leoric's reviews

  • Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Sharp, protected front element, small dimensions, low weight
    Plasticky (but not a big issue), noisy AF

    This is without a doubt the best purchase for low budgets and for special occasions where you really need the f 1.8.

    If you purchase it from the US you pay close to nothing (100 dollars). If you purchase it from, oh let's say Romania, you pay almost double the price (but that is besides the point).

    First of all, you'll notice how small and lightweight this lens is. It's a breeze compared to your 18-70 kit lens and even to the 18-55 kit lens.

    The second thing you'll notice when you start taking pictures with it is how sharp it is from 2.4 - 2,8 onwards.

    Another useful thing is that the front element is burried deep in the lens, which protects it from accidents and also reduces flare.

    Speaking of flare, the lens doesn't come with a hood, so if you really want one, you can get a rubber 52 mm one.

    One small issue with the 50 mm 1.8 is the fact that it's rather noisy when focusing, but hey, you paid close to nothing for it so it can't be perfect.

    Overall, a great lens.

    reviewed December 18th, 2006 (purchased for $172)
  • Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF DX AF-S Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Internal focusing, silent wave motor, ED glass, metal lens mount
    67mm filter diameter, max aperture at 70mm only 4.5

    I bought this lens together with my D70 and I was immediately surprised with the focusing speed and the fact that it's very quiet.

    This lens has a perspective equivalent to a 27-105mm lens in 35mm terms. The optical quality is very good (certainly better than other kit lenses) and once you stop down the lens a bit, you even excellent results at 18mm.

    Other handy features are the M/A switch and the distance information window.

    This is not the fastest lens in terms of aperture, but considering the price of a 2.8 zoom, there are no complaints.

    The biggest problem is the 67mm diameter, which can make filters quite pricey (especially circular polarizers).

    If I had had enough money for a 17-55mm 2.8 zoom, I would have bought it instead of the 18-70 3.5-4.5, but for a tight budget like mine, this is an ideal lens. I recommend it wholeheartedly.

    reviewed December 26th, 2006 (purchased for $300)
  • Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6G AF Nikkor

    5 out of 10 points and not recommended
    Poor optical and build quallity, only 5.6 at 300mm, rotating front element, extremely slow autofocus

    Of all my lenses, this is by far the worst. Sure it's cheap, but wide open or even stopped down it's not sharp at all and the build quality is poor.

    You can use it for portraits with a nice out of focus background, but don't even think about action shots or bird photography. You will be disappointed.

    I think it gets sharp if you use at f/8.0, otherwise at the 300mm end and wide open be prepared for some serious softness and chromatic aberrations.

    Another problem is the autofocus. It hunts like hell and you will have difficulty locking on to moving subjects. Moreover, the front element rotates during autofocus, which complicates the usage of polarizing filters.

    I'd only recommend this lens if you have a tight budget and if you are desperate for a telephoto lens.

    reviewed January 10th, 2007 (purchased for $150)
  • Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Image stabilizer, build and optical quality, USM
    Price and weight

    Normally, I use a D70, but at work, I am "forced" to use a Canon 5D, which was purchased together with a 24-105 IS lens.

    I don't think one could say anything about it in terms of optical and build quality, after all, this is a professional lens.

    Sharpness is great, focusing speed is amazing and the stabilization compensates for the extra weight (this lens is pretty heavy).

    It has the usual 72mm filter diameter, which can make filters pretty expensive, but if you've paid around 1200 dollars for it, I don't think filters will be a problem.

    If you have the money and want a professional all- purpose lens, go for it. You won't regret it.

    reviewed January 12th, 2007 (purchased for $1,200)