Well I bit the bullet (more like the whole darn cannon) and bought the Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8 DX zoom. It's a lot more substantial in size and weight than my old 20-35mm f/2.8 Nikkor. The 17-55 DX seems to get it's fair share of lively opinions so I was leary of spending that much money. Previously I've owned (more lenses than I care to admit :smile and used both the 17-50mm f/2.8 and 28-75mm f/2.8 Tamron lenses - actually more than one copy of each. While the Tamrons produced what I thought were 'sharp' results I didn't know how much sharper 'sharp' could be until I got this 'beast'. As a an old film user I would always read that "compared to film, digital always need post sharpening". I took that as gospel. On hindsight the whole 'sharpness' issue was one of the reasons why I've never been completely satisfied with 'digital'. Anyways, it's early days yet as I just got the lens but initial shots have me just blown away. Contrast and sharpness are way above anything I could achieve with the Tamrons (or Sigmas or even 'consumer' grade Nikon zooms - good as they are). Being an old 'film' user the difference to me is like comparing b+w EI 125 film processed in Microdol-X to the same film processed in PMK 'pyro'. The tonal separation, gradation and 'edge effect' (ie. what we film users use to refer to as acutance) are simply beautiful with this lens. Ok maybe your 'thing' IS bigger than mine but right now I'm in heaven.