Nikon D3200 + Nikkor dx 17-55mm f/2.8 ?

I am interested in buying Nikkor dx 17-55mm f/2.8 for my D3200...

I know the lens was released quite a long time ago...

Do you think the lens would work well with this camera?

Is this lens very outdated in nowadays?

Any comments/recommendations would be helpful ^^

Thank you.


  • The lens should be fully compatible. AFS lenses (that is, those with their own internal motors) will work fine. Older AFD and AF lenses that require a motor in the camera, will not auto focus, but will meter correctly.

    The lens has no vibration reduction, which could be an issue for steadiness at slow shutter speeds, but in return it has a fast aperture, which should allow for faster shutter speeds, and it's less of an issue with short focal lengths.


    I've never tried it but the pros seemed to like it at the time, and it was a very expensive lens when new. It will be a big step up in robustness and construction quality from the kit lens, and it was said to be fast and accurate in focusing. It was said to be big and heavy, but if that's no obstacle, I'm guessing a D3200 will like it plenty. I'd go for it if it's reasonably priced, and in good condition, but be careful of condition because it's likely to be a pretty difficult and expensive lens to repair. I wouldn't buy this by mail order without a good return policy.
  • Thank you for your well explained reply.

    I ended up getting an used one. Cosmetically perfect.

    I have a feeling that it may need some fine tuning for sharp focus.

    It is indeed heavy, compare to other DX lens I own, but f/2.8 across the zoom helps me a lot.

    I doubt I will let this lens go in future...
  • Unfortunately the D3200 does not allow AF fine tuning in the camera. Because this is a zoom lens focus accuracy may vary a little with focal length, and focus is pretty critical at F2.8. I'd check it at several focal lengths with a tripod and see.

    You can check for AF accuracy by putting the camera on a tripod and shooting the same scene in both viewfinder and Live View. Put the AF in single point, AFS in both modes, and use plenty of light. Take a couple of identical shots in each mode, defocusing the lens in between shots, to make sure AF is being consistent. Live View will be error free, since it reads directly off the sensor. If the viewfinder agrees with it, then your lens is well adjusted.

    Unfortunately, the D3200 does not allow AF fine tuning. The D7x00 family does, however, so if and when it comes time to move on, consider moving up too. The D7100 is a nice step up, the image quality quite similar, but with a little better high ISO, and many more features. My D3200 and the kit lens as well as the 55-300 were dead-on accurate out of the box, but when I got a used 16-85DX lens, it was pretty far off, and did not really come into its own until I got a D7100 and adjusted it. These days if you have really nice glass, it may make more sense to upgrade the camera than the lens, as the D7100 is getting pretty reasonable.

  • Thank you for your reply. I highly doubt to buy D7100.

    I am, rather, thinking of visiting Nikon service center in my home country this coming summer...I've read numerous satisfied comments after the service center "adjusted pin" of the lens to correct either "front focusing" or "back focusing" problem. We'll see how it goes.. ^^
  • I think if you bring in the camera and the lens together, they should be able to get it spot on, but if you have more lenses that are already right, make sure you mention this to them so they adjust only the lens to match the camera.

    A zoom lens can sometimes be better or worse at some focal lengths, though not always. So if possible, figure out what length is your favorite or most likely default, and they can probably center on that.
  • I own a Nikon D3200 and have used several lens (18-55 mm, 70-300 mm, 50mm 1.8, etc). I have sold all of them and bought a 17-55 mm 2.8. This has been the best decission in my life.
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