9 out of 10 points and recommendedLight weight, sharp,good for general shoots
I bought this lens as my first lens using the D70s. I have to say that this was my first using a DSLR from SLR. So in terms of this review is hard to judge as I am a newbie.reviewed June 2nd, 2007 (purchased for $308)
Quality of the lens, is acceptable though as I was an old SLR Nikon user, I have seen better construction lens. However this lens seems to meet the expectations and provides very sharp images. I was even told by the seller of this lens that his 18-200VR looses in speed in focusing. I do not know how true was this but I have taken pictures in broad daylight, rainy weather, and long exposures with night photography. Each of them has met my expectation and is indeed a lens if you cant afford the 18-200mm VR, please go for this as second best option.
At full 135mm, focusing may be difficult sometimes, a stand would definately help in getting sharper pictures. but again I think this would be my primary lens as it has Wide Angle and a good amount of range if I choose to use zoom at 100mm+
I believe this lens may compliment well with 70-300mm G VR lens as that lens will cover better for the 100-300mm shots better. But again it zooms down to your budget.
In terms of an all general purpose and affordable lens zoom, this is the one. Comes with the lens hood that does comes in handy, and is reasonably light on normal camera stands.
10 out of 10 points and recommendedVery Sharp Images, and good addition to 18-135mmA bit bulky to carry but which 70-300 lens is not?
I read the reviews here, and was thinking of whther to get the normal cheap 70-300mm or the VR version. Many reviews have been a bit contradicting especially one here with the 55-200mm VR. That guys probably just happen to get a lousy one out of the whole lot.reviewed June 8th, 2007 (purchased for $535)
Back to the point, many reviews point out that the 70-300 G lens without the VR is not even as great as the Sigma APO. Many claimed the cheaper version will really be not too good at 200mm and above as well.
The VR version is really good. The pictures I took even at full 300mm produce very good and sharp enough pictures. There might be some off in auto focusing but you could turn mannually to correct it, after all not all cpu can really tell what object you really want to focus on.
Quality of this lens is definately good enough. I am using this lens with the lens hood attached reversed and still manage to use it without problems.
With this lens I do suggest a bigger carrying bag. This is probably the only lens for this range that allows you to hand held. for that if you use a stand, make sure is sturdy.
The price for this lens is very Expensive in Asia and Australia. US get the lucky opportuninty to get it from Amazon.com at cheaper prices. The online stores do not ship overseas. I think Nikon has to really look into offering international warrenty! They are loosing out.
I bought this piece on Ebay and it was the cheapest I could find. If you are thinking of matching F2.8 then well is totally different again. But I am happy with this purchase and I think I definately use this whenever I need to zoom in.
filter size is 67mm and is a good addition to the 18-135mm if you already have it with D80. I am definately giving tumbs up for this lens.
If you were thinking of the cheaper 70-300G lens then try and save up for this one. I gurantee you no regrets. The pictures speak for themselves.
Oh if you use this lens well enough, you can actually make Macro shots.
Here is one of the examples why I rate this lens thumbs up.
Shot at 2007-06-30
10 out of 10 points and recommendedExceptional image qualityNone if you know what you are buying in the 1st place!
First of all let me clear some things which people may not understand and feel that is a con with the 17-55mm lens. I will rate this lens the way I feel it deserves to be rated, not according to disadvantages that is simply not applicable to Professional users. Any new amateur user should read this before making the step in buying this lens. I am trying to warn you what this lens is, and what you can expect out of it.reviewed July 10th, 2007 (purchased for $1,190)
This lens weighs 755g, you can say it is heavy compared to the 18-55mm, 18-70mm, and 18-135mm But what exactly is considered heavy? To be honest, I am shocked at people’s comments regarding this factor as a con. As it was stated right from the start under specifications its weight. On websites the weight of this lens is stated. You go to a shop you can physically see the size and weight as well. It is a very lousy excuse to make weight as a con factor or act surprise by it. Besides the way people made this lens sound so heavy is over exaggerated especially to those who own good lenses like 70-300mm VR which is just 10g less!
This lens may be more suited towards the D70/80 and above series as the body and lens balance pretty well. Yes it is heavy, but not as if it can’t be hand held. In fact I would be absolutely disappointed if this lens wasn’t that heavy, it will be like a rip off. People should understand that Nikon put in good optics and which is why we have a good F2.8 lens. This isn’t the first time a Nikon Wide Angle F2.8 lens is heavy you know? People should get a slap on their head to wake up their idea, as we can see lenses such as 17-35mm, 28-70mm F2.8 all in the heavy weight category in Pro Nikon lens range.
This lens is also been blamed for its size, which I find it over board! Anyone especially Pros will know F2.8 zooms is using big 77mm filter size. When Nikon make the quality less, people still complain! This should not be an issue, if it is then don’t buy it as the first two reasons kicks you out of this category.
Its kind of strange to say is expensive and yet we have 16 reviews before me. For those who think “Why so expensive?” What are you thinking! Is a Nikon Pro lens! If the lens is so in the comfort zone, everyone won’t need the kit lens! The lens is about $100-200 more than Canon’s same range and it has always been like this. People in Australia and Asia can really complain as the retail price is way above the mark! Same goes for Ebay, prices have been way over the retail price. When I refer as way above the mark, they are like US$1500->US$1800. I bought my copy from BHP and even when included the tax I paid is less than the local shops where I save about $500.00? I wonder if Nikon price controlled this locally as it is disappointing. Cost of this lens was expected from the start that it will be probably $200 more than the 17-35mm F2.8
Real cons to be considered?
Shadow when using on board flash. This cant be avoided when using range 17-30mm of this lens, anything from 30mm onwards, on board flash works fine! If you think you will get away using 18-135mm using the on board flash at 18mm, you be in for a surprise to see the same result of the shadow. Solution? Use a dedicated Flash like SB400 onwards. Nikon SHOULD consider extendable on board flash to compensate for this, that would be excellent. Again this is a Pro Lens, Nikon has probably assumed that all professionals have at least a SB flashlight which I do and it gives really sharp results.
Flare is not avoidable, I tested this lens against different angles and this is not avoidable, however I felt it was reasonable, especially on the angle that you shoot the object. Solution? Use the lens hood plus try better angles if you can. Use good filters. I honestly do not know how other Nikon lenses do in bright light conditions, but my 18-135mm also flares on the wide end. What I do is to adjust my shooting so that you don’t get the flare, I believe that’s what professional photography is all about. To me, this is a very minor issue.
No VR? Well folks, I think in some ways I am happy and some ways not. If VR was included, I believe the weight would be way more. Then again it would have been great since we already paying premium prices and plus it can compare with the Canon’s lens. This would be a reasonable con for anyone who complains about this lens.
Some have complained about the reverse of the zoom at the lower end and the focus on the upper ring. It doesn’t take a stupid guy to think why they did it. If you have your lens hood reverse, it would be hard for you to zoom on the outer ring. As this is believed to be more AF focused they let the AF ring on the outside instead which I think was a better move if you think about it. I don’t consider this a con. Would you prefer the zoom ring on the outer end? This means your lens hood will be blocking your zooming when you need to zoom in fast. Whereas you only use focus ring when you need to Manual focus or correct the AF a little.
Quality of lens?
Excellent, my first Pro lens and I believe is well built and high quality lens. Is made in Japan! Not Thailand I had problems more on my UV filter trying to get it clean than the lens itself. Lens is clear and crystal sharp and the construction is just well made. I think it is made to be weather resistant to some extend letting professionals to take shots in harsh weather conditions. Like some have mentioned, feels like a tank. Heavy enough and solid feel.
Performance of lens?
This is clean tops guys, Unless you trying so hard to pick faults on it like the distortions at wide 17mm there is nothing to really complain about. Definitely big differences are being able to shoot without flash in low lighting and still get good shots. I can’t see any reason to put this lens down on image quality, is definitely sharp. Seriously it depends on where you buy this lens from, I believe if you are in the States, you should not be paying more than US$1300 for this lens, the lower prices on online shops sells below $1200.00, what else, you get 5 years extended warranty for US copy plus 1 year international warranty. I wished the flare issue was less but seriously is hard to keep a lens that sharp. I will recommend thin glass UV filters which may help in reducing flare and UV rays. The Hoya Super Pro1 series is a good filter line to look at. You may consider getting Super HMC Pro1 UV(o) or The Super Pro DMC UV filter. Personally I will cry if you scratch this lens, and I would rather spend the money to protect this lens with good picture results.
The lens focus very fast and silent thanks to SWM feature. Pictures are 95% of the time outstanding. Some people get irritated by the extending of the lens when wide angle is used. I tend to want to give these people a puzzled look as in what the hell do you expect on a zoom lens? You mean the zoom lens do not extend? Hello? This is a zoom lens? Anyway, Performance wise is tops. Amateurs should not go buying this lens and just try it out on AUTO mode to expect fantastic shots. This is not what real pros do, you take advantage of the fast aperture for this lens and construct your art of a perfect shot. This lens gives you the above average confidence as it really helps to focus in low lighting. I had two shots taken, one with flash in florescent lighting, another was without flash at F2.8, it turns out the one without using flash looks brighter and sharp.
Overall, I believe some people might feel cheated as they do not understand what they are paying for. I on the other hand have always aimed for this range of Nikon’s pro lens and will gladly say is a good purchase and will probably stay on my camera till I find a need to use my longer lenses. It is also not suitable lens for a D40 to use this lens as the weight ratio is far off. I feel comfortable on the D70s as it feels balanced. Try and understand what this lens is before you consider buying it and expect god results. You get god results when you got right equipment and right attitude of composing the shot you want. Otherwise using settings like auto may not justify the need of using this lens. I hope this review will better help potential buyers to know what they are getting for the price you paid, rather than a string of complains like as if you did not expected this lens was going to be this heavy and such.
I will not say that this lens stays on my D70s 95% of the time but it is my primary lens till I need to change to my longer zoom lens. Where you buy this lens could make your experience a good one or a bad one too, especially if you are buying it online. Check your prices before making the purchase. B&H is a great place to buy this lens as it gives US 5 years extended warranty for it. Despite the obvious cons, and because I know what is expected of this lens. 10/10 easily.
I hated Kenrockwell's comments about this lens, trying to discredit this lens where there is so much positive side to it that he failed to look at. His reviews are pretty good to read but he seems to be really bias and against this lens.
Another common arguement is whether to go for this lens or the 17-35mm. Seriously if you are digital, go for this lens.
Weight and size for Nikon's F2.8 zoom has always been expected, likewise for price. If these three main factors were your concern, go for Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 DII where the quality is definately cheaper and affordable.
Highly recommend a good thin UV lens for those who wants to protect the lens. Of course there are those who do not believe in filters. But for the general who uses them, use a good one.
10 out of 10 points and recommendedAbsolute a good prime to keepnone
The reviewer below does not seem to understand the mechanics of how a Macro lens work. You do not get F2.8 when using Macro. The apature has to go up as you focus nearer. This happens to all Macro lenses. You obviously have a problem as everyone else did not complained about it. This lens has been tested using underwater shots and is great. Your sentance dont hold solid evidence as we seen too many beautiful shot of butterflies bees, insects etc, while you just compared it for the purpose of shooting through glass of a fish tank.reviewed September 6th, 2007 (purchased for $825)
And just to backup this lens for taking fish
Shame you just slam the lens just like this.
Lens scores perfect due to many reasons.
I know it may be pricey, but it isnt much more than the old 105mm macro lens either. I see no reason why if you have not gotten either 105mm Nikkors would choose the older version over this one just to save $200.00 or so. Sometimes I felt that many have underrated this lens as they only feel that is a Macro dedicated lens which is how unfortunate.
Costly it might be but is well constructed and you get best quailty for the price you paid. Lens is Japan made and lots of metal involved.
Features like everybody knows it, is a macro lens, plus VR and AF-S. This lens is extremly fast when you put on the limit of focus when Macro is mostly not involved . Use it and ou find the focusing is much faster. You dont use the limit when you are doing macro.
I have used this lens more than a Macro and for potraits and it is absolutely charm by the images it produce. You can always put on a soft spot filter to lower the sharpness or do it in photoshop.
This is the heaviest lens I own and if people who have used this lens should not be complaining about weight. I have never understood why people are so overly concern when they have heavier lens in their bag. Where quality is a must, I choose this lens over all the 3rd party competitors. I would however recommend Tamron 90mm if you find price too high for you as is half the price with the Tamron and a light weight and good performer. Quality built wise, none will beat this Nikon lens in the same range.
A definate buy if you are using D40, not that this bothers me as I use the higher range of Nikon bodies. The VR definately helps in capturing bugs and butterfiles before they launch off. This lens is definately a good performer. I must remind people not to rely on professional reviewers as they tested this lens way back and did not do a proper test sometimes. Make sure you read about 10 other reviews from other websites before you make your decision. I for one am happy with this purchase. Is my only prime lens that I bought.