Man, I did have a bad copy of a lens

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by wade_thompson|1, Jun 11, 2016.

  1. It has bugged me for over a year. Not so sharp photos coming from my Nikon 17-55 f2.8 DX lens.
    I had tried Fine Tuning to the nth degree and to no avail... just started to think that it was just me being too picky.
    So...I went ahead and bought a Sigma 17-50 f2.8 and today shot a family in the park. Om my God! What an improvement. Sharp as a tack and incredibly rich with good bokeh. Now I see what I was missing and should never have put up with this for so long.
  2. what, exactly, was wrong with the 17-55?
  3. My wife has one for her D300 and all plasticity aside, it is really a rather good lens given the price. Maybe you got a bad one. Lemons do happen even today.
  4. The example you attached is slightly soft. Perfectly usable, mind, especially with a little Smart Sharpen, but the eyelashes are not really tack sharp and well-defined as they should be.
  5. good grief. it's a 20% about not seeing the forest for the trees. Regardless, even this one is 2X sharper than the Nikon lens. Like I said, pretty sure I had a bad copy...doesn't mean apples to apples... the Sigma is better than the Nikon. of course, not
  6. Eric, it was just soft, in the middle. And almost like it had an astigmatism... blotchy. only lens I had that was like that./
  7. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I bought the 17-55mm/f2.8 DX AF-S back in 2004 and then used it on the 12MP D2X. At the time I thought it was a terrific lens and gave me really sharp images. Unfortunately, my camera bag once fell onto a concrete floor with the 17-55 mounted on the heavy D2X and the impact damaged the mount slightly. Nikon fixed it but I feel that the lens is not quite as good as it once was.
    I had not touched the 17-55 for several years. Recently I used the 17-55 on the new D500 and I am still getting good results from it. If anybody's 17-55mm DX is not good, I would let Nikon or another repair shop take a look at it.
  8. Why didn't you send the lens in to have it checked by Nikon?
  9. I received it from a colleague who was going FX...and I knew it was suspect. Not worth the repair cost probably. Selling it "as is" right now.
  10. ive had the sigma 17-50 for many years and i concur it is "sharp enough." before that i had the tamron 17-50 which was wicked sharp, better than the 24-70 AF-s @2.8. i never saw the need for the 17-55, but a lot of people really love that lens.
  11. Wade Thompson, Jun 11, 2016; 05:39 p.m.
    I received it from a colleague who was going FX...and I knew it was suspect. Not worth the repair cost probably. Selling it "as is" right now.​
    I don't get your post then. If you knew it was iffy before you purchased it then why post here telling us about how bad it is?
    On the other hand, I'm really pleased to hear you are getting some proper joy from the Sigma.
    I had the 17-55 Nikkor on a D200 & D300 and found it truly excellent, especially for close highly detailed subjects.
  12. good grief. it's a 20% about not seeing the forest for the trees.​
    That doesn't change the fact that it is soft. It would be worse at 100%, but that would represent an absurdly large print.
  13. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Typically I associate a "bad copy" of a lens that is brand new out of the box, but maybe slightly out of spec or even slightly
    defective. Usually that is related to manufacturing issues. If the lens has been used for a while and even has changed
    ownership, the problem is more like abuse, impact or just normal ware after a few years. For example, my 17-55 was
    great, but once it was dropped onto the floor, even though it was inside a padded camera bag, it had impact damage and
    one side of the images was soft. The problem was obvious when I compared images from before and after the impact.

    Nikon charged me $135 to fix the mount. I wouldn't immediately say it is not worthwhile to fix. However, I feel that the lens is not as great as before.
  14. I had the 17-55 for a while, and though it was sharp as a tack on my D4 in cropped mode, it was quite soft on a D7100 I had for a while. I'm assuming there was a problem with the camera, not the lens, but it was a disappointment after having it work so nice on the D4.
  15. I can understand Wade's frustration with a bad copy of a lens. In the late 90's I bought a Nikon 85mm tilt shift lens (1st version) and simply couldn't get any sharp images with it. I sent it to Nikon for calibration and they advised that the lens was in specifications. I still couldn't take a sharp image with the lens. I have over 18 Nikon and Sigma F-mount lenses and all are tack sharp using proper technique. I haven't sold the lens because I don't believe it is ethical to sell a knowingly faulty lens without divulging its lack of sharpness. Sometimes in life, you end up eating a little crow.
  16. All good comments. Thanks everyone!
  17. So...I went ahead and bought a Sigma 17-50 f2.8

    next time buy a Tamron^^
  18. If you ever meet someone with a known good copy of the Nikkor 17-55 it would be interesting to compare with your Sigma. Some of the sharpest DX pics that I have seen have come through the the 17-55 Nikkor.
  19. I've had mediocre lenses in the past from all manufacturers except (ha!) Leica. Bronica E 60mm was really poor*, so were Minolta MD 70-210 zoom and Nikon Series E 28mm (the Series E 35mm and 100mm are excellent, though, as are all the other Nikon AIS and AF lenses I've used). Other lenses in the range were fine, some stunning.
    *annoyingly so, since it's the equivalent of a 35mm lens on 35mm film and is therefore very useful for weddings etc.
  20. Your sample image... Is that a crop from the bad lens? A size reduction from the bad lens?
    Or an image from new good lens?

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