Added 17-55mm f/2.8 “test report”

If you follow any of the popular photography related forums on the net, you will find frequent discussions on the Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8. As I have been having mine adjusted, I decided to test it to try to uncover the root cause of some of the complaints about soft sides.

The page can be found here: Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8.

Feel free to leave your comments here at this blog entry.

2 Responses to “Added 17-55mm f/2.8 “test report””

  1. Hi Per,
    I have recently acquired a 17-55 lens and have noticed the issue you describe, especially when taking landscapes. After a bit of research I came across your website and you seem to be the person who has best captured and documented it. I do however have a bit of trouble understanding your focusing past infinity technique. You say to focus past infinity and then stop down. Does this mean you focus using depth of field preview (for example at f6.3) then release it and stop down to f8? Do you start at infinity and then work your way closer until infinity looks clear or go the other way? I would appreciate any extra details you can give me because as you say, when you use this lens correctly it can produce some superb results.
    Kind regards

  2. Stuart,

    Sorry for not being clear on the technique.

    When I focus “beyond infinity” on e.g. a landscape shot, I usually just turn the focusing helicoil manually all the way to the end-stop. If I then choose, say f/8, “everything” is usually pretty well in focus. For landscapes shot around f/8, the focusing position is for me a “fixed” setting that is easy to achieve.

    There is some variation on how individual lenses are adjusted, so I would recommend you test out yours.

    Set up the camera on a tripod and shoot a landscape with a series of different focus settings. Start out using autofocus on the horizon, and then twist the helicoil a bit between each shot, until you hit the end-stop. Make sure you’re in manual or (as I normally do) assign AF to the rear button and not to the normal shutter release.

    Do all of the shots at, say, f/8, or what you normally use. I’ve found that f/9 seems to give me the best DOF without diffration starting to show up, so for landscapes I tend to hoover around f/9.

    Afterwards you can compare the centre and the sides and see which setting will give you the best sharpness.

    I think it will be difficult to literally focus using the DOF preview (using the eye only), so just try to keep it simple. For me, what I described above works quite well.

    Hope this helps,

    — Per.