socks66's reviews

  • Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED DX AF-S Nikkor

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    Sharp images with good color and contrast with quick autofocus
    The small manual focus ring

    This little lens has been put down by a lot of people, and doesn't deserve this type of criticism. There has also been a lot of criticism of the plastic mount, but let me tell you that I work in the plastic industry, and these days the combination of certain polymers with impregnated glass can produce plastics close to the strength of steel, with great lubricating properties for better wear. Only time will tell how good Nikon got there combination of plastics to meet the lens requirement.

    For a kit lens the 18-55dx gives excellent picture quality, with great color and good contrast. At the wide end it can get a little soft in the corners, but set it to f8 for the best results. At the long end, it also is quiet good, but you may get your best results at about F5.6 to F11. The focus speed is very quick and silent. So overall the difference in buying the kit (body and lens) than just buying the body (this is usually under $100 difference) it would have to be one of the bargains of the year. Although the 18-70dx is a better lens, I haven’t seen one for under $100.

    So if you are looking at buying the D50, my suggestion is to get the kit with the 18-55 lens as it does perform far better than a lot of people give it credit. You may find that you will use this lens far more than you think……

    reviewed October 27th, 2005
  • Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8D ED AF Nikkor

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Sharp everywhere..... Excellent IQ....
    Maybe a little heavy to carry all day....

    There is only one word to describe this lens... FANTASTIC... I had read so much about this lens and after getting it, it’s better than what everyone had described.

    Using this lens on both the D50 & D80 I find the AF is very quick for a non AF-S lens (being only about 10-15% slower than the AF-S), and it catches focus first time 99.9% of the time and usually that 0.01% it misses is because of very low light conditions. The limit switch is very handy.

    I have read that some suffer from softness at f/2.8 @ 200, but I have to say mine doesn’t. Its tack sharp wide open at 200 and haven’t noticed any softness at any focal range.

    IMHO the IQ from this lens is superb, with incredible “Bokeh”, only being bettered by some of the prime lenses. It’s not a lens to use if you don’t want to be noticed because of its size.

    It is a solid and very well built lens, and has the “Feel” of a PRO lens with smooth manual focusing and zooming. There is not tightness at all on either ring, also being very well placed. The tripod collar can easily be locked out of the way when not being used. What I do is mount a wrist strap onto the tripod collar and around my left hand and use this to support the camera/lens when shooting and just carrying it. As well as a safety support, it makes it easier to carry the camera/lens for long periods of time.

    I have found that if more reach is needed without lose in IQ, I use the Kenko 1.4x PRO300 DG TC and have had excellent results.

    The 70-200VR is considered the King in this focal range, but if you have no need for VR or AF-S, the 80-200 will do everything you want at nearly half the price.

    Yes I highly recommend it….

    reviewed December 9th, 2006 (purchased for $850)