leprechaun's reviews

  • Tamron 11-18mm f/4.5-5.6 Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Good wide angle range, light and well balaced

    Okay, this lens is built out of plastic, but these days many are. The fit and finish are good, and operation is smooth. The construction makes it light to carry on and off the camera and makes it easy to orient the horizon on landscapes or sight lines within a room.

    It goes wider than a 12-24mm and doesn't give me a big overlap in focal lenth with other lenses. Most of us have 18-24mm covered. This is al ens I can pick when I know the kit lens won't do. Makes life simple. It's way wide and ready when I need it.

    Manual focus is smooth and easy, the ring is right where I need it and good size. Autofocus is fine. Zoom is precise with no drift/creep. It's easy to compose shots.

    Optically it's fine. As good or better than anything in it's price range. I've borrowed/used others and they don't impress me as much.

    This is a good sharp lens that's a pleasure to use.

    reviewed December 24th, 2006 (purchased for $580)
  • Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED DX AF-S Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    small, light with fast and snappy autofocus
    maual focus ring is tiny and hard to find with eye to viewfinder. No depth of field scale on lens.

    This is my favorite focal length zoom. It gives me all the range I need to grab what my eye has picked out, and compose perfectly 95% of the time.

    Small and light, this is my favorite walk-around lens. It doesn't change the feel of my camera the way a 70-200, 80-200 or 70-300 does. My neck thanks me at the end of the day.

    I'd like a better manul focus ring and a depth of field scale, but honestly, I don't miss them much when shooting.

    The autofocus is fast and quiet. Makes for good candid shots. Sharp wide open for great portrait too.

    reviewed December 25th, 2006 (purchased for $200)
  • Pentax 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 ED IF SMC P-DA Fish-Eye

    10 out of 10 points and recommended

    So much fun that I bought a used *ist DS just so I could shoot with it.

    reviewed December 25th, 2006 (purchased for $460)
  • Nikon 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF VR AF-S Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Does everything I expected

    I wanted a VR lens for available light shooting, and one with a good zoom range for most walkaround shooting opportunities. This lens fit the bill for both film and digital bodies.

    Its size is comfortable, at least to me. It has essentially the same feel as Nikon's 18-70 and 12-24 lenses, but with the abovementioned film+digital flexibility.

    I appreciate the M/A focusing flexibility and the well sized focusing ring.

    It may not be tack sharp to the edges wide open, but in real world shooting this is not evident. Since I don't shoot test charts, I've neve been disappointed with any image from it.

    What I do appreciate is the benefit of the VR. I've shot with it at 1/8 sec handheld so often that it's become routine. The results are excellent; crisp and very enlargeable.

    I guess what it comes down to is this: Would you rather have alens that tests a bit soft in the corners or sharper lens that you can't handhold in low light? Yes, I have faster primes, but I's rather be able to zoom in the moment than crop later. Flexibility has great value.

    My example of this lens was purchased used. It has a noticeable clunk from the VR at times. Don't know if it's just my lens, but it performs very, very well.

    reviewed January 7th, 2007 (purchased for $500)
  • Pentax 40mm f/2.8 Limited SMC P-DA

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Gives me the ultimate: an SLR in my pocket

    I bought a used DS body so that I could use their stunning ultrawide/fisheye zoom. Then I saw this "pancake" lens.

    It took all of two minutes to make up my mind (one of which was purely $$ related). I have no regrets.

    Camera and lens fit in a coat pocket. Bought a belt holster case for the pair so I could leave the jackets and coats at home.

    What I have is DSLR that goes anywhere anytime on my hip. It's a treasure.

    The lens is plenty sharp, and fast enough to cope with many situations.

    You may still want a good pocket subcompact, but a DSLR on your hip is addicting. Take my word for it. If you own a Pentax, take a look.

    reviewed January 7th, 2007 (purchased for $375)
  • Nikon 20mm f/2.8D AF Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Beautiful lens for film
    Not that useful for digital

    Had this lens for awhile. Love it on a film body, seldom use it on a digital.

    For film, it's lovely; wide and pretty fast.

    On a digital body, it's coverge is only average. You can get the same width from a kit lens.

    Never had a problem with mine after much use. Don't regret buying it. It has and still does serve me well (I still shoot a good amount of film).

    Got an N80 and intend to keep using it indefinitely? Buy this lens. Shooting digital or planning to? Put your money elsewhere.

    reviewed January 7th, 2007 (purchased for $400)
  • Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 EX DG Aspherical HSM

    8 out of 10 points and recommended

    Got this lens very cheap at a pawn shop. Use it for film, but not digital.

    It's a good lens, but I prefer my 20mm 2.8 overall. Use the Sigma when I need the extra width. Bought an 11-18 for digital work.

    This lens cannot mount a polarizer without vingetting below about 20mm, hence the preference for the other lenses.

    I only use this lens for ultrawide on film.

    For the right person and use this is a good lens. If you need a wide lens to shoot indoors, it's a contender for film or digital. If you shoot film and use no filters it's just fine. Deleivers good performance to value for its strret price.

    reviewed January 7th, 2007