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Nikon AF Nikkor 70-300mm 4/5.6 G Telephoto Zoom Lens, a.k.a. "The Thing"
...as shot with the Nikon AF-S 16-85mm VR Nikkor Zoom on D90.
Read my Amazon.com review of this lens:
By Sunjammer from Florida, USA on 4/19/2011
Your Rating: *****
Headline: "The Thing"
This will be a VERY unusual kind of review...unusual for me, anyway!
I call this lens, with both affection and some precision, "The Thing". To put that in some kind of context, I refer you to the following "memorable quote" from indy movie producer Quentin Tarantino's 2007 film "Death Proof", specifically the scene where the three hot girls, Arlene, Shanna, and Radio DJ "Jungle Julia", are discussing Arlenes recent date:
Jungle Julia: Okay, we're pretty clear on what it is you didn't do. How bout' enlightening us on what it is you did do?
Arlene: Nothing to write home about. We just made out on the couch for about twenty minutes.
Shanna: Dressed, half dressed, or naked?
Arlene: Dressed! I said we made out. We didn't do "the thing".
Jungle Julia: Excuse me for living, but what is "the thing"?
Arlene: You know, it's everything but.
Shanna: They call that "the thing"?
Arlene: I call it "the thing".
Shanna: Do guys like "the thing"?
Arlene: They like it better than no thing.
Witty repartee, you say, but what relevance to a Nikon Zoom lens?
Ok...it's an FX (full frame) 70-300mm F4/5.6 Nikon Autofocus zoom lens from the '35mm
' days and therefore will only autofocus on Nikon DSLRs that have their own built in auto-focus drive motor. Although it is of fairly sophisticated and complex design, none of its THIRTEEN multi-coated elements are ED glass, and therefore no 'shiny gold on black' badge anywhere in evidence; just flat, matte' light gray print, instead. In fact, it is one of the least flashy products ever to wear the Nikon name! And while it has a focus distance scale, it has NO focus point mark or DOF scales; it's symmetry is not even broken by an auto/manual focus switch on the side! When the variator (zoom control) is turned, the front element does not rotate...however, when the lens is focused, the front element DOES turn!
Color and clarity are frankly amazing and it's quite sharp throughout its range; surprisingly so for it's $150 price. In fact, it's almost as sharp as the present day AF-S 70-300 VR. ALMOST, but not quite, and then only on a DX body, but it's bokeh is actually better! And unlike the $600 AF-S 70-300mm VR, it doesn't rattle when you shake it!
It has no VR mechanism and as I mentioned, no internal focus motor, but then, it's pretty light weight and quite well balanced on a D90 body, so it is very easy to hand-hold at lower shutter speeds. It may not get many covetous stares from other shooters...but it probably won't attract any of the 'wrong kind of attention', either. To be perfectly honest, with its lens shade attached, it doesn't look at all out-of-place on a D80, D90, or a D7000, but it just might on a D3.
In the right hands, this lens will produce simply stunning images; sharp and clear with very good color and contrast...but you have to know what you're doing. I dare say that the 'point and shoot' crowd would be very disappointed, but 'Gray Barrel Nikkor Lens' aficionados will probably be more than a little bit irritated to learn this lens costs only $150!
I call this lens "The Thing"...because I like it better than no thing...about A MILLION TIMES better than no thing!
The Thing...get it now?
Did I mention it's also half a 'stop' FASTER at the wide end of the zoom than the $600 VR lens!! Yep, that's right...F4 at 70mm! HA!
I have now taken well over 48.000 photos with my Nikon D70s and it still work...but,
my old eyes have trouble to see the quality of the images on the tiny 2" screen on the back.
Now, the new Nikon D90 is launched (or will be available within a month or so) -
I must say; the Nikon D90 is highly interesting for me - rather reasonable price and it has most of the features I'm looking for; BIG, clear 3" screen, 12,3MP, Live-view, Active D-Lighting (ADR) and it can handle the old AF lenses as well.
Then, they will most likely sell out the D80 reasonable - but that hasn't happen
ed yet with the D200 on the other hand - and, do I want to buy an "old" camera again? I mean, the D200 came in 2005 and the D80 in 2006 - we're very soon in 2009!