Dundo Maroje: 17 elements in 13 groupsThat's why it costs so much
The Sigma lacks Nano coating, fluorine coating, and still has a mechanical diaphragm.
Studio1138: Why can't they make lenses in this range for FX bodies?
The equivalent range to this lens on an FX body is 24-120 mm f/4-5.6 (in terms of total exposure and field of view). They do make something that's actually better: the 24-120 mm f/4.
feraudy: Seriously, I doubt it has a fluorine coating, given fluorine is a gas.Nitpicking.
It's some sort of fluorine based gas that's put into a vacuum chamber with the bare lens elements and adheres itself to them - the same as every other coating. I don't expect them to tell us the exact proprietary chemical formula, but I do know that it does work very well in keeping crud off of the lens. In exactly the same environment, my 70-300 comes out covered in dust and my 300 f/4E has zero on the front or rear element. I was sold after that.
brownie314: Why Nikon! Why make a lens that already exists for DX. The Sigma 17-70 2.8-4 is an excellent lens that can be had for less than half the price of this Nikon lens. Why not give us a nice, compact 24mm 2.8 (or 2.4) prime! It would make the D3300 and D5500 very compact. But no.
I've already justified the 2x difference in price to me, and I was very close to purchasing the 17-70 Sigma and now will end up with the 16-80 Nikkor (in 2 months when the price has dropped some or I get freebees with it). Sigma lenses are sharp, but the Nano coating fluorine coating, and E diaphragm (all of which are also present on my 300 f/4E) really do make a difference - being able to take a photo in live view without dropping the mirror first, much better flare resistance, adjusting the aperture during a video, and so on. that $500 buys me a lot of subtly better things than the Sigma, and those are just the ones that I know about before it's even been reviewed (I'm not counting on a better focal length range, focus breathing can easily eat that up).
sunnycal: Finally, 30 years after Canon, Nikon is moving to Electronic aperture control. Yay!!!
As opposed to a nearly black finder when the aperture lever disconnects? All lenses have their problems. :)
iudex: One thing I noticed immediately is the weight of this lens: it is pretty lightweight given the FR and the luminosity: only 480g. The Pentax 16-85mm is 2/3 to 1 EV slower, but weighs even a bit more (488g). The Sigma 17-70mm is bit shorter on both ends, but weighs only a fraction less (465g). And most importantly this new Nikkor weighs even less than it´s much slower predecessor the 16-85mm/3,5-5,6. I remember people here arguing that the Pentax 16-85mm couldn´t have been faste since it would have been much bigger and heavier. Now it is clear it is possible to make a lens with similar FR, that is faster without being heavier. Good job Nikon.
It is weather sealed. Heck, the old 16-85 is weather sealed, Nikon just doesn't advertise it (or any) of their lenses as such because to do so would mean they couldn't deny water damage under warranty. :)
samfan: This looks like a good offering, in fact something that should have been here at least 5 years ago.
Hey, stupid question since I haven't kept up: does the electronic diaphragm mean the lens won't work on pre-D300 bodies?
It means that it'll work, but only wide open. The older bodies lack the software (and in some cases the hardware) to close the diaphragm electronically.
Also, because I know that it'll work with a body I buy five or even ten years from now.
GRG1515: I recently bought this printer and then bought a Mac... this printer doesn't work with OSX 10.7! This printer has been on the market since a year when I bought it and it is now out of date. Last time I'm buying a Canon printer. Can't wait until they provide no support for Windows 8 either. Canon You Can -> Canon You can't anymore!
It will work on Windows 8 probably on Day 1, since all NT6 family operating systems use the same print drivers, and it works on both Vista and 7 (the other members of the NT6 family). It works the same way with Windows 2K, XP and 2K3, all of which are NT5 family systems - printer drivers don't need to be re-written very often for PCs.