Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Climbing Aboard the Nikon Wagon

Well, I've turned a page and made the move to a a more Nikon-centric lens collection with the addition of an AF 80-200mm f2.8 ED-IF "two-touch" unit. Focusing appears to be fast if a bit torquey. And, I'm happy to report, aside from the weird "AF false lock" problem that all of these lenses have with Nikon's DSLR logic, it is sharp at all apertures. Most importanly of all, the bokeh is really nice! You simply don't realize how much you miss smooth and creamy bokeh until you don't have it any more. With my prior "pro" lens, I was forced into using too much f-stop to obtain sharpness, and the penalty in the loss of bokeh took my photos from appearing "artistic" to looking more like snapshots. The new 80-200mm appears to solve this entirely, being sharp down to f3.2, just as long as I don't ask the lens to close-focus at 200mm focal length!

I can live with that; I don't need a macro lens.

I've also found that I have a hankering for a 35mm wide-aperture lens. There are two possibles; the new 35mm f1.8 G DX or the older 35mm f2D. Both offer considerable sharpness at f2.8, and both would be wider than my 50mm f1.4D and offer more DOF. My 18-55mm AF-S f3.5-5.6 just doesn't open up wide enough for my liking. If they'd made that lens an f2.8-4, with the middle ranges being f3.2 to f3.5, I don't think anyone would ever complain about it. It just needs a little more light and more bokeh. It can be plenty sharp at f8, but, and I'm surprised at this, my Tokina 12-24mm f4 is sharper at 24mm and f8 than the little Nikon DX zoom. The Tokina does cost four times as much though, so the old adage applies. "You get what you pay for!"

Well, lately I've paid for a new D300 body, a new 80-200mm f2.8 lens, and want to add a 35mm lens too. Someday a 180mm prime lens might arrive, but it won't be until long after Uncle Sam's sent me next year's tax dollars, that's for certain!