Thursday, August 13, 2009

Nikon 400mm AF-S F/2.8 ED VR Review

Nikon 400mm AF-S F/2.8 ED VR Review

This lens just plain kicks butt. The price is steep, about 9 grand. But it's worth every penny. It really shines when using it for sports and wildlife. But, don't be afraid to shoot head shots or portraits with this lens. I recently used this lens for a baseball tournament in Nederland, Texas. I used it on my D300 which turns it into a 600mm 2.8 lens with the D300's 1.5 crop factor.

My flicker sets dedicated to the Nikon 400mm AF-S VR F2.8.

Here are some photos that others have taken with this lens.

This lens is an AF-S and designed to work full frame cameras which makes it compatible with all Nikon DSLR Bodies. However, I think it would be a little strange to use it on anything less than the D90 or D300. I prefer using this lens on full frame cameras like the D700.

Reviewers at give this lens 5 stars. And the 5 stars are well deserved, the color clarity and sharpness on this lens are amazing, almost magical.

This lens is very heavy. It weighs in at about 10 lbs. so make sure you have a very heavy duty and sturdy monopod like the Manfrotto 682B, 679B or the 680B.

This lens will also bring some attention your way if you are using it at a public event. It's size will make people very curious to see the photos you have taken. (Sometimes, size does matter.)

Want to get a little crazy?
Turn this lens into a 840mm F4 lens by adding Nikon's TC-14E II 1.4x Teleconverter on the D90 or D300.

If you are thinking about making an investment in this lens make sure you buy it from They have been in business since 1973 because, they treat their customers right.

Read more about it and buy here at
Nikon 400mm AF-S 2.8 VR at

If you're not ready to spend almost 9 grand on a lens rent it from
Nikon 400mm f/2.8G AF-S ED VR at

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tokina 11-16mm F2.8 Pro DX AF Review

Tokina 11-16mm F2.8 Pro DX

Here's a fantastic piece of glass from Tokina. The reviews plentiful and good on the B&H photo site (4.5 stars). In August 2009 both B&H and Adorama are sold out.

When the giants are sold out you know there are a lot of people trying to get their hands on this lens.

This lens is for cameras with the APS-C Sensor that don't need a motor built into the lens to auto focus. It will work on the D50, D70, D80, D90, D300 and the soon to be released D300s. It's a DX lens so it will not work on the D700 or the other full frame Nikon cameras. It also will not work on the D40, D60, D5000 because they all need the focusing motor built into the lens.

So if you own a compatible camera (D50, D70, D80, D90, D300) and are in need of an ultra wide angle zoom this lens is definitely worth careful consideration.

What's Cool
Price (about $600)
Fast Constant 2.8 Aperture
Heavy Duty Build Quality
Quick Focus
Sharp Focus

Nikon does not have an exact match in this range. The Nikon 14-24 F/2.8 is about $1,800 and next closest Nikon lens is a 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 variable aperture and it's a little over $800.

It's a high quality lens that's well tested and has received many great reviews and it's under $600.

Want to see some cool pics taken with this lens?
Check out this Flickr group.

Check the price at buy it from B&H photo. They have been in business since 1973. They sell quality products at good prices and treat their customer right.
Tokina 11-16mm F/2.8 at

Not ready to buy? Rent it for a week here at
Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X 116 Pro DX (


Friday, August 7, 2009

NIKON (Nikkor) AF 50mm f/1.8D (Prime Lens)

Nikon 50mm 1.8 D (Prime Lens)

Simply the best $100 you can spend on a lens. This is an extremely popular lens that every serious amateur or pro should have in their bag. This lens will work on full frame cameras like the D700 and D3. However, it will not auto focus on the D40, D60, D5000 because it does not have a built in motor (It's not an AF-S lens. It's works perfectly on the D50, D70, D80, D90, D300, or the new D300s.

If you own a camera like the D40, D60 or D5000 that needs an AF-S lens to auto focus then take a look at the Nikon AF-S 50mm 1.4 lens.

There are over 500 hundred reviews of this lens on the site. A tribute to it's popularity.

This lens is well built, super fast, small, light, ultra sharp and the bokeh is awesome. It's excels in low light and night time photography. However, you should be aware that using this lens at maximum aperture will give you a very shallow DOF (depth of field) when shooting subjects close to the camera.

It's 50mm focal length makes it a good portrait lens for DX cameras like the D70, D90 and D300. If you are looking for a great portrait prime lens for a full frame camera like the D700 or D3 look at the Nikon AF 85mm F1.8D

Check the price and buy it here at B&H photo has been is business since 1973. They have stayed in business because they treat their customers with respect.

Nikon 50mm 1.8 D (Prime Lens)


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC (Vibration Reduction)

Tamron 18-270mm VC (Vibration Control)

I don't usually recommend or do reviews on products that I have not personally used or own. However, I believe this lens deserves to be mentioned to anyone looking for an excellent lens that they can leave on their camera and shoot anything from sports to wide angle photography.

This lens is not a pro lens. So don't expect the professional build quality and don't expect it perform in low light. However, it's a great all around lens that you may never need to remove from your camera.

This lens is about $75 cheaper than the Nikon 18-200mm lens and it zooms to 270mm instead of just 200mm.

This lens gets a solid 4 stars from the people that have reviewed it on And it has received numerous awards from the press.

Outdoor Photographers - Editor's Pick
PCPhoto - Editor's Choice
Profesional Photographers - Hot One Award 2009
DPreview - Recommended
American Photo - Editor Choice 2009

The VC (Vibration Compensation) allows the use of shutter speeds that are much slower than otherwise possible. It detects movement of the camera and compensates for camera shake when shooting a moving object. This feature is a must in a lens with this long of a focal length. VC is Tamron's equivalent to Nikon's VR (Vibration Reduction).

The 18-270mm lens, made for the Nikon digital SLR system, incorporates a motor built into the lens itself like Nikon AF-S lenses. This built-in motor allows it to work on the D40, D40x, D60 and D5000. AF-S lenses or lenses with built-motors also focus quicker and are generally quieter.

Tamron makes some solid award winning products and this is one of them. They also have an outstanding 6 year warranty.

Check the price here at (It's sbout $600 July 2009). You can't go wrong buying from they are the best online camera dealer period.

Tamron 18-270mm Di VC (Nikon with Built-in Motor)


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Nikon (Nikkor) 50mm 1.4 AF-S

Nikon 50mm F/1.4F AF-S

This is the fastest and best low light Nikon lens made. If you are shooting in low light without a flash you will be absolutely amazed at what this lens can do. This lens knocks the socks any 2.8 zoom lens in low light. You can keep your ISO low enough to keep the noise down and still get great shot in situations you won't believe until you have used it.

It's compatible with all recent Nikon cameras including the D40, D60, D5000, D300 DX cameras, as well as full frame cameras like the D700.

This lens really excels when shooting night photography, low-light sports, and landscape photography.

Be careful, it's low-light ability, sharpness and Bokeh may blow you away. It's one of those lenses that could become addicting.

The price is also a bargain. It's not often that you can find something as amazing as this lens for under $500.

I only review items that I highly recommend and get great reviews from others as well. This lens is another 5 star products. The 5 stars come from the 33 people (July 2009) that have reviewed this lens on

You will never regret owning a this lens. You will also never regret purchasing anything from these guys know how to treat their customers. It's the only online shop I recommend to my friends and family.

Check the price and purchase it here at
Nikon 50mm AF-S F/1.4G

You can rent it here:
Nikon 50mm 1.4 AF-S at


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Giottos Pro Tripod (MTL Series) 9371B and 8371B Review

Giottos Pro Tripod (MTL Series) 9371B and 8371B Review

The MTL tripod series includes the MTL 92/82 Classic series and the MTL 93/83 3-way series.

The first thing I look at when evaluating a tripod is to make sure the legs are quick and easy to lock down. Secondly, I make sure they don't creep once they are locked. The MTL series tripods meet both requirements with their quick lever lock system.

Here's what's Really Cool
Study the pics, this tripod is like a contortionist.
It's strong the 9371B hold 22 pounds or 10kg
1/4" or 3/8" camera screw stud
Built-in universal 3-way head
It will go low 26 cm
Available in aluminum or carbon fiber

I preferred the price of the aluminum model about $180. The carbon fiber model is over $400.

More info on the MTL series can be found here at

Buy the Aluminum version here at
(The only online dealer I recommend)

Here's the Carbon Fiber Model at
Giottos MTL 8371B Professional Carbon Fiber Tripod Legs

Here's a great ballhead with a quick release system to go with this tripod. It's built to hold 22 lbs just like the tripod. Using a ballhead with this tripod will increase it's flexibility and speed.

Giottos MH-1000-652 Large Ballhead with MH-652 Quick Release System


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Nikon AF-S Wide Angle Zoom 14-24mm f/2.8G ED AF Lens Review

Nikon Super Wide Angle AF-S Zoom 14-24mm f/2.8G ED AF Lens Review

This lens is the super wide angle lens of Nikon's magic trio. Like the other two lenses in Nikon's magic trio it earns 5 stars from the reviewers at

You get what you pay for in this lens, It's sharp, strong, fast, and expensive. (Almost $1,800).

I think it's best used for Landscape Photography, Night Photography Real Estate Photography and Special Effects Photography. I don't recommend using this lens for portraits. It can add a cool effect in portraits but don't count on your customers liking themselves looking a little rounder than they are in real life. I use the 24-70mm 2.8 or the 70-200mm 2.8 VR for portrait work.

If the $1,800 price tag is just too steep the Tokina 12-24mm is a good alternative but it's f/4 lens not a 2.8 like the Nikon.

Here's a link to the Tokina at B&H
(4.5 Stars from reviewer at

Tokina Zoom Super Wide Angle AF 12-24mm f/4 AT-X $399
No internal focusing motor
Works on the D50, D70, D90, D300

Tokina Zoom Super Wide Angle AF 12-24mm f/4 AT-X $499
With internal focusing motor
Works on all non full frame Nikon cameras including the D40, D60, D5000.

Here's the link to the Nikon 14-24mm F2.8 at
Nikon AF-S Zoom Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED AF Lens
Works on all Nikon DSLR Cameras including full frame cameras like the D700.