CocoMonGo's reviews

  • Tokina 28-80mm f/2.8 AT-X 280 AF PRO

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Cheap for built, constant 2.8 and quality
    Only wish was that the zoom ring was bigger

    I gave this lens an over 10 because of its price versus it's performance. An equal Nikon or Canon cost 3-4 times more. While honestly I have yet to use the Nikon equalivent, I would not pay for the the Nikon unless I am a full time pro photographer with a lot of cash.

    Performance wise, its fast on focus (f/2.8 helps), and the focus clutch mechanism is great since its s short secure pull/push. A small issue I have is that the zoom ring is a little too thin for my liking since it is something I would use more often then the focus ring.

    reviewed December 16th, 2006
  • Nikon 28-100mm f/3.5-5.6G AF Nikkor

    5 out of 10 points and not recommended
    The lightest zoom lens you will ever find
    One of the worst lens Nikon will ever produce

    This lens came with my F80, and I have been using it since until I bought my 18-35mm from Nikon about a year ago. Everything about this lens is plastic, save the electronic contacts and a couple of screws as much as I can see. Everything about it is loose and cheap in feel. Even now one of the mounts have chipped off, but it still works.

    Resolution of this lens is horrible, color is dull, focus is noisy though its no snail. There is two rings on this lens, the front which is just a small ring does the focusing, the larger one is the zoom. Is is not internal focus which makes using a polarizer difficult.

    All that said its still an ok lens. Something you can safely use to photography (like it did) photograph friends working at the metal workshop with sparks flying. I also made numerous large B&W prints using this lens, which turned out beautifully IMHO, partly because it is sharp (for its class).

    If you must, go buy any other lens other then this one. But if you already own one go ahead and use it as a throw-away lens (recycle if possible). Use it where you will not use other expensive lenses.

    reviewed December 16th, 2006
  • Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6G AF Nikkor

    7 out of 10 points and recommended
    Light weight, cheap, high power zoom
    Slow to focus and not-so-bright lens

    About 3 years ago, this lens would not be even considered anything but paper weight by most photographers then. Even though back then they had a ED version of this lens which I guessed helped with the colour.

    This is a cheap lens, and unless you are willing to spend 8 to 10 times more for the 80-200mm from Nikon, go ahead and buy this one. It is a great travel lens.

    It is light (therefore a cheap feel to it), but makes for a good lens to hike up mountains with, small again a plus for travelling. I rarely use this lens at the 70-100mm setting, but rather at the 200-250mm. This is where I find the limit of the lens (about 200mm), any more the picture gets soft. Distortion is noticable at the long end, though not sufficiently severe. Colour is OK and rendered quite naturally. Non IF means problems with polarizers. Generally a sharp lens, use around f/8 onwards. Frankly speaking, hand-shake will be more of an issue using this lens then the lens not being sharp.

    As mentioned earlier, this lens is a slow-mo. Focus is slow and will hunt for its target and even fail at times at low light levels. But at f/4 doesnt make it a low level lens anyway.

    Recommended? Yes, but if possible try the ED version or the newer (and better??) IF-ED-VR-AFs version. Got 10 times more money? Go get the 80-200. Even more? got the 70-200 VR.

    reviewed December 16th, 2006 (purchased for $100)
  • Nikon 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5D ED-IF AF Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Inexpensive, great optics, 18mm FF
    You cannot use this lens at 18mm with too many filters

    IF, ED ... only thing lacking is that its not a constant f/2.8. Focusing is fast on this lens, mainly because its a wide angle. The centre of the lens is very sharp, but very slightly softens towards the far corners (then again, how many lenses dont?). Distortion is acceptable to me (for the len's angle).

    On my last overseas trip this was the only lens that i seriously used. Of the whole trip, it stayed on my camera almost 95% of the time and only once did I change my lens to the my other 70-300mm lens for a couple of shots.
    The built of the lens isnt the best I have handled, again, it isnt the most expensive I have used either. The rubberized zoom ring is the one closer to the body, and is great to use, though slightly loose for my taste it is not a problem, just a matter of taste. Th zoom ring on the other hand, is slightly thinner (ok) but is even looser the the zoom ring, which can mean accidentally moving it when/if you fiddle with front filters. That said, I rarely use the manual focus anyway.

    Flare is a problem with this lens. and the hood doesnt help much, if at all. I believe that when Nikon made the same hood useable on the 17-35, they just wanted keep the cost down. Never the less the hood does come in to play by reducing the chances of having things bang against the front element. You will have to remove the hood though if you want to mount filters or even use the polariser as my fingers were unable to effectively turn the polarizer ring.

    Generally a very good lens, and one to buy unless you have money for the 17-35mm.

    reviewed December 26th, 2006
  • Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    Basic 50mm lens, cheap and effective
    Wish it had more hyperfocal markings

    The basic 50mm lens that everybody tells you to buy with your first camera. I didnt buy this lens with my first camera. I did buy it later buy sold it off when I had 50mm zooms.

    With this lens you only need to control it from the camera, unless you want to manual zoom. Being one of the small lens around in Nikon, the manual zoom ring is very thin; which is not my taste. I just hate focusing using two fingers.

    As with all 50mm f/1.8 round , image quality is as good as it gets. (If there are any 1st party lens manufacturers that makes even average 50mm primes you will have to really reconsider their system, seriously). Its extreamly fast lens at f/1.8, making viewing(and manual focusing) through the eyepiece a joy!

    I would buy this lens again, since my mid zoom is about to bust, and I rarely use anything other then my wide and my super zoom anyway.

    reviewed December 26th, 2006
  • Nikon 60mm f/2.8D AF Micro Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Micro 60mm with true 1:1 repro
    nothing much, but 60mm is not for photographing insects

    I borrowed this len from a friend for a couple of weeks, and shot a couple of rolls with it. Is light-weight and is made more of metals then the common plastic lenses you see these days. At f/2.8 it isnt slow either, but to my experience, AF can be slightly sluggish when at close range (near 1:1). Limiting the focus range or better still, manually focusing is much better. The focus distance indicator didnt really help (since the hyperfocal markings are so small) unless you are working at near 1:1 range, in which case is superb. There is a manual/AF ring on the lens itself, which took me while to get use to, but became useful once you get the hang of it (I had problems initially when I could not remember if I turned AF off on the camera body or on the lens).

    Being a micro, as expected the lens has extreamly good defination. I didnt take much 'non-micro' shots to compare corner sharpness. But being a prime I would worry a thing about it. Color is beautify natural and although it lacks a bayonet lens hood, the front element is deeply seated into the lens. Flare is the least of the problems.

    The unit that I borrowed was quite well abused. It had a badly dented filter/front mount and a cracked (but functional) MF/AF ring. With the lens elements clean and scratch free, it still functioned perfectly giving beautiful micro shots (but could not focus at infinity due to the badly dented front mount which could no longer recess into the lens to be focused at infinity, lens design draw back? Maybe, I dont know). I therefore stand my this len's built quality.

    Buy? Yes unless you want to photography insects and other creatures in which getting within 22/33cm of the film/sensor plane is not possible and/or otherwise dangerous. As mentioned earlier the front mount does extend about another few cm then focused at 22mm, which usually scared insects away.

    reviewed December 26th, 2006