If you are a Nikon DX owner like me (D7000 in this case), and have delved into Photography quite a bit, you have probably at some stage looked at the 24-70mm f/2.8 and considered making the purchase. It is a great lens, built for FX and is an investment that will last you many bodies to come. However, given the crop of the small sensor on DX, it makes the focal range a little funny so some people generally buy it regardless with the intention of moving onto FX in the near future.
If however, you don't intend on jumping to FX any time soon...then the 17-55mm f/2.8 could be the only wide-zoom lens you'll ever need for your DX.
Today after work I went for a walk around the CBD of Sydney and decided to gather some shots to compile this review...
Firstly, does it take sharp images?
This was taken at 55mm and then cropped. There has been no PP done with sharpening except for a little levels adjustment and some NR on the heavier crop, otherwise, straight from the camera. I'd say it is sharp!
Secondly, how does it go in low light situations?
Personally, I think it is fantastic in low light and where this wide-zoom really shines. I love the fact that in tight spots such as the photos above...I can just throw back the focal length and grab the image where otherwise my 50mm f/1.4 may have missed the framing.
The 17-55mm f/2.8 is a tough, professional lens that is the answer for people wanting a similar experience as a 24-70 f/2.8 on FX. I never found weight a concern and infact found it very balanced on the D7000 with the battery grip attached. I walked around from 3pm until 9pm taking photos no problem. I have not taken the lens off since I bought it and I would even go as far to say that the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 I own may not really be required anymore in my inventory (excellent lens also).
The price is around $1400-$1900+ new. I got mine for $1100 as an ex-demo model, in virtually new condition. If the price seems a bit steep, the alternative is the kit 18-55mm (if you only intend to do daylight shooting and use flash at night) or consider the 35mm f/1.8, 50mm f/1.8 and 85mm f/1.8 which will give you great coverage...only without the conveinience of zoom, which could possibly mean missing a moment if you need to change lenses.
I would highly recommend this lens to any DX user. It is very satisfying to use.
Thanks for reading.