through the F-Mount -  photography by Jürgen Becker
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Nikon AF-S Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8 review

January 14, 2012

Nikon introduced this lens in 1999 as their first non-super telephoto lens with an integrated Silent Wave autofocus drive. I bought my first sample of this lens in 2003. I used it as a standard lens in film days on my F4 and was very satisfied. In my DX era it was 'only' a 25-50mm lens. I replaced it by the 12-24mm f/4, which is a very fine lens on a DX camera. After I bought the full frame D700 in 2008 I first tried the 18-35mm and then bought my second sample of the 17-35mm, which has been my standard lens ever since.



Drawbacks (matters only if you are nitpicking):


Sample images:

CloseUp @35mm & F5.6, D700.

Sun in the image @20mm & F8, D700. As almost always I was too lazy to remove the UV filter.

Sun in the image @35mm & F16, D700. Again including UV filter.

Volcanic landscape in infrared light. Captured at 17mm & F11 with the Nikon D70 IR.

Evaluating corner sharpness @17mm, see 100% crops below. This shot was made hand-held with the Nikon D700 at ISO 400, 17mm, F8 and 1/30sec. No post-processing was done, the image is just raw converted by Nikon Capture NX2.

For a hand-held shot at 1/30 sec the image is reasonably sharp.

Upper right corner.

Lower left corner.

The problem of this beach photo is not the unsharp rectangle in the middle (I don't understand why but my daughters forbid me to show this area :o|). This shot was captured with the D700 at 17mm and F11. The 100% crop below from the lower right side shows the problem. On the left side there is an identical problem.

That's what I mean with a wavy sharpness pattern: along the green line the photo is sharp, along the yellow one it's acceptable, along the red line it is unsharp. Photos like this I got from time to time with both samples of this lens I've used. Other people report similar phenomena with modern zoom lenses.

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