cvizler's reviews

  • Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Very high picture quality
    Slow and noisy autofocus

    Optical quality: Very good wide open, excellent by F4, from F5.6 seems to have higher resolution than the 6 Mp CCD of Nikon D50. The colour rendition is neutral, or slightly (pleasantly) warm. It is not prone to flare and ghosting.

    Mechanical quality: The build quality is quite good. The autofocus is slow and noisy. Manual focusing is quite pleasnant to use, better than most AF lenses I have tried.

    reviewed January 8th, 2007 (purchased for $550)
  • Canon EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM

    7 out of 10 points and recommended
    Usable at the short end, relatively cheap used
    Not really usable at 5.6/300 mm

    Optical quality on 35 mm camera: Not bad at 100 mm, then the picture quality gradually deteriorates, at 300 mm it is hardly usable unless stopped down. It is quite cheap used, and you will be able to make good photos with it if you avoid 5.6/300 mm.

    The build quality is not brilliant either, but it has fast and silent USM focusing, retouchable manually, very useful at photographing distant objects.

    reviewed January 8th, 2007 (purchased for $300)
  • Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II DX AF-S Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Cheap, light, sharp
    Has a week point at 5.6/55 mm

    Optical quality: Not bad at all. I am a big fan of normal zooms, previously I used Canon FD 3.5-4.5/35-70, 3.5-4.5/35-105, 3.5/35-105, SIGMA 3.5-4.5/28-70 for Canon FD, Zeiss 3.5-4.5/28-70 for Contax and Canon EF 3.5-4.5/28-70 II for EOS, and it beats them all, except for the not widely known and truly superb Canon EF. Distorsion is not bad for a zoom starting at the equivalent of 28 mm. Flare control is better than with most 35 mm amateaur zooms. At the wide end it is fairly sharp wide open and reaches its optimum at F8. At 55 mm it is visibly less sharp until stopped down to F11, where it becomes really good.

    It is small and light, but not very solidly built. The AF is not fast, although it is is quite silent. For the price I would not expect better build quality, although the specific hood should be included.

    reviewed January 8th, 2007
  • Tamron 55-200mm f/4-5.6 Di II LD Macro AF

    7 out of 10 points and recommended
    Acceptable sharpness and contrast, light and small, extremely cheap.
    Not much at 140 US $, except for high distorsion and slow AF.

    Not bad at all, for the cheapest lens you can buy today. I bought it while I was waiting for more expensive lens, and I was able to make decent photos with it:

    I am still using it when I don't want to risk my more expensive lenses, in rain or in snow.

    Optically is almost OK: it is quite sharp and contrasty, its main drawback is high distorsion. Unlike optical quality, AF speed (really slow) and build quality (pure pastic) is proportional with the price.

    reviewed January 1st, 2009 (purchased for $140)
  • Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR DX AF-S Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Flexibility, efficient VR, good optical quality when stopped down.
    Distorsion, zoom creep.

    Quite good optical quality when stopped down a bit, fast and precise AF, efficient VR. At it weekest point, 200 mm at f/5.6, it is still usable for portraits, but not great for good quality landscapes. The distorsion, quite disturbing at 18 mm, can completely be corrected with DxO Pro. It is not expensive at all, considering what it delivers.

    Sample images at

    reviewed January 1st, 2009 (purchased for $750)
  • Nikon 1 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 Nikkor VR

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Buy it, and you will know what your camera is capable of. Sharp and solid.
    None (I bought it used, but it is worth its new price too)

    Before, I used my Nikon 1 V1 with the 10-30mm kit lens. It felt like a decently built camera with an image quality slightly superior to a good compact (in my case, a Canon G9). Then I bought this lens. Now my camera feels like a solid block of metal, like a Fujifilm X100, and the picture quality feels like DX or APS-C, like my Nikon D5000 or Samsung NX100. Before, I was not sure that my Nikon 1 was worth its price. Now it is is a bargain.

    reviewed March 26th, 2014 (purchased for $400)
  • Samsung 20-50mm f/3.5-5.6 ED II NX

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    Very sharp at the wide and, acceptable at the long end
    Not much

    Optically it is not perfect, but still better than the kit zooms I use regularly, the Nikkor 18-55mm (first version), the 18-105mm, or the Nikon 1 10-30mm.

    Very compact and tight, but mine has a mechanical fault, sometimes it is not able to set focus and switches off the whole camera, apparently due to a speck of dust caught in its mechanism. But I am rough with my gear.

    reviewed March 26th, 2014
  • Nikon 1 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 Nikkor VR

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    Decent optical quality, acceptable build quality
    Unlinke some reviews suggest, it still limits the performance of the sensor

    Yes, its seemed to be a decent lens. No distorsion, no corner shading, no evident optical weaknesses. Acceptable build quality. Still, you do not even know what your camera (in my case, Nikon 1 V1) is capable until you try it with a better lens (in my case, a 6.5-13mm). It is good, but not great.

    reviewed March 26th, 2014