Top critical review
90 of 101 people found this helpful
This may be a little unfair...
on 24 February 2011
I was on a budget so after reading several positive reviews I decided to go for this lens. Prior to this I had been using the 18-55 VR kit lens that comes with the Nikon D3100. Now for the price I wasn't expecting it to be great - and again this may be unfair because I am comparing the image quality to a Nikkor lens, but the difference in image quality was really quite a shock.
At higher ISOs and shutter speeds the image was crisp but at lower speeds the absence of VR is easily noticeable. If you're using a tripod I imagine the lens would be very workable but I don't think I could comfortably use it for hand held shots - and I like to believe I have a steady hand.
The auto-focus does search quite significantly. Some shots were just not possible to take using it. The macro switch is also a little fiddly so you should be careful when using it as it could be damaged.
The build is nice though and definitely looks impressive on a body, plus there is a free lens hood which is nice. It's not too heavy - I barely noticed the difference between that and my kit lens - and zooming and focusing manually is very comfortable (if not just a little stiff).
If you are just taking casual photos that you have no intention of printing in large formats, I'd say the lens is fine, however if you do I would say it's worth spending a bit more and giving up 80mm to go for the Nikkor 55-200 lens instead. If you can afford it you might as well go for the 55-300 lens. It also has VR and for just an extra £70 it is bound to be worth the investment as I'm sure the extra reach will be desired sooner or later.
But for the lens, let's just say this is a generous 3. An off the record 4.