10 out of 10 points and recommendedExcellent BQ, Absolutely Sharp, Absolutely a must-have for this priceCA, easily suffer flare
This is the best ultra wide I've tried so farreviewed November 18th, 2009 (purchased for $600)
For the Performance/Price, I'll give the rating 9.5/10
The build quality is superior to any ultra wide for APS-C sensor and the image quality is fantastic
A MUST HAVE for any Landscape shooter
see the result of this lens on http://radityopradipto.zenfolio.com
10 out of 10 points and recommendedSharp Sharp and Sharp!, F/2.8 at all range, VRII works wonderfully!heavy, price, and focus breathing
I just got this lens a few weeks ago, and I can promise you that this lens is one of the sharpest tele zoom I've ever tried.reviewed April 29th, 2010 (purchased for $2,489)
Sharpness is awesome, this lens replace all of my fast tele primes needs. VRII also works awesome... I can shoot static object at @200mm effective focal length (@135mm DX) with 1/10 shutter speed, and it was tack sharp!
9 out of 10 points and recommendedSharp wide open! Blazing fast AF speed! Supreme build quality and feels. Definitely best DX lensno VR, period
I got this lens for just a week. Bought it second hand from eBay for about 1100 AUD. The first time I tried this lens, it was awesome! Definitely Nikon Pro's top quality! The seller said he bought it July 2008, so around 2 years old already. Condition is still 90-95%.reviewed June 6th, 2010 (purchased for $900)
The lens was a bit heavy, but feels good in my D90+VG. The lens doesn't feel plasticky at all, definitely build to last long. If you think that heavy lens is a cons, I'm more about putting it in the Pros side. Heavy lens means they're optically superb, made from high quality glasses, not just cheap plastic glasses. Being heavy also means it's good to survive longer than the plastic lens such as 17-50 and 18-55.
Main reason why I got this lens is to fill in the gap between my Tokina 11-16 F/2.8 and Nikon 70-200 VRII. Planning to save up to get a new Nikon 24-70, but I know I won't go FX soon. Then i found this one on eBay for half the price. I decided to have a go on this lens.
Sharpness: Awesome for 2.8 zoom lens. still not as sharp as my new 70-200 VRII, but come on, this is Nikon's 6 years old lens.
Chromatic Aberration: quite low even though you still can see it. For me it's in tolerable level.
Distortion: I'm not a big fan of "perfect distortion-less lenses" since I do not really care about it. If it's there, than just accept it. This lens delivers acceptable distortion for me, but maybe not for some people.
Vignette: again, vignette is like a distortion to me, if you know how to take advantage out of it, there is nothing wrong with your shots. One of my friend even loves his 200 F/2's heavy vignetting because he said he used it to make the shots more alive!
17-55 vs those VRed lenses
Most complaints about having no VR on this lens, while Canon's has. Oh come on, if you think about it, this lens was released around 2004, not 2008 or 2009. Having a VR is nice but VR never helps you stopping down object's motions. And the case that I found out, to get the same sharpness I gain with this lens wide open, you need to stop down into F/5.6 or even F/8. if you're there, than it's already 2-3 stops difference with this lens at F/2.8 (which is the same stop advantage of a VR at this focal length). OK, both got the same sharpness now, but hey! 17-55 got higher shutter speed! I got better chance to stop the motions! VRed might be steadier but you'll get motion blur instead of camera shake.
17-55 vs 3rd party 2.8 zoom
There is a huge debate for the better lens between 17-55 and good 3rd party 2.8 zoom such as Tamron 17-50 2.8. I checked sharpness charts in photozone.de and slrgear.com, they prove that 17-50 is slightly better. Throw away the chart! You shouldn't judge a lens from the chart only. Grab one and shoot, see it yourself. For me, 17-55 edge the 17-50 easily, especially at the corner. And honestly, who looks at the pixel level sharpness level except those pixel peeps? Most of us do not print that big and do not require the sharpness until the pixel level (and if you are at this level, you won't think of getting either of these lenses, you'll go for primes or 24-70 2.8 already). I said 17-55 will edge 17-50 easily, is not only because of the build quality, but also the AF speed. AF speed is just amazing! Slightly slightly slower than 70-200 VRII, I can say as fast if I round it up a little bit. AF is also absolutely silent! Good for those who need it for jobs that require silence and stealth such as shooting in the lectures, church, etc. I shoot with one of my noisy lens before for my job, and I was so embarrassed at that time, even a slight noise will disturb the lecturer and audiences.
In conclusion, I'm really happy with my purchase of this lens. This lens might end up staying on my body most of the time, and accompanied with my 11-16 and 70-200 VRII, my gears seem perfect for the level I'm in right now.
Suggestion: Don't buy new, get a second hand for less than 1000 bucks. You buy it if you need it. This is lens worth if you use it for a long period.
Recommended for: Pros and Enthusiasts who plan to stick with DX format for another 1-2 years
Not recommended for: Those who do not need SILENT and FAST focusing OR do not like heavy-duty lens (i.e. do not care about build quality)
9 out of 10 points and recommendedsharp wide open, well controlled CAno Nikon SWM and still AF-D lens, corner not as sharp, weather sealing
After the release of the younger 85 1.4 AF-S, this lens is still one of Nikon's best lens ever. Soft on the corner, but why bother? Most of the time you'll use it wide open to isolate your subject.reviewed November 14th, 2010 (purchased for $1,050)
Missing SWM for quite focusing, this lens focuses faster than the 85 1.4 AF-S. Noise is still acceptable even though you might want to do manual focusing on events
Get this lens if you:
- are looking for wide open performance
- want the best creamiest bokeh possible on Nikon
- love heavy and robust build quality
Great for portrait and street shooting!