a surprising nikon 17-35/2.8 review by photozone

Started Oct 14, 2011 | Discussions thread
phototrope
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Re: a surprising nikon 17-35/2.8 review by photozone
In reply to anotherMike, Nov 1, 2012

anotherMike wrote:

Having owned all three lenses in this discussion and having tested them quite a bit, I'd say photozone isn't too far off.

For me, the biggest thing that improved with the 14-24 over the 17-35 was

a) the corner performance at the wide range was SERIOUSLY better
b) the wide open and F/4 performance was SERIOUSLY better.

c) the contrast of the 14-24 is better with a bit more pop and definitely more microcontrast.

So while the two lenses "converge" in quality more when they are stopped down and in the wide focal lengths, the contrast signature and microcontrast of the 14-24 is a bit better and the difference in the corners wide open was pretty substantial.

The 16-35 was a harder beast. I never liked the 16-35 at 35mm at all - clearly it's weakest focal length - one where the 24-70 totally schooled it and one where the 17-35 was a bit better as well. At 24mm, both the 17-35 and 16-35 were very strong, but the 16-35 had a touch more contrast.

While the 16-35 and 17-35 were closer, in my tests with several real world subjects, I actually preferred the 16-35 when I viewed it as a 20-28mm lens. while the 17-35 is okay at 35, other lenses are better too, so I viewed both of those lenses as being somewhat weaker at 35 than I'd like - so when I shoot at 35mm, I'd be using either the 24-70 (which is sick good at 35), or the 35/1.4G.

But the 17-35 always has been a viable, decent lens stopped down, and particularly in the center. It just wasn't very good wide open across it's range - and that's where the newer lenses (well, the 14-24 in particular) just flat out beat it cold, and if you didn't shoot it wide open, it was quite capable of producing excellent results, it not perhaps best-in-class results.

Honestly - as much as I liked my 17-35 back in the day, I don't miss it today. The combination of a 14-24 for my 14/18/20 primes and the 24/1.4 and 35/1.4 I shoot with now are in a considerably different league. However, if Nikon were to ever release an updated 17-35 - no VR of any of that stuff, with nano coating and updated optics, I'd be first in line.

-m

+1

This is exactly the post I would have written.

And would add that the a 17-35 lens obviously beats the 14-24 for convenience. And that is the reason why I would join the line for an updated Nikon 17-35/2.8 *without* VR.

(Nikon released a patent for a 16-35/2.8 round about the same time as the patent for the 28/1.8. The latter, for me, totally redundant).

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