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X-35mm f2.8 zooms vs 28-70mm or 35-70mm f/2.8 zooms @35mm

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Merkin, Jul 29, 2009.

  1. Merkin

    Merkin Guest

    35mm is quite possibly my favorite focal length. If my current plan for future lens purchases sees itself to fruition, depending on my available loot, I will end up with either a 17-35 or a 20-35 zoom (most likely the 20-35, and I am not interested in the 14-35, both due to cost and the vulnerable front element), and either a 28-70mm or a 35-70mm zoom (most likely the 35-70). All of these are the fixed f2.8 versions. Taking nothing else in to consideration, if you were to treat these lenses as if they were prime 35mm f2.8 lenses, which lens would you use, either specifically to one of those four, or generally (the wide lenses are better at 35mm than the midranges, or vice versa)? Since 35mm is my favorite 'decisive moment' 'f8 and be there' 'grab it and go in a hurry' focal length, I will be more interested in keeping the lens with the best 35mm quality on the camera a good bit of the time, and the direction in which I can go from there will often be of significantly less importance (unless I am doing something like a wedding, at which point versatility outweighs quality to an extent, knowing that none of these lenses are poor quality). Unfortunately, a limited budget and enough of a need for the versatility of a zoom rules out my purchase of a 35mm prime at this point, as well as a wish to wait for the rumored 35mm f1.4.


    ETA: I typoed a bit there. I meant to reference the 24-70mm lens instead of the 28-70. The 28-70 is a bit too much of a beast size-wise.
  2. mkawa


    Apr 25, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    i have both the 35-70 f2.8D and the 17-35. it is not at all subtle how thoroughly the 35-70 stomps all over the 17-35 at 35mm. in fact, the 35-70 matches or exceeds the 35/2 at that focal length. it's that good.
  3. I too am a fan of the 35-70 f2.8d
  4. Hi.

    I had a Nikon 24-70 mm AF-S until last week. My Zeiss ZF 35 mm is better on any aperture setting. Noticably better, and I don't photograph brick walls or newsletter pages.

    No more zooms for me - at least below the 100 mm focal length.


  5. Merkin

    Merkin Guest

    Wow, it is refreshing to hear people on an online forum advocate the cheaper option for once! This is a rare day in the history of the internet ;)  Thanks guys!

    Mattes- I prefer primes as well, but there is no way that I could afford a wide range of focal lengths just buying primes, and I would need a massive bag to carry them around. It is tough to beat covering every focal length from 20-200 except 71-79 for around 1500 bucks.

    Any other thoughts?
  6. ultimind


    May 13, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    It really depends what I'm shooting. There are times when it's simply not convenient or possible to use and switch prime lenses. I would MUCH rather use my 35 f/1.8 and 85 f/1.8 instead of my Tamron 28-75, but the zoom is simply much easier and faster to use. Yes, it's not ultra sharp wide open at 75mm, but more often than not, when I'm using the 28-75, I have enough light to stop down 2/3 of a stop and get sharp images at the end of the lens.

    When possible, I compromise by using the 50mm f/1.8 and just use my foot zoom.
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