1. Welcome to NikonCafe.com—a friendly Nikon camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

Figuring the FX/DX crossover kit...*new option*

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Jonathan F/2, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. So I'm currently looking at two options for the FX/DX kit. I'm keeping both until a 24mp sensor is under 2k, but for now I need to keep both options! Here's what I'm looking at:

    Option 1:
    17-35 AFS (don't own) and 24-120 VR (own)
    Pros: 17-35 gives me a 2.8 wide angle zoom on FX and a wide to standard on DX. 17-35 will see more use on DX due to work needs.
    Cons: No 2.8 coverage from 35 to 70 (not my most used focal lengths either and have a 70-200 VR)

    Option 2:
    Tamron 17-35 (don't own) and 28-70 (don't own)
    Pros: Tamron is cheap and sharp for price, will not break bank on the wide end. Will have 2.8 coverage from 28 to 70.
    Cons: Tamron is a non AFS lens that will potentially have more use in DX. 28-70 will see less work due to crop factor, but will allow me to have standard 2.8 up to 70. Tamron is not constant 2.8 on wide end.

    Option 3:
    Just get a Tamron 17-35 2.8-4 or Nikon 18-35 3.5-4.5
    Pros: Covers my wide end needs, won't break the bank. Will have an ultra wide zoom on FX, standard zoom on DX. Save a boat load of money.
    Cons: Won't have constant 2.8 from 17mm to 70mm. Can compensate with picking up a 50mm 1.4 and have a low light lens.

    Different opinions welcome. Leaning towards option 1 due to practical needs, but the chance to own the 28-70 is tempting since I've never owned that fine lens! And I was never a 17-35 fan. Both options will cover my needs, but leave a weakness of sort. Ideally if Nikon released a 17-40 f/4 FX I"d be satisfied. Also can't afford the 14-24/24-70 (though I'd opt for this and dump my fisheye) so don't mention it!
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 23, 2008
  2. Cons: Tamron is a non AFS lens - the Tammy focuses quicker than you can read the Q in "quicker" so this isn't really a con. Its just fast, accurate and quick.

    Unless you need MTMF in AF-S, I wouldn't worry about AF-S in a wide angle.
  3. Be sure to look at the Nikkor 24-85 2.8-4. I've owned the 24-70 2.8 and find the 24-85 a perfect step down lens (1/3 the price 80% performance). It's only slightly less sharp. Corners are a bit mushy wide open but I'm not so sure the 24-70 is brilliant @ 24 f2.8 either. AF is quick and accurate (not AFS lens but the focus ring throw is so short I'm not sure it matters).

    I have owned both the Nikon and Tamron 17-35 (had tamron when I shot canon). Tamron was very impressive for the price and deserves your consideration.
  4. I have your number 1 option and it works pretty well for me, The I also have the 24-85mm G, and I'm not as impressed as others are maybe my copy, a lot of CA .

    I also have an odd lens that I recommend you try, Nikon 35-135mm AF, surprisingly good sharpness wide open at F3.5, good news is that it costs only $100-$150 used...
  5. Andreas,

    Not sure if you're responding to my post since no one else mentioned a 24-85 but I don't have the G model (3.5-4.5). I have the 2.8-4 - very different lens.

  6. Hi Joe,

    Totally agree, I really like the 24-85 AF-D, but I came across a 24-120 VR which was well priced and couldn't pass up (I really think this lens gets a bad rap BTW, corners suck, but I don't really do landscape). I do need the 17mm for my job. I do low light work and would like the constant 2.8. What keeps attracting me to the Tamron is it's price and value. Everything I've seen looks great and while I loose a constant 2.8, I have a D3 to compensate with 6400 ISO and when it's on the D2X it will be mostly used with flash at f/8. Save money and just get a Tamron and be done with it?
  7. Jonathan you are a working pro, using your gear nearly every single day. I really think you are going to be disappointed with any third party lens. I have had a few third party lenses fail. They just aren't built to handle the use and abuse of everyday usage by pros. If you don't mind replacing it in a year or two, then go for it, just be aware that it isn't going to last as long as a comparable Nikkor lens.
  8. I have that lens, and it was great for film. But when I tried it out on my D200, I had some really bad CA.

    I may have to revisit the lens and post some shots to get opinions.
  9. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Jonathan :

    Option 1, most definitely.

    The 24-120mm is a vastly underestimated lens, and with the ability to shoot cleanly at high ISO, it's a real contender in today's world. The 17-35mm has been getting a lot of criticism in comparison with the new 14-24mm, but let's be realistic here, this lens was considered the top o' the heap in WA zooms until last November, and it's surely not become an inferior piece of glass (note to self - need to have this lens in the bag more often).

    Shooting with a DX camera, I've gone on the road with the 12-24mm and 24-120mm for a reduced city kit on a number of occasions and not been disappointed for almost any daytime photography (throw in a good low light lens like the 50mm f/1.4 or the 85mm f/1.4, or, if you were paying attention to a great deal here on the Café this last week, the 28mm f/1.4, and you have a compact and highly capable kit).

    Now, you've mentioned the 28-70mm, which would steal a bit of the wide end, but give you the f/2.8 side. Consider also the 35-70mm f/2.8, which is darned close in IQ to the Beast, and then keep the 18-35mm for the occasional WA. I have an 18-35mm sitting around since I acquired the 17-35, and it's a darned capable lens, just not quite as sharp as its big brother and slower glass, but again, it can work well with the new high ISO capable cameras (another note to self - need to throw that lens in my bag sometime soon...). The combination of the 18-35mm and 35-70mm is certainly not a bank-breaker. Speaking frankly, I don't see you needing the WA as much as the mid-range, so this might well be a good compromise.

    John P.
  10. weiran


    Jan 2, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    Out of all three options, number two would give you the best optics and would be the one I'd go for if it's within my budget.
  11. Hi Jonathan,

    I was at the local shop yesterday and was comparing the 24-120 VR and 24-85D. The biggest draw for the 24-85 was the brighter view finder. When I put the 24-120 on the D3 at the shop it was like someone dimmed the lights. That's a key reason why I came home with the 24-85.

    I've owned 3 copies of the Tamron 28-75 (1 canon, 2 nikon) and all were very good which says alot about QC. I didn't like the AF noise (kind of squeaky) but it really didn't affect anything other than my perception of quality (the 24-85D is silent even though it's not AFS). It was not a fast focusing lens, however, and that is why I ultimately went with the canon 24-70L.

    Given your heavy pro usage I'd be inclined to grab a used Beast. It's really a bargain and I'm sure has the edge on the Tamron, at a minimum, in the area of AF speed.
  12. Definitely consider the 35-70/2.8. Very very sharp at most FLs and F/#'s. Just a tad soft at 70mm f/2.8, but nothing USM can't solve. I bought it as a stop-over lens on my way to the 24-70, but now I don't feel motivated to upgrade. I think I will look for a 17-35 instead.

  13. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005

    Craig :

    A couple of other handy attributes for the 35-70mm f/2.8 - it's built like a tank, truly, truly solid, and it has a handy macro feature. The latter's not incredible in terms of macro, but it does work passably well, which means that some limited macro work with the lens is possible without carrying yet another lens.

    The 18-35mm, BTW, is a pretty good alternative to the 17-35mm, especially given the price point on used models of each one.

    I shot with the 18-35mm lens for a long time, basically until I purchased the 12-24mm for my WA work on a DX body. Thom Hogan gave it a pretty solid rating (Thom's Take) a bit back, and I found he was a bit conservative on his ratings in terms of the crispness delivered. Certainly, when I was shooting "near-far" compositions with it stopped down, it was exceptionally sharp. I'm looking forward to testing it on a D700 sometime, actually...

    ... but I'm not planning to get one of those bodies quite yet ! :wink:

    John P.
  14. As I mentioned on here earlier, The 17mm wide is an absolute necessity. So anything longer than that, I cannot consider. I might just pony up for the Nikon 17-35 2.8, because I know I wouldn't have any doubts after that. I'm never buying lenses again, I'm tired of spending money on this junk! I use this stuff for work, but it seems all my money I earn goes back to equipment. I never spend my money on anything. If I didn't shoot for a living I'd just keep my D70 and a zoom and been done with it.
  15. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    LOL Jonathan ..i hear ya. just get the tammy 17-35 and be done with it. $289 at B&H
  16. I just ordered one from B&H because I just wasn't happy with the specs on the 18x35 Nikon and I sure don't use a wide angle enough to justify a 17x35 or 14x24 Nikon.

    We'll see how that dude works next weekend (if it gets here in time).
  17. Kap,

    Looking forward to seeing how it works out for you. About 6 times this trip, I have almost pulled the trigger on the Nikkor 17-35/2.8 here in Bangkok. I am hoping I can resist the temptation, or find an 18-35. BTW, what don't you like about the 18-35?

  18. OOOPS! MY fault...... :redface:

  19. I'm going to pick up an Nikon 18-35. It's going to be shot stopped down on a DX camera with flash and will use it on FX when I need to take the occasional wide-angle picture, I just can't justify spending on a lens that will see little use for it's intended purpose.

    I'm contemplating the 28-70 now though. With my wide angle covered with the 18-35, that now leaves me a chance to finally experience the 'Beast'! Have to think this one out. :smile:
  20. option 1, the most practical lineup of focal lengths and abilities, especially if you don't use the mid range much. and its an all AF-S lens set so you don't have to change your conops when you swap lenses.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.