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17-35mm f2.8 vs. 17-55mm f2.8 DX

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Jeff Fillmore, Jul 17, 2007.

  1. I am starting to think about something to compliment my 28-70/2.8 on the wide end- would like to hear some opinions on the 17-35mm f2.8 vs. 17-55mm f2.8 DX.

    Is the 17-35 worth the extra $300 or so?

  2. The last time this particular comparison came up the debate went back and forth with proponents from both sides presenting good points on the value of either lens. Most people will agree that the 17-35 is a better landscape lens.
    One thing to keep in mind, and the reason it’s more expensive, is the 17-35 can be used on cameras with full frame sensors; more glass = more cost.
  3. Here is a similar thread

    And another here
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  4. Jonathan P.

    Jonathan P.

    Jul 10, 2007
    I had both.

    The 17-55mm f/2.8 is obviously sharper wide open. It is slightly smaller than the 17-35mm f/2.8, but the massive lens hood makes it appear larger. The 17-55mm f/2.8 flares more easily than the 17-35mm f/2.8, though neither are completely free from it, and the 17-55 isn't as bad as some people imply.

    Some people say that the 17-35 has better micro-contrast, and thus preserves more detail in distant objects. Personally, between my 17-55 and 17-35, I couldn't tell any difference.

    I shoot more photojournalism-type stuff than landscapes, and wide-open sharpness was a big deal to me, so I sold the 17-35mm f/2.8. While the 17-35 is a nice lens, I don't think its limited reach makes a lot of sense on a DX sensor. On film or a full-frame camera, it would still make a lot of sense, since it would be extremely wide (rather than only moderately wide like on DX). The countless tales of woe I've heard regarding the 17-35's AF-S motor also made me reluctant to keep the lens.

    Decide what you want to shoot. If photojournalism with a DX camera is your style, get the 17-55mm, and if you can afford it also buy the 12-24mm for the occasional landscape or funky portrait. If you still shoot with film or have deep pockets and will buy Nikon's rumored full-frame digital SLR, then the 17-35mm is probably a good choice.
  5. Hi Jeff

    as others said, I too would think of the 12-24 to pair with the 28-70... 17-35 or 17-55 would be an expensive overlap of two great lenses.. If you have had (like me) a Tamron 28-75 (not expensive at all), I'd have paired (as I did) with the 17-35 (also because I still shoot on film) but by the time I realized (and changed my opinion) that the 17-55 could be more useful than the 28-70.
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