Fabulous Lens

I am so impressed by this lens, I have to blog about it.

I’ve got the Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D and the Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D, both of which produce outstanding (world-class even!) colors, contrast, bokeh, and sharpness. I consider both to be must-have lenses. Those aren’t the lenses I’m blogging about now, though, those are just my benchmark.

The killer lens is the Tokina ATX 50-135mm f/2.8 PRO DX lens. This is a DX lens, made for crop-sensor cameras. It retails about $650, which is less than half the price of the Nikkor 70-200 (a roughly equivalent effective focal length). To me, its colors, contrast, sharpness and bokeh rival my two super-fast primes, and probably the Nikkor 70-200. No, it’s not f/1.4 fast, but f/2.8 is great for a zoom. Seriously, I’m blown away by this lens. Let’s compare.

First, a couple of nice shots from the 50mm.

 

 

And a nice shot from the 85mm (haven’t posted many from that lens on Flickr yet).

 

Now, the Tokina.

 

no post processing!

 

using the “sin city” Lightroom preset for colors, but look at that bokeh!

To me, this is another must-have lens if you have a crop-sensor camera (not a Canon 5D or 1Ds ??, or Nikon D3/D700, etc.) and need a medium-range zoom for wildlife, portraits, or sports. This lens is a steal for the money, almost as much bang-for-the-buck as a 50mm! Go buy one!

Nikon support fiasco

Today we find the release of the D700 full-frame copy of the D300, the new SB900 flash, and some new macro (why do they insist on calling it micro?) lenses, as well as firmware updates for the D300 and D3.

I went to http://www.nikonusa.com to the Service & Support Knowledge Database, where I should be able to obtain the firmware updates. The files are login-protected, so I have to log in. Here’s where the trouble starts.

I am presented with three options:

  1. Email Address and Password fields for “Returning Users”
  2. Email Address field and “Email me my password” button in case I forgot my password
  3. “Create a new account” button for new users

I try the first section – login failed.

I try the second section – “The user ID you supplied does not appear to be valid.”.

I try to create a new account (don’t remember if I ever logged in here or not). I fill out all the info, including my camera serial number, and I get “That email address is already in the database.”.

Why can’t you send me the password? Why did the login fail? Why can’t you create a proper web site, or hire someone who can?!?! This is rediculous. Their site is broken so I’m stuck. Thanks a lot.

Update: I used the firmware that I could download from Nikon Europe, which was not hiding behind a broken login process, and the update was smooth and successful. http://www.dpreview.com/news/0807/08070104nikonfirmware.asp