Hokum's reviews

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

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Small, very good macro, sharp, little distortion
    Plastic body but what would you espect, slowish AF, flare

    A true midrange lens in many senses.

    Offering standard to mild telephoto, the lens offers alot for walk around use, on digital its a 42-157mm lens.

    The plastic body is tough and is built ok, the Zoom is smooth but the front of the lens rotates 1/4 a turn while zooming.

    The optics are supurb, the only difference between this and a "professional" lens is that this is 3.5-4.5 not 2.8. distortion is very wel controled due to a aspherical lens element, and CA is tightly controlled.
    The only slight issue is flare when the front is struck by the sun.

    The other great feature is the 1:2 macro, this lens is very sharp in macro mode and the 157mm effective focal length is good for bug macro's and plant shots.

    As a set with the 18-35 D ED and 70-300 D ED it makes a compact and light travel setup.

    reviewed June 5th, 2006
  • Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6D ED AF Nikkor

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    Light, sharp and low distortion
    Some CA, great sample variation

    This lens has very wide sample variation, some are rubbish end to end, some are good at the wide end some at the telephoto.

    My lens was cherry picked, and 100-300mm it is very sharp, it goes off a little at the wider end. At 300mm f6.3 it is knock out, with very little CA, pin cusion, and is pretty flare resistant.

    I picked up this lens as i wanted a ligher lens for travel and walking than the 300mm f2.8.

    My only main nit is that the AF is a little sluggish, an AF-S version would be nice, even better would be a VR version.

    reviewed June 5th, 2006
  • Sigma 300mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM APO

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Very Very sharp, great colour, fast AF, "cheap"
    Not weather sealed

    Probably the best lens i have ever used. Sharp at f2.8, and even sharp at f4 with a 1.4 x TC, with the sigma 2x you only need to stop down 2/3 to f7.1 to get exceptable images.

    The bokeh is creamy smooth, the contrast is good and the colour rendition has none of the old sigma yellow cast.

    Though lacking VR/IS and weather sealing for the price it is more than worth not having these. Both the canon and the nikon are several thousand more.

    AF is fast, though not lightening like, but more than capable for tracking birds in flight. AF accuracy is ok, my copy does tend to front focus a little. Without the TC's lockon is SURE with the 2x TC it does sometimes hunt.

    Some samples


    reviewed June 12th, 2006 (purchased for $1,100)
  • Sigma 500mm f/4.5 EX DG HSM APO

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    No weather/dust sealing

    The 500mm sigma offers few compromises yet offers excellent value for money and supurb performance. Perhaps not quite as sharp as my previous 300mm f2.8 but it is sharper than the 300 + 1.4x tc. AF is swift and sure, plus the lens nails the focus, none of the slight front focus my 300mm had.

    Build quality:
    Very good but it would be nice to get weather and dust sealing into the bargain. Even without this all you need is a sleeve cover and its fine. The tripod mount is stable and in just the correct place for a handle when hand holding.

    Image quality:
    Fantastic, i dont really need to say anything more. Good colour, contrast, sharpness. The Bokeh is not the best but certainly above average.

    Some examples:




    I would recommend this lens to anyone who is looking for more than what the 80-400's and x-500mm zooms offer.

    reviewed April 16th, 2007 (purchased for $1,800)
  • Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR AF-S Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Fast Focus, Sharp at all focal ranges, good build quality, accurate.
    F4 would be nicer

    I owned a sharp copy of the 70-300 D ED, but didnt like the slow AF. A friend of mine was selling his VR as he rarely used it.

    Wow, its better than the D ED in everyway!

    I've also found something interesting about the VR.

    I use a D200 and if you half press the VR kicks in, then turns off after about 30 seconds. Why? I have no idea as it sucks if your shooting birds and waiting for THAT moment.

    Anyway, if you press the AF-on button , then half press the shutter the VR just stays on! great!

    My copy is (like the D ED) one of the rare sharp at 300mm breed.

    Some samples.

    Wedding images:


    British Superbikes:


    reviewed September 13th, 2007 (purchased for $600)