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Travel Tips From an Adventurous Couple

Nikon 17-55 f/2.8 AF-S DX lens

This is a review of the “pro” 17-55 DX Lens from Nikon. I wasn’t all that happy with this lens and sold mine a few months after getting it for the full frame 28-70mm lens(review link). Read on for the full review. 


17-55 f/2.8 AF-S DX lens 

This lens is Nikon’s DX equivalent to the full frame 28-70 f/2.8 lens. At several hundred dollars cheaper this lens seems like an all around great deal; however, I was disappointed with the sharpness of this lens. We purchased this lens to use for pet photography and were immediately disappointed with it’s sharpness compared to the 80-200 f/2.8 lens which was the only other pro grade lens we has at the time. After using it for several months we sold it and purchased the full frame equivalent 28-70 f/2.8 AF-S that seems sharper and feels better in my opinion. 

This lens performs ok at f/2.8, but not at the tack sharp level you’d expect a pro level Nikkor lens to perform. One time when I compared this lens to a 28-70 f/2.8 lens side by side with a Nikon representative, he told me that the 28-70 has a better reputation for being sharp. 

Lots of people online have said they are happy with this lens, it may be that the lens we got was slightly out of alignment. In other respects it’s a great lens. It has a fast AF-S motor that focuses fast even on a D50 or D70 body. It has a nice feel to the zoom ring and focus ring making zooming and manual focus control sure and fast. The Specifications 
Lens Construction: 14 elements in 10 groups
Min Focus 14.2 inches 
Aperture Blade: A less than average 7 elements (Rounded)
Filter Size: Nikon Pro Standard 77mm

Pros 

Fairly wide angle to moderate telephoto lens. Somewhat cheaper than 28-70 f/2.8 lens. About your only lens choice for f/2.8 in the 17-28 range. DX form factor makes it lighter than full frame lens. Cons 

Image not much sharper than 17-70 DX ED AF-S lens that comes with D70 kit or can be purchased for 1/3 the price. No full frame coverage means this lens can’t be used on film cameras below about 30mm, and now that Canon has a full frame dSLR Nikon may follow in the future. Bottom Line 

If you need the speed or depth of field that you can only get with f/2.8 in the 17-28 range then this is a decent choice. Otherwise the sharpness is not much better than the much cheaper 17-70 DX lens is a good choice for much less money. Or for the sharpest results you can pair a 12-24 f/4 Nikon with a 28-70 f/2.8 lens for the sharpest results in this range. 

I don’t recommend this lens, but if you wish to purchase one, or anything else from Amazon, please consider using the link below. It’s free for you and a percentage of your purchase will help support this site.