JStiffey's reviews

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

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Focus and zoom speed
    Weight auto focus lock ring

    My best lens.
    I shoot equestrian events with this lens and it has never let me down.
    The images are always sharp and the focus seems to keep up fine with both my D70 and D1x.
    The weight of the lens is of course a bit arm tireing, but that is to be expected with any of the large fast lenses.

    I have found that my manual/auto focus ring is now not locking into place on auto after a short period of time.
    It however is not affecting the focus except to cause a bit of headache when it slips off auto at the least opportune time. :(

    Even with all the new VR lenses I still think this is the best value on the market if you need a fast lens.

    I paid way less than market value for mine early this year.

    reviewed December 9th, 2006 (purchased for $625)
  • Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF DX AF-S Nikkor

    7 out of 10 points and recommended
    Weight and size
    Not very smooth

    The standard kit lens that came with my D70 and has served me well.
    I do find than now after almost 2 years of use the focus and zoom rings are getting gritty and rough.
    The lens still produces sharp images and is very compact for the focal range.

    It is my "primary" lens still and due to it's versatility.

    Still a "slow" lens when full zoomed out to 70.

    I have even put a rather large "chip" into the front element along the filter ring. Due to removing a stuck filter. :(
    The chip is horrendous looking, but the lens still performs well with no distortion or loss of image quality.

    For a "cheap" Nikor lens it certainly has worked well for me.

    reviewed December 9th, 2006
  • Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED VR AF Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Sharpness VR stability

    While not having owned one of these yet I have rented one on several occasions.

    This is a FANTASTIC lens!
    The VR combined with 400mm focal length is a winning combination.

    I have used this lens to photograph sled dogs in Alaska and car racing under the lights with great results.

    I do find that after short period of time my shoulder and arm will complain about the sheer size of this monster.
    Mounting on a monopod certainly does help with that, but limits your VR option.

    Overall a great lens and I would have purchased one this year if I didn't find my 80-200 2.8. :)

    reviewed December 9th, 2006
  • Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    Weight size speed
    mediocre sharpness

    I found this lens to be a bit on the "cheap" side.
    The feel of the lens is very "pro-sumer" grade with lots of plastic.

    The image sharpness was not what I expected of an Image Stabilized lens.
    At the far ends of the focal range it seemed to get soft in the corners.
    I also felt the focus was slow on the 20D.
    Fast moving subjects seemed to be hard to track with this lens.

    Overall a decent lens if you can't afford the "great white" lenses, but if you can spring for the extra money then I would shy away from this lens.

    reviewed December 9th, 2006
  • Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6G AF Nikkor

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    Light inexpensive

    Bought this originally with my D70 2 years ago.
    It has been a solid work horse for any subjects that don't move too fast. :)

    The plastic construction actually feels pretty solid and doesn't exhibit any weird traits.
    The zoom control is smooth and accurate.

    The auto focus is on the slow side and certainly will hunt if presented a quick moving subject that is changing focal ranges.

    Image sharpness has never been a problem so long as you have ample light.
    Wide open the lens seems to work well and I have not noticed any irregularities.
    Overall for an inexpensive lens it is an A+ in my opinion.

    reviewed December 9th, 2006 (purchased for $160)