Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Nikon 70-300VR -- Sharp!!!

Well, I obsessed a bit over whether this lens could handle the second Crombie McNeill workshop, testing it twice to see if it was decently sharp on top of a test last year. In all three tests, the lens came out as the winner against very good competition. It equaled or beat several primes at their equivalent focal lengths, so I was confident that I did not need to carry and swap a bunch of primes.

The lens was a joy in practical use. I spent most of the day with the cam on the tripod, held by its L-bracket, swapping from landscape to portrait and back, but otherwise able to zoom in and out at will. And that gave me a lot of excellent range that would otherwise have been impossible to use.

Crombie had warned us that this flexibility was very important in this type of shoot, and I must say that he was dead right.

So how did it ultimately perform?

Well, the lens is so revealing that I have to smooth out patches of skin because of flakes. Individual eyelashes are so perfectly rendered that I get a visceral reaction when I zoom in on the girl's eyes.

Here is one of Sam's eyes in my favorite image so far for this shoot (she and Nils are in an embrace and they look simply stunning together.) This is how sharp the vast majority of my images came out, and the reason why my first culling was only able to drop to 400 images.

I frankly think that this lens pretty much embarrassed its big brother, the 70-200VR, which costs 4 times as much and weighs in about twice as heavy or more. I just can't say enough about this lens!

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