Nikon 24-70 versus 17-55

Started Jan 6, 2008 | Discussions
Phil Youngblood Veteran Member • Posts: 9,541
Re: Two zooms??

msu79gt82 wrote:

Phil Youngblood wrote:

However, it seems the 14-24 is the REAL
star of the new zooms -- one to die for, so to speak. Now, I will
still be getting a 24-70

I have the 24-70 and love it. I'm struggling with adding the 14-24
(FX) or the 17-55 (DX) to the 24-70 I have. The 17-55 seems a good
walk about lens (shorter and lighter than the 24-70); but is the
overlap redundant? Just how much (really useful) is the difference
between 14 (ie 21 on the D300) and 17 (ie 25.5 on the D300)?

I think that will depend purely on individual style. For me, 17 has been plenty wide enough for the last 3 years -- until I took it on a short vacation to the mountains. All of a sudden I badly needed a 12-24 or similar. Since I returned from that trip, I have not needed one. It's a cr*p shoot.

There's a good bit of difference 14 to 17 in actuality but it makes no difference if you don't NEED that wide. I think the difference would be more than the 3MM because the 14 is a quality 14 and 17 is the weakest point of the 17-55.

Phil

Phil Youngblood Veteran Member • Posts: 9,541
Re: Just to add to the confusion

eoliveira wrote:

Phil,

Excellent piece of software. It gave an very good perspective on
which focal lens I have been using. Thank you so much for the advice.

You're very welcome -- glad you found it useful

Like Joseph, I have been debating in which lens to get. After loading
the software, it was pretty clear that my range is heavy between 40
and 70mm.

Sometimes what we THINK we do and what we actually do is quite different. Strange, huh!

Phil

David Grabowski Veteran Member • Posts: 7,291
Re: Same for me SS

I like the 24-85 D, it's kind of my default lens. After buying the 17-55 and especially for photographing kids I did miss the extra reach having had the 24-85 D and the Tamron 24-135 first. For beach portraits with families and high school seniors I seem to have gravitated back to the 24-85 D as well since there 24 is plenty wide enough and again on the beach I can rack out to 85mm. almost without realizing it. It's not that you can't get by with 55 but I like to get out to 85 better, I feel more comfortable.

I love the 17-55 for weddings or if I'm pretty sure i'll be in a cramped area, the AF-S is positive, quiet, imagew quality very good wide open and out to F5.6 where I shoot my weddings at.

I tend to shoot my flash or studio lit portraits around F4, the 24-85 mixed in with the 17-55 and 70-200 fits well in terms of image quality ( color , contrast), though a bit less sharp on the long end it's nothing that can't be fixed in PP. I do wish it had AF-S.

David

sjackson462000 wrote:

Do you like the 24-85? Just curious about when you use it vs the 17-55.

I have one and seldom use it. Just couldn't seem to pull the 17-55
off and put the other on.
--
ssjackson

sjackson462000 Regular Member • Posts: 447
Re: Same for me SS

Thanks for the input. I bought mine a couple of years ago and really it just kind of sits. Seems there are always other lenses that get used. I'm going to take a bit of a walk around the bayou today and take the 24-85.

Thanks again.
--
ssjackson

David Grabowski Veteran Member • Posts: 7,291
Let us know how it went (NT)

sjackson462000 wrote:

Thanks for the input. I bought mine a couple of years ago and really
it just kind of sits. Seems there are always other lenses that get
used. I'm going to take a bit of a walk around the bayou today and
take the 24-85.

Thanks again.
--
ssjackson

OP Joseph Lab Regular Member • Posts: 197
Re: Nikon 24-70 versus 17-55

I would like to thank everybody who has taken time and trouble to comment on this matter. I looked through my shots taken with the 17-55 (I have quite a few) and other lenses and had more or less came to the conclusion that I could not do without the wide-angle, and that any quality differences were probably insignificant.

Unfortunately, today I went down to a camera store that had both lenses and framed loose head and neck shots with them on my D70s. I tried a few available light shots, but would have had to go to ISO 1600 so I used flash. I shot with both lenses wide open and tried to frame similar shots of a cooperative young lady subject. Unfortunately, there appeared to be a significant difference in quality between the lenses. I would add that this was not a very scientific test, but the differences I saw correspond to what I have read elsewhere.

The best description I could give of the 24-70 rendition is kinder and yet with more detail. It is as if some further barrier between the subject and the image had been removed. I have the shots and would be happy to email them to somebody if they would like to post them. I have no hosting service. I would emphasise that this is scarcely a scientific test. However they had a D300, and I played around with it and the two lenses. I looked at some of the files at the store on their computer, and the conclusions were strengthened. Stupidly in my excitement and rush (I had a deadline), I did not use my card. This is a very, very good lens at the telephoto end. It will make a superb portrait lens.

From what I have seen there is ample justification for owning both lenses. The question is now which to buy first, and it may have to be the 24-70. The handling was great on the 24-70, the zoom ring smooth as silk. It seemed smaller than I expected and even on the D70s it balanced just fine. What can I say? The only downside is the price, which is at a premium because the lens is so new. The other is that it may have some teething troubles, and who wants to be the guinea pig?

Best wishes

Joseph

sjackson462000 Regular Member • Posts: 447
Re: Nikon 24-70 versus 17-55

If you want to e-mail the pictures, I'll post them on this thread for you.
--
ssjackson

BRJR Forum Pro • Posts: 13,641
They're 2 Different Type Lenses Intended For Meeting Different Type Needs, :-)

Joseph Lab :

1. I own both lenses, and have never pitted one lens against the other,

2. Simply put, it takes my Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 lens on my Nikon DX Bodies, with their 1.5X Crop factor, to give me the equivalent FOV that I get on my full-frame DSLR using my Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 lens ------ and, this is the main reason I own both lenses,

-- hide signature --

BRJR ....(LOL, some of us are quite satisfied as Hobbyists ..)

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.

Joseph

 BRJR's gear list:BRJR's gear list
Nikon D700 Leica M9 Nikon AF Nikkor 14mm f/2.8D ED Nikon AF Fisheye-Nikkor 16mm f/2.8D Nikon AF Nikkor 20mm f/2.8D +21 more
drumcrusher Regular Member • Posts: 139
Re: Just to add to the confusion

17-55 + 85 1.8

Jarkko Haarla Jr Senior Member • Posts: 1,055
Actually it won´t

Actually the 17-55 won´t outperform the 24-70 on Dx, Fx or any other format. Both have problems at 24mm, but I rather take the 24-70 problems than the just plain softness of the 17-55 @24mm.

eoliveira Forum Member • Posts: 59
To Joseph

Thank you for this post.

It was full of valuable comments from everyone. For me it was at the right time, because I am ready to buy one of those lenses and your profile is very close on what I shot.
Good luck.
Oliveira

BrentR Senior Member • Posts: 1,397
Re: Actually it won´t

Jarkko Haarla JR wrote:

Actually the 17-55 won´t outperform the 24-70 on Dx, Fx or any other
format. Both have problems at 24mm, but I rather take the 24-70
problems than the just plain softness of the 17-55 @24mm.

Jarkko,

Indeed an interesting statement.

Please elaborate on your comment, "Both have problems at 24mm,...". I'm curious to know what problems concern you?

Also, I've never thought of the 17-55 DX as being "... plain soft ..." It would be helpful if you could elaborate on this perspective.

Kind regards,
Brent

 BrentR's gear list:BrentR's gear list
Nikon D850
Phil Youngblood Veteran Member • Posts: 9,541
Re: Actually it won´t

Jarkko Haarla JR wrote:

Actually the 17-55 won´t outperform the 24-70 on Dx, Fx or any other
format. Both have problems at 24mm, but I rather take the 24-70
problems than the just plain softness of the 17-55 @24mm.

The 17-55 may be a lot of things but one thing it is not is "soft" -- in any sense of the word.

Phil

Thomas Streng Senior Member • Posts: 2,771
Re: Nikon 24-70 versus 17-55

I dont know about the 2470hood, but the 17-55 hodd is just very very big.

OP Joseph Lab Regular Member • Posts: 197
Re: Nikon 24-70 and 17-55 images

Hi, thank you for agreeing to the post. The images are on their way to you.

Joseph

sjackson462000 wrote:

If you want to e-mail the pictures, I'll post them on this thread for
you.
--
ssjackson

OP Joseph Lab Regular Member • Posts: 197
Re: Nikon 24-70 and 17-55 images portraits

I have sent the images to SSjackson above who has kindly agreed to post them. Assuming that he does post them, first an apology: they were taken at ISO 800, not the D70s strongest point. For this I blame the camera! No ISO in the viewfinder is the most irritating omission from the D70s.

Questions:

1. Do you see any significant differences between the images?

2. If they are not due to differences in the performance of the lenses, then what has led to these differences?

I was under pressure and in a rush. I tried to line up the subject in similar position for the different shots. I might not have been as careful as I should with the focus. However, I do not think these differences can be accounted for by focussing errors. It would be interesting to have your views on this. On the 24-70 images I have the impression of a veil being lifted, and that is on a lowly d70s at ISO 800. What do you think?

Best wishes

Joseph

Scott Weierich Senior Member • Posts: 2,100
Re: Nikon 24-70 and 17-55 images portraits

Where are the pictures posted at?

Joseph Lab wrote:

I have sent the images to SSjackson above who has kindly agreed to
post them. Assuming that he does post them, first an apology: they
were taken at ISO 800, not the D70s strongest point. For this I
blame the camera! No ISO in the viewfinder is the most irritating
omission from the D70s.

Questions:

1. Do you see any significant differences between the images?
2. If they are not due to differences in the performance of the
lenses, then what has led to these differences?

I was under pressure and in a rush. I tried to line up the subject
in similar position for the different shots. I might not have been
as careful as I should with the focus. However, I do not think these
differences can be accounted for by focussing errors. It would be
interesting to have your views on this. On the 24-70 images I have
the impression of a veil being lifted, and that is on a lowly d70s at
ISO 800. What do you think?

Best wishes

Joseph

-- hide signature --

Scott

OP Joseph Lab Regular Member • Posts: 197
Re: Nikon 24-70 and 17-55 images portraits

Scott Weierich wrote:

Where are the pictures posted at?

Hi Scott , I sent them to SSJackson above who said he would host them but he has since disappeared. I have no facility to post. If you would like to post them let me know and I will send them to you. There are four about ten meg total.

Joseph

David Banner Senior Member • Posts: 2,358
go 85 1.4/1.8 & tamron 17-50 and save your money

I think the 17-55 is way overpriced when compared to the 17-50 2.8 tamron. The nikon is built better, and better, but 3x better?

If it were me, actually it is me, I already had the tamron, and I got an 85 1.4 instead of 24-70 2.8. You say you use 50 1.4 for portraits but in my opinion 85 1.4 is a much better focal length for portraits.

Phil Youngblood Veteran Member • Posts: 9,541
Re: Nikon 24-70 and 17-55 images portraits

Joseph Lab wrote:

Scott Weierich wrote:

Where are the pictures posted at?

Hi Scott , I sent them to SSJackson above who said he would host them
but he has since disappeared. I have no facility to post. If you
would like to post them let me know and I will send them to you.
There are four about ten meg total.

Joseph,

You can send them to me if you like and I will put them up -- well, if they are controlled test shots. If they are hand-held off the cuff snapshots don't bother sending them because they will prove nothing and I don't want to waste the server space. If they are tripod mounted and controlled, send them on and I will be glad to put them up for you and the group.

Phil

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