andre_'s reviews

  • Nikon 16mm f/2.8D AF Fisheye Nikkor

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    no flare, no CA
    actually none, only a little distorsion :-)

    I didn't like this lens on D2x. The definition is not enough for a print photo.
    But with my D700 the 16mm fisheye is fantastic!
    I don't see any cromatic aberration, nor flare (and the flare's critic in a lot of conditions), and the definition is high from f4.
    I bought my sample very used, but I haven't any problem with AF or other feature.
    I'm shooting with this Fisheye more than I thought.

    After i wrote this review, I've upgraded my gear with a D800 and a D600... and this FishEye still works perfectly. :-)

    reviewed December 8th, 2008 (purchased for $510)
  • Nikon 20mm f/2.8D AF Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    no flare, no CA, open shadows (like all old Nikkor lenses)
    distorsion isn't simple to correct

    I've been three samples of this lense.
    The two AFD worked very well, but the only AF (non-D) had a lot of flare, more than others.
    I like this wideangle on FF (D700), for the close-to-perfect rendition and for the lowest contrast than the hypersaturated new zooms.
    The details are more in the shadows, and the the final print are better, for me.
    I dislike only the distorsion, that isn't a simple pincushin but is like "a wave" (very hard to correct in Photoshop).
    Actually the distorsion is not visible or nasty, but if the correction is needed... is hard to do.

    reviewed December 8th, 2008 (purchased for $380)
  • Nikon 28mm f/2.8D AF Nikkor

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    redition in FF, light and well built
    definition in DX, alwais less than 17-35

    This lens haven't any cons in FF. I havent'seen any flare, and from f4 the D700's 12Mp are completely resolved.
    Only the falloff is visible until f5.6, but nothing unexpected.

    On D2x, instead, the definition is never enough, and is visible a little CA.

    reviewed December 8th, 2008 (purchased for $85)
  • Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    bokeh at TA, no CA, well built, definition from f2
    out of focus could be better from f2 to closed apertures

    It's my preferred partner of both my FF and DX bodies.
    I use it until f5.6, never more, and the results are alwais outstanding.
    No CA, no flare and high definition.
    This lens work better at mid distances, and the general rendition is alwais very high

    reviewed December 8th, 2008 (purchased for $300)
  • Nikon 105mm f/2D AF DC Nikkor

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    bokeh, definition, shadows and highlights rendition, no CA....

    This lens is simply perfect.
    It's the well definited lens at f2 I've ever seen.
    I've actually never use the DC, and never over f5.6.

    reviewed December 8th, 2008 (purchased for $900)
  • Nikon 60mm f/2.8D AF Micro Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    quality stopped down
    out of focu quality

    Both in DX and FF, this Micro has absolutely fantastic quality.
    The best is with close up subjects, but it has extremly high results with distant subject, too.
    The bokeh is perhaps worst than the new AFS, but the definition (without any CA and color fringing problem) is at top until f16 and more.
    I've the AF non-D version, and I'd never met any problem with flare or unexpected ghosting.
    The AF is slow, but precise (and it isn't important in Macro photography).

    reviewed December 8th, 2008 (purchased for $360)
  • Nikon 105mm f/2.8D AF Micro Nikkor

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    quality stopped down, particularly in macro

    I've the AF version, and I like very much the pictorial results in close up photography.
    The definition isn't so high with distant subject, but is very high the resistance at both flare and CA.
    The definitio is high with aperture closed over f16 (and I like it in macrophotography).

    The AF is the only cons: it's extremly slow, and in FF (D700) is a little bit too much imprecise.
    I don't know if it derives from the slow speed, but I preffer my 60mm in FF (not for quality, actually).

    reviewed December 8th, 2008 (purchased for $500)
  • Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF-S Nikkor

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    built quality, AF, flare resistance
    upper focal in DX

    This lens was born for street photos, and today is still the best choiche for it.
    With DX DSLR (D2x) it works very well, with the only limit in upper focal leinght.
    From f5.6 the quality (definition, CA....) is the best, and in DX is better than many prime lenses. In FF (D700) is as the same level, with a little bit more flexibility.
    The body is fantastic, and the resistance to water, sand and other is perfect.
    In FF it comes back to the original project, as a strictly street lens, and it works very, very well.

    reviewed December 8th, 2008 (purchased for $1,100)
  • Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF VR AF-S Nikkor

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    body quality, definition from f2.8, VR
    too much saturated, heavy falloff in FF, flare resistance

    This lens is the best choiche for sport and action.
    The VR system works fine especially in panning and action photos, and the definition is extremly high from f2.8.
    I don't like the color rendition (too much saturation and contrast), that has poor shadow's details and lost a lot of colors in highlights.
    I know that many people like this, but with DSLRs it's a cons, because the same color rendition could be obtained by on-camera settings, without that worst shadows quality.
    In FF (D700), the 70-200 vignetting is heavy, until f8 and more.
    This lens is only for sport and action, not for landscape. Never.

    reviewed December 8th, 2008 (purchased for $1,900)
  • Tokina 12-24mm f/4 AT-X 124 AF PRO DX SD

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    high body quality, definition from f5.6, flare resistance
    CA, color rendition (warm....)

    This lens has absolutely reliable results from f4 (better, f5.6) to f16.
    For me it's a fantastic lens for landscapes, a little bit prone to flare, but with high definition and CA (but CA is very easily controlled in Photoshop).
    The distorsion is "simple", so the software can control it in very simple way.
    The color rendition is warmest than any Nikkor lens, but it's a "characteristic", not really a problem.

    reviewed December 8th, 2008 (purchased for $450)
  • Sigma 500mm f/4.5 EX DG HSM APO

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Lightweight, sharp, good AF both in DX and FF
    no water sealed, TC 1.4X without AF on Nikon cameras

    I've purchased this lens for handheld using, and it work perfectly for birdwatching.
    This 500mm is relatively lightweight, few weight more than Nikkor 300/2.8.

    The AF is quick and precise with both the D2x and D700.

    Sharpness is great from f4.5, colors are ok, with no cromatic aberration or fringing.
    I have the DG version, with the HSM motor for Nikon.

    I'm only disappointed to lost AF with the Teleconverter: it is indispensable for a lens like this.

    reviewed June 15th, 2010 (purchased for $2,000)
  • Nikon 50mm f/1.4G AF-S Nikkor

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    outstanding bokeh, no flare, sharp from f1.4
    AF slow, big

    I've shifted to this new model after a long experience with two 50mm f1.4 AF-D.

    Compared to them, the AF-S is more definited til f2.8, and present no flare (considering the large aperture) when spot lights are in the frame.

    The bokeh (already at the top in the former model) is outstanding, now!

    The linearity is better than in the AF-D, even at f1.4, without any coma on the corners.

    Color rendition is very close to the old lenses, lacking the nano-crystal coat that make the new zooms hypersaturated.

    The only cons is the AF.
    Precise, as well as the former AF-D, the AF speed is almost the same (and sometime the impression is that's too slow).

    But, actually, it is never a real problem in the "real life".

    reviewed July 25th, 2010 (purchased for $400)
  • Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G IF-ED AF-S Nikkor

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    sharp, no CA, no flare, even from f2.8
    huge barrell distorsion at 24mm, nano-crystal coating make shadows too deep and colors too saturated

    I've considered to purchase the old 28-70mm for years.
    At the end, I've thougt the 24-70 more flexible and I've chosen this lens.

    I think it's an outstanding lens, sharp and linear, with also a good bokeh (for being a zoom lens).

    The flare is surprislingly low, as well as the CA (both invisibles in many limit-situation).

    Sometime I'm a little disappointed by the color rendition.
    Too saturate, too contrastated, with the shadows too deep.... a Canon-like rendition, actually.

    Fortunately, is very easy to develop the RAWs in every software converter to "come back" to the "Nikon-like" rendition, and this lens doesn't lost any color or detail.

    In the real life, this zoom is a perfect fellow, both for landscape and street photos.

    It has a very huge barrell distortion in the very low-focals range.
    It's substantially neutral around 35mm, ad has a visible pincushin distorsion over 50mm.

    Luckily, the lens correction in LightRoom 3 and 4 works very fine.

    The AF is fast and precise.

    reviewed July 25th, 2010 (purchased for $1,600)
  • Nikon 180mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF Nikkor

    5 out of 10 points and not recommended
    CA out of focus, color fringing, AF slow, tricky to shift AF/MF

    I've used this lens on Full Frame, on my D700.
    The definition is good, even at f2.8, and the out of focus is outstanding, in BW.
    Who have alwais shoot with telezooms doesn't know what I mean.

    But alongside the old, slow and tricky AF, the 180/2.8 has a most important and visible weakness: the Color Fringing, and a chromatic aberration in the out of focus.

    But the Fringing is really umbearable, and return very poor results when there is a spot light or a reflection in the frame.

    It's a pity, because on film this lens has great results, and when there isn't any highlight too.
    But it's necessary too nuch attention to have the best results...

    reviewed October 8th, 2010 (purchased for $600)
  • Sigma 150mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM APO Macro

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    optical quality, even at f16 or more, nice bokeh, precise AF
    AF slow in close-up range, finiture

    Coming from an old 105mm Micro Nikkor AF (not -S), I like the possibility yo adjust the focus together with the AF.

    AF is precise and fast, in mid and long range, but only precise in close-up.

    Optical quality is very high, with a great definition together with a very nice out of focus (bokeh).

    Colors are quite shifted to Magenta (like every other Sigma lense), compared with the Nikkors.
    This lens have just a little CA, and the flare is restrained.

    I consider this lens one of the best choiches for marco and close-up, and a good choiche for portrait and even landscape.

    Less flexible than a 70-200/2.8, but lighter, I think it'd be a better choiche for many photographers.

    reviewed November 9th, 2010 (purchased for $700)
  • Fujinon XF 18mm f/2 R

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    AF, bokeh
    definition at f2, CA (but easily corrected in LR)

    This 18mm is surprising for its out of focus quality, especially in the background.
    The foreground is ok, for a wideangle.

    The lens has a quite large amount of CA in the highlight's borders, but Lightroom is very effective to correct it.

    Another drawback is the non-perfect planarity of the field. It becames evident below f4, apertures often used in order to take the best from the bokeh.

    In one word, I don't think this 18mm is the best lens for landscapes.

    It works surprisingly well for the street photography, indeed.
    The AF is fast and precise, and the plasticity of the images helps a lot to focus the attention on the subject.
    And despite the relatively low definition at the corners, it invites to shoot at large apertures.
    An unusual feeling for a wide lens.

    It's also very good for portraits, taken from a couple of meters or less. The geometrical distortion is extremely low.

    The shadows and highlights are not so contrasted, and this lens takes the best from the X-Pro1 sensor, as well as the 35mm.

    Colour rendition is neutral.

    I use this lens alongside the 35/1.4, and I think I don't need anything else for the street photography.
    Together the X-Pro1, these two lenses make a perfect and light gear.
    For everything else... there's the DSLR.

    reviewed August 8th, 2012 (purchased for $500)
  • Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    great colors, and in general very high performances since f1.4, bokeh
    color fringing in DX (Nikon D7000)

    I've appreciated this lens together with the Nikon D700, and I think it's a very good choice to spare money (in comparison with the double costly Nikkor), keeping an high quality.

    The bokeh is very similar to the Nikkor AFS, and even at f1.4 the definition is extremely high in the center, and far better than the Nikon AFD on the corners (the Nikon AFS is more linear).

    The out of focus has a little CA in background (the foreground is virtualy perfect), but it's not disturbing.
    I've never seen any flare, even shooting under a stage with the spot lights in the frame.

    The AF is not the faster in the market, but is very precise, and it works well.

    I'm only disappointed for the color fringing that appears with the D7000.
    Every spot light prouces red fringing, and it's a bit frustrating.
    But there's no problem with the D700.

    A last word for the finiture.
    The new "EX" is very different from the previous, and the feeling touching the lens is far better than before (the body is metallic, no plastic).
    But I fear the propension to get scratched quite fast.

    But it's really the only weakness I see, and I don't see any limit using this lens with a FF camera.
    Highly reccomended!

    reviewed May 30th, 2012 (purchased for $850)
  • Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR AF-S Nikkor

    6 out of 10 points and not recommended
    colors, performances at 70mm
    performances at 200-300mm and over 20mt

    It's the worst delusion from a Nikkor lens I ever had.

    I knew the overall performances degrades over the 200mm, but I didn't think that much!

    I consider the 70-300 VR unusable in DX on the D7000, and in any case over the 20-30mt.
    The images have very poor definition, and in FF it need to be set at f11 in order to have decent photos on the D700.

    reviewed May 30th, 2012 (purchased for $350)
  • Nikon 35mm f/2D AF Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    colors, bokeh (for the category)
    distorsion in DX (!), a little too soft at f2

    Good lens to travel light with a DX camera like the D7000.

    The 35/2 is not a fast lens (like the f1.4), but the out of focus quality is really good, and using this lens at wide apertures is a real pleasure both in DX and FF.
    I think it's too soft at f2 (but it could be good for portraits), but I love the results at f2.8 and f4.

    I'm extremely surprised to discover the distorsion (barrell) is more visible in DX than in FF, probably due the perspective, but the correction on camera and in Lightroom are effective.

    The out of focus has very little CA, and fringinf appears quite rarely (and again, Lightroom is very effective to correct the problem).

    Colors are less vivid than the more modern lenses, like all the "old style" Nikkor lenses, and the shadows keep a lot of details.


    reviewed May 30th, 2012
  • Fujinon XF 35mm f/1.4 R

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    bokeh, definition since f1.4, virtually no fringing
    unconfortable in manual focus, no IF

    It's the only lens I have for my X-Pro1 (the 18mm will come in few months).

    I'm really surprised how good the results are.
    the out of focus (bokeh) is marvellous, at the same level as the old fast Nikkor lenses, or Leica Summicron.

    This 35mm invites to shoot in the range f1.4-f2.8, to take the most of the bokeh.

    The construction is good, with a really nice aperture ring.
    Unfortunately this lens is not IF, and I fear some dust can enter the barrell between the lenses.

    If you try to focus manually, this lens needs to be rotated a lot, and it feels a little bit unconfortable.

    The hood has an unusual shape, but is very effective protecting from the lights and protecting the fornt lens.

    Highly reccomended to anybody who want the X-Pro1.

    reviewed May 31st, 2012
  • Sony FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* SEL2470Z

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Weather resistent, good optical performances, very good OSS
    Distorsion correction is mandatory, no distance on the barrell

    Great lens for street and travels, perfect companion of the A7.
    Lightweight, weather resistent (despite it lacks the internal zoom), this lens has very good optical features, with well corrected aberrations and only some softness on the corner at f4 (but I don't care...).
    THe bokeh is close to some primes' (the out of focus), and the general rendition is almost the same at landscapes distance and closer.

    The autofocus is quite quick and very precise (on the A7), and the vibration reduction system is efficient and silent.
    All of this without much increment in the battery drain, in comparison with the use with manual lenses.

    I usually use this 24-70 without the hood, and I don't remember a single case of flare.

    As in every review, the corners are soft at f4, but it isn't an issue neither for street photography nor for landscapes, since at f5.6-8 the rentition is linear.
    Maybe the definition is a little less at 70mm, but the 24Mp of the A7 sensor are well resolved (perhaps it could possibly suffer a little on the A7r).

    The only real issue I've experienced is the distorsion, along the whole zoom range.
    As I wrote, it's mandatory a distorsion correction (built-in for JPG), but the Lightroom profile works well on the RAW files.

    Highly reccommended!

    reviewed March 17th, 2015
  • Nikon 70-200mm f/4G ED VR AF-S Nikkor

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    image quality, VR, lightweight
    no weather sealed, distorsion

    I just used this lens in my trip to Ghana few weeks ago, with my D600.

    Together with a 24-70/2.8 lens, this telezoom makes a perfect equipment for a travel.
    Despite it lacks the weather sealing, it is very well built, and I haven't had any problem in the hard conditions I've used it.

    The colour rendition is the usual for the new Nikkor lenses: high contrast, high saturation, but compared to the 24-70 this 70-200 has more details in the shadows.
    I haven't experienced any flare, and both the CA and the fringing are virtually absent.

    This 70-200/4 is sharp from the full apertures, and the bokeh is surprisingly good.
    If one adds a strong light falloff til f5.6 (but it's easy to fix in PP), this zoom is ideal for portrait photos and every large apertures photos.
    I never complained the lack of the f2.8... And I never took a photos closer than f5.6, actually.

    The pincushion distortion is quite visible when there is a horizon in the frame.
    Luckily, the lens correction in Lightroom works well.

    The VR works perfectly, as every other new Nikkor lens, and the image degradation is virtually absent (when in the firsts VR models was better turn it off with the shorter shutter speeds). One can always forget the VR.

    I'm very satisfied of this lens: it's flexible, light and has outstanding performances.

    I haven't used it under a hard rain yet, and I fear a little the lack of every kind of sealing.
    But for everything else it's a perfect lens.
    Very few photographers need the bulky, epensive f2.8, now that the market offers this one. :)

    reviewed December 30th, 2013 (purchased for $1,300)
  • Sigma 1.4X EX DG APO

    7 out of 10 points and recommended
    Awsome with 150mm Macro
    No AF over f5.6 (Nikon), de facto only for Sigma lenses

    I use this TC with the Sigma 150mm f2.8 Macro (pre-OS) on a Nikon, and the results are outstanding.
    Even with the D800 the ensamble is sharp enough at full aperture ("f4"), and a razor when stepped down.

    Almost no decay in the bokeh and absolutely no CA in any condition.

    But, but...
    This Converter is mechanically incompatible virtually with every lens but Sigma.
    This could be not an issue, since the compatible Sigma lenses have a particular design for mounting the TC, and the results are very high in average.

    But, again...
    With Nikon mount, Sigma has limited the AF functionality when the luminosity of the lens+TC is over f5.6.
    But both my D800 and D600 have an AF system that works well til f8!
    And also my old D2x and D700 worked well, covering the electric contact in order to "cheat" with the electronics and hide the TC to the body.

    Why the hell I cannot use the autofocus with my Sigma 500mm f4.5 plus the teleconverter ("f6.3" as result)?

    Pity, because the optical results are decent, but an MF lens of over 700mm is impractical, at least.

    reviewed September 27th, 2013
  • Sigma 120-400mm f/4.5-5.6 DG OS HSM APO

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    focals range, OS, rendition at f8 and over, price/quality
    definition at large apertures, finition

    Good non expensive zoom.
    Well definited when stopped down (at 400mm at least f8, better at f11), good stabilization.
    I don't love the "panning mode" in the OS, but it's functional.

    The AF works without flaws, fast enough for virtually any situation.
    Even follow flying birds is never a problem.

    The collar is very well made, detachable.
    On the other hands, the hood is small and cheap.

    The finitures are the same of other Sigma lenses, and they are peeled away after a short periodo of use.

    The price is rather low, and the quality at all the focal lenghts are good enough to pay what spent to purchase this lens.

    Maybe it's not the better lens in the range, but I think is a very good deal.
    The Nikon omologue is far too expensive (and the old version is too slow).

    If one look for the best quality in the market, then go to the bulky and expensive primes.
    Foer every other "amatorial" use, this lens worth the money and the results are good.

    reviewed August 13th, 2013