Lens Reviews

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Joe Farace  |  Feb 17, 2017  |  0 comments

There’s no more iconic focal length in Nikon folklore than 105mm. I remember the day in the 1980s when I purchased the legendary Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 lens (at prices that seem ridiculously low these days) from Denver’s Robert Waxman Camera and thought I’d finally made it. I felt some of that same rush of excitement when I picked up the new AF-S Nikkor 105mm f/1.4E ED lens ($2,196). While designed for FX (full frame) Nikon F-mount SLRs, it can also be used on their DX cameras that use APS-C-sized sensors, where it produces a 157.5mm equivalent field of view.

Stan Trzoniec  |  Mar 21, 2016  |  0 comments

I really can’t recall the last time I became so emotionally involved with a lens. This affordable Nikkor telephoto zoom is sharp, easy to hold, and at under $1400 you simply cannot go wrong. If I sound excited, I am! 

Stan Trzoniec  |  Apr 12, 2016  |  0 comments

Like many photographers, when Nikon introduced their 20-35mm f/2.8 lens I just had to have one. Being a commercial photographer, the ability to carry a zoom that would cover this field of view was very handy, especially for assignments that involved shooting in buildings or offices for public relations clients. While the lens was exciting, the best images were captured at around f/5.6 to f/8 when the corners started to match the sharpness of dead center. Following that was the Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8, which was more commonly known as the “beast” in photographic circles because it gave us more breathing room at the long end, complete with AF-S focusing. Although it weighed in at two pounds, it was a sharp lens!

Stan Trzoniec  |  Nov 05, 2015  |  0 comments

Chances are if you take a poll of what photographers picked for their first telephoto lens, it would be the 300mm. For one thing, it’s a good choice for those starting out in wildlife or sports photography and, given the nature of millimeters, it’s relatively inexpensive as compared to the big guns like the 400, 500 or 600mm lenses. 

Stan Trzoniec  |  Jun 08, 2015  |  0 comments

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: everyone has their favorite lens and in my pack, you will always find one in the 400mm variety. To wit, I have Nikon’s newer Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G ED VR, the 200-400mm f/4 G ED VR and the standard-bearer of them all: the prime Nikkor 400mm f/2.8 AF-S lens. Before that, I had a few of the pre-set, manual focus 400’s but when the Nikon F4 was introduced, the game really changed, especially when it came to wildlife or other land moving objects. I was hooked.

Stan Trzoniec  |  Jan 29, 2019  |  0 comments

Creating photo books on American railroads are a good part of my workload, so telephoto lenses are what I often turn to for my train photography. Extremely heavy and often dangerous, locomotives and rolling stock require a wide berth for safety’s sake. Furthermore, in the wake of the September 11th attacks, security has tightened around railroad property, demanding more distance between the photographer and subject. 

Stan Trzoniec  |  Jul 18, 2014  |  First Published: Jun 01, 2014  |  0 comments

Considering that this opticis only a tad slower than the Nikkor 200-400mm f/4, with a drop of a stop when you zoom out, has a 5x zoom range, is lighter, and costs about half of the near $7000 price tag of the 200-400mm f/4, it is certainly worthy of consideration for those who can appreciate what it has to offer in both range and versatility.

Jack Neubart  |  Nov 22, 2011  |  First Published: Oct 01, 2011  |  1 comments

The 85mm VR Micro Nikkor ($529.95, MSRP) benefits from next-generation VR II technology and is stated to deliver usable results at up to four steps below the optimum shutter speed. Keep in mind that we’re dealing with a DX-dedicated lens for an APS-C sensor camera (like my D300). So the optimum shutter speed when shooting handheld and without VR on translates into 1/(Lens Focal Length x Sensor Factor), or 1⁄85mm x 1.5, or 1⁄125 sec (rounded off). (Because this is a DX lens and this is Nikon, the multiplication factor is 1.5, so the effective focal length is approximately 128mm.)

George Schaub  |  Dec 01, 2009  |  0 comments

We have seen new options from independent and camera maker manufacturers alike, each bringing the fun and creative options of these unique angles of view to ever more affordable price ranges.

George Schaub  |  Aug 01, 2010  |  0 comments

When you talk about lenses these days you always have to bring in the multiplication factor, especially when you have a lens that fits comfortably on both so-called full-frame and APS-C sensor cameras. To know what angles of view you will have available you have to know: (a) that the lens is made for full-sized sensors (or not) so will work with the multiplication factor on smaller sized sensors...

Stan Trzoniec  |  Aug 01, 2010  |  1 comments

Nikon’s entry into past universal 80-200mm f/2.8 lenses started back in 1978 with a manual focus, push-pull lens checking in at 4 lbs. Ten years later the autofocus model arrived sporting ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass; ’92 marked the “D” package. In ’96 the AF-S version came along, followed by the new generation of front motor drive “G” models. Now we...

Dan Havlik  |  May 27, 2015  |  0 comments

I got a lot of feedback – mostly positive but with a few spirited rejoiners – to last month’s editorial “Smartphones (Still) Can’t Compete with Great Camera Gear,” that I feel I should “double down.” Again, this isn’t a knock against using smartphones for shooting images. As I mentioned last month, I do it all the time with some pretty decent results. And many serious photographers are constantly turning to that little phone in their pockets and have produced many spectacular photos.

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Apr 04, 2019  |  0 comments

It’s Macro SmackDown! If the cost were the same, which Olympus macro lens would you buy for your Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera, the 60mm f/2.8 or the 30mm f/3.5? We shot with both and came to a conclusion that might surprise you.

Jack Neubart  |  Aug 01, 2006  |  0 comments

When I first heard about a 35mm focal length macro lens my mouth began to water. The $229 price tag was an immediate inducement, as were the compactness and lightweight of this glass. What threw me, though, was the focal length. Because this was in the new Four Thirds System for an Olympus digital SLR (the EVOLT E-300 was used for this test), focal length doubled to 70mm. A 70mm...

Jason Schneider  |  Feb 28, 2019  |  0 comments

It’s now widely appreciated that many great old lenses of the analog era can capture images that have that elusive quality known as character. Writers of the early 20th    century tried to express these qualities by describing them as “rounded” “luminous” or “plastic” rendition, but later writers and scientists dismissed such terms as imprecise and speculative, turning to resolution and later MTF testing to quantify lens performance parameters.

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