toondesmit's reviews

  • Sigma 300-800mm f/5.6 EX DG HSM

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Zoom, soft color, contrast and sharpness
    finish could be better, heavy

    I own this lens a little over a year and I am very pleased with the results. I hesitated between the Nikon 500 and this lens. The Nikon had more contrast and sharpness and a more blue character.
    I use it for birdphotography. I like it’s versatility. The ability to zoom gives you a high hitrate. With 300mm you search and once you found your target you zoom in. The color, contrast and sharpness is very pleasing. I also own Nikon lenses and I discovered that in CS2 I try to make the Nikons look like the Sigma!
    Up until 700 mm the lens is very sharp but also 800mm can be used. Although wide open already gives wonderful images I like to stop down a little. I find myself often choose a higher iso to be able to use f6,3 or f7,1. The only wish I have is that I could focus a little faster in low light.

    You can see what I do with the lens at:

    You can see that I slowly improve my photography. I like to think that it is thanks to this piece of equipment.

    reviewed December 16th, 2006 (purchased for $6,550)
  • Nikon 300mm f/4D ED-IF AF-S Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Contrast, sharpness!, hood, minimum focussing distance
    I replaced the collar with Kirk’s

    I started to use this lens this summer for Macro.
    In combination with the PN-11 extension tube and the D200. And with a solid tripod and use of MLU.
    With the lens plus tubes you can keep a safe distance which is nice while approaching dragonsflies and damselflies.

    I replaced the collar because Kirk's is better. I don't think it is needed if you shoot above 1/60sec.

    I have to say that after some practice the results are really great. It is as if you use a supertele (I own the Sigma 300-800) for macro. Pictures look different than the 200mm f4.

    See for yourself:

    reviewed November 3rd, 2007 (purchased for $1,560)
  • Nikon 200mm f/4D ED-IF AF Micro Nikkor

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    sharpness, tripod collar, enormous focusing ring
    week plastic ring to set Manual or Autofocus

    Most of the time I use the Nikon 300mm f/4 AFS with the Nikon extension tubes for macro. Working distance is great and depth of field a bit more forgiving than the 200mm Micro.

    However for smaller critters I started using this lens again. In combination with the D300 and D200. I am thrilled with the results. I always use a tripod and Mirror Lock Up. Sharpness is terrific. I don’t miss VR and the tripod collar is sturdy enough.

    See for yourself:

    Sometimes I have a hard time choosing between the 300mm with the PN-11 and the 200mm Micro!

    reviewed August 24th, 2008