eskil's reviews

  • Nikon 35mm f/1.8G DX AF-S Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    small, light, sharp, affordable
    no weather seal, focal length a bit too long

    A small, fast and sharp prime för $200 or less you can't go wrong. There are better performing lenses out there, but they are all larger and more expensive.

    The only reason I traded away this lens is the focal length. IMHO, 35 mm is too short for portraits and too long for most other situations. 28-30 mm is a more ideal focal length for a DX normal prime.

    reviewed May 5th, 2014 (purchased for $155)
  • Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR DX AF-S Nikkor

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Sharp at all focal lengths, low distorsion, good zoom range
    Relatively small aperture

    To me, this is the ideal zoom lens for a DX-camera. It has a good zoom-range going from wide angle to moderate telephoto and performs very well across the whole range. Distorsion and chromatic abberation are very well controlled. Apart from being optically superior, it also differs from kit-zooms by the build quality. It has a metal mount, weather sealing rubber gasket and a focus distance scale. Autofocus is precise and relatively fast.

    This is the lens that sits on my D7100 for 90% of the time. With this, a long telephoto and a fast prime you are ready for anything.

    reviewed May 5th, 2014 (purchased for $450)
  • Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM

    7 out of 10 points and not recommended
    Large aperture, ideal focal lengh for a normal prime on DX, affordable
    Sharpnes (or the lack thereof)

    I got this lens because I wanted a fast prime with shorter focal length than the ordinary 35 mm. On the paper this lens looks ideal with 30 mm focal lenght and a fast f/1.4 apperture. In reality however, it is a different matter. Central sharphes is good, but edge sharpnes is awful, not to mention the corners. Stopping down improves sharpnes, but even at f/5.6 corners are not good at all.

    reviewed May 5th, 2014 (purchased for $200)
  • Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM APO

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Awesome reach!
    Heavy, small aperture

    If you need a zoom that goes to 500 mm, this lens is a real bargin. It is better and cost less than the Tamron 200-500. The new Tamron 150-600 will give this lens a good run for the money, but it is still cost about $200 more. The AF is fast enough for birds in flight, at least most of the time. Sharpness is excellent up to 400 mm, beyond that it start to get a bit soft, but still very good. If light is low or if you need really fast shutter times, the small aperture will be a weaknes.

    I use my lens with a 77 mm step-down ring when I need filters. No sign of vignetting.

    reviewed May 5th, 2014 (purchased for $900)
  • Nikon 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR DX AF-S Nikkor

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    Good zoom range, affordable
    A bit soft, noticable distorsion, cheap build quality

    As a beginners first (and only) lens the Nikon 18-105 is a good choice, especially if budget is tight. It is more powerfull than the 18-55 but not as heavy and expensive as the 18-200. While it does not have the optical or mechanical quality of the 16-85 it cost about 1/3.

    Sharpnes is decent, sometimes even good, but not much more. Distorsion is somewhat noticable and non-linear which makes it diffucult to correct in camera or in post-processing. The mount is plastic and wear soon makes it fit loosely. There is no weather-sealing gasket or focus distance scale.

    reviewed May 5th, 2014 (purchased for $250)
  • Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR AF-S Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    fast AF, great VR, good sharpnes
    a bit soft at the long end

    Better optical and mechanical quality than the 55-200 and 55-300, but not up to the standard of the professional 70-200. The VR is quite aggressive and is very helpfull when shooting handheld at the long end. Autofocus is fast and precise. Sharpnes is very good up to about 200 mm. At 300 mm it is still quite sharp, but not as crisp as at shorter focal lengths. Distorsion, vignetting and chromatic abberation are very well controlled, almost non-existing.

    reviewed May 5th, 2014 (purchased for $300)
  • Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Really wide, can take filters
    Soft corners, slow AF

    10 mm is really wide. So wide that objects in the corners looks distorted even though this is a rectlinear lens. The aperture is not large enough for astroscaping, but on the other hand the DoF is so deep that it is sharp from one armlengt to infinity. Except for the corners. You have to stop it down at least one stop to get decent sharpnes in the corners.

    Even though the generous wide angle, there is still room for 77 mm filters. I frequently use a gradual-ND filter for landscape photos. Polarizing filters are not recomended as the polarisation of the sky differs too much across the frame at wide angle.

    Autofocus is a bit slow, but focusing is only needed for really close up shots. For normal landscaping, turn AF off and set focus on one meter and you are good to go.

    reviewed May 5th, 2014 (purchased for $500)
  • Nikon 28mm f/1.8G AF-S Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Light, sharp, fast, what more to ask for?
    Spherochromatism, quite large for a prime

    After trying half a dozen lenses to use as as a fast normal prime on my D7100 I've finaly found one I like. Nikon 35mm was too long, Sigma 30mm was to soft, Nikon 28mm f/2,8 AF was nice, but f/2,8 is quite slow for a prime. The Nikon 28mm f/1,8 on the other hand is perfect. Has ideal focal length, it's fast and it is sharp. It is larger than the others (although the Sigma 30mm is thicker). About the same size as a small zoom like Nikon 16-85, but much lighter.

    The only drawback is noticable spherochromatism at short range and large aperture. The other cons that sometimes is mentioned in reviews, focus shift and spherical abberation, is nothing that I have noticed with my lens.

    Although it is no macro it still focuses quite close, less than one foot (25 cm). Also, it is probably the cheepest Nikon lens with a gold ring.

    reviewed May 13th, 2014 (purchased for $500)