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

Last updated (17 November’11):
- Review by Lenstip

Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX features 17-55mm at focal length with maximum aperture of f2.8. The lens construction has 14 elements in 10 groups and has diagonal angle of view at 79 degrees 50 minutes to 28 degrees 50 minutes. Closest focusing distance at 14.17 inches and has a filter size of 77mm. The Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX lens weighs 26.6 ounces and it measures 3.4 inches in diameter and 26.6 inches long.

Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX
Overall Rating: ★★★★☆ | Latest Price Info

Expert Reviews

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

Lenstip reviews the Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX and writes;
“The results of our test show that Nikkor 17-55 mm is the best lens in its class on the market. It is true that Canon 17-55 is only slightly worse and is additionally equipped with tempting image stabilizer but still Nikkor wins when it comes to optics and mechanics.”
rating: N/A

Photoreview reviews the Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX and writes;
“Imatest showed the test lens delivered adequate – although not outstanding – sharpness throughout the aperture and focal length range with f8 being the point of maximum sharpness at all focal lengths.”
rating: N/A

SLRGear reviews the Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX and writes;
“this is a very sharp lens with excellent characteristics wide open, although chromatic aberration, vignetting, and distortion are all a little high at 17mm. (DxO Optics Pro supports this lens on all current (10/18/2005) Nikon bodies except the D50, so the vignetting, CA, and distortion are easily dealt with.) “
Rating: ★★★★½

Ephotozine reviews the Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX and writes;
“This lens is aimed at professional users and has an f/2.8 widest aperture throughout its focal range. Throughout this range, chromatic aberrations have been well controlled across the frame width. Resolution is good, especially ay the wide end of the zoom where it kicks in with very good figures. At the long end it is more conventional, needing a stop or so to get the best from it although it is still very usable.”
rating: N/A

Photozone reviews the Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX and writes;
“The Nikkor AF-S 17-55mm f/2.8G IF-ED DX is a professional grade lens and it certainly shows up regarding its exceptionally high build quality as well as very fast AF speed.”
Rating: ★★★½☆

Bythom reviews the Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX and writes;
“Sharpness is strong throughout the range, with f/8 being the point of maximum sharpness on my sample across the entire focal length range. Even at f/2.8 in the corners this lens remains an excellent performer.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

User Opinions

Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX User Reviews

Excellent lens | Rating: ★★★★★
“I use it with my D200, and the PQ is simply amazing. I try to stay away from 2.8 aperture though – I much prefer the sharpness and clarity at aperture 4 (or less). When the light is low – I use SB-600.
Overall, I think this is the best lens there is in this zoom range – I’m sure 24-70 might be better (I’ve never tried it)”
– by V. Kuznetsov

I wasn’t destined to have any other lens | Rating: ★★★★★
“I proceeded to test out the lens at all ranges from 17mm @ f/2.8 up to 55mm @ f/22. All of my images turned out great, the color saturation was pretty darn close to my 105mm macro, and just as good as my 50mm f/1.8… I also had the opportunity to take some photos of food at Red Lobster’s, where there was very low lighting and I did not use flash, yet the lens focused correctly and produced tack sharp images at f/2.8.” – by S. Fang

Great! | Rating: ★★★★★
“The zoom was very smooth with a bit of increased resistance at either end of the range; it was a bit of an adjustment because the throw is much shorter than my kit lens of nearly the same focal range (18mm-55mm). “ – by T. Stewart

Simply Put, this is a Wonderful Lens | Rating: ★★★★★
“This lens focuses fast and the focus stays locked on and as I said the images are wonderful, they’re sharp throughout the range of the lens. At f/8 the images are as sharp as any I’ve seen and they’re very sharp even at f/2.8.” – by Tiffany Ann

Heavyweight lens | Rating: ★★★★★
“the images produced from the Nikkor appears to be very sharper even at the largest aperture of f2.8, and I just love the contrasty, and rich colour tone produced by this lens. This lens is fantastic for indoor shoots due to the larger aperture and also the “zoomabilty”.” – by Anthony Loh

This lens is to increase my range at weddings | Rating: ★★★★☆
“I’ve only had this lens for about 36 hours however I’m pleased with the AF speed and am surprised at how wide it really is. I’m using it on my D5000 and it’s an addition to a tiny, little 50mm 1.8 (awesome lens) that I’ve been using for about 8 months now with Manual focus. “ – by K. H. Alleyne

either you will love it | Rating: ★★★★★
“some says it has no VR, one does not really need vr to shoot at 1/30 of a second. which is what i like most about this lens, it stops you from doing a point and shoot, and make you stop and think of what speed you are about to shoot at. focus speed is fast, colours are rendered beautifully, contrast is great, boken is fantastic “ – by Dave M. Jardine

It is heavy, but WOW, what a lens | Rating: ★★★★★
“The lens is heavy and big – it takes some getting used to, as the focus and zoom controls are different than the kit lens. But WOW! Not only is it incredibly fast and sharp, the new focus system – “Internal Focus” – is fast and accurate.” – by L. Wilcox

More user opinions | Write your opinion


Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX User Manual

- Download Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX User Manual (PDF – 4.2Mb)

Features & Specifications

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

Lens-making is an art–Nikon artisans craft Nikkor optics from the finest materials, taking pride in adding their intellect and technique to bring the world’s finest lenses to life. They push the leading edge of lens-making in their effort to provide the “glass” that makes the world’s greatest pictures.

The Nikon 17-55mm f2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX is the world’s first constant f2.8 3.2x zoom lens developed exclusively for use with Nikon DX Format. The 3.2x zoom covers from a wide angle of 79 degrees to a narrow angle of 28 degrees 50 minutes (equivalent to 25.5mm to 85.5mm for 35mm format) and is ideal for architecture, landscape, groups shots and portraits. DX design enables a combination of wider angle-of-view with optical characteristics that are optimized for Nikon digital SLR camera sensors. Nikon DX design produces a smaller image circle (the size of the image that is projected by the lens on to the sensor) enabling smaller lens diameter, lighter weight, and optimal image quality from center-to edge-to-corner on the image.

Three Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) glass elements minimize chromatic aberration and provide higher resolution and superior contrast. Three aspherical lens elements minimize distortion in a lightweight and compact design similar to 17-35mm f2.8 lens. The exclusive Silent Wave Motor enables ultra-high-speed autofocusing with exceptional accuracy and powerful super-quiet operation. [M/A] and [M] modes allow rapid switching between AF and MF operation. Internal Focusing design for smoother focusing and great body balance. Nikon D-type design provides precise distance information for flash and ambient light exposure processes. The rounded diaphragm makes out-of-focus elements appear more natural. The G Type DX Nikkor is designed exclusively for use with Nikon Digital SLR models.

ED glass: An essential element of Nikkor telephoto lenses
Nikon developed ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass to enable the production of lenses that offer superior sharpness and color correction by minimizing chromatic aberration. Put simply, chromatic aberration is a type of image and color dispersion that occurs when light rays of varying wavelengths pass through optical glass. In the past, correcting this problem for telephoto lenses required special optical elements that offer anomalous dispersion characteristics–specifically calcium fluoride crystals. However, fluorite easily cracks and is sensitive to temperature changes that can adversely affect focusing by altering the lens’ refractive index. So Nikon designers and engineers put their heads together and came up with ED glass, which offers all the benefits and none of the drawbacks of calcium fluorite-based glass. With this innovation, Nikon developed several types of ED glass suitable for various lenses. They deliver stunning sharpness and contrast even at their largest apertures. In this way, Nikkor’s ED-series lenses exemplify Nikon’s preeminence in lens innovation and performance.

Nikon Super Integrated Coating ensures exceptional performance
To enhance the performance of its optical lens elements, Nikon employs an exclusive multilayer lens coating that helps reduce ghost and flare to a negligible level. Nikon Super Integrated Coating achieves a number of objectives, including minimized reflection in the wider wavelength range and superior color balance and reproduction. Nikon Super Integrated Coating is especially effective for lenses with a large number of elements, like our Zoom-Nikkors. Also, Nikon’s multilayer coating process is tailored to the design of each particular lens. The number of coatings applied to each lens element is carefully calculated to match the lens type and glass used, and also to assure the uniform color balance that characterizes Nikkor lenses. This results in lenses that meet much higher standards than the rest of the industry.

Aspherical lens elements
Nikon introduced the first photographic lens with aspherical lens elements in 1968. What sets them apart? Aspherical lenses virtually eliminate the problem of coma and other types of lens aberration–even when used at the widest aperture. They are particularly useful in correcting the distortion in wide-angle lenses. In addition, use of aspherical lenses contributes to a lighter and smaller lens design. Nikon employs three types of aspherical lens elements. Precision-ground aspherical lens elements are the finest expression of lens-crafting art, demanding extremely rigorous production standards. Hybrid lenses are made of a special plastic molded onto optical glass. Molded glass aspherical lenses are manufactured by molding a unique type of optical glass using a special metal die technique.

Internal Focusing
Imagine being able to focus a lens without it changing in size. Nikon’s IF technology enables just that. All internal optical movement is limited to the interior of the non-extending lens barrel. This allows for a more compact, lightweight construction as well as a closer focusing distance. In addition, a smaller and lighter focusing lens group is employed to ensure faster focusing. The IF system is featured in most Nikkor telephoto and selected Nikkor zoom lenses.

Distance information
D-type and G-type Nikkors relay subject-to-camera distance information to AF Nikon camera bodies. This then makes possible advances like 3D Matrix Metering and 3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash. Note: D-type and G-type Nikkors provide distance information to the following cameras: Auto exposure; F6, F5, F100, F90X, F80, F75, F70, F65, F60, F55, F50, Pronea S, Pronea 600i, D2 series, D1 series, D100 and D70s/D70. Flash control; F6, F5, F100, F90X, F80, F75, F70, D2 series, D1 series, D100 and D70s/D70.

G-type Nikkor lens
The G-type Nikkor has no aperture ring; aperture should be selected from camera body.

Silent Wave Motor
Nikon’s AF-S technology is yet another reason professional photographers like Nikkor telephoto lenses. AF-S Nikkors feature Nikon’s SWM which converts “traveling waves” into rotational energy to focus the optics. This enables high-speed autofocusing that’s extremely accurate and super quiet.

M/A mode
AF-S Nikkors feature Nikon’s exclusive M/A mode, that allows switching from autofocus to manual operation with virtually no time lag–even during AF servo operation and regardless of AF mode in use.

DX Nikkor
Compact and lightweight DX Nikkor lenses featuring a smaller image circle are specially designed and optimized for Nikon D2-series, D1-series, D100, and D70s/D70 digital SLR cameras. These are ideal options for landscape photographers and others who need to shoot expansive scenes with Nikon DX-Format digital SLRs. Note: We do not recommend use of DX Nikkor with 35mm (135) or IX240 format cameras.

What’s in the Box:
Lens, 77mm snap-on front lens cap LC-77, rear lens cap LF-1, flexible lens pouch CL-1120, bayonet hood HB-31.

See also: Lens Reviews | Nikon Lenses

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