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Time for a 17-55mm f/2.8?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by onefear, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. My fifth child was born last Friday, my oldest is 10, and I've got the itch. I've taken a lot of keepers with the AF 50mm f/1.8D and am getting better at focusing it. Unsurprisingly, it's just not wide enough for good composition on many indoor pictures (especially with only 3 AF zones for a reliable green dot) and really difficult to focus on any type of rapidly moving subject (of which I have four, soon to be five). So I don't think an AF-S 50mm f/1.x would be terribly useful right now, even if it became a reality.

    I was thinking of investing in an AF-S 35mm f/1.x if Nikon released one (vaporware now), but I am now thinking that it is likely to be $500+ if it became real. My next body will likely be a D90 - I won't have the cash to go FF for several years at least. When that time comes I will keep the D40 body for wife and kids (all of whom are coming along nicely in their willingness to try).

    This morning it occurred to me that putting the $500 toward a 17-55 and scratching together some birthday money to take up the rest of the cost might (1) be the best use of resources, and (2) be a giant step forward. I guess I could wait for Photokina to see if a 35 is released (1.x is attractive, indeed), and then decide. The main 17-55 drawback seems to be size and weight. Am I thinking right? Thanks!
  2. mematsu


    May 2, 2007
    los angeles
    Five? Wow. You are the man. Not to take anything away from your wife, of course. I have three and feel like...well you know.:eek: 
    Congratulations by the way.

    The Sigma 30mm is ridiculously good and may be a good option for you. Otherwise a 17-55 is a great purchase. It's fast focus really helps with the youngsters.
  3. 17-55 f2.8 is a awesome lens, ideal for what you are wanting. It's not a big or heavy lens, but is larger then a 24 or 30mm prime.
  4. "It's not a big or heavy lens,"

    Compared to what? With all due respect, if one is not used to carrying 2.8 glass, the 17-55 is indeed large and heavy. Especially if you have it on your shoulder or neck all day. For those who lug around 70-200's, and 28-70's, yes it is lighter weight. But to say that the lens is not big and heavy is misleading to one just beginning in the field.

    However - I totally agree that the lens is a spectacular one; outstanding IQ at every stop.
  5. That would be true if you're used to shooting with a 300/2.8, but it's very large compared to the 50/1.8 that the OP will be using as their reference.

    Size, weight, and price. Nikon only makes two pro-grade (as in fixed aperture) normal range zooms... the 17-55/2.8 and the 28-70/2.8. Both are BIG but produce beautiful renderings.
  6. 5 kids, clay?
    that excellent
    and.... as long as you don't think about the price of a college education....
    you can buy anything you want.... :eek: :eek: ...........:biggrin::biggrin:
  7. Ok, sorry to all I offended with that comment, I suppose I am very wrong and the lens will not work for many many shooters.
  8. College is overrated (says the man with a B.A. and (nearly) two professional degrees). They're hard workers . . . I'm sure we'll find a work-study solution. Also, the pictures of them from the 17-55 (or, by then a 24-70) that we put with their applications will be great, and sure to sway financial aid officers. :wink:
  9. Yes the 17-55 is big and heavy compared to many primes, but I think one gets used to carrying the lens.

    I'm not sure the 35 will do it either. The difference between 35/50 is not that great. Clay, if you can stretch it a used 17-55 may be the solution.
  10. Oh yeah congratulations on the upcoming baby. I have one and I have my hands full.

    I can only imagine how you'll get along with 5.
  11. I absolutely LOVE the feel/weight of the 17-55. If you are using DX bodies, then I absolutely would highly recommend the 17-55, and not just because I'm selling mine.

    I would keep mine in a heartbeat if I could afford it, but I'm trying to get the 24-70 and go FX.
  12. Wail


    Aug 14, 2007
    Saudi Arabia
    The Nikon 17-55 f2.8 has wonderful reviews everywhere, and that's reflected in its' price, and yes it is heavy at close to 900g.

    An option would be to look at the Tamron 17-50 f2.8, a very good lens, built like a tank, priced well bellow the Nikon (of course not as good in terms of image quality, but still very good), and weight-wise is almost half the weight (430g). I had this lens before I got the Nikon 24-70 f2.8; and oddly enough, I am contemplating going back for the weight issue!
  13. Pianisimo

    Pianisimo Guest

    Not to put away the 17-55 idea, but if you're on a D40 and you want something fast and wider than a 50 that will AF...why not try Sigma's 30mm f/1.4? Sure it's not full frame but neither is the 17-55 so if you switch a few years down the road you'll have to sell it anyway unless you want to keep the D40 and that big honker around as a backup. The Sigma is fantastic and very fast and it will AF on your D40 - around $350 used. What more could you ask for? :D  just ask Nute, he loves the lens (and so do many other people). It's the smallest solution for an AF-S prime on a D40/X/60 I'm pretty sure. Unless you need the zoom, there's no need to shell out $900 for f/2.8.
  14. avyoung


    Dec 17, 2007

    Hi Clay,

    Looking at your kit, I would suggest either going for the Nikon 17-55/2.8 that you are lusting after, or getting the Tamron 17-50/2.8. You will find it can give you some subject separation with the background that you can't get with your kit lens.

    The Sigma 30/1.4 offers even better subject/background isolation, but if I had to choose between having a F2.8 zoom and the 30mm prime, I would choose the zoom. Having the choice btwn wide and moderate tele will give you more variety on perspective with your images.

    Of course you could get the Sigma now, and the 17-55/2.8 later! :Love:
  15. morcguy


    Dec 29, 2006
    I just got myself a 17-55 after a lot of research here and elsewhere. I picked one up used. Not having used one or even handled one, after reading the reviews and posts, I expected it to be HUGE and was pleasantly surprised. Build quality is awesome and makes me smile every time I pick it up.

    I traded in my Tamron 28-75 for the 17-55. One thing to consider is that coming from a 50 1.8 you will probably be disappointed in the f/2.8 image quality from a Tamron. (I know, someone is going to jump in and say theirs is great...)

    Anyway, for kid photos the 17-55 is the way to go.
  16. I have a 17-55 and I also am bothered by its size and weight. For that reason, when I am hiking or traveling, the 17-55 stays at home.

    But when the grandchildren come to visit, the 17-55 goes on the D200. It's the perfect lens for people in my opinion.
  17. I've been contemplating the same thing. Used ones are getting a little cheaper now.
    I didn't (still don't) want to spend that amount just yet. Thus I got the Tamron 17-50 and it has been fantastic. Very light and optically great as mentioned above. It was between that and Sigma 18-50. I went with the Tamron. The only gripe is the autofocus. IMO, these micromotors that tamron is making are really the only big problem. It's slow, noisy, and stupid. haha.

    Market price for a excellent condition 17-55 is ~ $900 maybe?

  18. I've loved the 17-55 for photos of my grandkids. I think it would be perfect for what you want to use it for. There sure have been a lot of used ones for sale lately since so many are selling off their dx lenses. You might be able to find a nice deal. I'm enjoying my 35 f2 for photos of the kids as well, but wouldn't trade the versatility of the zoom for a prime lens if I could only have one or the other.
  19. There is no better children's lens in my opinion, except for maybe a 70-200VR. I wouldn't worry about the weight, you're going to be lifting a lot more than that for about 10 years.
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