Nikon 24-70 versus 17-55

Started Jan 6, 2008 | Discussions thread
OP Joseph Lab Regular Member • Posts: 197
Re: The thing is

Thanks David. The problem is that 70 is really very close to 55. It is only one step or a mild crop away. If you cannot go wide enough, that is it. Sometimes it is quite useful to anyway to have say a head and shoulders which you crop into a head shot, two for the price of one! If it were 24-85 F2.8, that would be different. For me it is finally coming down to image quality and bokeh against range. The range of the 17-55 on a crop camera gives greater flexibility. Unfortunately, I do not really know how much better image quality and bokeh are on the 24-70, so I guess I have insufficient information to make a rational decision.

Best wishes


David Grabowski wrote:
Along with bokeh, if you are mostly shooting portraits and catch
shots of the kids and you found yourself stretching with the 17-55 to
do that comfortably then most likely the 24-70 will be a better
choice for you. It really doesn't matter about the rest of us ! If
you said you are always backing up and running out of room that would
be another matter but you didn't say that.

Just for the record, I find myself with DX going to the 24-85D as
default over the 17-55 for the same kind of photos. I like the 17-55
for weddings though. The very first time I used the 17-55 for kids I
found I felt as though I needed more reach, so have basically
switched back to the 24-85D for families and kids but that's really a
personal feeling and choice. Still, had the 24-70 been around when I
purchased the 17-55 I can almost chance a bet on my buying it instead.

FWIW, longer lenses almost always render smoother background OOF.


Joseph Lab wrote:

I am an amateur photographer with quite a few years of experience in
digital and with film. I have a D70s with 18-70, 18-200, 28-85 (old
but good), 50 F1.4 and an SB800 flash. I skipped the D200, but
intend buying a D300 in the not too distant future. I am not short
of midrange zooms!

I have twice had a 17-55 F2.8 zoom but returned it. Recently I
looked through my pictures and it struck me how much better the
images made with the 50F1.4 and the 17-55F2.8 were. I am again
contemplating the purchase of the 17-55 F2.8. The improvements as
compared with my other lenses are particularly noticeable with people
pictures, and my main subjects are my children. I returned the 17-55
because I had the 50 as a portrait lens, and I found that the 17-55
produced erratic results for reasons unknown. It was also very prone
to flare (but I did not use the hood). I also felt that the long end
was a bit short, and of course, the 50 is much faster. However, some
of the images from the 17-55 were superb and the handling, speed of
focus and control over DOF was particularly welcome. Regarding 55
versus 70, I have now found that simply leaning forward turns the 55
into a 70 at least at typical portrait distances. Furthermore, there
is plenty to crop on a D300 image.

There is of course now a new alternative – the 24-70. It seems that
with regard to image quality this is the best there is. The problem
is size and range. 36-105 is of course a classic range, but loses a
great deal at the wide-angle end when compared to 25-82. On the
other hand, I read that the quality of the bokeh is better and 105
will give me better isolation. The handling also may be better, and
of course it is full frame compatible, although I have no immediate
intention of buying an FX Nikon. If Nikon produce a canon 5D
equivalent I might be interested.

I would particularly like to hear from those who have the 17-55 and
the 24-70 on how they feel about the two lenses in the areas of
bokeh, handling and image quality. If you are able, curb your
enthusiasm for your new toy and be as objective as possible
(difficult with a new lens I know!)

The question of range is trickier (for me) than many may think. If
you are say a photojournalist you need the 17-55 no question.
However, for others especially amateurs when confronting a situation
in which 17mm may be used an equally interesting but different shot
may be made at 24mm. I have become more and more reluctant to change
lenses. At the beginning of the day I attach the lens that I think
will be on average be most suitable, and make do with that. This is
a useful discipline to one’s shooting. However, I do find the 50
restrictive and would like that kind of quality (or better) in a zoom.

I would appreciate any comments and advice particularly on the 24-70
range versus the 17-55 range. I have a 17-55 available at a very
good price and need to make up my mind. When thinking about it all
that I seem to do is go round in a circle. The price difference is
relevant but not critical. I will also be posting this question in
the Canon forum. Canon users have a much longer history of this
choice on their crop cameras, and I would be interested to hear from
those who have switched from the 17-55 IS to the 24-70 or vice-versa,
how much they missed the 17-24 range etc.

Any observations, comments that would help me make up my mind would
be hugely appreciated. I am sure I am not the only one interested in
this comparison. Thank you in advance.


Post (hide subjects) Posted by
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow