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

Review Date: Apr 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,270.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: It is very sharp, especially at wide open. At 17mm f2.8, it is the best I know of. The sharpness at f2.8 and f8 (peak in sharpness)is not much different at wide end. This lens is designed to use at wide open IMO.
weight, very long with hood, sharpness at f2.8 55mm could be better, at 17mm small aperture for landscape is not quite sharp. Flare (sometimes) Distortion at both wide and tele-ends. You will see it but this is not important to me much.

I think people like this lens because of the performance wideopen. It is truly sharp for zoom.

I don't like the weight. I had 2 copies and returned the first one because of the softness at tele-end at f2.8. The second copy is better but still not excellent. At 55mm wideopen, the sharpness at center is good but at the edge it could be better. I stay at f4.5 or smaller for portrait at 55mm. If you want to use the lens for landscape and plan to use at small aperture like f 13, it is not sharp. (15mm on my sigma 15-30 is better at smaller aperture f11-f16) f11 might be the smallest you should use.

The lens will not replace primes you have. I have 20mm f2.8 to use when use directly at sun. I use 35mm f2 around f2.8 to shoot some portrait and use 85mm f1.4 for tight portraits. These lens are much better in terms of quality (17-55mm also has distortion at both wide and tele end). I thought about leaving all my primes at home when I bought the lens but I still have to carry them with me. Though I hardly put them (primes) on as I am too lazy to change the lens and image quality of 17-55mm is comparable if you know sweep-spot. I think 17-55 is the best for lazy person like me though I miss my primes.

I wish somebody told me all the negative aspects before I jumped in. Most people raves about how good it is and sharp wideopen. There are many things untold about this lens. I love this lens by the way but want to give negative sides of the lens for people making decision to buy.