Artman57's reviews

  • Nikon 85mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Great detail, fast, reliable

    I have this piece of glass since 1994, used it with my F2A Photomic with great results and now with my D200. This is a great portrait lens but not only. It is always attached to my D200 body and I use it for anything I can throw it in, with great results all the time. Focus it's a bit noisier than the "kiT lens" but the construction of this 85mm is excellent. Very fast and reliable, it is almost impossible to take bad captures with this baby.Great prime lens.

    reviewed February 26th, 2007 (purchased for $527)
  • Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF DX AF-S Nikkor

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Good image quality overall
    for a kit lens...none

    When I bought my D200, I though of getting the body only, being that I have a 85mm1.8 Nikkor prime but afterwards just thought that for the price difference when bundled this kit lens could be a very good deal. And I was not mistaken. This is a very good - probaly the best - kit lens bundled with any camera brand. Great for overall walk around work, its very well constructed and assembled and image quality in the field is very very good, detailed, sharp. Handling is very sweet, very silent and fast. fastest aperture of 3.5 at 18 mm is good and probably a better lens that the 18-135mm.I am really happy with it.

    reviewed February 26th, 2007
  • Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR AF-S Nikkor

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Good size and weight,VR,image quality
    5.6 is slow, but at this price point and the general quality...who cares?

    I am not a big fan of zoom lenses but I admit that they are very handy. I was looking for a lens to pair it with my D200 kit lens, the 18-70mm. I was a bit uncertain about this one and the 80-400 Nikkor which I tested- and liked it - but ended to buy this one and not regret it. First, the weight and size is much more on the "walkaround lens" side than the 80-400mm, although as per today's "standards" this is a big 70-300mm lens.But's ok with me.A tripod collar is not as needed as on the 80-400mm, which weights almost the double of the 70-300mm. So, holding this lens without a tripod is very easy and acceptable.Also, we are able to instant focus by hand, which does not happen with the 80-400, where we have to push a button either on the camera or on the lens to do so. So, handling is quicker on the 70-300. Image quality is on par - if not superior - with the 80-400mm, especially on the longer focal length, and overall resolution is better than the one offered by the 80-400, which is not bad at all either. The VR works like a charm and here it is supposed to help on low speed shooting due to the slow apertures, than to help on lens weight, which is not a problem as stated. The lens is very quiet, silent, fast focus - better than the 80-400mm.

    I was left at the end, comparing prices between these two Nikkor offerings, being that as the 80-400 costs twice the 70-300, I do think and strongly feel that the price/image quality/construction ratio is much better on this 70-300. All in all, this Nikkor 70-300 VR is a very capable, quality and affordable lens. And they are disapearing very quickly from the stores, so get one at your earliest convenience if speed is not a problem to you. ( but then, the 80-400mm is no faster eitherway.)

    reviewed March 13th, 2007 (purchased for $750)
  • Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Excellent image and build quality for the price. Sharpness overall
    None so far

    I am a Nikkor lens user for 35 years and it took me almost 6 months to decide wether to buy this Sigma, the Tokina 12-24 or the Nikon 12-24. I was decided for the Sigma mainly for the 3mm difference in the shortest focal length compared with the other two - and 3mm at the shortest focal length is something to take in consideration, at least for myself. The Nikon was very early discarded from the competition as its price is way out of my boundaries, and the Tokina because its sensitiveness to flare. So, first things first.

    1 - The build quality of the Sigma is really good. Sturdy, not excessively heavy nor light, it gives a very good balance with the D200. Focus is silent and precise, zoom ring very well damped, its a pleasure to work with it. With a protective filter in front - in my case an UV - the lens cap, although a bit flimsy, is easily handled in and out with the lens hood in its place. really. From my side, I have no problems although it could be a better lens cap. I have compared the "outer" construction with the Nikkor and I really prefer the Sigma, which is only surpassed by the Tokina at the expense of an higher weight.

    2 - Image quality " in the field " - that's what matters - is really and surprisingly very good to excellent at any aperture - being that at f/8 is really outstanding - or focal length, across all the frame. This is what gave me the biggest surprise. This lens is really sharp. The distortions are very well controled - it has the normal distortions for a 10-20 mm focal lens but it behaves even better than I expected and compared ie with the Tokina 12-24, it wins hands down - being that from 14 to 20 mm I can notice a slight pincushion distortion. Neverteless, everything is well corrected with PTLens. So no problem. For "normal" shooting, camera balance it is a must but we can dare to be more radical and get excellent "radical" compos. Colour rendition is very good - although my work is 98% black and white. Flare control is amazing. I can shoot with the sun in front of me without getting any flare at all. I am impressed.

    I was a little affraid on what concerns the problems some users got with their first sample having some image issues due to some bad centering of the lens elements. It seems I got a very good sample of this baby and it seems that those problems are solved for good nowadays.

    For the time being, its the Sigma that is attached most of the time to my D200. It's an hell of an excellent performer.

    I am really pleased with my decision and I do not regret it at all. I only can recommend it with the highest rating. If you're looking for a really wide zoom lens at a bargain price, look no further

    You can check some captures at :

    reviewed August 1st, 2007 (purchased for $653)