Seeking counsel on 24-70 choice

Started Jan 29, 2014 | Questions thread
sgoldswo Veteran Member • Posts: 5,717
Re: Seeking counsel on 24-70 choice

lightsniper wrote:

Hi: I'm in the process of selling several bodies and lenses to fund the purchase of a 24-70 f2.8 and 70-200 to mate with recently acquired D800e. I'll be purchasing the 70-200 f4 (which I used previously with D600) so no issues there, but I'm struggling with 24-70 choice.

I've owned the Nikon 24-70 alongside D700 and liked it very much, but a lot of my shooting is street/documentary, and in that environment I've learned to very much appreciate the virtues of VR.

Towards that end, I've read a number of positive reviews on the Tamron SP 24-70, and images on various sites are impressive, but neither tell the whole story. Big difference in price ($1900 vs. $1000 at the moment via Amazon), but I give a fair amount of weight in the decision to the experience with the 24-70 and a wary eye towards 3rd party lenses... though that bias won't keep me from making a prudent decision.

Any experience or even second hand input with the Tamron would be appreciated, and will be considered before I pull the trigger in the next few days. Similarly thoughts on how often you feel the lack of VR on the Nikon may have gotten in your way.

Appreciate any thoughts or counsel.

I owned the Tamron and sold it in favour of the Nikkor. The main reason was a lack of contrast in the results and the central sharpness didn't seem as good as the Nikkor in the focal lengths I tend to use. Focus speed was also better with the Nikkor. Neither lens is perfect, I would probably rate the Tamron 3 out of 5 and the Nikkor 3.5/4 out of five.

Observations - both lenses are heavy. Although the nikkor is heavier, its a physically larger lens which means the Tamron actually makes the camera feel more front heavy (because it's denser). Neither is a lens I would ever use for street photography. I would suggest that you look at the Nikkor 28 F1.8G and the Nikkor 50 F1.8G for street photography. The Voigtlander 20/28/40 pancakes are also great for MF street photography.

Someone else suggested a small mirrorless for this purpose. There's something to this, but there's no reason you couldn't use a DSLR for street photography too. The main facility of a mirrorless is putting your focus point anywhere on your VF. There is an issue of focus speed that might be relevant for older Fuji or Sony cameras, but isn't so relevant for the more recent bodies equipped with PDAF. M43s hasn't been slow to focus since about 2011 - its actually faster in single shot AF than a PDAF DSLR, the real downside is image quality at 100%. All of that aside, I've taken shots I'm very happy with with both the Nikon D600 and Df. There's no reason a DSLR can't be discrete and even if people notice you have a camera they may not react as badly to a small prime as to a large paparazzi style zoom...

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