Zed's reviews

  • Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8D ED AF Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Light weight, "Fast" (f/2.8), Built very tough
    No AF-S

    This is one of my most used lenses. Hands down, this lens has performed beyond my expectations. I purchased this lens just over a year ago (in late 2005). I came from the use of the Nikon 70-300 f/4-5.6 G lens. I primary use this lens to shoot low or poor light subjects at a distance with my D200 or D70. I have used it for all different types of sports, models, and even macro under many different lighting conditions.

    The only downside after a year of solid usage of it is the lack of AF-S. Do not think that this lens is slow on the focus. It is leaps and bounds faster than the 70-300 on obtaining the focus. There is an AF-S version of the 80-200, but it is no longer a “current” model and was replaced by the 70-200 AF-S VR.

    Do not bother with the old “push-pull” version. This version is much better in handling. AF-D, AF-S, or 70-200 AF-S VR, they all are spectacular. Get whichever one you can get your hands on and afford and do not look back!

    reviewed November 15th, 2006 (purchased for $900)
  • Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF DX AF-S Nikkor

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    Flexible focal lenghts, better than other kit lenses, AF-S
    Sometimes soft, especially if wide open

    This lens came with my D70 kit back in February 2004. I will not claim for it to be best of the best, but it is quite a reasonable performer. In combination with the 70-300 f/4-5.6 G I purchased along side, it provided me with a solid year of good quality shots.

    This lens does have heavy distortion at 18mm and is quite soft if you leave it wide open for my tastes. By no means does this outperform the Nikon 17-55 f/2.8, but it does provide much greater flexibility in the focal lengths.

    If you are starting off in the digital slr world, consider this lens as part of a kit. It is much better than other kit lenses and it gives you a taste of AF-S for when you decide to get bigger and better lenses.

    reviewed November 15th, 2006
  • Nikon 200mm f/4D ED-IF AF Micro Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Very sharp!
    Slow autofocus, heavy

    I tried this lens out one day in a camera store because I was curious about it. The store let me use their D50 and I used my memory card to record the images and review later.

    This lens produces amazing image quality, but is terrible when using auto focus. I would not recommend using this lens if you plan to chase bugs, unless they are sitting and not moving unless you manually focus. It takes a good 10 seconds to acquire focus after making loud noises while the gears inside shift around. If you want to use this lens, do not waste your time with the auto focus.

    If you have some jewelry, plants, or non-moving items that will not scurry away from the loud noises it produces, this lens will produce images beyond your expectations.

    reviewed November 15th, 2006
  • Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    $100, Light, Fast focus
    Soft at f/1.8

    I was given this lens as a gift in 2005 and I have not stopped using it since. If you do not own this lens yet, stop reading reviews and just buy it! It is the cheapest lens that can provide the greatest quality.

    I own the AF-D version which focuses almost as fast as my AF-S 18-70. Although it is a little soft wide open, you can still produce amazing images. Just stop down to f/2.8 and you will be fine. I have used it for portraits, landscapes, and even sports. There is no excuse why you should not carry this with you in your bag at all times.

    I wish I could find a downside other than being soft at f/1.8, but there are none. The only way for this not to be in my bag would be to replace it with something sharper and more flexible, such as the 17-55 f/2.8. Grab it and do not look back!

    reviewed November 15th, 2006
  • Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6G AF Nikkor

    7 out of 10 points and recommended
    Light, Flexible focal lengths
    Slow focus, f/4-5.6 is unacceptable for anything with low light, extends quite far

    This lens is a great beginner lens. This combined with the Nikon 18-70 f/3.5-4.5 provide a great foundation to learning about photography. I would recommend only using this lens during bright daylight. Wide open, it is very soft at any focal length. This is a great way to learn about the basics, but not very useful beyond that.

    One of the ‘secrets’ about this lens is the fact that it can do 1:4 macro (micro) photography. At 300mm, you can get as close as 6 feet (give or take a few inches) and get some good shots. It can not replace any of the Nikon micro lenses, but it can provide a good starting point to learn.

    The focus speed is quite slow, so avoid situations where you need to track moving objects. If you ever upgrade to an f/2.8 lens within the 70-300 range, you will notice t he quality jump. Not a bad lens to start with. Mine is collecting dust right now.

    reviewed November 15th, 2006 (purchased for $150)