annettep38's reviews

  • Sigma 180mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM APO Macro

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    extremely sharp, fast AF, efficient OS, surprisingly light, well placed manual focus ring, easy override, well protected by provided sunshield
    no aperture ring, big fat and bulky, big filter diameter.

    My 200 mm Micro Nikkor was stolen in October and after 2 weeks with only my 85mm PC and a Venus 60mm I caved in and bought this lens almost new from Japan. I think I took the first photo on Dec 3rd just outside the customs building and was immediately impressed with the handling and bokeh.

    I discarded the tripod ring as ballast and now, 2870 pictures later, I am totally in love. It is really as shap as the 200mm (bleieve me I have compared many butterfly scales, dragonfly wings etc)

    The only niggle is the missing aperture ring, on my Nikkor the difference between bokeh for a lovely flower or a portrait and tack sharp with DOF was only 5 clicks on the ring away. Here it is awkward fiddling with the wheel and since you have no hard stops AND you have to wake up the d4 first you can loose valuable seconds.

    It doesn't pack easily in my shoulder bag so sometimes it is a bit of a push which lens I leave at home.

    The AF speed is unbelievable, excellent indeed and the easy override without switching buttons is VERY nice.

    I just hope it is as well manufactured as my 200mm. Which btw I picked up from the OIJ 3 months later, slightly damaged but still preferred if I need to walk in the rain and pack everything well.

    The price is as new from Japan including Costa Rica customs import tax


    reviewed March 11th, 2016 (purchased for $1,080)
  • Nikon 200mm f/4D ED-IF AF Micro Nikkor

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    SHARP. VERY SHARP nice and small to pack uses small filters, easy to use with a polarizer easy to reach, tactile aperture ring works well with extension tubes Excellent build quality. Bomb proof :)
    AF pretty useless Use MF and your body to focus MF ring badly placed away from the camera

    I have used this lens for 10 years and more than 30,000 photos.
    The quality has never let me down, from the D2x over a d800 to a d4 today.
    It was stolen badly dropped and still works fine apart from the AF which I don't miss much
    The focus ring could be more towards the camera but that is really all there is to say.

    it is ideal for hand held insect photography. Just the thing to get close enough to butterflies, dragons and much more.
    But I have also shot products with it , from synchro rings over bearings and wear in ball races.

    I have used it as a normal walkabout tele and even shot hummingbirds.

    Yes, I still love it although I bought a sigma 180mm while it was missing. They both have their strong points. Last but not least, this one fits in any bag or jacket pocket.
    I bought it in Italy .

    reviewed March 11th, 2016 (purchased for $1,600)
  • Tamron 180mm f/3.5 Di LD IF Macro 1:1 SP AF

    4 out of 10 points and not recommended
    sharp reasonbly fast AF easy to switch MF aperture ring lovely bokeh
    build quality terrible not as sharp as the Sigma or Nikon fine forcusing tricky because of the very short angle

    I bought this lens in France new, just after it came out.
    Big mistake. After only 9 months the flimsy aperture mechanism gave up the ghost.
    The build quality is nothing like the 180mm 2.5 SP lens, which I also own.
    While I took a lot of lovely insect shots with it, the shifting was noisy and it was far more fiddly than the 200mm Micro Nikkor.
    I was even more frustrated when I worked out that the warranty has its pitfalls.
    If anybody wants to see my photos of the aperture linkage, please contact me.

    reviewed March 11th, 2016 (purchased for $900)
  • Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 AD Aspherical IF Macro SP AF

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    very small and light,excellent for travel and walkabout, surprisingly good IQ, great aperture ring, well placed focus and zoom rings.
    IQ a bit soft at 24mm, have to stop it down. minimum aperture of 5.6 makes it a bad choice for protraits or low light.

    I bought this lens 100 on ebay UK. Never regretted it, it was originally meant to use at Land Rover events where I had dropped the Tamron 35-135 once too often in the mud.
    Soon I realized that in most circumstances I could use it instead of the bulky 24-70 whilst also getting sortof a portrait range.

    It doesn't replace everything but it is much better than you might think and it has survived many building sites, towns, 4x4 meetings and much more.
    Makes an excellent complement lens for a 180 or 200 macro or you bird lens if you need the odd habitat shot or simply spot a great landscape.

    reviewed March 11th, 2016 (purchased for $150)
  • Nikon 85mm f/2.8D PC-E Micro Nikkor

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    beautifully built, IQ amazing, very nice focus ring. very flexible
    can't tilt and shift independently. only 1:2 Macro

    Bought this in 2009 for tricky product macros. It is not the E version but then that is something that I don't need and I'm glad I have the can't go wrong version.
    The only downside in handling is that you can't shift and tilt in the same axis, unless you change that. I did just that but then again sure enough the week after you want it the other way round.
    Having said that, I have used field cameras for years and this is the next best thing.
    One can actually use it hand held in the field for insects and such like, in which case i often use the good old 14B TC. In which case you loose the aperture display but then that is more of a gimmick.

    The IQ is just as sharp as the 200mm Micro Nikkor, only with much more DOF and flexibility. You have to be aware that this flexibility takes time though, so it is certainly NOT suitable for fast insects.

    It also works for portraits, again the tilting helps with wonderful focusing possibilities.

    reviewed March 11th, 2016 (purchased for $1,000)