I bought mine used at Calumet Camera in Chicago.This is a great lens.You have to use it to really see what it can do for you and that means you cannot have other lenses in your bag competing with it.Just use it and you will see.You will be very happy with the results.
It makes a nice companion to a zoom lens like the 24-85mm.This lens works very well on film or digital.I take mine to the beach but I am careful with the rear cap because the internals are exposed (how stupid is that Nikon).
It will work in a wedding reception and it is so much easier to use and to carry than an 80-200 zoom.It fits in a Tamrac lens pouch that can attach to your belt.Also has a great feel and balance on a flash bracket.AF can rack in and out as mentioned.
It took the place of my 200 F4 manual AIS.

Nikon 20mm f/2.8D AF Nikkor

Review Date: Jun 8, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Fairly compact even with a shade.Inexpensive compared to the 18mm.
Flare outdoors in backlit situations and dj lights at a wedding reception.

This is a nice wide angle for film and compact.A great digital lens for an indoor high speed shooters kit in combination with the the Nikon 35mm F2 and the 50mm F1.4.
I trust this lens over any zoom I have used.


Page:  1 · 2  next