Steve's Web Site

A History of my Photography

Newer Lenses


2000mm f10 Celestron

    This long focal length lens is really a Schmidt Casegrain Telescope. It has an eight inch primary mirror and a much smaller secondary mirror mounted in the corrector plate. It has Losmandy rails mounted top and bottom and is mainly used on my Losmandy G-11 equatorial Mount and Tripod. The mount is rated for sixty pounds and the telescope tube weighs less than twenty pounds. The results is an extremely stable mount for the telescope. I have a flip mirror that mounts on the rear of the telescope and allows switching between using eyepieces and a camera by flipping up a mirror. It's similar to the reflex housings used with rangefinder cameras and longer lenses. I also have a field flattener lens that converts the lens to a 1250mm f6.3 optic but with reduced coverage. A 2000mm lens just covers the Sun or Moon in the field of view of a 35mm camera.


24-200mm f3.5-5.6 Tokina AF Zoom

Front view or the 24-200mm Tokina lens without the petal shaped lens hood. The filter size is 72mm

        This is an ideal tourist lens for a 35mm camera. It covers just about any focal length you normally need without the need to change lenses. I bought it for my N80 camera and it makes an ideal combo when you only want to take one lens. Tokina uses more metal and glass in their lens designs so it is heavier than other wide zoom range lenses. It also has no real macro capability.

Top view of the 24-200mm lens with the lens set to 24mm and the petal shaped lens hood on.

    Tokina was founded by a group of Nikon engineers. They have always had a reputation for quality products.

As above but with the lens set to 200mm, showing the amount of extension at the longest focal length.

    When I first bought the lens the camera store was out of N80 cameras so I tried it my N2000. This lens has a very limited arc of motion for the focusing mechanism and this makes manual focusing more difficult.

Rear view of the 24-200mm lens showing the lens mount and the electrical contacts.

    Other than that I have been very happy with the results from this lens.


90mm f2.8 Tamron Macro AF

Front view of the 90mm Tamron macro lens without the lens hood. The front lens element is deeply recessed, minimizing the need for the lens hood.

    I bought this lens because I wanted a modern macro lens. I was looking for a 105mm lens but the store only had this lens so I bought it. It focuses to 1:1 magnification but unlike my old 55mm Micro-Nikkor it shortens its focal length to do it.

Top view of the 90mm macro lens with the lens hood on and the focus set to infinity.

    One problem with the shorter macro focusing lenses (50-60mm) is the working distance is too short. Longer focal length macro lenses have become more popular as a result of this. Most of the equipment pictures on this web site were taken with this lens.

Rear view of the 90mm macro lens showing the fixed rear element

    I was a little unhappy about this at first but soon found the lens is very sharp, easy to use (you slide the focus ring back and forth to switch between manual and auto focus), and light. Over all I have been very pleased with it.


Sigma 15-30mm f3.5-4.5 Super Wide Angle Zoom Lens

Front view of the 15-30mm Super Wide angle. The front element is a glass dome making front mounted filters impossible.

    My 20mm f3.5 lens is a pre AI model and will not mount on many of my camera bodies. I wanted a wider and newer zoom lens to go with my N80 and this one was the widest available without spending a whole lot of money. This lens has a very wide zoom  range and is fairly fast. It works great for interior shots - you can stand in the doorway and cover the whole room.

Top view of the 15-30mm lens. Notice that the lens is set to manual focus and that the depth of field scale is very limited.

    On my D70 this is equivalent to a 22.5-45mm lens. As a result Sigma made a 12-24mm lens and then a 10-20mm lens just for digital cameras.

Rear view of the 15-30mm lens showing the holder for gelatin filters. A template for cutting the filters was included with the lens.

    It's biggest drawback is the auto-focus system. The focus ring slides back and forth between manual and auto-focus, however the camera is not switched so you have to flip the selector on the camera body. The best way to focus this lens for scenic shots is by zone focusing, but it has a very limited depth of field scale.


Tokina 80-400 f4.5-5.6

A top view of the Tokina 80-400mm zoom lens showing the focusing ring, the zoom ring and the tripod collar.

    I bought this lens as my long telephoto for my N80. I was considering buying an 80-200 f2.8 lens and  1.4X and 2X teleconverters. This solution was considerably less expensive and more compact so it was my final purchase. This lens works best on a tripod or as second choice - a monopod.


The front element of the lens. I takes a 72mm filter.

    Earlier versions of this lens had no tripod mount so I had to search around for the newer version. With its long plastic lens hood this lens is quite long at 400mm and is best supported at the lens rather than the camera body.

A rear view showing the camera couplings and the tripod collar. The lens support both AF CPU and AIS coupling.

    The front element of this lens rotates with focusing require re-adjustment of a polarizing filter if you are using one. A new version has just been announced with internal focusing that will cure that problem.


Tamron 28-75mm f2.8

Top view of the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 XR DI lens.

    I bought this lens to provide a fast high quality middle range zoom. It was a brand new model that was designed to be used with both film and digital cameras. Compared to older designs both by Tamron as well as Tokina and Nikon is was lighter, took smaller filters (67mm vs 77mm) and was less expensive. The optical quality is excellent, the build quality seems more then adequate and is has been a very suitable lens.


Front view of the lens.

    Tamron has also made a 28-80 f2.8 and a 28-105 f2.8 model. Those lenses are monsters in comparison to this one. The control motion is stiff enough with no zoom creep. The lens comes with a petal shaped lens hood that is not shown.


Rear view of the lens. Notice that despite all the hype about extra coating on the rear element there are plenty of reflections.

    There has been a whole lot of hype put out by most of the lens manufacturers about the special version for digital cameras. I think that it is 99 percent marketing noise to convince the unknowing that they have to upgrade their lenses to the newest model. This lens though had no earlier versions to compete with. My Tamron 90mm macro lens was later released in a DI version that is little different from my version except for a higher price.



Tokina 80-200mm F2.8 AT-X Zoom Lens

Side view of the Tokina 80-200 zoom lens. This is a two ring design with the closer ring controlling the zoom and the further ring controlling the focus

    After all the hoopla I read concerning the value of a 80-200mm or 70-200mm f2.8 lens I decided to try one. I have had good luck with Tokina lenses and was able to locate one used on eBay. It was an auto focus model but not the latest version which is meant for fast auto focus and had a crummy manual focus. This lens has a good focus for manual focus cameras as well as good auto focus response on my F5 or F100 which have high torque motors. The lens came with a UV filter and a circular polarizer filter all for a lot less than a third or what a Nikon 80-200 sells for.

Front view or the 80-200 zoom. Typical of other lenses or this focal range and maximum aperture it takes 77mm filters.

    When I received the lens the UV filter was mis-threaded on the front and I was unable to remove it. My local camera repair shop fixed that and I have found this lens to be very useful. I usually carry it with a 1.4X and 2X teleconverter so it act as four lenses in one:

Combination Focal length Maximum f-stop
lens only 80-200mm f 2.8
with 1.4x 112-280mm f 4.0
with 2X 160-400mm f 5.6
1.4x and 2X 224-560 f 8.0


Rear of the 80-200mm zoom lens. The lens provides electrical connections  for modern AF cameras plus AIS mechanical connections. This lens relies on the AF motor in the camera body.

    This lens also works well on my F3 as a manual focus lens due to its long focusing arc. A useful accessory for this lens is a set of close up lenses. I have a set for 72mm but with an adapter I uses them with this lens.


Another side view showing the mounting foot.

    This lens did not come with a lens hood and I am looking for one to use.



AF Nikkor 24-50mm 3.3-4.5

Side view of the 24-50 AF Nikkor

    This lens come with my F100 and F5. It's a good wide angle to normal lens. It's not real fast but good enough with flash or fast film. It came with a lens hood and caps and is in excellent condition.

Front view of the 24-50mm Nikkor. It takes 62mm filters

    The 24-50mm lens was never made in a "D" version since it was superseded by the 24-85 and 24-120mm lenses. It also has a reputation for having a little too much distortion.

Rear view of the 24-50mm Nikkor showing the usual contacts, levers and pins.

    I almost sold this lens one day to someone who was looking for a wide angle lens for his N6006. I have kept it instead.


24-120mm 3.5-5.6 AF D Nikkor.

Side view of the 24-120mm Nikkor

    The deal that provided me with my F5 and F100 also included this lens. Since I had been considering this lens when I was about to buy my N80, I was interested to see how it compared to my Tokina 24-200mm lens, which is the one I purchased for use with the N80.

Front view of the 24-120mm Nikkor. It take 72mm filters.

    It's interesting to note that both the Nikon and Tokina have an f 5.6 aperture at maximum focal length, but the Nikon lens is at 120mm and the Tokina lens is at 200mm. The aperture is f 3.5 for both lenses at 24mm. The Tokina is the heavier lens if weight is a problem.

Another view of the front with the standard lens hood mounted.

    The lens hood that comes with this lens looks like a bottomless soup bowl. It's large and circular, unlike the Tokina's petal shaped lens hood. I tried using the lens hood for the newer version of this lens but it doesn't use the same bayonet and the front element rotates a little as you zoom so it's effectiveness is questionable.

This photo compares the 24-120 Nikkor with the 24-200mm Tokina. The Nikkor is on the left and the Tokina is on the right.

    This is the AF-D version of the 24-120. it was replaced wit a G series lens with no aperture ring and VR capability.

Rear view of the 24-120mm Nikkor


Tamron 17-35mm 2.8-4

Side view of the 17-35mm Tamron

    I was looking for a replacement for my Sigma 15-30mm lens. It's very large and heavy and the manual focus system was poor and didn't interface with the camera. It was also a slow lens. The Nikon 17-35 f2.8 is a beautiful lens but the price tag is well, astounding. I was originally looking for a Tokina 20-35 f2.8 but they had bee discontinued by Tokina and were hard to find.

    I was looking at this lens at a local camera store when they told me about the big price drop since this lens was made for film cameras and would probably be dropped from the line when stocks ran out. I purchased it then and there.

Front view of the Tamron 17-35mm with it lens hood mounted. The lens uses 77mm filters

    This lens has a large 77mm filter size and the lens hood is a petal shaped one that is even wider than the lens. It's not a very deep lens hood though and is easier to store off of the lens. The lens it self is f2.8 at 17mm but f4 at 35 mm, so it doesn't have the constant aperture of the Tokina or the Nikon, but it goes wider than the Tokina and you can buy four or five of them for the price of the Nikon lens.

Rear view of the Tamron 17-35mm. The lens functions like an AF-D lens on an auto focus camera or like an AIS lens on a manual focus camera.