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archive of dennis g. / XORN.ORG just: do it

My Photogear

List of my Gear and comments to some of them (just click on them) - they might be useful if you don't want to read much, of course you can also always email me, if you want to know a bit more about a lens, before you buy it somewhere - just don't ask me about test charts, though you can get 100% crops from some place in an image if you want.

Tokina AT-X Pro SD 12-24 F4 (IF)DX

Feeling and Build quality

I didn't test the optics really intensive so far. But the lens is very well built and robust and offers quite fast focusing (of course - it's a wideangle) even when it just uses Nikons internal motor of the body it focuses as fast as my Nikon 18-70mm and it even isn't that loud, compared to my Sigma lenses using the internal motordrive. Manual focusing goes pretty well too, without having to change any switches from the camera, and just slipping back the focusing ring. The barrel doesn't extend when either focusing or zooming. And of course the front barrel doesn't rotate! One thing which is worse in build quality, compared to the Nikon 18-70 is, that it doesn't has that little sealing rubber around the mount to the camera body. What really surprised me a bit is that the included lens hood has velvet inside it, which I saw the last time at my very old Nikkor 35-105 metal lens hood. Velvet is probably the best to reduce any kind of reflections, thumbs up Tokina!

Optics

This is a DX-Format lens, so we don't have the digital advantage of having the high quality crop from the center. If you want that kind of focal length range with an non-crop you should go for the Sigma 12-24, or Nikon 10-24. Quality wise, I can't say much about this lens as I didn't test it well enough, but I can say: CA occurs a bit at 12mm F4 in high contrast situations, when not stopped down - it's already hardly visible at F5.6-6.3 though. Barrel distortion just happens slightly at the corners at 12mm - but what do you expect from 12mm?? Otherwise it looks really sharp so far! I don't think you can justify the double price for the Nikon 12-24 F4 of what I've heard of that lens, it is even said to have worse distortions at 12mm (not barrel and not pincushion, something more complicated).

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Nikon AF-S Nikkor 18-70mm 1:3.5-4.5G ED

Feeling and Build quality

With this lens, Nikon produced a nice mid-range zoom for dslrs. It feels quite good in body build quality, just after using it a while, the front barrel, which extends when zooming (not when focusing) gets worn out very fast and easily (why did they build that one out of cheaper plastic, and made the back of the lens out of some harder material, that's a very stupid way to save materials!). My exemplar already has a crack at the front, where you screw filters in, I have luck to still be able to attach filters. The good thing at this lens is that it offers AF-S, silent and fast focusing using a ultrasonic motor. Another good thing is the lens mount, which has a rubber gasket, which seals the mounting ring - at least this is nice.

Optics

This is also a DX-Format lens which is like a 27-105mm zoom on full frame. There's nothing much to say about this lens. Sharpness is nice in the whole range from around 24-30mm to 70mm, just from 18-24mm you should prefer to stop it down a little, for more sharpness, and less CA. Distortions and slight vignetting from 18mm until fully decreased at 24-30mm are also a bit strange, and not that easy to correct.

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Sigma APO Macro Super II 70-300mm F4-5.6

Feeling and Build quality

Of course you instantly see: This is a consumer lens! It's completely made out of plastic except the lens mount (some other, inner elements might not be). The lens hood which comes with the lens is quite stable though. This lens is made for aps size (digital) and for analog use, and so offers you an arperture ring, which has a lock button for the maximum arperture. AF speed of this lens is quite slow and noisy!

Optics

Be aware, you are not reading about the "DG" version, which are the newer variants of this lens, and according to Sigma offer a better coating, designed for digital slrs. I just tested this lens digitally and can't see any inner reflections really, so maybe the DG version just increases contrast in rare conditions slightly. I can't tell you much about vignetting of this lens because I already cropped out the inner part by using an aps-size sensor, and it is supposed to don't have any for that one. As this is the APO, the "upgraded" version it is kind of a medium optical good lens, but in a consumer lens body. It doesn't offer as good quality as my Sigma APO Macro 180/2.8 of course, and it needs more light, but the quality is nearly as good. It's sharp and I've never seen obvious CA with this lens. I also never saw any major distortions. I don't shoot test charts, so please don't ask me further.

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Sigma APO Macro 180mm F2.8

Feeling and Build quality

Same like with the other Sigma: You can instantly see for whom this lens was made for. It's an oldschool professional line lens. The problem is: It is very heavy (1,4 kg), though it is of course also very robust. Another problem: It is oldschool, and just offers you a screw-mount AF, just like the other Sigma... but it's even slower, so most of the time I manually focused this lens before I got frustrated with that and sold it.

Optics

Optically you can't compare this with any of the zoom lenses listed here, it's really really sharp. Though it might not be as sharp as my Nikon 50mm 1.4 - but I don't know really. I didn't test it that well, I can say it it was realyl sharp - but it was so slow and also hard to handle in MF...

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Inexpensive Zeiss Tessar 50mm/2.8 from ebay

Feeling and Build quality

Such old lenses really feel sturdy and solidly built to last longer. Nothing to be found in the fast modern time...

Optics

Nice for portraits! If you want to shoot better portraits and cant afford an expensive lens you should really try it out! It's very cheap and has a really good bokeh. Just get such a lens + a m42 adapter from ebay for around 16 EUR together and try it out, you can't lose much!

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Canon Powershot A710 IS and Powershot G7

Feeling and Build quality

I first had the A710 IS which has at least some metal front part, but holding the Camera isn't too good. The G7 is really better over this and offers a strap to be able to be attached to both sides, really important!

I really bought the G7 mostly because of: Full metal body, black finish(unobstrusive), strap attacheable on both sides, better and more useful buttons/knobs, better screen, slightly better noise characteristic. - I had to pay roughly 70 EUR more price on top of the price I could sell the A710 IS for. At the point where I bought the A710 IS (and originally wanted the G7) it would have been >150 EUR

Image Quality

It's hard to say which one is better, Noise is slightly better on the G7 (anyway, I would have been much happier with just the same 7Mpix on the bigger sensor of the G7). Pixel Density on the G7 is 26 MP/cm² (1/1.8" Sensor), whereas the A710 has 29 MP/cm² (1/2.5" Sensor).

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Canon Powershot G9

Feeling and Build Quality

This is mostly the same like the Powershot G7. I think there are some improvements made for resting the thumb and other fingers. Of course the bigger screen is a plus.

Now you wonder why I got the G9 and why I will sell the G7?: RAW Format

Using CHDKs raw format is still a bit of a pain to use, as not every program will be able to handle it. And, it is even bigger on the G7 as the G9's native raw, even if it has just 10 and not 12mpix. This is becaues the G9 compresses the RAW.

Image Quality

Probably still no differences. The lens has the same specs, though the optical system might have changed, it somehow looks a bit different. It is probably just adjusted to the sensor, which is now a bit larger, and which should help to have a bit more control of DOF. Sadly they increased pixel density to an unwanted 28 MP/cm² on a 1/1.7" Sensor. Who needs so many megapixels? I'd prefer smaller file size and less noise..

Other Thoughts

I think the G10 is also really interesting. Whereas Canon does most things right with it, I hate their Megapixel trend.
What I would like to see for their G11: The G10 in a slightly smaller housing in it's height (but keeping the grip), with a lens at around 28-110mm equiv (they need around 4x Optical Zoom so they can sell it to a wider public I think), and with a Sensor who has 10MPix. Ok, this will never happen, but maybe they won't increase the megapixels at least, and stay at their current 14. I also hope for a Sensor at maybe around 1/1.4".
Then, if they would reduce shutter lag! Just another problem of too much megapixels.

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(c) Dennis G. 2004-2011 created with the gimp and text editor last change of this file: May 14, 2018 - 13:32