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Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G AF-S DX

DX-17-55_L
Review Date: Jun 2, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: As sharp as most primes in the range, amazing color and contrast, constant f/2.8 aperture, 9-element rounded aperture blade suite produces excellent Bokeh, fast and quiet AF, little or no vignetting, no CA (3 ED elements and aspherical elements), solid metal construction and professional finish and feel.
Cons:
No concerns that show up on prints smaller than 14 x 20. Very slight barrel distortion at 17mm and slight pincushion distortion around 55mm, flares with strong back lighting, if Nikon ever goes to a larger sensor size this lens will be virtually useless.

I bought this lens this past month 'used' for roughly half the price new. As I know the seller personally, my risk is limited. I have been lusting after this lens since it first came out. This lens is expensive but, you more than get what you pay for!

I traded back my 18-200VR plastic 'toy' lens with absolutely no regrets whatsoever.

This is one beautiful machine! I am using it on my D200 (c/w battery grip pack) and it sits naturally balanced. It is extremely sharp wide open and throughout the whole aperture range. There is near imperceptible barrel distortion at the wide end and slight pincushion distortion towards 55mm. None of this will show up on prints equal to or smaller than 14 x 20 inches. And, that covers 98% of all my print needs. For more accurate architectural photography, I'll use a PC lens.

Color and contrast are more vivid than with any other lens I have owned. They're awesome! How do they do it??

The 9-element rounded aperture blade assembly produces excellent natural Bokeh. Again, the best I've ever been able to produce with any lens.

For available or limited light, this lens is ideal. When you look at the 'front end' of this lens mounted, you just 'see' the front element grabbing all the available illumination.

This lens has a solid, professional metal build and finish. It does have a bit of weight but that heft only serves as a reminder that you're using a professional instrument here. It instills a sense of confidence!

The lens front does move in and out (about an inch) during zooming, but so what? Is this a big issue? I don't think so. With the excellent locking hood in place, you don't even notice the movement.

This is a 'G' lens with a zoom ring where one would expect an aperture ring. This will take a bit of getting used to. On the plus side, it does have linear (logarithmic) zooming which the 18-200VR didn't. This is really helpful and will be a delight to get used to.

Overall, I have great expectations for this lens and I do not expect to be disappointed. I haven't been this excited since I was 9 years old and got my first Lionel '027' electric train set!