Top critical review
28 people found this helpful
great for macro, bad for anything else
on March 31, 2013
Like many people before me, i bought this lens with dreams of having a 2 for 1 macro/portrait lens combo. After some real world testing, i have realized this lens doesn't quite live up to the aforementioned dream.
As a macro lens i have nothing but great words to say, as do others so i won't bore anyone with those details.
As a portrait lens, some things of note:
1. This lens seems to have great troubles focusing on anything more than about 5 feet away in anything but perfect lighting conditions. At one point, I stood trying to focus on a tree with some moderately harsh backlighting and the thing just would not focus. It THOUGHT it locked focus but upon zooming in, it was not.
2. Spherecromatism on this thing is pretty severe wide open. If you are somewhat close to the subject and don't have EXACT focus, specular reflections on the eye will appear as magenta or green blobs, depending on front or back focus.
3. Bokeh on this lens isn't what its hyped to be, at least not for me, and it doesn't handle out of focus highlights very gracefully.
4. As another reviewer stated, this lens flares up very easily if there is any type of adverse back lighting.
In a studio environment these problems would mostly become minor nuisances, but in the real world they are deal killers. Sorry, i really wanted to like this lens, but i could not. If you are expecting to use this as a portrait lens, i would think twice, except for studio use. Even the 'ED' glass and 'Nanocoating' can't save it.
Clearly Nikon had to make some compromises to get the extreme flat sharpness.