rrwilliams64's reviews

  • Nikon 85mm f/1.8G AF-S Nikkor

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Image quality, bokeh, tack sharp

    95% of the Nikon f/1.4G at less than half the cost. This is THE lens i reach for when doing portraits. It's sharp wide open, doesn't need stopping down. I also owned the 85 1.8D and I believe Nikon's new coatings ("SIC", Super Integrated Coating) renders colors even better than on the previous iteration.. My favorite lens...

    reviewed March 5th, 2014 (purchased for $396)
  • Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED VR DX AF-S Nikkor

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    light, inexpensive, excellent IQ given its variable aperture
    cheaper build, VR a tad less effective than stated

    A solid performer that punches above its price point...I own the Tamron 70-300 VC, which has better IQ and markedly better image stabilization, but at the price of heft. When I want a "light kit" and portability is paramount, this lens shines. Good IQ, decent bokeh, surprisingly good results for so little $$. Not one of Nikon's better VR systems, be advised. Solid performer for the $100 you can pick it up for used...

    reviewed March 5th, 2014 (purchased for $90)
  • Pentax 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC SMC DA WR

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Silent DC motor focusing, WR, bokeh, color rendition, focal length
    corner softness at longer FL's

    Silent DC motor focusing, WR, pleasing bokeh, beautiful typical Pentax color rendition, handy focal length. This lens takes a bit of a beating in some reviews, but hey, its's very compact, it can deliver in conditions many lenses cant...

    understanding its sweet spot(s) and strengths, this is a very nice lens. Soft in the corners at longer FL's? Perhaps so, but there are understood compromises in a lens such as this, and the "positives" of the package in total make this a good recommendation for the one lens solution. I mate this up with a few primes when IQ is paramount...

    reviewed March 17th, 2014 (purchased for $340)
  • Olympus 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 EZ M.Zuiko Digital ED

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Build quality, weather sealing, small size
    slow at long end

    Build quality, weather sealing, small size

    reviewed March 22nd, 2014 (purchased for $200)
  • Olympus 75mm f/1.8 ED M.Zuiko Digital

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Best IQ in MFT system , heavenly bokeh, sharp across frame
    hood sold separate, pricey675

    Best lens bar none in the MFT system, comes at a dear price but worth it

    reviewed March 22nd, 2014 (purchased for $675)
  • Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro M.Zuiko Digital ED

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Build quality, optics, handling

    In reality, imagine having the equivalent of the Canon 24-70 f/2.8 L at basically less than half the price. That's where the MFT format's latest pro lens from Olympus leads us. Top notch build quality, tack sharp wide open, beautiful color rendition. Not to mention being weather resistant, along with easy clutch mechanism to switch from AF/MF. Having been a long time user of both Canon and Nikon, I've switched to the OM-D E-M1 with this glass and haven't looked back. Not cheap, but taken in perspective to pro glass prices from the big two, it's a bargain. Highly recommended.

    reviewed December 19th, 2013 (purchased for $999)
  • Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF DX AF-S Nikkor

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    well built for the price, faster than 16-85 and 18-105, sharp
    lacks VR, distortion, light fall off

    Still one of Nikon's best kit lenses and an overlooked offering for those seeking a walkaround lens. Can be found at very reasonable prices on second hand market. Has a metal mount, focuses silently, it's a faster piece of glass than some other choices folks turn to in the Nikon stable. You could do a lot worse as an all purpose walk around zoom...

    reviewed October 7th, 2013 (purchased for $55)
  • Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD SP AF

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    VC very effective, great IQ
    CA, can be a load to carry all day

    Best tele-zoom for the $, IMO. Well built, image quality is superb. I preferred the images from the Tammy over the Nikon 70-300 VR.

    reviewed September 30th, 2013 (purchased for $265)
  • Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM Contemporary

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    bokeh, color rendition, well built
    wide end borders and corners

    I was excited at the prospect of getting this lens, I purchased a copy.....renders colors beautifully, the bokeh is very nice, the OS is as advertised, but.....(and, the "but" is what I feared from the reviews I'd read)...at the wide end, regardless of being stopped down, the borders and corners are unacceptable (IMO). If you're simply expecting a portrait lens and as such willing to accept optical compromises in the corners, this lens may yet suffice. But for my purposes (and, mind you, I'm not a screen enlarging pixel peeper) I found the center excellent but the rest of the image just TOO lacking.

    reviewed September 30th, 2013 (purchased for $400)