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17-55 2.8 vs 24-70 2.8

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Jaytron, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. Jaytron


    Mar 22, 2009
    San Jose, CA
    Ohhhh man, I swear the more I hang out here the harder decisions seem to get. I was pretty much dead set on getting the 17-55 2.8 Nikkor for my D300 when it comes in (after a 50 1.8 to hold me over as a portrait lens) but now I'm debating on the 17-55 and the 24-70. While the 24-70 is more expensive, is it also sharper? The reason I've considered the 24-70 is, I may move on to FX in a few years (who knows, but it's nice to be prepared). I figured since I want the 11-16 2.8 anyways the loss of the 17-23 won't be such a big deal.

    Either way, what do you think? What would you do in the same situation?
  2. I actually (like in the past hour) went through that very decision. I picked up an almost brand-new 17-55 2.8 for my D90 for $900 (through Craigslist). I've only shot about 10 shots with it so far but I'm really happy with the decision. I may someday move to FX but for the time being it'll cover the similar range to the 24-70 due to the crop factor and it was about 1k less in price. Plus, I should be able to recover most of the investment should I ever want to sell it.

    Good luck with your decision, I feel your pain!
  3. Average Joe

    Average Joe

    May 19, 2009
    try to set any of your zooms to 24mm , see if its wide enough for you :) 
  4. Jaytron


    Mar 22, 2009
    San Jose, CA
    Thanks for the input Rob! Yeah, the 17-55 is considerably cheaper. I may as well go that route for now. It doesn't look like DX will get phased out any time soon
  5. The 17-55 is a perfect match for the D300.

    With that said, the 24-70 is a perfect match for the D700 (or D3).

    I enjoyed the 17-55 with my D80/D300. Once I converted to full frame, I sold the 17-55 and purchased the 24-70.

    If I was still shooting DX, I would have never sold the 17-55. It's an awesome lens!

  6. Thorsten

    Thorsten Moderator Moderator

    You ought to buy the lens that works best for you now. And then when you move to FX in a few years as you indicated, there may well be a Nikon 22-80/2.8 VR lens that you will want. I had both lenses at some point, and on DX the differences at the shared focal length were very small, but the difference between 17mm and 24mm is very significant.
  7. How do you find the range of the 18-55 you currently own for the type of photography you do? Just right? Too short?

    Just right = 17-55
    Too short = 24-70
  8. Jaytron


    Mar 22, 2009
    San Jose, CA
    Thanks for the advice Glenn

    Ah, another good point Tom. There may be a new lens by the time I move to FX.
  9. SP77


    Jun 4, 2007
    Rockville, MD
    Buy a 17-55 used and when you switch to FX you'll be able to sell it for the same price you got it for and will have half of your 24-70 paid for.

    28-70 on DX just isn't wide enough for me.

    24-70 I think I'd actually like a lot on DX or FX, but it's 50% more than the 17-55 is.

    Don't think there's any huge difference in sharpness between the two lenses.
  10. I'm glad you put this post up OP. I hadn't thought that Nikon might introduce a replacement for the 24-70 by the time I will be ready to move to FX (which will, most likely, be in > 2 years). Another reason why I'm glad I picked up the 17-55 today! I feel fairly confident that for $900 I won't lose too much when I go to sell the lens. For now it will be well used on my D90.

    Thanks everyone!
  11. MMPG1


    May 10, 2009
    Hi Jay,
    I had the 17-55 when using a dx camera. But I sold it for a 24-70, which I used for a short time on a D300 before I switched to a D700. In my eyes, the 24-70 is a bit sharper than the 17-55, but that may also be a matter of sample variation. Just try out which focal length is best for you (will the 24-70 provide enough wide angle on a dx camera?). If you don`t intend to switch to fx in the near future, nothing speaks against a 17-55. But be aware of second hand lenses of the 17-55, because with this lens there is sample variation. So better buy it from a shop where you can give it back if you are not satisfied. I hope I could help a bit.
  12. 24 is too narrow for dx but perfect for fx
    get the 17-55
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 9, 2009
  13. Randy, I think you mean "too narrow" right? ;P

    Anyhow, it's a very personal choice because it really boils down to whether 24mm if wide enough on DX. For me, it isn't, and even though I have access to wider lenses, it is still a bit of a hassle to change lenses frequently, especially when it is very humid outdoors or raining. It's just a shame the 17-55 doesn't have the same stunning performance of the 24-70. It would be nice for Nikon to refresh the 17-55 with the latest coatings and improve flare/ghosting resistance.

  14. fixed...thx
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