Nikon 24-70 versus 17-55

Started Jan 6, 2008 | Discussions thread
OP Joseph Lab Regular Member • Posts: 197
Re: image quality of 17-55 versus others

I agree entirely - the 85 will give better isolation than the 24-70. I am not sure about the overall quality. The latest pro zooms seem to ouperform primes if not in sharpness then in some other hard to define way. The 17-55 seems better than the 50 F1.4, certainly at F4 and perhaps even at F2.8. However, if I were using the 85 I would then have to change lenses for many other shots. I have found that irritating with the 50, and it would be more so with the 85. I am looking to make the right compromise for my shooting style, which is try not to change lenses if at all possible. I don't want to be just the photographer with my kids, I want to participate! Furthermore, I like AFS and feel very hard done by when I use a non AFS lens. Now a new AFS 85 prime, that might be different perhaps. What I really need to find out is whether the image quality of the 24-70 is significantly better than the 17-55, especially in the 55 and 24 range.

How do you find the 17-55 stacks up against the absolutley no compromise lenses that you have such as the 85 F1.4 and the 200F2?

Best wishes


coorslight wrote:
I can totally understand your desire for bokeh and isolation when
shooting portraits. this is why I use my 17-55 as my event/travel
lens. When I am seriously shooting portraits I use my 85mm f/1.4 or
my 200 f/2

I have chosen a path where my work horse lens is the 17-55 and all of
my specialty lenses are primes. for me this gives the most
versatility along with little if any sacrifice in quality.

I would much rather shoot my serious portraits with a prime, even the
85mm f/1.8, than I would with any of the current mid range zooms. F/2
at 85 gives much better bokeh and isolation than you will ever get at
70mm and f/2.8

Joseph Lab wrote:

Thank you so much for quanitfying precisely the field of view
considerations. It is always good to have some hard facts. The
advantage at the long end of the 24-70 is more bokeh and isolation
than field of view. If it was just field of view the 17-55 wins.
Even for my style of shooting the 17-55 is the more useful range.
However, for portraits the 24-70 is better and I do have those other
lenses. The 24-70 seems to have (at least based on current
information) an unquestionably great performance, whereas there have
always been nagging doubts about the 17-55. I managed to produce a
number of inexpicably poor images with the samples I had. Possibly
some kind of user error.

I have played with the 24-70. It handles like a dream despite its
size. Perhaps one should choose the lens that does best the things
you do most. That would probably be the 24-70, and there is then
full frame. But it certainly is less of a one lens solution.

Best wishes


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