afs's reviews

  • Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    inexpensive, sharp, great performance overall, and small
    build a little on the cheap side, focusing ring/distance scale not like most primes.

    One of Nikon's sharpest lenses, at a bargain price. The trade off is in the build...the plastic shell feels cheap though i've had worse. I do not like the focusing ring, I prefer a separate rubber encased ring and internal distance scale.
    The pictorial results are brilliant. The lens can also be used as a macro lens mouted on the BR-2A reversing ring.

    reviewed October 20th, 2005 (purchased for $99)
  • Nikon 24mm f/2.8D AF Nikkor

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Sharp, Small, and at a great price, excellent FOV.
    Plastic build (not bad considering price), heavy despite its size, not as versatile as a zoom.

    Well, I had this lens for a while, and I intend to get one again soon, because of its quality.
    This is a small lens and can be used on any Nikon made. It provides great optical performance at a reasonable price. I picked mine up for $200, and I used it in place of an 18-70 zoom on my D70. It is more solidly built and has a nice heft to it, despite its small size.
    This lens offers a great focal length, particularly on digital. The sharpness the lens offers is also excellent. At f/2.8 it grabs a huge amount of detail. at f/4 it improves even more. The only con is that in the sharpness department, the 17-35mm f/2.8D AF-S ED-IF zoom beats it once stopped down past f/4 or so....but it does that to every prime in its range and costs $1400.
    The 24mm f/2.8D is an excellent lens for people pictures, candids, basically anything. It is one SHARP lens. It is far less obtrusive than my 17-35 AF-S, too. It has my preferred rubber focusing ring with internal distance scale.
    I loved it, only sold it because I needed the 17-35 more, and I want it back for those times when having a lens that's bigger than the camera isn't preferable.

    reviewed October 20th, 2005 (purchased for $200)
  • Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF VR AF-S Nikkor

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Sharpness, Color, Bokeh, f/2.8, build, VR, tripod foot, ergonomics, EVERYTHING!
    lens hood is a bit small, flare can be a bit of an issue. And I didn't get one sooner.

    I've owned this lens for about 5 months now. I owned the 80-200 AF-S f/2.8 before that.
    I will say one thing about this lens before I review it.
    This lens is sharp sharp sharp. Every now and then there will be a picture you'll be afraid to look at with 100% magnification, for fear of the picture causing you bodily harm with its sharpness.
    The lens exhibits outstanding performance at all apertures. It is great at f/2.8, and just gets better and better as you stop it down to f/4 and f/5.6. It knocked the socks off the 80-200 AFS in general image feel and quality in my opinion. It has beautiful bokeh too.
    The Nikon 70/80-200 series is legendary for its quality. This lens is merely the latest great leap forward in it.
    But there's nothing simple.
    For example, the lens includes the Vibration Reduction feature, which is a life-saver. I've gotten sharp pictures i'd never have gotten. Handheld shots at ISO 200 in the dark shade, 1/40 f/2.8 or f/4 at 200mm (300 equivalent). After letting VR stabilize for several seconds, I got a reasonably sharp shot of a door handle at 1/5 sec 200mm.
    Compared to the 80-200 AFS, this lens feels lighter, and is easier to operate. The zoom ring bulges ever so slightly and the focusing ring is well contoured and is nice and large for ease of use. The reduced diameter over most of the lens compared to the 80-200 is a real plus for handling. The new construction is very nice.
    The tripod collar is also a wonderful step in the right direction . The fully rotating collar is permanently fixed to the lens, with a quick release foot. This makes it easy to get a nice stable platform and remove it for handheld shooting easily. It also makes for very stable aftermarket lens QR plates for tripod heads- they simply replace the whole foot.
    Flare happens...and with 21 elements the 70-200 is no exception. But it isn't too bad in my opinion. You live with it...just like you would with any zoom in this range.
    The lens hood may be on the short side (though it looks great). Simple solution, the larger lens hood from the 80-200 AF-S model works on this lens!
    This lens produces beautiful colors and wonderfully rendered images.

    Overall, this has to have been the best spent $1300 of my life. I adore this lens and love the results I get. From nature to sports to portraits, this lens shines in every way.
    Buy one today!

    reviewed October 20th, 2005 (purchased for $1,300)
  • Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF DX AF-S Nikkor

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    great range, excellent performance at a good price, AF-S, very sharp when stopped down and excellent overall.
    cheap build, large extension while zooming, aperture, sharpness unless stopped down

    I had this as my kit lens with My D70 for the first 6 months or so. I took many beautiful pictures with it. It has proven to be a very good solution as a lightweight all-around lens.
    Sharpest when stopped down to f/8-f/11, this lens is not bad wide open, and improves as you stop down towards the sweet spot. I found that using flash helped a lot, since you could afford to stop down more in some situations.
    The lens covers a very good range for the beginner and intermediate photographer...and its image quality is good enough for a pro's lightweight lens. But it still has a lot to be desired.
    For one, I found construction to be lackluster after I got to know about better lenses, and held a few pro lenses. Eventually the plasticky build, shaky front section, and doubling in length when zooming made me seek a better alternative. I also found the 3.5-4.5 aperture limiting, and the need to stop down so much also was a problem.
    The small manual focus ring I did not like at all in feel or size.
    A good lens overall for the beginner or for a light travel lens. But there are many better lenses out there.

    reviewed October 20th, 2005 (purchased for $250)