Friday, 14 January 2011

My new lens! A mini review.

So, as some of you may know already, I recently got myself a new lens! I saved up and got the lens I've wanted for a while - the Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8. So far, it's worth every penny I paid for it, and it keeps getting better and better. I decided to give you my thoughts on it so far, a mini first impressions review I suppose :)

So what prompted me to get it? Well, aside from the obvious, recently my kit lens broke a little (well...maybe a bit more than a little). I was doing something for my 365 project at the time when I tripped on a wire near my tripod (which also stopped me from being able to work tethered, I need to get a new one) and the tripod, complete with camera and lens went crashing forwards and landed lens-first. What a nightmare! Thankfully, it landed on my shaggy rug, so the damage was minimal.

I didn't actually notice any damage until a few days later when I felt that the zoom was acting up and getting stuck. It wasn't until I was having to force the zoom to go where it was meant to and I heard a loud SNAP that I realised there was a screw or something loose and the front element was wiggling around rather happily to itself. The good news was it still auto-focused, but it wasn't quite as accurate anymore since the element was droopy and looking at completely the wrong angle (i.e., down). So on the upside, I'd accidentally created a tilt shift. On the downside, it wasn't good for much anymore. It wasn't worth replacing (kit lenses rarely are) so I figured a lens I'd had my eye on for a few months would do well as a replacement.

Enter the Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8. I did a lot of research before getting this, but everything seemed to point towards me getting it. It was perfect for what I need it for, and after saving up I was finally able to buy it on Wednesday! The guy in the shop smirked as I put my card into the machine and said "I love the smell of burning plastic!" I couldn't help but laugh. It's true what they say - you forget how much you paid for it as soon as you have it. 

So far I've been in awe of what it can do. For the first time on my own camera I can actually count the stitches in a piece of fabric when not even my eyes can manage it from that distance. It's incredible at picking up detail. It's smooth, quick to focus and very well built. It looks pretty funny on my little D5000 though, it makes it look even smaller! However even with a DX sensor, the focal range is fantastic and very useable.

It's pretty heavy, though not in your hand. When it's mounted on my camera the leverage it provides makes my wrist ache after a while if I don't support the lens too, but I think that's because it's so much heavier than the body. Once I upgrade to the D700 I think it'll be pretty well balanced. I'm used to using the Phase One for hours on end in the studio without sore arms or wrists so I'm fairly sure it's just a balance issue. It's a solid lens worth every penny, and I highly recommend it.

Once I've had a chance to take some proper photos with it I'll post them here for all to see. I can't wait to put it through its paces!

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