Please Prove to me that the 17-55 IS SHARP

Joined
Apr 23, 2009
Messages
432
Location
Atlanta, Georgia
Alright all,

I've heard all the raves about the Nikon 17-55 f/2.8 and how sharp it is...but I just don't see it!

I might be in the market for a 17-55 if I can somehow be convinced that there are super sharp copies out there, but all of the files that I've been sent and the one 17-55 that I've rented, I have been less than impressed.

Can somebody please post samples pictures (unedited please) from what they think a super sharp 17-55 should look like at 100%?

If I can't find a super sharp copy, I might just have to go to the D700 24-70 route.

Here the sharpest example I could find out of all of them...right at 38mm

Focal point is the left eye (as seen from viewer)
f/2.8
ISO 200
38mm
1/800 sec

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Joined
Feb 24, 2006
Messages
10,853
Location
Gulu, Uganda
The sharpness, unedited, will depend on the camera being used as raw files are inherently not so sharp and require capture sharpening.
The D200 is "less sharp" than some other models.
Which camera are you using?
 
Joined
Feb 24, 2006
Messages
10,853
Location
Gulu, Uganda
perfect! thanks...i really would like to stick with the 17-55 but i just have yet to find a copy that i'm pleased with!
I'll sell you mine!! It has been factory serviced in Japan at a cost of NZ$1000, US$650 !!
Nah, I won't sell it now, it's better than new!!:smile::smile::biggrin:
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2009
Messages
432
Location
Atlanta, Georgia
I'll sell you mine!! It has been factory serviced in Japan at a cost of NZ$1000, US$650 !!
Nah, I won't sell it now, it's better than new!!:smile::smile::biggrin:
haha...that's not fair...you should post some pics of it on here so you can prove me wrong!

I'm still thinking the 24-70 is WORLDS sharper than the 17-55. :tongue: :wink:
 
Joined
Feb 24, 2006
Messages
10,853
Location
Gulu, Uganda
Maybe the 24-70 is sharper, I don't know!
But this is an approx 1:1 crop:
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

and it is sharp enough, processed in Lightroom with default sharpening.
 
Joined
Jul 4, 2007
Messages
3,551
Location
Redmond, WA
What's the point? The 24-70 is sharper than the 17-55, that's obvious. If you're set on getting the most insane pixel-peeping sharpness and micro-contrast and can afford the 24-70 the choice is obvious. Else you'll always wish you had bought the sharper lens.

Here's a couple of 100% crops with the 17-55. I thought of a studio lighting session a year ago, and just glanced at some shots from today.

First one from a D80. RAW converted to JPEG without any further enhancements except for crop. No USM added to the RAW file. I wouldn't usually process a RAW file from any lens/body without some sharpening added to the RAW file. D80's in-camera sharpness set to "normal" (which many consider soft).

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Second one from a D90. RAW converted to JPEG without any further enhancements except for crop. No USM added to the RAW file. I wouldn't usually process a RAW file from any lens/body without some sharpening added to the RAW file. D90's in-camera sharpness set to its normal setting -- a setting which is definitely on the soft side. Also, kid skin is a lot less detailed than older people skin. Finer pores, less wrinkles to show, etc. Don't think I quite landed the focus point exactly where I wanted it, and depth-of-field is shallow because I was shooting downward.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Joined
Apr 23, 2009
Messages
432
Location
Atlanta, Georgia
What's the point? The 24-70 is sharper than the 17-55, that's obvious. If you're set on getting the most insane pixel-peeping sharpness and micro-contrast and can afford the 24-70 the choice is obvious. Else you'll always wish you had bought the sharper lens.

Now see those are sharp.

I am not dead set on getting the D700 or the 24-70...I would rather stick with a 17-55 and a D300.

Its just that I have yet to find a lens that is this sharp and if I am going to pay 900USD for a used one, it had better be a great copy.

Those 100% crops that you posted are a lot sharper than i've seen so far...Thanks for posting!
 
Joined
Feb 24, 2006
Messages
10,853
Location
Gulu, Uganda
Anthony, I think you will find they are all very good or maybe 99% are. A lot depends on technique as well. My hands aren't as steady as I like to think they are, that's for sure!!:biggrin::biggrin:
 

Growltiger

Administrator
Administrator
Joined
Apr 26, 2008
Messages
12,239
Location
Up in the hills, Gloucestershire, UK
There are some subjects which under some circumstances can look unsharp with any camera or lens. Examples are fur, feathers, and stone. I think your image probably does have a sharp area but it is almost impossible to tell.
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2008
Messages
2,075
Location
San Diego, CA
I've been working with Anthony (the thread starter) to help him find the right lens for his D300. I've never owned a 17-55, but from what I heard it was supposed to be the DX equivalent of the 24-70. I really just haven't been all that impressed with the IQ of the lens from the high resolution sample photos I've seen from it.

Maybe my expectations are too high, or I'm wrong to assume it is as sharp as the 24-70.

Even the 100% crops posted in this thread don't really impress me...

Just for comparison, here's one from my 24-70 @ f/2.8 and 70mm

No processing, just a conversion from RAW --> sRGB jpeg

resized:
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


crop at 100%
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Joined
Mar 30, 2006
Messages
3,629
Location
Springfield, VA & Cape Charles, VA
My testing and limited experience with this lens showed distortions that other better lenses in this range by Nikon and Sigma do not demonstrate. It also has poor edge resolution and I would never buy this lens. The Sigma 18-50/2.8 is better on the edges and the Nikkor 17-35/2.8 is far superior if the 20mm difference on the long end is acceptable to you.
 
A

andrew wilson

Guest
I suppose it all depends if you want to take pictures with it - or just shoot test cards! I'm very happy with my 17-55 on DX and I think it's just as sharp as my 24-70 on FF. But then I only use it in the real world to shoot pics.
 
Joined
Jul 28, 2006
Messages
7,873
Location
Paris, France
I suppose it all depends if you want to take pictures with it - or just shoot test cards! I'm very happy with my 17-55 on DX and I think it's just as sharp as my 24-70 on FF. But then I only use it in the real world to shoot pics.
How right you are !

This type of threads always somewhat puzzle me. I'm sure you want the best out of your money but still …
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2009
Messages
432
Location
Atlanta, Georgia
I suppose it all depends if you want to take pictures with it - or just shoot test cards! I'm very happy with my 17-55 on DX and I think it's just as sharp as my 24-70 on FF. But then I only use it in the real world to shoot pics.
I apologize for my ignorance, but how does this make sense? Whatever you shoot make no difference in the determination of whether a lens is sharp or not.

If you take an 'unsharp' lens out in the real world, under no circumstances does it get any better than if you are shooting a test card.
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2008
Messages
2,075
Location
San Diego, CA
I suppose it all depends if you want to take pictures with it - or just shoot test cards! I'm very happy with my 17-55 on DX and I think it's just as sharp as my 24-70 on FF. But then I only use it in the real world to shoot pics.
real world :rolleyes:

if you don't find image quality important in the "real world," why are you spending $1500-2000 on pro glass to begin with?
 
Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2005-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom