Kong47's reviews

  • Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF DX AF-S Nikkor

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    lightweight, fast and quiet af, good range, decent build
    slow at 70mm, not weather sealed

    This is my most used lens. It has a great range and is nicely weighted for all day use. Image quality is very good at all focal lengths and all apertures. It gets very sharp in the f5.6-8 range, but I often use this lens wide open. Autofocus is very fast and near silent. CA is low, but can show up in high contrast areas or backlit situations. Distortion is medium barrel to very minor pincushion. It doesn't bother me at all in my shots. Build quality is quite good considering the price. Whenever I need a lens for general shooting or traveling, this is the lens I take. A great bargain for all Nikon DSLR users.

    reviewed December 22nd, 2006 (purchased for $285)
  • Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED DX AF-S Nikkor

    7 out of 10 points and recommended
    lightweight, good colors, decent range on DSLR
    all plastic, no manual focus override, mf ring very small

    Not bad at all for the price. This lens is sharp in the center, but needs to be stopped down near f8 to get sharpness across the frame. The focal lengths are evenly spaced when zooming, but the manual focus ring is thin and awkward. Also, you can't manually override AF as in most of the other AF-S lenses. For a beginning photographer, this is an excellent bargain and will prove to be a great starter lens. Experienced photographers will likely want more from their lenses. Build quality is only so-so as well. Still, recommended as a lightweight, travel, everyday zoom.

    reviewed December 22nd, 2006 (purchased for $100)
  • Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR AF-S Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    big zoom ring, fast and quiet AF, low distortion, decent build
    variable aperture, slightly soft at 300mm

    I just got this lens about a week ago. Been waiting for it for four months. I already enjoy using this lens a lot. From 70 to 240 or so, this lens is plenty sharp for me. From wide open aperture to F11, this lens is very good. Colors are bright, contrast is high. It reminds me a lot of my 18-70. Same build (maybe better) than 18-70, same filter size (nice!), metal mount with good quality plastics. The zoom ring is nice and fat, easy to hold on to, although a little stiff. There is no zoom creep here. VR works as advertised - Several stop advantage at most focal lengths. VR is much quieter than it is on my 105 VR. CAs are low, again much like my 18-70. I like to take this lens out for wildlife shooting. I plan to try it on outdoor field sports in the spring and summer next year.

    At 300mm, this lens does get a little soft, but nothing too bothersome for a hobby shooter like me. This won't satisfy the pro's out there, and the slow aperture at 300 can get in the way at times. Overall, though, this is a very fun long zoom. I'd recommend it to any amateur or hobbyist.

    reviewed December 22nd, 2006 (purchased for $600)
  • Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR DX AF-S Nikkor

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    range, VR, lightweight, fast AF
    distortion, soft wide open

    I only had this lens for about a week. I was thrilled when it came. The range, VR, and AF-S had me immediately, but in use, I found the autofocus slower and louder (kinda scratchy) than my 18-70, distortion higher than 18-70, sharpness lower than 18-70. Needless to say, I stuck with my 18-70. I enjoyed the 18-200, but it didn't seem that much better (range and VR were nice) than my tried and true workhorse. This one got sent back.
    The range, VR, weight, and decent build are all commendable though, and this lens would be great for any Nikon DSLR user. As a travel lens, it’s perfect. It's by far the best 18-200 out there currently (Dec 2006). It would be all you needed for general shooting. Even though I returned mine, I recommend it to anyone looking for a good wide to tele lens.

    reviewed December 22nd, 2006 (purchased for $775)
  • Nikon 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED AF-S VR Micro Nikkor

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    sharp, great manual focus, build, VR, bokeh
    heavy, pricey

    This is a great lens. I have yet to find a flaw with it. Image quality is tops. Probably the best that I own as a hobbyist. AF is fast and near silent. The focus limiter switch is a blessing when shooting anything other than macro. Makes the AF even faster. VR is great. It’s not really necessary when macro shooting, but anything else and the VR helps tremendously. Manual focusing is quite smooth and easy on this lens. It’s simple to make small focus corrections. The bokeh on this lens is also great. Very nice backgrounds. Smooth. This lens can make some great portraits, although it’s a little long on a DSLR. Build quality is excellent. This thing is a chunk of metal, plastic, and glass. It's solid, heavy, and comes with a pretty good hood as well. I wish I could find more things to shoot with this lens.
    As a note, the VR in this lens makes more noise than the VR in my brand new 70-300 AF-S VR. Strange, since this one is in a shorter focal length prime. It still works great. Highly recommended if you can spare the extra cost over the older 105 micro.

    reviewed December 22nd, 2006 (purchased for $900)
  • Tokina 17mm f/3.5 AT-X 17 AF PRO Aspherical

    7 out of 10 points and recommended
    build, weight
    focus clutch awkward, some flare, color cast

    This was a decent lens overall. The 17 f3.5 is a little limited these days with the newer 12-24 lenses. This lens worked well while I owned it. Focus was fast, lens was sharp at nearly every aperture. It was a tiny bit soft at 3.5. Nothing to worry about though. This lens did seem to have a slight color cast though. Photos often came out slightly warm, a little orangey/reddish. This was easily fixed in PP though. Distortion was pretty well handled as well. The build of this lens was very good, very solid. The focus clutch mechanism to manually override AF was difficult to use. It would only engage if focused to infinity. I sold this lens because I didn't use it anymore. No major problems, and recommended to anyone looking for a somewhat wide, not terribly fast lens.

    reviewed December 22nd, 2006