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Poll - 17-55 v 28-70

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Riki, Jul 18, 2005.

  1. Riki


    May 7, 2005
    Warsaw, Poland
    You have a very important family gathering+barbecue +birthday party on the weekend. This is a occasion where there are no excuses for not having the right lens with you and if you blunder you will never hear the end of it.
    You are the official photographer and need to capture grandchildren and grandparents and group pictures and portraits and pictures which you would gift to the full family both indoors and in the garden
    You have to take just one lens with you and the choice is 17-55 or 28-70.
    Which one would you take ?

    (Sorry guys still trying to find out which one has the edge).
  2. I have had both, kept the 28-70. It is my most used lens. Better in low light. As long as your group pictures are not to big, then you may need the extra width afforded you with the 17-55. Have a good time.
    CS Dayan
  3. GeeJay


    Jan 26, 2005
    Hi Riki,

    If you can find it look up Greyflash's (Gordon) wedding pictures that he took at his granddaughter's wedding in Utah. He did them all with the 17-55 (I"m almost sure of that) and they may help you make up your mind... You can contact Gordon through the forum and ask him about it.

    Best to you,
  4. Riki


    May 7, 2005
    Warsaw, Poland
    Thanks Gaye, will check out Gordons pics.
  5. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL

    If you like the images taken using the 17-55mm...that's the one I would probably recommend. The 17mm is great for capturing those large family shots without standing in the neighbor's yard.
  6. Riki


    May 7, 2005
    Warsaw, Poland
    Well so far 2 each. No clear winner.
  7. mf44


    Jun 4, 2005
    NJ & MD
    I don't know if there is a clear winner. Both are exceptional and I think it just comes down to personal style and preference. I used to be more of a telephoto guy, and found myself at the longer end of my 18-70 and always pulling out the 70-200. For the heck of it, though, I decided to go with the 17-55 for a change of pace. Now I find myself shooting very wide quite often. If I were in your shoes, I'd see if I could borrow or rent both and just try them for a few days.

    As for the original post, I would take the 17-55. I find wide shots work for me because I feel they lend more context, even when trying to grab candids. You just need to be a little more conscious of whats behind, next to, near the main subject. If you work with the surroundings (film buffs will know it as mise-en-scene) I think you can add something to your photos that a tight shot might be missing, at least in my opinion. But most importantly, it's not my opinion, it's yours that matters. Just mess around and find what works for you. Unfortunately it sometimes is a case of trial and error...
  8. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Try it like this: You've got the same yard party to shoot, and the stakes are the same. However in our imagination, when you look in your bag, you find a 28-55mm f/2.8 lens. Now which other lens will you take, a 17mm f/2.8 or a 70mm f/2.8?

    I know which I'd choose, but what would work for you?
  9. but is the 17-55 guaranteed to work without focus problems for this situation :) 
    If yes, I'd pick 17-55 just barely
    if no, 28-70 without question.
  10. 17-55 is my vote.

    It seems that when out shooting I am wanting for the extra reach of the longer lens at the moment. however...
    ...I get home, review the shots and, most typically like the wide shots better.

    55 x 1.5 is a pretty nice portrait lens...what the 85 was in the "old 35mm days".

    You will be shooting groups.
    Moving 25% closer is almost always easy and makes the 55 a 'virtual 70mm" of sorts. Almost always easy.
    You gotta' move back something like 50% or more to make the 28mm a "virtual 17"...not always easy to do.

    Additionally you can always crop to get the 55 shot to seem a 70. You can't do anything to a 28mm shot to do the converse.
    The 17-55 is simply a wider range, more noticeable at the wide end than at the long.

    Disclaimer: Please understand however that I have some bias and secondary gain in this answer. I have a 17-55. I'm trying to resist the pull of a 28-70. I keep going in and fondling the one at the local shop...sweet piece it is!
  11. Sorry, my friend, but you can't change a 55mm lens into a 70mm lens by moving closer or cropping. Using the extreme example of a 28mm lens vs. a 70mm lens...

    Moving closer with the 28mm lens gets you this...
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    instead of this.
    View attachment 12232

    And cropping the 28mm shot gets you this...
    View attachment 12233

    instead of this.
    View attachment 12234
  12. Yes, I know. If what I suggest was literally true I'd shoot everything with a 14/2.8 and crop.

    I'm trying to resist, darn you.
  13. I would give the nudge to the 17-55, IMO.
  14. Riki


    May 7, 2005
    Warsaw, Poland
    Apparently the majority is in favor of the 17-55. Thanks everyone for your contributions to this post.
    Really appreciate the non venomous and helpful advice one gets on this forum. It really feels nice.
    FYI , I posted this thread sitting in a typhoon hit province of a China Hotel room, just looking out of my window at the torrential rain and typhoon blasting against the windows and then looking forward to a nice bright day, the LLD came over. I said to myself, well you have survived one more day and storm, so what the heck, get one more lens.
    Hence the post :D 
  15. GreenCoal

    GreenCoal Guest


    Let me cheat a bit :lol:

    I don't have the luxury of choice as I don't have either. But I have the 18-70mm kit lens, so does it count? :D  No agonizing decision needed!

    Works great for me too, because I hv a sharp piece.

    As long as prints aren't blown up too large, I tihnk you shouldn't dismiss the kit lens -- it is surprisingly versatile and good upto 8x10s.
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