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I am buying a 17-55 today....but i'm having second thoughts.

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by bradystrib, May 8, 2007.

  1. bradystrib

    bradystrib Guest

    I found one in stock at a local camera store. I am going after work to get it...i think. I am unsure if I should get the mystical "beast" instead. I mostly shoot automotive stills/action shots and some people and a few weddings. I think the 17-28 is a more significant gap in than the 55-70 gap, but i'm just scared the the 55 isn't long enough!!!!! AHHH!!! I have to hurry and make up my mind! People hype up the 28-70 so much, but i have yet to find a bad review of the 17-55 other than the "great" Ken Rockwell who suggested the 18-70 over the 17-55:rolleyes:  Well, bah...

    Can anyone offer any help?!? please:confused: 
  2. The most significant difference is their focal length ranges, Brady. Analyze your favorite shots from your 18-70DX. If there are more clustered at the 18-28mm end than at the 55-70 lens, you'll have your answer.

    Btw, I often shoot with a 3 lens kit consisting of a 20mm, 60mm, and 180mm primes, and would like to assure you that the "gaps" between 17-28 and 55-70 are insignificant.
  3. bradystrib

    bradystrib Guest

    oh how wonderful! haha thanks.

    yeah, i'm pretty sure i'm sticking with my gut feeling and going with the 17-55.

    I ran a plot from most of my car feature shoot and most are between 18-60 (83% of them).
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  4. Dave


    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA
    The way I see it is that if you have the 17-55 you can always step closer to your subject to decrease the difference between 55 and 70mm. However, sometimes it's hard to be able to back up to move between 28 and 17mm.

    That's my opinion, and the reason I'll be getting either the 17-55 or the 17-35, depending on which one I like better.
  5. I went with the 17-55 and have not regretted it since.

    Fantastic lens and slightly lighter than the beast.
  6. There are perspective issues that shouldn't be disregarded. Actually, you'd be better off holding your distance and cropping in post processing. But we're leaving out one important issue. The 28-70 renders images differently that the 17-55, even in their overlapping ranges. Imho, the 28-70 is the better lens for people pics.
  7. Brent M

    Brent M

    Aug 13, 2006
    Like a lot of others around here, I'm also trying to make up my mind about this. I too have an 18-70 and have tried looking at what range I use most with that lens to try and help me make my decision.

    The problem is that it depends entirely on what I'm pointing the lens at. With people, I'm in that 55-70 range a lot. Pretty much anything else and I spend more time at less than 28 than above it. Also the 17-55 pairs much better with my Sigma 10-20 which I like very much. *sigh*

    I think I'm going to end up getting the 17-55 and the 35-70 as a compromise, and pack whichever one will be more useful to me depending on the situation.
  8. bradystrib

    bradystrib Guest

    bah...browsing through pbase they both appear to EXCELLENT lenses..... hrm 17-55 will be better for feature shots of cars though, atleast methinks.
  9. Doug


    Jan 17, 2006
    East TN
    but don't you need to stop the beast down a bit to get it's best? For weddings inside, that would seem not the best combination. 17-55 does better in low lighting I think. But then I have seen for example Frank's 28-70 people pics, ,very nice.

    The answer is "inconclusive data results" says buy both.
  10. I think in the hand of good photographer, both of them shine. 17-55 covers the range I shoot most. Wide open shots are very sharp and great colors. It depends which range is convenient for one.
  11. jaymc

    jaymc Guest

    Agree here, also it's better to hold your position when at places like the Grand Canyon or Niagra Falls!

    - Jay :biggrin:

  12. I felt the same way and bought both. I tend to use the 17-55 more indoors or if I want to shoot lanscapes and don't want to bring along the 12-24. I also agree with Uncle Frank, the Beast is better for people but that's a very subjective statement. They are both great lenses and you can't go wrong with either. You can buy and then sell so you get to try both.
  13. jaleel


    Apr 3, 2007
    Toronto, Canada
    ditto .. it means you have to get both :biggrin:
  14. Doug


    Jan 17, 2006
    East TN
    I did, then sold my Beast, then bought another back... I'm so fickled when it comes to keeping lenses. I'm already fighting internal questions if I did the right thing with a recent trade. oh the pain...

    But the 17-55 is a great outdoor performer as well as indoor, but it is lower noise for wide open I think, but stopped down the beast will be awesome on anything with chrome. I really don't think there is a magic yes or no that is right.
  15. Gr8Tr1x

    Gr8Tr1x Guest

    The difference from 17 -28 is much more significant than from 55-70mm...

    I have the 17-55mm, and I find it easier to crop a little if I need to.

    There is little difference at the long end when you consider Picture Angle. The 17-55mm has a PA of roughly 28 degrees at 55mm, while the 28-70mm has a PA of roughly 22 degrees at 70mm.

    At the wide end, its more significant, the 17-55mm has a PA of roughly 79 degrees and the 28-70mm's is 53 degrees.

    So the smaller gap in focal length at the wide end translates into a wider margin than most people consider. As you go wider, the MM's really increase the Picture Angle at an increased rate, but on the long end, not so much.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2007
  16. The eternal question! Will it ever have a definitive answer? Nope -- not as long as there are different people shooting different things.

    A couple points:

    The difference 55 to 70 is very small indeed unless you are shooting waist up people shots, mostly head and shoulders stuff.

    The difference 28 to 17 is HUGE. If the perfect framing is at 20 feet and 17MM, you would have to be at 33 feet to get the same frame at 28MM. Check my car shots in this thread -- all except two are wider than 28MM.


    I have now shot 5 weddings and/or receptions. More than 60% of my images are wider than 28MM.

    The 28-70 is a far better "people" lens for the up close and personal type shots, i.e. head and shoulders portraits to waist up shots. The 17-55 might give your subject the big nose on close shots if you are not careful. The 17-55 is better for -- well, everything else.

    They are both great lenses and your decision should be need/style based. Want to do a lot of close people work -- the 28-70 is your tool. Want to do more "event" type work under most any lighting condition -- the 17-55 is your tool. Whichever you get, you will most certainly need another lens for full coverage. That said, I think it is much easier to get along without something longer if you have the 17-55 than it is to get along without something shorter if you have the 28-70. In other words, the 17-55 is the better "general purpose" lens -- depending on style and needs, of course.

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  17. Doug


    Jan 17, 2006
    East TN
    Well, said Phil.
  18. Thanks, Doug. If you want something over-analyzed, I'm your man -- and I have analyzed these two lenses more than others. Going in my choice was the 28-70 after studying all available -- several times -- and I always came back to the 28-70. Then I promptly ordered the 17-55. :biggrin:

    There is no doubt I want and will own a 28-70 at some point in the future. There is also no doubt the 17-55 has kept me from *having* to buy the 28-70 for over 3 years now. If the truth be known, I need something wider more so than longer. The 17-55 just "fits" me.

  19. ShadowForce


    Mar 26, 2006
    Dayton, OH
    I have the 17-55 and have long wondered whether or not I made the right choice between that lens and the 28-70. Having read this thread, I don't think there is a "right" choice. Just depends on your style. I shoot a lot of landscapes, etc. so the 17-55 just works.

    As far as people closeups go, I have the 85 1.4 as well. What are your thoughts concerning the 85 1.4 vs. the 28-70? Is there a place in my kit for the 28-70 still?

  20. PhilY is a champion for the 17-55. He complements it with an 85/14.

    I'm a champion for the 28-70. I complement it with an 85/1.4.

    No matter what lenses you own, the Cream Machine is a good idea.

    Personally, I don't think anyone "needs" two heavy, expensive, midrange zoom lenses. But if you feel the urge to add longer midrange glass, the 35-70/2.8 would make more sense than the Beast.

    The 17-55 and 85/1.4 are a dream team. You wouldn't improve your capabilities much by adding the 28-70 or 35-70. Jmho.
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