17-55DX or 28-70?

Joined
Aug 6, 2006
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OK here's the thing

I just purchased a 70-200VR as an extension of my lens "collection" of one :tongue:
I'm facing my next dilemma, I lust for replacement of my 18-70 for a better lens.
I noticed by reading signatures here, a lot of people have the 17-55DX and they are very happy about it to say the least.
I also see a lot of people almost worshiping the Beast.
Reading tests on the net both lenses are amazing. I understand what I loose and gain with the focal range for both lenses.

So my question is what to go for.
What do I shoot? Mostly family, kids, pets, travel.
Am I lusting a FF camera in the future? No, when it comes out it's going to be way to expensive for me.
 
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Patriots' Country (missing San Diego)
Here's a biased opinion...17-55mm. I own it and love it, sharpest zoom lens I've ever owned, rivals my primes

I've never used the beast, but if you have the money, my only advise would be to rent these lenses and see which works best for you.
 
G

Gr8Tr1x

Guest
In my opinion, its easier to crop a 55mm image down to an effective 70mm focal length in PS. Not so easy to back up to 17mm from 28mm, especially if you're backs to a wall or you cant go anywhere. I really like my 17-55mm.
 
Joined
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Marietta, Georgia USA
I struggled with the same dilemma for some time. I finally settled on both.
For me the 17-55 is a great general purpose lens and it is also my only wide option lens. The 28-70 is the lens I have mounted for portraiture type shots but I recently picked up a 85.1.4 which will most likely take the 28-70's place in that area for the immediate future.

I have a lot of overlap in the lens kit but I can't bear to part with anything that I have acquired.
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2005
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Kentucky
Have and love both. Use the 17-55 much more often (travel). Straight out of the camera, no sharpening added, indoors with SB-400 flash:

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Outdoors, straight out of the camera:
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Joined
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Thanks for all the replies so far. Is there a quality difference, lens wise, pictures taken between the two?

In my opinion, its easier to crop a 55mm image down to an effective 70mm focal length in PS. Not so easy to back up to 17mm from 28mm, especially if you're backs to a wall or you cant go anywhere. I really like my 17-55mm.
That's a good point.

if you run http://www.cpr.demon.nl/prog_plotf.html on your images it'll tell you which focal lengths you generally use
I believe it doesn't support DNG or NEF.
 
Joined
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I went through the same decision and bought the 17-55 because I sometimes shoot large groups of people. The 12-24 f/4 @12mm tends to make people toward the sides look larger. The effect is less @17mm.

The last large group was 38, shot inside a house, very challenging.
Normal groups for me are about 20.

17-55 is also a great wedding lens.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2006
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Have and love both. Use the 17-55 much more often (travel). Straight out of the camera, no sharpening added, indoors with SB-400 flash:

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The SB-400 evenly lit that area at 17mm?

DAB
 
Joined
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William Beem
I just went through this decision, comparing both lenses you mention and the Tamron 15-50. All are sharp. Both the Tamron and the 17-55mm are much more portable. However, I bought the Beast.

I took my D200 to a camera store and put all three on, fired some test shots of the same subject at different lengths, and then went home to look at it. In my opinion, the 28-70mm fared better.

However, the focal length is something else to keep in mind. I have the lower range covered with my Tokina 12-24mm, the 18-70mm, and the 18-200mm VR. They aren't fast, but they cover the range. My concern was more toward the other end, anyway. If the wide range is an issue for you, the 17-55 is your better choice.

Also, do you mind lugging around the bigger lens? I've learned why they call it the Beast. It arrived the same day as my 70-200 VR, so my bag is now MUCH heavier.
 
Joined
May 1, 2005
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East Lansing, MI
I debate this daily. I have both the 12-24 and 28-70 and the 28-70 is GREAT for events, where you're shooting groups of 4 or less (grin and go's) as well as standarad portraits, and it's my favorite lens in the studio. That being said...I'm leaning towards replacing it with the 17-55 (or getting one in addition) as a walk around lens - landscape, travel, simple portraits, pets. I find the 28-70 is perfect for small breed dogs, but for larger dogs the 17-55 is probably better suited.

If you have the 18-70 now you will definately miss the WIDE end more than the LONG end especially if you have the 70-200VR.

Good luck!
 
Joined
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For what you shoot, I'd say the Beast for sure - it's a bit biased too because I own one. I've used the 17-55 and loved it, but the Beast was my choice after some thought. I sold my 18-70, I now own the Sigma 18-50 2.8 which I was going to sell too, but decided to keep it just in case I needed something wider than 28mm...
 
Joined
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The SB-400 evenly lit that area at 17mm?

DAB
Good eye! I used the SB-400 for fill-in and glint catching. This image taken in Wynn Casino in the bar. Behind the bar is a floor to ceiling window that evenly illuminates the scene! 17-55 used for capture.
 
Joined
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Good eye! I used the SB-400 for fill-in and glint catching. This image taken in Wynn Casino in the bar. Behind the bar is a floor to ceiling window that evenly illuminates the scene! 17-55 used for capture.
John, quick question..
When using the Sb400 for fill-in flash are you adjusting the +- camera ev settings? Also do you leave the flash head pointed straight ahead?

I like the result of your image using the 17-55 & SB400 BTW.
 
Joined
Aug 6, 2006
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NJ, USA
Thanks again for giving your thoughts people. I have seen some really good advice for both options.
This is why I love this forum, it's not just "buy X because it's better". There is actually really good advice.
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2005
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John, quick question..
When using the Sb400 for fill-in flash are you adjusting the +- camera ev settings? Also do you leave the flash head pointed straight ahead?

I like the result of your image using the 17-55 & SB400 BTW.
I generally do a test shot, examine the results, then make changes if necessary. The exception is at a place such as a Casino where a flash is not welcome. There you have one shot!

I carry a loupe around my neck and study the LCD (particularly useful in bright sunlight, as the loupe blocks sun from the LCD), and add or subtract if necessary.
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2006
Messages
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Location
Marietta, Georgia USA
I generally do a test shot, examine the results, then make changes if necessary. The exception is at a place such as a Casino where a flash is not welcome. There you have one shot!

I carry a loupe around my neck and study the LCD (particularly useful in bright sunlight, as the loupe blocks sun from the LCD), and add or subtract if necessary.
Thanks John..

The loupe is a clever Idea..especially for someone like me with tired old eyes.
 

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