My Copy of Nikon Z 17-28 2.8 vs My Copy of Nikon F 18-35 3.5G

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
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CBax79 New Member • Posts: 13
My Copy of Nikon Z 17-28 2.8 vs My Copy of Nikon F 18-35 3.5G

Hello everyone and thanks for reading. I hope this doesn't seem too long and drawn out for comparing a couple of more "basic" lenses like these.

Let me preface this thread by saying I'm not here to trash a lens or sway someone to or from buying any lens. I'm trying to determine if my copy of the Z 17-28 2.8 is faulty or if there is an exploit in the characteristic of the design that undermines it's usefulness to me. I will say that I have never had a lens that was not either correctable by my own means or had such a distracting variance in performance across the entire frame as this lens. Being a Tamron rebrand I have also come to understand that in the E-mount version of this G1 design there has been QC issues relating to IQ variances.

The Nikon 18-35G is one of my favorite lenses of all time and I used it constantly on my D850. After reading reviews, watching video reviews, and having the mindset of wanting a good standard-range lens upgrade path from the 18-35G, I naturally looked into and ended up purchasing the Z 17-28 2.8 after obtaining my Z8.

The Z 17-28 2.8 is a fantastic lens, with impressive sharpness/colors/micro in the center and midframe that, when peeping, just edges out my 18-35G. However, what I have noticed from shooting landscape in portrait orientation is that my old 18-35G absolutely smokes my copy of the Z 17-28 2.8 in foreground sharpness at every aperture from 3.5 on. In that regard I feel like it's almost pointless to have that extra width if it looks like it does here. I will also note that performance is the same as this whether the camera is tilted 90 degrees clockwise or counter-clockwise.

I really started to notice when I was taking pictures in the woods this fall that, while everything in the center and mids looked fantastic, a lot of plants and such in the foreground just weren't looking crisp compared to older shots with the 18-35. I don't have exact locations to compare the differences, so to illustrate the issue I did the low-budget non-scientific test in my back yard.

Settings are:

Tripod Mount


Manual Mode - Exposure set to '0' for every shot after Aperture adjustment

Matrix Metering

Pinpoint Focus for all pictures situated on the knot in the center of the tree trunk/center of the frame (1st and 3rd shot zoomed out to show entire picture)

5 Second Shutter Countdown

Imported straight into LR with Camera Standard Profile

Lens Profile for respective lenses

No Editing/Saved as screenshots on computer

Random Corgi Loaf walking around

F3.5 Full Shot

F3.5 Zoomed

F4.5 Full Shot

F4.5 Zoomed

F5.6 Zoomed

F8 vs F9 Zoomed - Advantage Z 17-28 but still falls short

F11 Zoomed

Since I'm not too versed in having faulty lenses and this feels more like a hunch, someone else may pick up on this much quicker than me and know whether or not it's a bad copy. Again, thanks everyone!

Nikon D850 Nikon Z8
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