jmancini's reviews

  • Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF DX AF-S Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Sharp, fast AF
    HEAVY, expensive, no VR

    Excellent lens, but quite large and heavy for the limited zoom range. Sharp even wide open, exceptionally well built. Extends slightly at both ends of the zoom range; is shortest around 35mm.

    It's already more expensive than the canon equivalent; couldn't we get VR for this much money?

    Look at the Tamron if you don't have the budget; fast AF is less critical for wide lenses than for sports telephotos, and you'll save roughly 50%, and the images are nearly as good. I'd probably go that way if I didn't already own this one, as AF-S isn't worth $600 to me.

    If money is no object, this is the best.

    reviewed April 8th, 2007 (purchased for $1,200)
  • Nikon 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF VR AF-S Nikkor

    7 out of 10 points and not recommended
    fast af
    so-so image quality

    While not a 'bad' lens, it's not enough of an upgrade over a kit 18-55 to justify the price. If you're considering it to get more range, look at the 55-200 instead, or skip this one entirely and go to the 18-200, which has a wider range and better image quality too. This is an older lens, designed for film first, and it shows.

    I returned mine; this was a solid "pretty good" lens, but I prefer the "great" and "exceptional" ones.

    reviewed April 8th, 2007 (purchased for $495)
  • Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF VR AF-S Nikkor

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Atonishing IQ (even with a TC), fast AF, great VR performance
    very long, weighs a ton, expensive (but you get what you pay for!)

    If you can afford it, stop looking and get one; there is no better 70-200 lens anywhere at any price. This might be the best short telephoto zoom ever made by anyone, and that's not hyperbole.

    Performs amazingly well even with 1.7X and 2X teleconverters; exceptionally sharp and consistent.

    However, it's enormous and quite heavy. It works great handheld if you're quite strong.

    reviewed April 8th, 2007 (purchased for $1,650)
  • Tokina 12-24mm f/4 AT-X 124 AF PRO DX SD

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Very sharp, built like a tank
    Heavy-ish, prone to flare

    An excellent landscape lens at half the price of the Nikkor equivalent and 90% of the image quality.

    If you like landscapes but don't use an ultra-wide angle 100% of the time, this is a great alternative to save some cash. Sharper in the corners than the 20/2.8 prime on my D200, and sharper than most other zooms at shared lengths. The weak spot is 24mm, but I have other lenses that do that quite well.

    Keep the hood on it! It does NOT like contra light AT ALL. I ruined a few shots that way before realizing how sensitive it is.

    It's the only 3rd party lens I own and plan on keeping; I have no yearning for the nikkor after using it.

    reviewed April 8th, 2007 (purchased for $500)