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this is why I've kept the 17-55

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by SP77, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. SP77


    Jun 4, 2007
    Rockville, MD
    We hit the county fair today, and purely in point-n-shoot mode I managed to get a number of great shots of my daughter that just wouldn't have happened with any other lens. I have the Nikon 14/2.8 prime that I love at the wide end, and then the 35/1.8 and 50/1.4g primes, but sometimes you just plain need a fast zoom.

    Walking around the "Old MacDonald Barn" looking at farm animals. D200, P-mode, Auto ISO at 1/200s & iso1600 max and that's it. No messing around with two bodies, no switching lenses, no trying to back up or move forward with foot zoom to recompose if you need. Just shoot. None of these shots would wait for that.


    55mm (cropped to 8x10) with our little guy and my wife coming up behind:

    And just so he's not left out, here's a shot of our little guy, almost 6 months. :smile:


    And then back to more or less normal, 30mm:

    Light was an issue here, so I needed every bit of the 2.8 aperture. The AF speed and consistency were also dead on. A number of shots I didn't think I got but upon review, sure enough I did! Sharp wide-open at every focal length! Bokeh was also very nice, although it does start to get a little funky at 17mm.

    Gotta love this lens. :Love:
  2. Big Worm

    Big Worm

    Sep 16, 2008
    Beautiful shots!
  3. nice shots! Although the 55mm shot you see visible noise throughout the image prob a result of HIGH ISO? If you shot with the 50mm f/1.4 you could of shot at a lower ISO right?...

    of course we can speculate in hindsight all we want...but the versatility with the zooms are unmatched
  4. Ryan Bradford

    Ryan Bradford

    Jul 14, 2009
    i love the second shot great set
  5. Nice set Steve. I agree sometimes a zoom is the only way to get the shots.
  6. Then again, wouldn't the DoF at f/1.4 be too thin?:wink:
  7. SP77


    Jun 4, 2007
    Rockville, MD
    Thanks everybody. :smile:

    For Dom, sure I could have shot with a 50/1.4, but what would happen when 2 seconds later she's right next to me and I need to get back out to wide again? :wink: I don't see any noise - just grain texture which I like. Maybe there's a little chroma noise in there that I might want to clean up if I made an enlargement, but that's it. I don't like the squeaky clean plasticy digital look when you start adding NR in (I shoot film too, and like the grain texture). The first 55mm shot was iso1250 with High ISO NR turned off on the D200. That's straight off the camera.

    Although I mostly keep it off, Nikon's implementation of Auto ISO was a God send here. Out in broad daylight and then in a dark barn, back and forth a bunch of different times. In broad daylight it dropped into the 100-200 range, and then in the dark barns it automatically cranked itself up to whatever it needed to maintain 1/200s, and then right back down again once we got outside. Brilliant. Auto contrast also worked great. I never could have kept up with any of this if I was shooting Canon and would have had to shoot RAW and sort it all out later. Instead these all looked just about perfect straight off the camera aside from a few that needed levels and/or slight color balance (wb) adjustments.

    At the fair, probably 80-90% with DSLRs were shooting Nikon. Canons were a rare sighting. Saw everything from a d40/60 class body and 18-55 kit lens all the way up to one guy walking around with two pro bodies with probably an ultra-wide and a telephoto zoom. Saw one guy with what appeared to be a "Bigma" too. :smile:
  8. I sold my 17-55 to buy the 28-70. I felt the 55 was just not long enough for many of the shots I wanted. I was right and I like the range of the new lens better, but I like the size and weight of the 17-55 much more. Plus, I love the option of 17-27. Everything is a trade off, I suppose.
    If only Nikon would make a f2.8 17-105 that weighs less than two pounds and has VR...oh yeah, and for less than my last Audi cost me! :) 
  9. ArtScott


    Jul 11, 2009
    great shots......sometimes only a fast zoooooooooom will work!!!
  10. Nice captures Steve! Is that with the D40 and 17-55? The grain is a non-issue for me, as it makes the images look natural. The 17-55 is an amazing lens with a lot of character, and I can't imagine parting with mine, even IF I buy an FX body later on.

    Would it be funny if for some reason Nikon decided to discontinue FX and go all DX because that's where they make the most sales? Then you'll see people trading their 24-70 for 17-55's. lol
  11. When you say "natural" what do you mean? Were you referring to film? Then your also saying Digital Photography is unnatural?

    @Steve, nothing wrong with the noise or grain I was just asking if this was a result of the ISO setting because I diddnt see EXIF
  12. I keep going back and forth with this lens and the 16-85 VR. I understand the differences, and frankly am trying to convince myself to get the cheaper 16-85 but when I see a series like this I start thinking that I should hold out for the fast glass. Thanks for sharing!
  13. SP77


    Jun 4, 2007
    Rockville, MD
    ha ha! :tongue:

    I debated the 17-55 vs 24/28-70 myself and decided to stick with the 17-55. If I need to I can always crop the difference between 55 and 70mm, but that 17mm wide end sure is handy when I need it! The 24-70 would almost be wide enough for me. Came very very close to pulling the trigger on one on several occasions, but with no immediate plans to go to full-frame and the fact that I prefer fast primes on film to f/2.8 zooms (at least as far as mid-range ones) and I decided to stick with the 17-55.

    I've had some lust for the Canon 24-105 f/4L IS lens, and came pretty close to bringing my Nikon 28-105 f/3.5-4.5 for this fair, but that would have been too slow! Glad I brought the 17-55. :smile:
  14. SP77


    Jun 4, 2007
    Rockville, MD
    Just depends on what your primary use for a lens in this range would be. If you do mostly photojournalism and less scenic type photos, go for the 17-55. If you do mostly scenic type photos and less PJ type stuff, the 16-85VR is a great lens and cheaper to boot. Has more range and a great VR system. It's not really suitable for any PJ style work though. Too slow, and if you try to yank backgrounds out of focus you'll see that the bokeh is really ugly. I use this lens for chasing kids around and PJ style work so I love it. If I'm out and about and only doing scenic stuff it stays at home and I bring the 18-55VR kit lens instead.
  15. SP77


    Jun 4, 2007
    Rockville, MD
    Thanks Joseph! Yeah even if I went FX I'd still probably keep this lens. The range is great, the handling and IQ are awesome, and it's a whole lot cheaper than a 24-70. It actually has more range on DX than the 24-70 does on FX too. The 17-55 is 26-85mm equivalent in full-frame terms, and it's a 2.8! :smile:

    Yeah ISO 1250. I just like how film renders things. There are a lot of things about it that are just plain nice that digital still hasn't matched, but I don't want to go too far OT. :wink:
  16. SP77


    Jun 4, 2007
    Rockville, MD
    sneaky! :biggrin:

    Yes, you're right. I wouldn't so much have "missed" the shot as much as I simply would have gotten different ones. Indeed at the beach this summer one of my favorite photos was with the 35/1.8!


    The prime lens forces you to work harder, think about composition more, and as a result you can get different and more interesting photos than you would have otherwise since your instinct is always to zoom if you have a zoom. However... :biggrin: there are things I love in particular about that first 17mm shot that the 35 or 50 definitely would not have gotten. The 35 would have gotten just her face. But 17 managed to get that along with the perspective of the railing through the barn, the pathway, some people in the background, and the contrasting lighting. Rather than just having a face to look at, instead that close in wide-angle perspective will put us right in the middle of that barn with her again 20 years from now when we're going through all of these photos.

    In the end I'm a lens whore and like to mix things up a lot. :smile: The zoom gives you flexibility in how to compose and what types of shots you can get. I couldn't be without this thing. :smile:
  17. If nikon decided to discontinue the FX I will be quite content to keep my 24-70 and my D700 thank you very much! Although I still have my D300 and they will not discontinue the full frame sensor anyway... nice shots with the 17-55.
  18. avyoung


    Dec 17, 2007
    When I had the D300, I liked the size and weight much more of the Tamron 17-55/2.8; the nikon AFS17-55/2.8 felt huge and overweight by comparison...while chasing the kids. The AFS 17-55/2.8 did produce nice pictures though....and as I gave into the weight and size, I moved to an even heavier rig! Sometimes the big zoom is just too cumbersome, and I fear that I will clobber the kids on the head with the rig while getting around.

    Nice captures! I think the zoom would be my choice for the fair too. You have wide or short telephoto at your disposal to capture a different look.
  19. SP77


    Jun 4, 2007
    Rockville, MD
    Don't think that'll ever happen. Thanks Keith!

    Thanks Alan. Yeah the weight is a bit hefty, but I shoot a gripless camera body and the 17-55 without the hood to keep the weight down. Occasionally I shoot it on my D40 too, but it's quite tough to one-hand that if I need to. If I really want to go light I get the d40 out and 35/1.8 with an SB-400. In fact I did that tonight literally rolling around on the floor while my daughter was climbing all over me and got a couple of funny shots. :tongue:



    I could not have managed shots like these with the 17-55 due solely to the weight and lack of agility issue, so yes it works both ways. I have 14, 35, and 50 primes, and the 17-55, and they all get used quite a bit so I guess this is a pretty active range for me. Nice to have so many great options. :smile:
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