Nikon Lens Review: 17-55mm f/2.8G AF-S IF-ED

    By | Lenses | Reviews | 08/02/2013 07:00am
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    Is the Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G AF-S IF-ED the perfect standard zoom lens for Nikon DX users? Find out in our Nikon 17-55mm review.

    Nikon Lens Review: 17-55mm f/2.8G AF-S IF-ED

    A hefty lens with battleship build quality, this 17-55mm is the discerning professional’s choice. Indeed, there’s nothing amateurish about its price tag.

    Even so, the cheaper equivalent Sigma and Tamron lenses both feature optical stabilisation, which is lacking in the Nikon lens.

    Sharpness and contrast results are very good, but no better than those you’d get with Nikon’s 16-85mm zoom.

    Performance
    The 17-55mm’s ring-type ultrasonic autofocus system is spectacularly fast and unerringly accurate.

    It’s even faster than the similar system fitted to both the Nikon 16-85mm and Sigma 24-70mm lenses on test.

    There’s plenty of travel in the focus ring, too, which aids precise manual focusing in MF mode and when overriding autofocus.

    Overall image quality is excellent, but sharpness is no better than with the Nikon 16-85mm lens in the 17-55mm sector of its zoom range.

    Sure, the cheaper Nikon’s sharpness drops off a little at 85mm, but the pro lens doesn’t offer this focal length anyway.

    Distortion is similar between the two lenses, and fringing is slightly better on the 16-85mm. The only real bonus of this lens is the larger maximum aperture, which is just over a stop faster.

    Nikon 17-55mm Image Quality

    Nikon 17-55mm Image Quality

    A good performer, but sharpness isn’t better than it is in the 17-55mm portion of the Nikon 16-85mm lens’ range.

    Nikon 17-55mm Image Quality: chromatic aberration

    Chromatic aberration is among the highest on test at 17mm, even though it’s reduced by current Nikon D-SLRs.

    Nikon 17-55mm Image Quality: barrel distortion

    From barrel distortion to pin-cushion, performance is almost identical to Nikon’s cheaper 16-85mm lens.

    Image quality verdict
    There’s no real increase in image quality compared with Nikon’s 16-85mm, though the 17-55mm does have a faster maximum aperture.

    How we scored it

    Features: 3/5
    Build quality: 5/5
    Image quality: 4/5
    Value for money: 3/5

    Overall Score: 4/5

    Our verdict
    Tough build quality, but it’s pricey, lacks stabilisation and doesn’t offer great image quality.

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    Posted on Friday, February 8th, 2013 at 7:00 am under Lenses, Reviews. You can subscribe to comments.

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