Testing the Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G IF-ED

I’ve just been pixel-peeping some comparison shots between my latest buy (a 17-55 f/2.8 Nikkor lens) to other lens I own.
Nothing scientific or comprehensive but hopefully enough to determine whether the new lens is superior to the older ones. This is not intended to be a full test: I don’t compare corner sharpness and light fall-off and many other important parameters as well. Google some MTF test charts for a real test!

All images were snapped on my balcony around 6:15pm with a Nikon a D300 mounted on a tripod; I used the self-timer to avoid any shake and preset WB at around 9500°K, ISO 200. Focus was on the teddy bear nose. I shot RAW and used Apple Aperture for jpeg conversion (at default settings).

First test @ 30mm, f/2.8, 1/50 (cliek image to enlarge)

for this test I used a Sigma 30mm f/1.4

AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G IF-ED on the left , Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM on the right

AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G IF-ED Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM

The 30mm Sigma shows some color fringing, is a bit overexposed (I always have to dial down 1/3 stop exp.compensation when I use this lens, but maybe that’s just my sample), sharpness at f/2.8 is almost the same – good for the Nikkor which is a zoom, not a prime

DSC_0711 (Nikkor 17-55): original size large size
DSC_0714 (Sigma 30mm): original size large_size

Second test @ 50mm, f/9, 1/10 (cliek image to enlarge)

for this test I used a Nikkor 18-70 f/3.5-4.5 (kit lens)

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

AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G IF-ED AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G IF-ED

The pro-grade 17-55 is much sharper, even at f/9. See the blue letters on the truck.

DSC_0688 (Nikkor 17-55): original size large size
DSC_0689 (Nikkor 18-70): original size large_size

…and then a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8

blah blah

AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G IF-ED AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D

I didn’t expect this but here we go again: the 17-55 seems to be sharper than the excellent 50mm prime and colors are more pleasant (see the red stripes on the truck)

DSC_0688 (Nikkor 17-55): original size large size
DSC_0693 (Nikkor 50mm): original size large_size
Last test @ 50mm, f/2.8, 1/80 (cliek image to enlarge)

blah

AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G IF-ED

yet another test shot with the 50mm (left side). This one shows some color fringing for the 50mm f/1.8 (see the teddy bear leg border on the right shot) while on the 17-55 it is much more under control .

DSC_0691 (Nikkor 50mm): original size large size
DSC_0686 (Nikkor 17-55): original size large_size