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I really need your help--24-70 vs. 17-35!

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by A.O.M.E., Aug 8, 2009.

  1. A.O.M.E.


    Feb 1, 2009
    So, I'm anticipating buying a full-frame camera next year sometime. Instead of having mediocre glass (or not enough FX glass) before I get it I'm going to prepare. My dilemma is between the Nikon 17-35, Nikon 24-70 and new Sigma 24-70 HSM.

    The 24-70 lenses really appeal to me because they're basically the perfect range on FX, they're both brilliant quality and I just can't imagine wanting anything else for walking around. The Nikon 24-70, which I have handled (and even put on the D40 and walked around with that! :smile:) , is a gorgeous lens and it really feels like a tank but I'm worried about its size. D700/24-70 owners, do you feel like it's a burden to carry around everywhere?

    That's what brings me to the Sigma. From what I've read it's nearly on par with the Nikon, and not only is it less expensive (which isn't a huge issue), but it's about half the size! Its size is the biggest factor for my lust. I'm sure I would get looked down upon by some other Nikon shooters for using a nice Sigma lens on a D700 but when it fits my needs I really don't care.

    Finally, there's the 17-35. This is the range that makes the most sense for when I'll be using it with the D40. On top of that 17mm is super fun on full frame, and I could just buy a 50/1.4 for the middle (I'll also have a 70-300 VR) and have everything covered.

    Thoughts? Should I cover the range nice and tight with a 24-70/70-300, and if so, which one? Or should I be a bit more daring and do the 17-35/50/70-300 combo? The 17-35's size isn't as much of an issue as the Nikon 24-70's which is a nice advantage.
  2. jonh68


    Sep 21, 2008
    You are going to get a wide range of opinions on this one. My thoughts are a 50mm prime will be better than a 24-70. I have found that range is best for portraits. I have found the 24-70 shots I have seen in regards to walking around are boring. Yes, the images are sharp but I just don't care for that zoom range unless its portraits, which again a 50 mm would be better.

    I have a D700 and 17-35 and I have found I take more pics with that combo than any other. I also have a 70-300 and 70-200, and I am at either using the wide angle, or zooming at the long end on the other lenses. Rarely do I need something in the gap.

    Until Nikon makes an update to the 28-200 for FX, I am really pleased with using the 17-35 and 70-300 as a combo. I just find I really like the wide angle and find the midrange zoom just doesn't do anything for me.

    The best thing to do is examine what range you shoot most with your 18-135 the most. If you are midrange with it, you will get a lot of use out of it. However, with the D700, I think the 17-35 will open up a whole new way of framing photos and that is the lens I would get as getting a midrange will not take as much advantage of the FF.

    Heck, the 17-35 and your 50 mm would be a great walk around combo.
  3. A.O.M.E.


    Feb 1, 2009
    Jon... I'm going with you right now on this one. In fact my 18-135 got stolen so I'm back to using the 18-55 that the D40 came with (although I don't really use it at all--the 35/1.8 is stuck on my camera). Enjoying the 35/1.8 so much leads me to believe that I'd like the 50/1.4 just as much if not more on a full-frame body. I have read about a lot of people not "loving" mid-range zooms, they do what they're supposed to but they're not much fun.

    I agree re the 17-35 changing my way of thinking... I'm sure I'll love it even on the D40. Thanks for your input, and still I'm completely open to other suggestions.
  4. LSSE

    LSSE Guest

    I use a dedicated wide for landscapes and I just let the 50mm take care of the middle. However I do miss the zoom flexibility for composing quickly on the 50mm.
  5. Tom Larsen

    Tom Larsen

    Jan 18, 2008
    I have the 17-35 and 24-70 Nikons on the D700. The 24-70 is my default lens. It is big and heavy, but by know I don't give that a second thought. On full frame I find 35 mm too short for my needs as a walk around lens. I use the 17-35 when I know I will need wide, and I am very happy with the quality of the shots I get with it. It is a little lighter and shorter than the 24-70, but it is not something you would consider light weight. What makes the 24-70 look so big is the lens hood, it is huge, and much much bigger than the hood on the 17-35. Keep in mind the 24 on full frame gives you the same field of view you have with at 18 mm with the 18-135 on the D40.

    If I had to pick just one it would be the 24-70.

    I can post some photos of the two on the D700, if you want to see the difference in size.
  6. PedroS


    May 4, 2008
    Having used the three lenses, it could be hard to choose, but just between the two Nikkors.
    Even if the Sigma could have some good reports, my experience tells me differently. It's just not on par against the Nikkor 24-70

    IQ from booth 17-35 and 24-70 Nikkors are more or less the same (for me the 24-70 is the better one).

    I believe the 24-70 will suit you the best. And no, it's not a burden to carry.
  7. A.O.M.E.


    Feb 1, 2009
    I'd love to see the difference, thanks. I've actually used the D700/24-70 and while it was heavy I don't think I'd mind it that much. It's definitely not much compared to a friend who uses a 1D and 70-200 f4 routinely.
  8. Rob T

    Rob T

    Aug 27, 2008
    The 24-70 on my D700 is my "go to" lens. It's a great lens that I can't imagine doing without. It was the only lens that I used on our recent vacation to Vegas.
  9. Masa


    Feb 27, 2006
    San Jose, CA
    My 17-35 was my main lens with the DX. With the FX, I take the 24-70, when I can carry only one lens. I got used to the weight of the combo.

    I don't use the 17-35 that much anymore.
  10. I am in search of a 24-70/2.8, but I would also like having the 17-35/2.8. :smile:

    Of course, I would also like having the 17-35 for the price they were selling for in the fall of 2008. :frown:
  11. Doug


    Jan 17, 2006
    East TN
    I have the 17-35, 24-70, 28-70. to me, the 17-35 is almost the optimal size for a zoom, balances really well on all bodies the size of D700 or larger. 24mm may not be wide enough for DX, as far as D40, but 17-35 is a fairly restrictive range, mostly suitable for landscapes and architecture. and interior shots. So, it's all a tradeoff, as to what is best.

  12. Julien


    Jul 28, 2006
    Paris, France
    I for one didn't think twice about it and went for a 17-35. I've never felt the need for a 24-70 (even though I used a 17-55 on DX before going FX). Guess I just like working close.

  13. I would go for the 17-35mm. I had the 24-70mm and a walkaround lens it's not, that's unless you like having a brick hanging from your neck. I really like the older 28-105mm for a mid-zoom walkaround lens. It's compact and light and has a nice 1:2 micro mode if you need it. So a 17-35mm, 50mm and 70-300mm would be a great FX kit.
  14. A.O.M.E.


    Feb 1, 2009
    Thanks, David... my mind is set. That's exactly what I'm going with. And in fact I was already thinking about a 28-105 to have for light traveling (although since the 17-35 is probably Nikon's smallest current pro zoom I'd want to bring it on vacations anyway).
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