Real-world Review: Tamron SP AF 60mm f/2.0 Di II LD Macro for portraits

While preparing this review, I was reminded again of how ridiculously long the names of Tamron lenses can get. See the name of the lens in the title of this article and think it looks long? Well that is actually not the full name because I trimmed it for the title. For the sake of completeness, I will reproduce the full name of the lens I am reviewing: Tamron SP AF 60mm f/2.0 Di II LD [IF] Macro 1:1. Whew! For the sake of readability I will abbreviate it as the Tamron 60mm f/2M in this review. Continue reading “Real-world Review: Tamron SP AF 60mm f/2.0 Di II LD Macro for portraits”

Real-world Review: Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G

Nikkor 35mm f/1.8g dx 2

The Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G (35DX) was introduced in 2009, and launched in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the death of Henri Cartier-Bresson. HCB almost exlcusively shot with 50mm lenses with his full-frame Leica film camera. The 35DX provides a good approximation to 50mm on full frame and is diminutive enough to give us a fairly small and portable package when paired with a smaller Nikon APS camera body. Indeed, HCB would have approved of its portability as well as its performance. Continue reading “Real-world Review: Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G”

More from the Nikon AF-P DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR

Here is a companion gallery to my review of the Nikon AF-P DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR. As I mentioned in my original review, this is a pretty good general-purpose do-almost-everything lens. I have been using it for street photography, a little bit of architecture, some food and still life. Pretty much nearly everything you may need for a travel lens. Even for professional photographers, this lens could suffice for a non-work-related casual day out.

2018 Singapore. Cyclist on Nicoll HIghway on hot day.2018 Singapore. Cyclist on Nicoll HIghway on hot day.2018 Singapore. Cyclist on Nicoll Highway on hot day.

Continue reading “More from the Nikon AF-P DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR”

Real-world Review: Nikon AF-P DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR

Nikkor 35mm f/1.8g dxThe AF-P DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR

2018 July 16 Update: Added an additional image gallery here.

Kit zoom lenses typically do not get a lot of good press because they usually deliver average performance. But it is a disservice to ourselves to dismiss them totally, as different kit lenses from different manufacturers can produce different results. There is also a good reason why the “kit lens” exists – because it covers an extremely convenient and practically useful focal range that satisfies 80% of what most people need. This real-world review of Nikon’s newest DX kit lens (as of mid-2018) AF-P DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR (abbreviated AF-P 18-55VR for the rest of this review) might change your mind about the usefulness of a kit lens. Continue reading “Real-world Review: Nikon AF-P DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR”

Choosing Lenses: Zoom Lens Or Prime Lens?

As a photographer progresses from being a simple beginner to becoming an enthusiast, questions of choosing which lenses to add to their arsenal eventually arises. Every photographer eventually asks this question multiple times in a life-long pursuit and maintenance of photography equipment: “Prime lens or zoom lens?”

Like most people, I started out in photography with a trusty 18-55mm zoom kit lens. Then I got a 55-300mm zoom lens to cover the telephoto range. Then I started browsing photography forums and learned about the alleged higher performance of fixed-focal-length prime lenses. After a year or two, I started switching to prime lenses for their higher performance and compact nature. In fact, there was a good full year where every lens in my camera bag was a prime. Then I got a zoom lens again, and as of the date of this article my lens collection consists of one zoom lens and two prime lenses.

Now having stood on both sides of the fence with regards to the zoom versus prime debate, I believe I can provide an unbiased opinion on this matter. I am not interested in some kind of theological or philosophical correctness, but rather in sharing advice with others who may be pondering this matter, so everyone can be well-informed and can make their purchase investments wisely.
Continue reading “Choosing Lenses: Zoom Lens Or Prime Lens?”

Long-term User Review: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5 – 4.5G ED

Descending Escalator In X ShapeDescending Escalator In X
D610, 18mm, f/5.6, 1/40, ISO 100

I will start this review with a glimpse of the conclusion: Sometimes, you buy into a particular camera brand for certain advantages that you are looking for that is not available in the ecosystem of other camera brands. The AF-S Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5 – 4.5G ED (abbreviated 18-35G) is a wonder that deserves this honour in the current Nikon lineup. There is no other camera system that offers a wide-angle zoom lens covering a full-frame sensor area that can fulfill a 3X criteria of being so light-weight, so high-performing, and so affordable. Nikon FX users who are looking for a wide-angle zoom and know that you will be stopping-down most of the time, just get the 18-35G now. Continue reading “Long-term User Review: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5 – 4.5G ED”

Long-term User Review: AF-S Nikkor 28mm f/1.8G ED

Dongdaemun Design Plaza 8Dongdaemun Design Plaza: The Most Photographed Stairs Outside
D610, 28mm, f/8, 1/100, ISO 100

To state the obvious, a long-term user review is a late one. There are already abundant reviews of this lens with detailed graphs, charts, numbers and test shots. I agree that these testing methods fulfill a necessary and much-appreciated function, but solely relying on them is too-narrow minded. We use lenses to capture all kinds of three-dimensional subjects in a multitude of environments at different distances under myriad lighting conditions. Not just in a laboratory of limited size with mundane lighting. There are also questions about rendering aesthetics, which are characteristics that cannot be scientifically measured. When searching for lens reviews, I always find myself looking for end-user-experience articles to supplement those laboratory results.

Hence I figured I should do one of my own. 🙂 Continue reading “Long-term User Review: AF-S Nikkor 28mm f/1.8G ED”

Nikkor Promotional Videos By NikonImagingJapan

The camera manufacturers continue to produce some extremely cringe-worthy advertisements for their products that scream, “Let me tell you about all these awesome things from the marketing brochures in this made-up narrative! You need to have this!”. For example, look at Nikon’s “Mongolia” and “Bali” promotional videos. These are so hackneyed, un-subtle and condescending they border on being insulting with their “buy these to become a cool world-traveler” undertones. For the sake of good taste I won’t link to those here – but if you want to engage in psychological self-abuse, you can search for those on Youtube. Just don’t blame me for any trauma. Continue reading “Nikkor Promotional Videos By NikonImagingJapan”

Photo Album Week 44-2: Two From Singapore’s 50th National Day. And How Good Is The Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G?

Yes, this post is horribly belated. After all national day is on 9 August. I didn’t have a lot of good pictures from national day, since most images look too cliché and the weather was relatively poor – cloudy, hazy with light drizzle. Only two images from SG50!

Tribute To Lee Kuan Yew In SG50 National Day Parade

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew In Singapore National Day SG50 CelebrationsNikon D610, 50mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO 450

The founding leader and first prime minister Continue reading “Photo Album Week 44-2: Two From Singapore’s 50th National Day. And How Good Is The Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G?”

Macro Lenses: What Not To Use Them For

Wild vivacious redSony A37, 90mm, 1/125, ISO 100

I used to be really, really into macro photography. To be more precise, flora photography. I took pictures of the botanical world regularly. It had become my speciality. I was pretty happy with the results I produced. Macro lenses became a key part of my gear list. An E-mount Sony 30mm f/3.5. An A-mount Tamron 90mm f/2.8. Followed by an F-mount Tamron 90mm f/2.8 VC. Whenever I had a change of camera equipment, a macro lens was sure to follow me. I shot flora subjects diligently for nearly two years. These were my primary subjects in my photographic beginnings.

Continue reading “Macro Lenses: What Not To Use Them For”