UnTone's reviews

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

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    Cheap, decent image quality, VR, good macro for non-macro lens
    softness at 55 mm, build quality is not good

    This is KIT lens for low level Nikon cameras. I have used it for around 6 month and can confidently say that it is excellent lens for a KIT.

    Many starters look for another lens from a very beginning or purchase body only + expensive zoom, but I don't think it is good idea. For a very small price you get decent image quality and good opportunity to learn what would you need in future: tele lens or wide angle, faster apperture or better VR, portrait or macro. You will find you photography style and buy better lens in your selected niche. Ideal lens for a starter.

    reviewed November 22nd, 2009
  • Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II VC LD Aspherical IF SP AF

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Excellent stabilization, very good image quality, F2.8 through whole range, good build quality
    noicy stabilization, no AF override

    I thought for a very long time which zoom lens to buy, tested all variants within 800$ and this lens is absolute champion for now in my opinion. I bought new Tamron and like it a lot.

    Build quality is much better than previous version and on par with another non-pro zoom lens. When you look and touch it, you really feel what you are paying for.

    Image stabilization is fantastic. I can't believe my eyes but it gives me 4-4.5 stops advantage on 50 mm. I can shoot 1/2 or 1/3 with crisp sharpness. What I don't like in Tamron's stabilization is significant noice. Also the picture in viewfinder vibrates for a fraction of second, but it is not a problem at all. In whole, it is perhaps the best stabilizer I have seen so far.

    Image quality: good result through the whole frame on f2.8, and excellent on f4. I have a feeling that 2.8 loses a contrast a bit, but possibly I'm too captious. Distortion is visible on 17mm, but it seems to be smaller than competition. Cromatic aberrations: I can't test it in detail, but they are not big for sure. Vignetting: subjectively around 1 EV on 17mm and not visible for me on 50 mm.

    AF: it fast enough for everyday use and not noicy. What I didn't like is that you cannot override focus. Direct competition has this option.

    Additional comments: 72 mm filter size makes the lens pretty large in diameter: AF assist lamp is partially blocked on my D5000. Built-in flash makes a shadow. This is expected result, but just in case.

    Very good resistance to flare. Subjectively the best what I have seen so far.

    reviewed December 20th, 2009 (purchased for $700)