Nikon DX 17-55 2.8G ED AFS, Quick Field Test

I have owned this lens for a few months now and want to report on its performance. Let me start out by saying this is one heck of a lens! It is without doubt, my most used piece of equipment and it is on my camera constantly. Why is this? It comes down to three things: optical quality, AF speed, and handling.

Resolution, color and contrast are all excellent. Nikon incorporated three ED glass elements and three aspherical lens elements in the optical design to minimize chromatic aberration, control distortion and achieve superior optical performance. Color rendition is especially good, better than any other Nikon lens I own. Optically, the 17-55 is great all the way from f 2.8 to f 11. At f 16 and beyond, performance drops off to some degree. The most impressive aspect of this lens is its performance at wide apertures. Wide open at f 2.8 and stopped down through f 5.6, the 17-55 is a stellar performer.

This is the first Nikon lens I purchased with AFS focusing. Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor is so good I would be reluctant to buy a lens in the future that did not incorporate this feature. Combined with the 17-55’s fast f 2.8 aperture, the images appearing in my viewfinder snap into focus instantly without any hesitation or hunting.

Handling could not be better. The lens weighs just enough to balance nicely in my hands and on the camera without being too light or heavy. The weight of this lens (26.6 oz.) actually acts as a built-in stabilizer minimizing my need for a tripod when shooting at faster shutter speeds or higher ISO’s. Mechanically, the 17-55 is built to last. I have no doubt this lens will hold up to many years of hard use in all weather conditions.

My tests show this versatile lens excels at all types of photography: people, events, travel, nature and landscapes. The focal length of 17-55 (equivalent to 26-82mm in 35mm format) is ideal for these subjects.

If you are a Nikon shooter who works in low light and wants the best color, contrast and optical quality available in this focal length range, the Nikon DX 17-55 2.8G ED AFS is the lens for you.

Copyright-Adam Turow

Nikon D70S, Nikkor 17-55 2.8G ED AFS


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