Best money can buy?

Started Apr 10, 2014 | User reviews
ConanD
ConanD Regular Member • Posts: 133
Best money can buy?
1

I won't get too elaborate since I'm just an amateur, but I would very much like someone to show me a better lens for double what this cost.  This thing is pretty amazing for the price (currently $247 on Amazon).  For me, it comes down to optical quality.  This takes seriously sharp and colorful pics.  Those few times when I've managed to select the correct exposure, WB, etc, I'm so blown away.  I can't even believe I took the shot -- they just look too good.

The drawback is that the lens is completely made of plastic.  It "feels" very cheap (because it is).  But at this price, you could just about call it a disposable lens.  A disposable lens that takes images equal to lenses costing 4 times as much.

Here's a couple of examples (remember, I'm talking about IQ here, so ignore composition, subject and lighting choices)

 ConanD's gear list:ConanD's gear list
Nikon D3100 Nikon D7100 Nikon D610 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D +7 more
Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G VR
Telephoto zoom lens • Nikon F (DX)
Announced: Mar 6, 2007
ConanD's score
4.5
Average community score
3.9
stevef1961
stevef1961 Senior Member • Posts: 2,561
Re: Best money can buy?
1

they look pretty darn good! worth every cent.  Under optimal conditions any Nikon will do a great job. Optimal conditions being light, best focal length for a particular lens, and best aperture setting to get the sharpest images.

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www.flickr.com/photos/stevef1961

 stevef1961's gear list:stevef1961's gear list
Nikon D500 Nikon Z6 Nikon 24mm F1.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR +3 more
colombiano
colombiano Contributing Member • Posts: 693
Re: Best money can buy?

Second shot was done at 200 mm with aperture F5. This is impossible with Nikkor 55-200.

Well, I had 55-200 VR also but after I aquired Nikkor 105 2,5 pre-Ai and 180mm 2.8 ED AI-S, I sold it, because it's no comparison. Both old primes at F4 are much sharper and contrasty than Nikkor 55-200 VR at F8-F11.

Nikkor 55-200 VR is an okay lens, but nothing special about it really... For its price, it's a good buy, though.

Regards,

chris102
chris102 Senior Member • Posts: 1,492
Re: Best money can buy?

The optics (color, flare, contrast, and of course sharpness) of Nikon's kit lenses are usually top-notch. Your pictures clearly demonstrate this - the kid in the snow rocks!

What most kit lenses lack are build, aperture and often the top of the line focusing mechanism. What this means, is that when used by careful amateurs, they will give optimum performance. When abused, either by rough handling, or sub-optimal lighting, they start to falter. In every other way though, kit lenses are the way to go for great pictures. Faster, sturdier lenses are big and heavy, so if you are careful with both the handling and exposure with your kitlens, your pictures will be every bit as good as if you spent 3 to 8 times as much on a "pro" lens.

And again, looking at these three pictures, I'd guess your pictures are.

ConanD wrote:

I won't get too elaborate since I'm just an amateur, but I would very much like someone to show me a better lens for double what this cost. This thing is pretty amazing for the price (currently $247 on Amazon). For me, it comes down to optical quality. This takes seriously sharp and colorful pics. Those few times when I've managed to select the correct exposure, WB, etc, I'm so blown away. I can't even believe I took the shot -- they just look too good.

The drawback is that the lens is completely made of plastic. It "feels" very cheap (because it is). But at this price, you could just about call it a disposable lens. A disposable lens that takes images equal to lenses costing 4 times as much.

Here's a couple of examples (remember, I'm talking about IQ here, so ignore composition, subject and lighting choices)

-- hide signature --
 chris102's gear list:chris102's gear list
Lytro Illum Nikon Coolpix 4500 Lytro Light Field 8GB Nikon D700 Nikon D850 +10 more
scokill
scokill Veteran Member • Posts: 6,428
Re: Best money can buy?

colombiano wrote:

Second shot was done at 200 mm with aperture F5. This is impossible with Nikkor 55-200.

Well, I had 55-200 VR also but after I aquired Nikkor 105 2,5 pre-Ai and 180mm 2.8 ED AI-S, I sold it, because it's no comparison. Both old primes at F4 are much sharper and contrasty than Nikkor 55-200 VR at F8-F11.

Nikkor 55-200 VR is an okay lens, but nothing special about it really... For its price, it's a good buy, though.

Regards,

The snow shot was shot with 70-200 2.8...at least the exif indicates max aperture of 2.8.

 scokill's gear list:scokill's gear list
Nikon D4 Nikon AF-S 70-200mm F2.8E FL ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED
ConanD
OP ConanD Regular Member • Posts: 133
Re: Best money can buy?

scokill wrote:

colombiano wrote:

Second shot was done at 200 mm with aperture F5. This is impossible with Nikkor 55-200.

Well, I had 55-200 VR also but after I aquired Nikkor 105 2,5 pre-Ai and 180mm 2.8 ED AI-S, I sold it, because it's no comparison. Both old primes at F4 are much sharper and contrasty than Nikkor 55-200 VR at F8-F11.

Nikkor 55-200 VR is an okay lens, but nothing special about it really... For its price, it's a good buy, though.

Regards,

The snow shot was shot with 70-200 2.8...at least the exif indicates max aperture of 2.8.

I must have grabbed the wrong pic. You guys are right, of course. I could have sworn I used the 55-200, but clearly that's impossible. The other two are DEFINITELY the 55-200 because that was the only 200 mm lens I owned when I took those pictures.

 ConanD's gear list:ConanD's gear list
Nikon D3100 Nikon D7100 Nikon D610 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D +7 more
ConanD
OP ConanD Regular Member • Posts: 133
Re: Best money can buy?

NOTE: The image of my daughter in the snow was NOT taken with the lens in question. It was taken with a Nikon AF 80-2000mm F2.8D (push-pull). There was no conscious attempt to mislead. My apologies.

ConanD wrote:

Here's a couple of examples (remember, I'm talking about IQ here, so ignore composition, subject and lighting choices)

 ConanD's gear list:ConanD's gear list
Nikon D3100 Nikon D7100 Nikon D610 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D +7 more
paulski66
paulski66 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,584
I don't think you're using the term "The best money can buy" correctly...
4

No text.

 paulski66's gear list:paulski66's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Nikon D750 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.8G Nikon 85mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +2 more
stevef1961
stevef1961 Senior Member • Posts: 2,561
Re: Best money can buy?

ConanD wrote:

NOTE: The image of my daughter in the snow was NOT taken with the lens in question. It was taken with a Nikon AF 80-2000mm F2.8D (push-pull). There was no conscious attempt to mislead. My apologies.

ConanD wrote:

Here's a couple of examples (remember, I'm talking about IQ here, so ignore composition, subject and lighting choices)

Kind of glad to hear that.  As I looked at it I was thinking that it was clearly the best image of the three.  That shows you that more $$$ lenses will generally lead to better quality images.

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www.flickr.com/photos/stevef1961

 stevef1961's gear list:stevef1961's gear list
Nikon D500 Nikon Z6 Nikon 24mm F1.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR +3 more
bhill643 Regular Member • Posts: 231
correct

set it at f8 and leave it there - I had it a very nice lens for the $

Leonard Shepherd
Leonard Shepherd Forum Pro • Posts: 21,739
Re: Money cannot buy

Money cannot buy photographic skill

As your photos show very good pictures can be obtained with equipment well below "top of the range".

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Leonard Shepherd
Producing good quality photographs, or being good at sport or art, involves a little more than buying appropriate equipment. Practice, some learning and perhaps natural talent often play a bigger role than the equipment in your hands.

 Leonard Shepherd's gear list:Leonard Shepherd's gear list
Nikon Z7 Nikon D500 Nikon D850 Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm F2.8G IF-ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F4G ED VR +27 more
WIMorrison Senior Member • Posts: 1,846
Re: Best money can buy?
1

ConanD wrote:

NOTE: The image of my daughter in the snow was NOT taken with the lens in question. It was taken with a Nikon AF 80-2000mm F2.8D (push-pull). There was no conscious attempt to mislead. My apologies.

ConanD wrote:

Here's a couple of examples (remember, I'm talking about IQ here, so ignore composition, subject and lighting choices)

Now that is one hell of a super zoom !! I wonder what size the front element is for f2.8 at the length?  Luckily you are at the short end where the quality seems to good

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Iain Morrison LRPS CPAGB
wimorrison.co.uk

 WIMorrison's gear list:WIMorrison's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon D800E Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm F2.8G ED Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR +13 more
ConanD
OP ConanD Regular Member • Posts: 133
Re: Best money can buy?

WIMorrison wrote:

ConanD wrote:

Nikon AF 80-2000mm F2.8D (push-pull).

Now that is one hell of a super zoom !! I wonder what size the front element is for f2.8 at the length? Luckily you are at the short end where the quality seems to good

-- hide signature --

Iain Morrison LRPS CPAGB
wimorrison.co.uk

Yeah, I'm really batting a thousand in this review.  I didn't see that typo until someone had quoted it, and I guess I can't edit a post after someone quotes it.

 ConanD's gear list:ConanD's gear list
Nikon D3100 Nikon D7100 Nikon D610 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D +7 more
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