glen's reviews

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

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    Huge focal range, very good all round performance, VR works well, AFS works well
    Pricy

    I finally saved up the bucks to get a good DSLR and lens. I picked the Nikon D200 with the AF-S 18-200 G VR because both the camera and lens were getting very good reviews and it's a lot of bang for the buck.

    I since picked up a few more lens, but my primary points of comparison are to the Canon S1 IS which I've used for the last two - three years and a 35 mm Canon A-1 prior to that (which I used for a good fifteen years at least.) Having IS on the Canon point and shoot was a bit of an eye opener and made me decide that spending more to get VR was worth the extra bucks.

    The 18-200 on a D200 is a mind boggling experience and reminds my of getting a 28 - 105 zoom for my Canon A-1 many years ago except that now I've got very fast autofocus, anti-shake and a much larger focal range. Aside from a tendency to creep (or gravitate) this lens has very little to complain about (and quite honestly my 28 - 105 zoom did the same thing so this is not a new problem). I have not used an equivalent lens by Sigma, Tamron or Canon, so I have no basis for comparison of products. However, the 18- 200 provides sharp, contrasty, colorful (I hate to say saturated it doesn't enhance the colors, but it doesn't dull them by any means) photos. There is some barrel distortion at the wide end, but it's easy to correct in the PC. It's difficult to get the lens to flare (I have put the sun in the photo trying to get flare for effect and been disappointed!) and CA is very minimal (I have seen some but only when I went pixel peeking at very high zoom) and would not be seen in average prints. Both the 50 mm and Macro 105 I own are capable of making sharper images that the 18 - 200 set at the same focal length, but the difference is small.

    Quite frankly, I can say with all confidence that the biggest problems getting good images with this camera/lens combination is ME, and that's exactly what I was hoping for when I bought it.

    reviewed December 9th, 2006 (purchased for $750)
  • Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    Sharp, fast, inexpensive
    Plastic

    I actually looked long and hard at getting a 50 F1.8 AIS rather than this lens as the build quality is not as good, but decided it was nice to have autofocus.

    Optically this lens leaves nothing to be desired. You would have to pixel peek at big mags to see distortion or CA. Soft at f1.8 and tack sharp by f4. A good portrait lens on a DSLR.

    A deal for the price.

    reviewed December 9th, 2006 (purchased for $109)
  • Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR AF-S Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    A sharp tele zoom with AFS ED IF VR and FX
    Not fast

    I recently bought this zoom to compliment a 24-85 G on an F100. I expected to use it more on the film camera than the D200 as I have an 18-200, but I have found it to be better than the 18-200 in the 70-200 range. I will come back and re-rate this lens as I get more shots on it, but so far I have to say that I'm impressed. This is a sharp, fast focusing lens. VR works, and it's an FX format. Given how much the next step up the rung costs - an 80-400VR or a 70-200VR - this is a lot of bang for the buck.

    A sharp lens wide open at 70mm and when stopped down a bit at 300mm. Construction is good - I like the stiff zoom ring. VR activation is noticeable on this lens, certainly unlike the 18-200. I suspect the VR element being moved is much larger than in the 18-200.

    This zoom is killer from 70 to about 200 with sharp images and great bokeh. Performance falls off a bit going up to 300, but still it's very, very good.

    reviewed February 4th, 2008 (purchased for $540)
  • Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF AF-S Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    A compact mid-range zoom with FX AFS ED and IF
    Not a 2.8 zoom

    I bought this lens used along with a used F100. It's a good FX format all rounder. I have also used it on my D200. At first I thought it was not as sharp as the 18-200 I use on the D200 only to realize that I have to watch my shutter speeds more with a non-VR lens especially at the 85 end of the zoom. I recently shot some slide film (Velvia 100) using a tripod and have found it to be a good sharp lens when used correctly (stopped down a bit). It focuses fast and has nice contrasty, saturated colors. The construction quality is similar to the 18-200 and actually a little behind the 70-300 VR. (I find I like the nice stiff zoom of the 70-300 VR better than a loose zoom.) I'd like to see the lens reviewed by SLR Gear but I realize that's fairly unlikely with it being out of production.

    Many say this lens was discontinued because it is inferior to the 24-85 2.8-4, but my guess is that Nikon needed to use the production capacity to make 18-70 zooms for DSLRs, and saw a diminishing market for the 24-85. This is going to be a good all rounder for the smaller, less expensive FX format DSLR I'm waiting for.

    I've used this lens more, and am very happy with the sharp, vivid results. Plus this has to be the fastest AF-S lens I have used - it focuses FAST. When used properly, this delivers better results than the 18-200. I have upped my overall rating especially considering I only paid $200 and got the hood and caps.

    reviewed February 4th, 2008 (purchased for $200)
  • Nikon 85mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Sharp, fast, good value
    Bit noisy, build quality

    Picked up this lens a couple weeks back and have taken forty - fifty shoots with the D200 and half a roll with the F100. Since then, I've taken lots of shots which has only confirmed my initial impression on both FX and DX - this lens is SHARP!

    I did not expect this lens to be so sharp wide open, and stopping down, it just seems to get sharper and sharper. The bokeh at f/1.8 is good and improves as the lens is stopped down. Focus speed is good, a little louder than AF-S, but not a big issue. Focus on the D200 works well, but you can still miss a shot wide open since the DOF is narrow.

    I have not seen any purple fringing in FX or DX or on film. Build quality does not compare to older AIS lenses but it is very decent.

    This lens is a keeper.

    reviewed November 14th, 2008 (purchased for $390)
  • Nikon 12-24mm f/4G ED-IF DX AF-S Nikkor

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    wide, sharp, nice saturated colors
    expensive,

    I picked up this lens up used for about half of new. I am impressed. Going this wide has been a "hole" in my lens collection for a long time. It balances well on my camera, and produces tasty, saturated pictures. I have to admit, I am going to have to get used to the distortion in the wide end of the zoom, but the quality at the 24 end is outstanding even when wide open. Build quality is good with the feel of the zoom ring better than that of the standard or super zooms. Faster would be nicer, but the cost of a 14-24 remains higher than I want to pay, and this zoom can be used full frame in the 18 to 24 range.

    reviewed November 29th, 2016 (purchased for $550)