Nikon 24-70 versus 17-55

Started Jan 6, 2008 | Discussions
David Banner Senior Member • Posts: 2,358
Re: Reading Comprehension 101

BTW, any
"processing" eliminates an image for testing purposes for me. You are
judging the Photoshop skill of an individual and not IQ.

Not if you apply exactly the same workflow to both images.

The point is straight out of camera one lens may have slightly better colors, contrast, etc. but once you do normal processing (even a quick job in lightroom) the results will be very close.

I choose the Tamron 17-50 after finding several comparisons that showed it was sharper than the Nikon. If people don't want to believe what they read here they can do a bit of searching and see the comparisons themselves. I would hope anyone would do this before spending a lot of money on a lens but that depends on the person's definition of a lot of money. I know people who just buy Nikon/Canon and don't take any risks. I also know a professional photographer who uses the Tamron 17-50 and Sigma 50-150 2.8.

David Banner Senior Member • Posts: 2,358
Re: Reading Comprehension 101

http://www.pbase.com/kocho/image/71267486/original

http://www.pbase.com/phil587/image/71251499/original

Two different locations and lighting conditions, so it's not a valid test.

Photozone.de is down but people can look there for reviews.

MasterOfGoingFaster Senior Member • Posts: 1,255
Re: Midrange zoom optimised for DX best on DX

Joseph Lab wrote:

I cannot but wonder what happens to all those
returned items. Are they restocked
and sold as new?

No. In the USA it is against the law.

I am amazed that there has not been a
legal challenge to the policy of exchanging
merchandise in this way.

In the USA, they had lawsuits over this. If you return a purchased lens to Nikon, they cannot sell it as new. Some companies reserve the right to exchange it when you send in a unit under warranty (Apple, for example). I suspect Nikon rebuilds the lens and sells it as a refurbished item. You'll see cameras sold this way at deep discounts.

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Ken Elliott
Equipment in profile.

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Nikon D700
CCarroll Contributing Member • Posts: 682
With all due respect

Phil Youngblood wrote:

BTW, any
"processing" eliminates an image for testing purposes for me. You are
judging the Photoshop skill of an individual and not IQ.

Phil

If all you are going to do is capture raw files and leave them in the camera, a coke bottle will do for a lens. Absent processing, no image can be judged.

Phil Youngblood Veteran Member • Posts: 9,541
Re: Reading Comprehension 101

David Banner wrote:

BTW, any
"processing" eliminates an image for testing purposes for me. You are
judging the Photoshop skill of an individual and not IQ.

Not if you apply exactly the same workflow to both images.

Rubbish. Post processing is done to disquise and/or fix the things that were broken during capture. Plain and simple.

The point is straight out of camera one lens may have slightly better
colors, contrast, etc.

That's right because one lens will be optically better than the other. If you adjust that in post on test shots, you are making the images appear to be equal when they actually are not. That will work for web sized and rez'ed images and those destined for small print but NOT those printed large enough the flaws can be seen. You are only fooling yourself.

I choose the Tamron 17-50 after finding several comparisons that
showed it was sharper than the Nikon. If people don't want to
believe what they read here they can do a bit of searching and see
the comparisons themselves.

I did that, probably much more extensively than you did, and came to a totally different conclusion. Doesn't make me the ultimate authority and, likewise, also doesn't make you the same. All it means is we formed our own opinions and they are decidedly different.

I also know a professional photographer
who uses the Tamron 17-50 and Sigma 50-150 2.8.

The highest paid pro in my area uses the 18-70 kit lens quite a bit on his D2Xs. Means precisely nothing in this conversation -- nothing.

Phil

Phil Youngblood Veteran Member • Posts: 9,541
Re: Reading Comprehension 101

David Banner wrote:

http://www.pbase.com/kocho/image/71267486/original

http://www.pbase.com/phil587/image/71251499/original

Two different locations and lighting conditions, so it's not a valid
test.

Why do I get the feeling you would come up with an excuse for every set showing the Nikkor to be the superior optic?

The lighting and location may have had an effect on the color but certainly had no effect on the contrast, resolution, and sharpness.

Photozone.de is down but people can look there for reviews.

What makes his opinion more valid? You do know "photozone" is just one guy that bought a software package and takes "test" shots around his house with borrowed lenses, don't you? It's fine with me if you want to trust his opinion but don't put him forward as some kind of lens guru.

Phil

Phil Youngblood Veteran Member • Posts: 9,541
Re: With all due respect

CCarroll wrote:

Phil Youngblood wrote:

BTW, any
"processing" eliminates an image for testing purposes for me. You are
judging the Photoshop skill of an individual and not IQ.

Phil

If all you are going to do is capture raw files and leave them in the
camera, a coke bottle will do for a lens. Absent processing, no
image can be judged.

I'm not real sure how to respond to a statement so far from reality. You appear to be trying an argument simply for argument's sake. I won't go there.

Phil

anotherMike Veteran Member • Posts: 9,534
Re: I prefer a volkswagen and a glass of nice wine..

Hey Keith,

With regards to the Tamron 28-75, I have no direct experience with it. The two folks I know who traded up to the Nikkor complained about three things:

a) inconsistent focus
b) CA issues near wide oen
c) rendering (subjective) wasn't anything near the nikkor.

They did say it was decently sharp.

Everyone has different tradeoffs in terms of where they place themselves on the quality/value/price grid - I'm obviously into max-image quality at any cost, so third party lenses for the most part are out of the question. Others may prefer a mix. I probably am a bit "strong" in my opinions on this topic because I, like Phil Youngblood mentioned, seem to see a bit of what he called "reverse lens snobbery" going on the forums the past few years and I'm likely reacting to it. To me, the last time I checked, this was the Nikon lens forum - not the Sigma, Tokina, or third party lens forum. I seem to feel, I guess, that it should be acceptable to want and strive to own Nikon glass, yet so many feel they should run off to third party glass first. I'll be brutally honest - the entire REASON I stuck with Nikon for 30 years is not because of the bodies - they come and go and at times Canons are more competitive - it's the glass. That's the whole reason I'm a Nikon shooter and not a Canon one - I do honestly think the glass is simply better, at least in the ranges I use. So for me to buy a 5 grand or even 2 grand Nikon body and then put some 2nd tier lens on it doesn't make sense.

But that's just me, and I admit I do tend towards having extreme opinions on this particular subject - no offense intended.

-m

OP Joseph Lab Regular Member • Posts: 197
Re: go 85 1.4/1.8 & tamron 17-50 and save your money

I agree that provided that you have enough space the the 85 f1.4 is incomparable for portraits. However you have neglected to look at my requirements. I want a lens that is very good at portraits and other shots without a lens change. The 85 is a very specialized lens, and yes I would love to have one but it is scarcely the last word in versatility.

The character of the 24-70 is I suspect very different from the 85, and of course the focal length is different, but it is a spectacularly good lens and produces a superb portrait. The 50 F1.4 produces a very good result for portraits and is a versatile inexpensive fast lens. Having said that I don't use the 50 that often. I suspect that the 24-70 has a level of performance not yet seen in a mid-range zoom before.

I know nothing about the Tamron, but I generally prefer not to buy third party lenses. Among the reasons for this are the lack of AFS, quality of construction, and lack of time - I cannot be bothered to evaluate third party lenses now. I find that generally the colour is better and more consistent across the Nikon range and the lenses are optimized for one mount.

Last but not least Nikon is one of the world's leaders in optical design, and although the third party manufacturers often produce a decent product at a reasonable price they are not really in the the same league nor do they have access to the same technology as Nikon.

One of the main reasons that I buy Nikon cameras is so that I can use Nikon lenses, and unless it is something that Nikon do not make it would be self-defeating to buy third party lenses unless I felt I must have a range/aperture that they do not make. However I would not wish to in any way impose my views on anybody else. If you are getting good results from the Tamron and have saved money that is great.

Best wishes

Joseph

David Banner wrote:

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.

Waldo_O Senior Member • Posts: 1,538
Re: go 85 1.4/1.8 & tamron 17-50 and save your money

Joseph,

Conrtrary to what many believe on this forum, 'most' people who recommend a 3rd party option are doing so as a suggestion on how to save money. When I bought a Tamron 28-75 did I think it was going to outperform the Nikon 28-70?
Nope. Was I surprised with the optical performance of the lens? I sure was.

Now that I have a 28-70 would I go back to the Tamron for important events? Nope. But are there still possible uses for the Tamron for me? Yes (if I can figure out what my AF issues are or eventually just MF the lens). Don't know if you've ever owned a lens the size of a 24-70 but the sheer size of it will have its disadvantages at times, you will see.

If you have the funds go for the 24-70, I'm sure you'll be delighted. And I myself would prefer it over the 17-55 just for that extra 15mm on the end, plus I'm guessing/hoping that it renders closer to the 28-70 which would be more to my tastes anyways.

And by the way I just found a NM 28-70 for around $900 - there is always that option for you to consider as well.

Keith

Waldo_O Senior Member • Posts: 1,538
Re: I prefer a volkswagen and a glass of nice wine..

I know where you're coming from Mike, believe me. I don't have alot of lens expertise, I just go by what my own eyes tell me. And they tell me that the 28-70 is one fine lens and is exactly what I was looking for. I think I knew it all along - but I had to have the right price staring at me.

And thanks for all your on input lenses by the way, I definitely was not disregarding what you have been saying about the 28-70.

Have fun with the 14-24 (and 24-70), I was expecting both of those to be very, very good and it sure sounds like they are.

Keith

OP Joseph Lab Regular Member • Posts: 197
Re: D3

Phil Youngblood wrote:

Ah, --OK. I'm sure they are fine for what you needed but probably not
for posting as a definitive set. Especially 10MB worth.

These images have not had that much inflluence on my decision.

Worse still I made my favourite mistake on the d70s - forgot to change the
ISO back down to 200 after attempting some available light shots, so
they are at 800. It is a mistake I keep making.

I do that ALL the time with my D70, even before I got my D200 and had
somewhat of an excuse for doing so. It's just maddening to get home
and upload a bunch of high ISO shots when it wasn't needed because
there is a decided difference in image quality. I did it on this last
wedding I shot, in a hurry and not paying attention -- drives me
crazy.

It certainly is, and always seems to happen when I think I have just taken some of my best shots.

Nonetheless, I do see differences between them at full size which are
in favour of the 24-70 and in line with what others have said about
that lens, such as another Mike and Bjorn etc.

I would hope so and expect that to be the case, especially since I am
planning to buy one. Apparently a whole different set of design
problems present themselves when the FL goes wider than 25MM, more so
if trying to bridge the gap from wide to normal. I am hoping the
24-70 is more like my 70-200 and less like my 17-55.

No explanation required because I am in heavy lust for a D3 myself.
It's those images! My, oh, my but they are NICE. The problem is only
going to get worse when the high IQ version of the D3 is released.
((sigh)) I think it a good idea to stay away from the DX lenses at
this point because there will be a less expensive FX Nikon at some
point. That's part of why I suggested you go with the 24-70 up-thread.

This hobby is getting rather expensive, huh!

It sure is. However if we look at designing a camera as a technical problem, the D3 "solves" that problem even though performance and price improvements will no doubt continue. I would argue that the problem is now solved. The technology seems now to be mature for the first time, and the camera will not date significantly for some time. If by the time the FX lite comes out I may have been through a couple of other bodies and not enjoying FX for two more years. Maybe cheaper to have D3 now.

I then had a another crazy thought. My D3 with the 24-70 on the D3 is a 24-105 F2.8 5 megapixels or better all the way. I don't need more than 5megapixels, look at the shots with the D2Hs with only four! My old 70-210 F4-F5.6 will be 70 ot 300. VR, who needs it at ISO 1600 (at least outdoors). Then there is my literally unused and excellent 28-85 f3.5-F4.5 zoom. My 50 f1.4 for the black cat in the coal cellar and at the "normal" focal length. The sensor is kinder to lenses than high density sensors.

Four things hold me back:

1. Size and wieght
2. cost

3. the excellence of the D300 at a very reasonable price. The high ISO performance of the D3 is spectacular considering the pixel density, and it has so much D3 technology built into it.

Question: I wonder how the noise performance of the 12 megapix D300 image will compare with the noise performance of the 5 megapix crop mode of the D300 when the images are viewed at the same size? I can't seem to get my head round that one, anyone out there know?

Best wishes

Joseph

OP Joseph Lab Regular Member • Posts: 197
Re: 35-105 classic range

The OP said he was amateur, and I think a professional nikon lens
such as 17-55 or 24-70 is probably overkill. They won't make anyone
a better photographer.

Being a good photographer is a personal skill. A lens is piece of equipement. The one thing clearly has nothing to do with the other. However, it does not follow that a very bad photographer (me lets say) would not want and benefit from using technically excellent equipment.

In fact the argument for the unskilled photographer having good euipment is perhaps stronger than it is for the skilled. At least the former' s images will be technically good (I assume here for the sake of argument that we are discussing people who can operate a camera).

Finally putting a 24-70 on a crop camera doesn't make sense. If it's
just for portraits then use a portrait lens such as 85mm or even
50-150.

I am not sure where you get the extraordinary notion that 36-105 on a crop camera does not make sense. It is the classic range of focal lengths that produces a natural perspective at a variety of subject distances. Go longer and compression is evident, go shorter and you have to be careful unless you want a wide-angle effect. I see more gimmicky bad pictures taken with wide angle lenses than with any other.

I had a girl friend who was and is a top street photographer and who attended one of the best photographic schools in the USA. For much of the time they would not allow students to use anything but 35, 50 and 105 or 90 if they were using Leicas.

Most of my worst pictures, particularly of people and groups of people are taken in the 17-20 range (DX) because I am too lazy to stand back and go out to at least 20mm and better 24mm. I look forward to the 24-70 preventing me from doing that.

Best wishes

Joseph

OP Joseph Lab Regular Member • Posts: 197
Re: I prefer a volkswagen and a glass of nice wine..

anotherMike wrote:

Honestly - I still tell beginners that investing in the best glass
possible is the most sensible approach - besides giving the best
image quality, it also tends to last longer and hold it's resale
value.

I completely agree. It is easy for most people to see the differences between the pro Nikon lenses and other Nikons on a 14" laptop. If you can't, then surely they may not be worth bothering with image quality wise. However most people can see these differences, it is not just lens snobbery. However resale, mode of operation and longevity are all in favour of the Nikon lenses.

As for the 24-70 - just because it's not a lens for YOU on a DX frame
doesn't mean it's not for someone else. I get somewhat tired of
people trying to dictate what lenses are good for people - whether
one uses a DX or FX frame is irrelevant if the focal length range
works for THEM. I own a 24-70 too, and it's likely going to be one of
my most used lenses on a DX frame camera. I also own a 14-24, which
of course is supposed to be "wasted" on a DX, and it's fits
perfectly into my lens collection, even on a DX frame, for what I
need.

For many people the range offered by the 24-70 will be more useful on DX than on FX - I am probably one of them.

Joseph

sjackson462000 Regular Member • Posts: 447
Posting of Photos for Joseph

Joseph mentioned he didn't have a way to post pictures, yet. So I volunteered to post a couple for him.

I apologize because I don't know how he would like them labeled and how large he would like. But here goes....

the 24-70 at ISO 800

another one

The last two are the 17-55 at ISO 800

-- hide signature --

ssjackson

OP Joseph Lab Regular Member • Posts: 197
Re: Posting of Photos for Joseph

Thank you very much Steven. I think the size you have chosen is a good tradeoff between visibility and size. 10 meg would be too big for this kind of self-loading link.

The differences between the images can be seen even here, but they are more visible in the full size images. Whether these differences are attributable to the lenses, I will leave it to wise forum members to decide!

In my view at least some of the observable differences between the images are the result of lens differences. They are more clearly evident in the D300 shots taken at the same time which unfotunately I do not have.

anotherMike has used the term rendering. For want of a more appropriate term, it is this that is superior on the new lens. This is a bit like trying to talk about wine!

All the shots were taken at max focal length and max aperture on the two lenses. I tried to replicate the framing. Unfortuantely ISO 800 (forgot to reduce ISO after attempted available light shots). Built in flash with D70s.

I hope that these are of some interest, and a big thank you again to Steven.

Best wishes

Joseph

sjackson462000 Regular Member • Posts: 447
Re: Posting of Photos for Joseph

If you wish I will link to the full images.
--
ssjackson

OP Joseph Lab Regular Member • Posts: 197
Re: Posting of Photos for Joseph

If you think it would be helpful to people, please feel free! Perhaps you should post a size warning if you do. What is your opinion? Do you think the full size images tell us more? My view is yes they do.

I will be offline until tomorrow now. To me a portrait like this is a far more interesting test of a lens than a brick wall with corners viewed at 100 percent Who does that? Lots of people take shots like these informal potraits, and it is for this that I am looking for a lens.

Joseph

sjackson462000 wrote:

If you wish I will link to the full images.
--
ssjackson

Phil Youngblood Veteran Member • Posts: 9,541
Re: Posting of Photos for Joseph

Joseph Lab wrote:

The differences between the images can be seen even here, but they
are more visible in the full size images. Whether these differences
are attributable to the lenses, I will leave it to wise forum members
to decide!

The color rendering of the newer glass appears a little warmer (which is a good thing on people shots) but I see little else to choose from in this size image.

Phil

sjackson462000 Regular Member • Posts: 447
Links to full images

This is a link where you can see the full size images.

It's a smugmug account, so pick your image and your size.
http://www.ssj.smugmug.com/gallery/4151818#242339731

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ssjackson

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