17-55 or 24-105?

Started May 24, 2006 | Discussions
SuvoMitra Contributing Member • Posts: 850
17-55 or 24-105?

I am using a 20D with 10-22, 17-85 IS, and 100-400 IS lenses. I am not really happy with the 17-85, especially CA at the wide end, non-smooth zoom motion and also less than impressive sharpness. I know these issues can be tackled in post. I shoot RAW and already spend too much time in post. I'd rather have a higher quality lens. I used to have a 24-70L with a 1DM2 and really loved it except the combined weight.

I am considering the 17-55 IS, 24-105IS, used 24-70L or used 28-70L to fill the gap between my 10-22 and 100-400. I'll use it for landscape and travel and group and individual people pictures. There will be some low light use at the longer end - mostly people pictures and architectural indoors. I need exhibition quality A3 prints for the landscape/travel/architecture subjects, and good quality A4 prints of the people pictures.

The 17-55IS is attractive because it's the most versatile single-lens combination with the 20D. On the other hand, it does overlap the 10-22 quite a bit when bringing both together. The other options starting at 24/28 are excellent in combination with the 10-22, but not really useable on its own for general shooting. But any of these would be brilliant if I move to full frame some day (and the 17-55 would have to be sold at a loss). Right now, I have no idea whether I will buy a full frame body in the near future.

If you are thinking about a similar decision, or have made one, and have some hands-on experience with the 24+ options (on any body), I would love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks

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Suvo Mitra

James A. Senior Member • Posts: 1,260
Re: 17-55 or 24-105?

I was in the same position as you. However I decided for the 24 to 105 L F4. It has more range, better color and contrast than the 17 to 55.

My 24 to 105 rarely comes off my 30D They were meant for each other.

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pc168 Senior Member • Posts: 2,275
Re: 17-55 or 24-105?

Sure 24-105 F4 L

tarmes Regular Member • Posts: 208
Re: 17-55 or 24-105?

Hi,

I've also explored all these possibilities. In the end I decided that 2.8 was a minimum requirement for myself (more creative control) and that left either the 17-55 or the 24-70 in the running.

Even though I'd have liked the build and full-frame option of the L lens, I decided that the 17-55 was a more useful range on a cropped body and that IS would be damn useful. When the tests showed that it was sharper than the L alternatives all the remaining doubts just went away.

I think that there are 2 things to realise:

1) If you buy a FF camera later on, then so be it. You can sell the EF-S lens or keep a cropped body as a backup. It's not the end of the world.

2) Image quality is more important than having a red ring. Your brain just needs to keep telling that to your heart!

Tim

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OP SuvoMitra Contributing Member • Posts: 850
Re: 17-55 or 24-105?

tarmes wrote:

2) Image quality is more important than having a red ring. Your
brain just needs to keep telling that to your heart!

I like that! Personally, I'm not into the red ring thing, but I really liked the image quality I got out of the 24-70 on the 1D2. Maybe the sensor had something to do with it too, but it's hard to get into the 17-85 on 20D after that. On the other hand, I didn't like the bulk and didn't need the weather sealing and all that. If a light, compact, and relatively discreet lens can get me images I can love without doing too much in post, I'll take it over a red ring any day. Looking at the reviews so far, it seems the 17-55 really is such a lens. I do wish it went up to 70, though. But then it would probably distort more and give more CAs at the wide end. You can't have everything, can you?

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Suvo Mitra

Greg Kovacs Senior Member • Posts: 1,425
Better color and contrast? Muhahaha

Maybe you WISH it had... because you bought it.

Greg

Don_D
Don_D Forum Pro • Posts: 20,532
Re: 17-55 or 24-105?

SuvoMitra wrote:

The 17-55IS is attractive because it's the most versatile
single-lens combination with the 20D.

Yes..

On the other hand, it does
overlap the 10-22 quite a bit when bringing both together.

Not a problem.

The
other options starting at 24/28 are excellent in combination with
the 10-22, but not really useable on its own for general shooting.

Correct.

But any of these would be brilliant if I move to full frame some
day (and the 17-55 would have to be sold at a loss).

I suspect not much of a loss.

Right now, I
have no idea whether I will buy a full frame body in the near
future.

I think you're answering your own question.

If you are thinking about a similar decision, or have made one, and
have some hands-on experience with the 24+ options (on any body), I
would love to hear your thoughts.

I have a 10-22, 17-85, 70-200....

I bought the 24-105 and returned it. It was not wide enough (as you have observed) for a 1.6x camera for general use. It is a better lens than the 17-85, but I did not see enough difference in IQ to put up with the lens swapping I would have to do around 24mm.

I bought the new 17-55, excellent IQ from center to edge, little to no CA, f/2.8 and IS. I thought that I might miss the range, but don't...the zoom range is right in the heart of most of my shooting. I am very, very pleased with this lens. It is close to ideal on a 1.6x camera.
I think the 17-55 would fit your needs too.
--
-Don

'Where do we go when we die?' said Billy.
'I don't know', the old man said, 'Where are we now?'
.....Cormac McCarthy
http://www.pbase.com/dond

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Hemants Contributing Member • Posts: 847
Initial pics from 17-55 seem mediochre

Whereas the 24-105 pics seem better.

Not a controlled test but something to watch out for.

Since you have he 10-22 anyways, get the 24-105.

SchnellerGT Senior Member • Posts: 1,429
Referring to your own lenses? (nt)
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Lee Baby Simms Contributing Member • Posts: 844
funny

I read a wedding photographer's remarks on the 30D/17-55 vs 5D/24-70 ... he thought the colors/contrast were better in natural light on the newer combo, flash photos better with the L. I'm sure we're spliting hairs here, and natural light shooters are going to get an unexpected creative boost with the IS. I just wish the new lens had coverage parody with the 27-70 ... a 15-50 would've been my ideal.

The 10-22 & 24-105 combo is a ideal one on the crop bodies (on paper at least). I tried it, but found the split odd ... and, I don't care for the 10-22 images on the long side. So, my bag has the 10-22 and the 17-55 (as soon as the freakin UPS guy gets here).

That 24-105 is a heck of an optic, and for a full-frame camera is the best one lens solution anyone's devised yet. Canon is on a roll with these new products. It will make it harder to return to Nikon (if they ever can design & manufacture awesome digital 'film').

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marclw
marclw Senior Member • Posts: 1,318
Re: 17-55 or 24-105?

I was in the same quandry. I just took delivery of a 24-105 L. My 17-85 is going to be sold, even though I like it. I have a Sigma 10-20 macro on the wide end and a 70-200 f/4 L on the long end to fill out my range.

Marc
--
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Lee Baby Simms Contributing Member • Posts: 844
please keep up with the group

Reality check - many many many images on flickr.com taken with little point n' shoots look better than those posted on photo geek sites taken with L glass - it's a clique sentiment, but your post demands repeating it ... great gear does not make great photos. Every objective evaluation of the 17-55 points to high water mark for Canon. It's a great lens, and priced so.

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alborz Regular Member • Posts: 204
Re: 17-55 or 24-105?

Hi

I agree with you. Right now I have the 17-85 IS which is not bad but I feel that the 17-55 IS would be perfect for 20D. I like the 24-105 L IS it is really good on FF body and its price is right, but I loose the wide range( I shoot about 60~70 % at the wide range) on my 20D I do NOT think buying this lens for future investment would be a wise move . I feel buy the time that I could afford buying the FF , Canon brings the new version of this lens may be 24-105 f2.8 L IS.

thanks.
alborz

tarmes wrote:

Hi,

I've also explored all these possibilities. In the end I decided
that 2.8 was a minimum requirement for myself (more creative
control) and that left either the 17-55 or the 24-70 in the running.

!

Tim

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Lee Baby Simms Contributing Member • Posts: 844
some will take longer to get it

words like this are coming from reviewers everywhere ... this one in the last 48 hours from the-digital-picture ...

As it turns out, my 17-55 matches or exceeds the optical performance of my L-Series zooms in this similar focal length range ...

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-S-17-55mm-f-2.8-IS-USM-Lens-Review.aspx

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SchnellerGT Senior Member • Posts: 1,429
It is a hard decision...

I have a 24-105. Along with a EFS 10-22 and Tamron 28-75.

The 24-105 is the best lens I own. Best colors, best saturation, best build, best AF. I mean it's lightning-quick and silent. It has great reach.

But I have been impressed by 75% of what I've seen come out of the 17-55. It seems to have unparalleled sharpness. I have indeed gone so far as to think about selling my 24-105 for it. But then I ask myself, do I really think Full-Frame is going to be out of my reach when I want to buy my next body in about 12 months? For some reason, my gut tells me no. Technology progresses, things get cheaper to make, and I truly believe FF will cost only $500 more than what I paid for my EOS-20D in November 2004. And then I ask myself, am I nutz to even consider trading an L for a non-L EFS??? It just sounds insane.

If you fall into the camp that believes that FF will always stay expensive, then by all means, buy the 17-55. If you can afford a 17-55 now AND a 24-105 later when a new FF body comes out, then get both. If you can afford both on APS-C now, get both.

But I am honestly not money bags, and this is just one of my hobbies. I spent $1250 on the 24-105 last December and love the lens. I have no reason to trade it. Now, I am going to Germany soon for two weeks on business. If 24 just never seems wide enough or if I constantly shoot at 24 and hardly above 55, then I may reconsider yet again.

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Lee Baby Simms Contributing Member • Posts: 844
don't sell

yes, your next body will be FF and the 24-105 is the perfect one-lens.

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AgentBuckwald New Member • Posts: 14
Re: 17-55 or 24-105?

I think it is usefull to know what kind of pictures you take. I had the 17-40 on my 30d and found I just didn't use the wide that much. I traded it in for the 24-105 and haven't regretted it one bit. I don't miss the wide much and love the extra reach. The 17-40 is a great lens and from what I see the 17-55 2.8 is a great lens. If you are always using the wide angle, then get it. If you need the 2.8 then think about the 24-70 2.8. Few people dispute its quality, has more reach than the 17-55 and will work on FF. (I've used the 24-70 and the weight is substantial. I got used to it however) If you already have the 10-22 then I wouldn't worry about wide and get the 24-105 or 24-70. All three are great lenses, so I suppose you have to figure out what kinds of pictures you gravitate to and choose accordingly. Lens purchases will always be minefield of doubt.

carlk Forum Pro • Posts: 15,940
Re: I agree.

If you got a good copy of 24-105 I'm not sure it's wise to sell it and buy the new lens. However for someone who has niether and plan to stay with 1.6x camera for at least 1~2 years 17-55 seems to be a much better choice.

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jrynash Veteran Member • Posts: 3,141
same as me: 17-55IS

Don_D wrote:

I have a 10-22, 17-85, 70-200....
I bought the 24-105 and returned it. It was not wide enough (as
you have observed) for a 1.6x camera for general use. It is a
better lens than the 17-85, but I did not see enough difference in
IQ to put up with the lens swapping I would have to do around 24mm.

I bought the new 17-55, excellent IQ from center to edge, little to
no CA, f/2.8 and IS. I thought that I might miss the range, but
don't...the zoom range is right in the heart of most of my
shooting. I am very, very pleased with this lens. It is close to
ideal on a 1.6x camera.
I think the 17-55 would fit your needs too.
--
-Don

That could have been written by me....cause it's exactly the same as me.

carlk Forum Pro • Posts: 15,940
Re: I'm too!

I do not have 17-85. I do have 10-22, 70-200 and buoght and returned 24-105. My 17-55 will arrive today.

jrynash wrote:

Don_D wrote:

I have a 10-22, 17-85, 70-200....
I bought the 24-105 and returned it. It was not wide enough (as
you have observed) for a 1.6x camera for general use. It is a
better lens than the 17-85, but I did not see enough difference in
IQ to put up with the lens swapping I would have to do around 24mm.

I bought the new 17-55, excellent IQ from center to edge, little to
no CA, f/2.8 and IS. I thought that I might miss the range, but
don't...the zoom range is right in the heart of most of my
shooting. I am very, very pleased with this lens. It is close to
ideal on a 1.6x camera.
I think the 17-55 would fit your needs too.
--
-Don

That could have been written by me....cause it's exactly the same
as me.

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