biraz's reviews

  • Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED DX AF-S Nikkor

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    sharp, good colors, great value for money
    build quality, manual focus almost unusable

    I bought this lens along with my Nikon D50; the difference between body only and kit was 35 euros; and for an equivalent $45 this lens is an absolute no-brainer.
    I found it very good especially between 18 and 35mm, stopped-down a little, for landscapes and city landscapes. The (barrel) distortion is controlled and "agreable". At f. 8 or 11 sharpness and colors are very good. It is very good for close-up photos at 55mm too.
    You can't really manually focus with its thin and very plasticky focus ring. But this lens delivers much more than it costs.

    reviewed January 13th, 2007 (purchased for $45)
  • Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED DX AF-S Nikkor

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    sharp, image quality, bokeh, no CA
    manual focus ring not very usable, slow autofocus

    I bought this lens in a double lens kit (along with 18-55) with my D50. So I paid 150 euros from a legitimate Nikon dealer (a very good price in Italy; list price for the lens alone is 289 euros). I was not expecting very much, but I discovered that this lens delivers very sharp images even wide open and at 200mm, with vibrant colors, exceptional bokeh and chromatic aberration virtually absent, even in the corners. Best use is probably for candid portraits in bright days.

    Two caveats: autofocus can be slow, and you can't really use the manual focus ring. But I don't use manual focus very much, and find the overall image quality much more important. Very recommended for the price.

    reviewed January 14th, 2007 (purchased for $180)
  • Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    sharp (mercilessly sharp from f. 4 on), light, very good value for money
    autofocus hunting in dim light, yellow cast

    I bought this lens for my D50 to add a fast lens to my kit zooms (18-55 and 55-200). It is very useful when you need a fast aperture (kit zoom max aperture goes from f. 3.5 to 5.6), and stopped-down (from f.4 on) this 50 is incredibly sharp (a wonderful thing for general use or for children portraits; but be careful when you want to photograph a woman: she could not be so happy with the results).

    Build quality is more than ok for me: obviously better than my kit zooms, but I imagine not on par with the old pro all-metal Nikkors; but I'm no pro, and I treat very carefully my lenses...

    Only cons: 1) autofocus can hunt in dim light 2) images from this lens are slightly "warmer" than expected, or sometimes "yellowish". I personally lihe very much the golden light of late summer afternoons, so this can be an opportunity, not a problem. But if I take the same photo with my 18-55 and my 50, the photo from my 50 is always more "yellow". I don't know if this is a defect of my lens or a design peculiarity, and I would not call it really a defect: only a characteristic to take into account.

    reviewed January 14th, 2007 (purchased for $140)