Niel's reviews

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

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    Well sealed metal mount, sharp, cheap.
    Short zoom range.

    I bought mine cheap as the AF had died, stripped it (not for the faint hearted) cleaned wiper contacts AND flexi-circuit connections contacts, has worked fine since, and the potential loose screw 24mm jamming problem was dealt with whilst apart with loctite.
    It's very much a user lens, on my D1x or D50 depending on what I'm doing, though the D50 usually wears a Tamron 18-200 for walk-around use.
    Yes corner darkening can be an issue, thin filters are essential at 18mm!

    reviewed August 29th, 2009 (purchased for $45)
  • Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II DX AF-S Nikkor

    6 out of 10 points and recommended

    Bought mine dirt cheap with the usual broken mount, replaced the mount off an earlier version that had fallen apart (front assembly fell out one day) and its fine.
    Replacement for my original D50 kit non-AF-S lens its AF-S motor makes it quieter and faster to focus, still has that plastic mount though, D50 wears a Tamron 18-200 now, but this one still gets used by my son on my D1h, better he breaks the lenses mount than the camera!

    reviewed August 29th, 2009 (purchased for $25)
  • Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF AF

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    Price, zoom range, compact, reasonably well built.
    Zooms the wrong way on Nikon. Low AF gearing.

    Bought new when one of the chains was off-loading stock to buy in the motorised version at a price I couldn't beat.
    Normally on my D50 as a walk around, also used on my D1x when I need the reach and minimal gear to carry, though I prefer my Nikon 18-70 and Adaptall 80-210 MF on that one normally.
    Nikons 18-200 VR is too expensive, the VR and Sigma's OS version reportedly have issues with their VR reliability, so the simple NON VR option has advantages, if they'd only include a manual aperture ring as well!
    Compact, good range, cheap, well built, not perfect but acceptable enough.

    reviewed August 29th, 2009 (purchased for $110)
  • Vivitar 19-35mm f/3.5-4.5 Series 1 AF

    7 out of 10 points and recommended
    Full Frame, CHEAP.
    None so far.

    Excellent value for money lens with few vices for the price I paid secondhand.

    Used on both full frame manual Nikon slr (F2) and D50 it's produced photographs that have been used professionally, though if I had the money I'd proably buy a Nikon D, I really can't complain.

    Comes complete with a detachable hood and the apature ring has a latch for use on controlling bodies, no knocking this one and missing a shot!

    reviewed February 20th, 2007 (purchased for $80)
  • Vivitar 100-400mm f/4.5-6.7 Series 1 AF

    6 out of 10 points and recommended
    Full frame, CHEAP, lightweight.
    None at the price.

    Bought very cheaply secondhand as the AF wasn't working on the owners body. Turns out it was too dark for the AF to function reliably, works fine on my D50 though. Cosina badged version, same lens.

    Not the best lens construction wise, the zoom slips, and no latch on the apature ring, though it is quite stiff.

    Does the job, on full frame Nikon slr (FG) its taken some good shots at cricket matches.

    Even without a hood not bad in most situations.

    reviewed February 20th, 2007 (purchased for $30)
  • Sigma 24-70mm f/3.5-5.6 Aspherical HF

    1 out of 10 points and not recommended
    Poor QC

    Bought secondhand like most of my lenses this one had several issues.
    1. An extra screw, probably flex-circuit anchor, was found in the main zoom helix's lube.
    2. Front elements cement starting to fail leading to image softening along with other internal contamination/growth.
    Not a lens I'd buy again.

    reviewed February 20th, 2007 (purchased for $60)