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Field Review: Nikon D3100 (Day 5)

by Gevon Servo on 01/29/2011

Lens Nikon 55.0-200.0 mm f/4.0-5.6Camera Nikon D3100 Exposure 13 Aperture f/22.0 Focal Length 55 mm ISO Speed 800

The Nikon D3100 is an entry-level DSLR. The most important component next to the body is the lens or lenses it comes with. For this review, we have two lenses to highlight: the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR and the Nikon 55-200mm VR AF-S f/4-5.6G ED. I recently took them out for some low light photography and achieved decent results.

Lens Nikon 18.0-55.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 Camera Nikon D3100 Exposure 0.005 sec (1/200) Aperture f/16.0 Focal Length 18 mm ISO Speed 100

Gear

Nikon D3100

Manfrotto Tripod legs

Manfrotto 3025 3D Junior – Tripod head

Manfrotto 200PL-14 RC2 Rapid Connect Mounting Plate with 1/4-Inch 20 Screw (Gray)

Gloves and a Parka, it was really cold.

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR

Lens Nikon 18.0-55.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 Camera Nikon D3100 Exposure 30 Aperture f/22.0 Focal Length 18 mm ISO Speed 400

This is a surprisingly good lens. I like the 18-55mm better than Nikon 18-105, the kit lens that came with my Nikon D90. This lens has  AF-S or Autofocus silent wave motor for quiet focusing. It is designed to be use with DX Format Cameras like my  D90 and the Nikon D3100. This G Lens has no aperture ring but does feature VR, otherwise known as Vibration reduction for shaky hands. The lens is very sharp and the VR works pretty well. You can take the shutter speed to 1/25 and get sharp photos. You can focus the lens very close too at about 0.9 feet way from the front element. When set to 18mm you get barrel distortion, but that is easily corrected in Lightroom or Photoshop. The zoom works well and is smooth.

My favorite thing about this lens is that it makes for a very low cost wide-angle lens. If you are shooting landscape or architectural photography for the first time with a tripod, you do not need a fast lens: just wide. I am actually thinking about buying one, just to have. It is not the best, buts it is a good lens nonetheless.

Nikon 55-200mm VR AF-S f/4-5.6G ED

Lens Nikon 55.0-200.0 mm f/4.0-5.6 Camera Nikon D3100 Exposure 13 Aperture f/22.0 Focal Length 55 mm ISO Speed 800

The Nikon 55-200mm VR is very inexpensive zoom lens for DX’s cameras. It came with the D3100 for testing and can be purchased with it, as a kit lens along with the 18-55 mm. The autofocus speed on the lens is decent. As a beginner’s lens it’s good, but as a travel lens it’s better. The Nikon 55-200mm is very low in weight and a very decent size. It is very comfortable on the Nikon D3100 and even more comfortable on the Nikon D90. The VR works very well with the lens especially when zoomed all the way out. On a tripod or off this lens will achieve quality shots. This lens will work well with learning sports photography and photojournalism, but is not limited to those styles.

Lens Nikon 55.0-200.0 mm f/4.0-5.6 Exposure 0.003 sec (1/320) Aperture f/8.0 Focal Length 200 mm ISO Speed 100

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