deanzat's reviews

  • Nikon 60mm f/2.8D AF Micro Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    sharpness, contrast, saturation

    I often use this as a "walk-around" lens, because it allows me to walk right up to anything small, or take a lovely portrait. Here are links to three of the kind of shots I enjoy from this lens.

    I'm sure I'm not as serious about photography as most of the people on this site, but this lens helps me get the images I want, because of its flexibility.

    reviewed December 12th, 2006 (purchased for $350)
  • Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF DX AF-S Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    useful range, surprising image quality

    When I made the leap to digital (and I really leapt, selling my 8008s bodies; burning my ships so to speak), I was just going to buy a D70 body, but standing in the store, I decided to get this lens so I would have some wide angle capability.

    Funny, because I was only getting the D70 so I could use all my old lenses, but this lens is so ridiculously practical that I use it a lot. I mean, really a lot.

    As a travel lens, I just love it. It's been to Venice, and it's been to the inauguration of the WWII Memorial, and with the SB800 it's a fantastic party or event lens.

    I will likely eventually get a faster wide zoom, but if I was going to be stuck somewhere for a couple of weeks and could only have one of my current lenses, this would be the one.

    reviewed December 12th, 2006
  • Nikon 85mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    great color, sharpness, and feel

    This and my 80-200 are the "10s" in my collection. I often use this one to shoot local concerts at clubs or "all ages" venues, where I can move about freely. Naturally, I also use it for portraits, although it is sometimes too sharp and I must resort to smoothing techniques in photoshop.

    Every photographer should use a lens like this to understand the famous filter-vs-no filter debate. Take a couple of shots without a filter on this lens, and if you've always believed in protection filters, your world will be rocked. The resolution can be stunning.

    People might think that I write a lot of gushing reviews, but I've had a lot of Nikon and Canon lenses over the past thirty years, and I've only kept the ones I really like. Here's one of my favorite shots from this lens:

    reviewed December 12th, 2006
  • Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    small, light, fast, sharp

    What's not to love? No matter how lightly you're packing your camera bag, you can bring along this pretty fast, very small, very light lens.

    Color, contrast and sharpness are very good. And in a pinch, I can slip it into a pocket.

    My only concern is the build quality; it doesn't have the solid feel of my older lenses. For a hundred bucks, why should it? And the glass is just fine.

    When I first got into photography, we HAD to get 50mm lenses with our cameras, and it was all we could afford for a while, so we couldn't wait to get other lenses and break away from the 50. On Nikon digitals, though, this becomes a fast 75, and I find it very useful.

    reviewed December 12th, 2006 (purchased for $100)
  • Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8D ED AF Nikkor

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Astonishing color, contrast and sharpness
    heavy, no tripod collar (mine is push-pull version), focus hunting is common

    This is my all time favorite lens, although it is not appropriate for every situation. I use this primarily for performances where I am seated in the audience, and I'm flattered that many performers use my photos on their websites.

    The negatives for me: if I don't limit the focus range, it can get lost easily. It's also a total drag that I cannot put the thing on a monopod or tripod.

    Here are galleries mostly shot with this lens:

    reviewed December 12th, 2006 (purchased for $850)
  • Tokina 12-24mm f/4 AT-X 124 AF PRO DX SD

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    range, build quality, color and contrast
    hood approximately the size of a mini-cooper

    This lens is a little more contrasty than most of my others, so it took some time to adjust my photoshop routines, but as I've learned how to use the lens and how to process the images, I've come to appreciate its capabilities.

    In combination with a Lightsphere-equipped SB800, this lens has served me well at crowded house parties. I'm still learning how to use wide-angles for best effect, but here are some images I've made with this lens:

    reviewed December 12th, 2006 (purchased for $500)