stib's reviews

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

    7 out of 10 points and recommended
    convenient - wide zoom range and VR; seems well built
    lens is slow; degree of lens extesion with zoom; lens creep

    I bought this lens together with my D200 as a kit. The D200 is my first dSLR - I had used a Sony F717 previously and use an old CanonAE-1 from time to time.

    I really enjoy the zoom range of the lens and find that the VR works very well, but I was disappointed by the speed of the lens and the fact that there was so much lens extension with zoom. Many people had complained of lens creep - my lens did not exhibit this at first, but over time I found that lens creep began to set in as the lens components loosened up.

    The images I've taken with this lens have been a mixed bag. In good light, I find I can get decent images of my daughter with decent bokeh, but I was also disappointed by the lens' apparent softness. The images just did not seem very sharp. At first I thought it was my technique that was at fault, but my 50mm 1.4 exhibits much sharper images as did my old Sony. I guess it is unfair to compare a prime to a zoom lens though.

    All-in-all, I think it's a good lens for its intended purposes. As far as recommendations go, I really think it would depend on what would be expected of the camera. If you're looking for tack-sharp images and speed, then no. If you're looking for a decent all-around lens that you can leave on your camera much of the time, then yes.

    In all honesty though, I am finding myself leaving my 50mm 1.4 on the camera much more often and wishing that I had the funds for the 105 VR...

    reviewed December 11th, 2006
  • Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    compact; speed of lens; produces very sharp images
    plastic construction; CA at wide open

    I own a D200, which I purchased with the 18-200VR. I was a little disappointed with the speed and sharpness of that lens, so I thought I'd try my hand at a fast prime. I bought this lens to take portraits of our daughter.

    I was pleasantly surprised by how much more I could shoot in low light compared to my zoom lens, despite the VR. The images produced by the lens are very sharp. And its compact size makes it great to take along for taking pictures on the street.

    I was a little disappointed by the build quality of the lens. It is very plasticky, particularly compared to my old Canon 50mm 1.4 lens. That lens just seems much more robust and built to higher tolerance. I can feel quite a bit of play between the plastic pieces of the Nikkor. There is also quite a bit of CA at wide open, but it probably isn't that smart to shoot wide open in well lit conditions anyways.

    Overall though, I am happy I purchased this lens, and I'm looking forward to buying more primes in the future.

    reviewed December 11th, 2006 (purchased for $290)