I've been doing some homework about these two lenses for my D300. The 17-55 seems like a nice lens for the DX format but I'm thinking about upgrading to an FX body in a few years hopefully. I'm trying to justify spending the extra $500 for the 24-70 to "future proof" myself. Does anyone on these forums have any experience with either of these lenses on a DX camera?
17-55 vs 24-70(25 posts) (14 voices)
I have d200 and the 24-70 and it performs extremely well on DX, very sharp, very fast. The only con is the lack of VR, apart from this it's a perfect lens on DX.
24-70 is in fact better lens than 17-55, DX or FX does not matter.
Does the extra $500 for the 24-70 justify the performance though?
Well all depends on which zoom end you do most of your shooting.
If the 24-70 covers your needs then it is worth the extra $500 especially if you are planning to switch to FX. If you get the 17-55, then switch to FX and sell the 17-55 you surely won't get what you paid for it, so the loss will be even bigger.
They're both great lenses, but they are very different focal lengths. As monty11 says, it depends which end you do your shooting on. And it depends what else you have to cover that range. I mostly use a combination of the 17-55 and the 70-200. The missing 55-70 range means nothing to me, since it's just a few steps forward or backward. But I'd be lost without the 17-24 range. I wouldn't get the 24-70 unless you a) already have something to cover the wider range and b) are getting the FX camera really soon.
Unfortunately I don’t think any pro lens justifies the price difference, you have to pay much more for just a slight (but visible) improvement. On the other hand DX is actually more dependable on lens resolution than FX because of a smaller pixel size, and 24-70 (that has actually very useful and almost ideal 35-105 range) will allow you to pull out the most from your D300, almost indistinguishable from D700.
What I would do if I was sure to go for FX in a foreseeable future but not sooner than a six months or so, and if I didn’t have any lens for my camera I will go for 16-85 that works great on D300 and that I could sell afterwards and loose much less money (17-55 is pretty hard to sell today and it will be even harder to sell In a future and you will loose hundreds actually), and will go for FX kit with 24-70 later and save even more.
mb - I have to disagree with You that any pro lens doesn't justifies the price difference, which is IMO completely different with bodies, where most of the times more expensive body doesn't perform so much better. If You can afford 24-70 go for it, as it's one of the best zooms on the market, moreover You will not have any problems with selling it later and the price drop shouldn't be as hard as when selling any cheaper lens.
If it were me, I'd go with the 24-70. Yes its more expensive, but if your willing to pay $1000+ for a lens, then there is a reasonable chance that you'll go FX in the future. Its hard to imagine nikon making a substantive improvement on the 24-70 (except for possibly the addition of VR).
The only gotcha is the zoom range on DX. There will be times when you wish you had something wider.
Is it worth the extra $500? Depends on if you need the $500 for something more important like say... food. If you've got the money to spend I say go for it. It may be the last mid-range zoom you ever have to buy.
I currently have the 16-85mm on a D40x and I'm very happy with it, apart from it being a bit on the dark side, but then again most scenes I shoot, require more depth of field and smaller apertures so it isn't a real turn-off. I'm not planning to switch to FX any time in the near future as I don't need it, it is heavier, bulkier and a shiny invitation for others who might desire it for free. However if I had the extra money I would go for the 14-24 / 24-70 combination even if I were to use it on the D40x.
To cut long story short, the question was: is the 24-70 worth spending 500$ extra money; and I think we all agree that it is.
On the other hand I do not think 17-55 is a good investment right now, especially if you are planning on going for an FX camera in a couple of months.
Thanks for the help everyone, I've always been leaning towards the 24-70 but it's still hard to spend money on a lens that costs more than your camera body.
It looks like I missed my opportunity to buy it from J&R for $1699, they are out of stock now.
Does anyone have any experience buying from 17th street photo?
Well when you switch to FX then the camera will again cost more than the lens :)
Nice one monty.
24-70 does in fact cost more than most camera bodies. The good news is that in 10 years, you'll probably still be using it. I doubt you can say the same for your camera body. Remember that the glass does all the heavy lifting in photography. The camera body just tells the glass how to move and records what the glass shows it.
If you are not in a hurry, I still think you will see some rebates on most lenses before the end of Q2.
I used 17th street photo for some minor lighting modifiers and they were fine. Haven't bought any big ticket items from them.
Unfortunately I am in a hurry. I was hoping on getting the new lens before may 7th for an event I'm shooting. I've been holding on to our companies funds while I decided which lens to purchase.
Gonna have to bite the bullet here in a few days.
I use the 24-70 on my D200 and on my D700 and it's an excellent performer on both cameras. If you may find the wide angle side a bit limited you can always get yourself a cheap DX wide angle zoom of a 3rd party. Of course it is always better to save for the 14-24, but then you have 2 lenses which are more expensive than your body ;)
Btw, I don't get the desire from others for VR on this focal range. I hardly ever have a need for VR, even 200mm handheld at 1/20 is ok, as long as you practise, have a talent for steady hands and are strong enough to carry your gear easily. But the 24-70 really doesn't need VR.
Hello............new here, so i might as well share my opinion, i have the same delema before, 17-55 or 24-70 but finally decided to go for 24-70 soon, i mean really soon.
Try to assess what you really need and mostly use range, if you need a wide angle definitely you need the 17-55 "nice in interior and outdoor shots" but if you think you need more the mid-range then 24-70 "which is good for close up and portraiture" then this is your choise. 17-55 had a good reputation on giving Image quality, but its an old model. And 24-70 had exceed that IQ thats why its expensive than the other one.
But in the end of the day it will be your choise, good luck!
Alright, just placed my order for the 24-70. You guys talked me into it :)
If you get a good version (and I really think most negative stories are just exceptions to the good quality) you will never regret us talking you into it!
Get the lens on your camera and start shooting, you will soon wonder why you ever doubted ;)
I was in a similar situation at the end of last year. I owned the AF-S 12-24mm DX, the AF-S 17-55mm DX and AF-S VR 70-200mm lenses. I was concerned about the future of DX format cameras in the semi pro range and decided that I would one day in the next 12 months or so move to FX format. So I decided to sell my AF-S 12-24mm DX and the AF-S 17-55mm DX lenses and keep the AF-S VR 70-200mm lens. I then purchased the AF-S 14-24mm and the AF-S 24-70mm lenses to go with my existing AF-S VR 70-200mm lens.
All 3 of these lenses work great on my D300. The only issue that I have found which some others have mentioned is the crop factor with these lenses. I find that I have to switch more often that I use to for wide angle shots, but I do see a benefit of the 105mm (70mm) at the long end.
I was also able to purchase these from B&H prior to the price increases and got both of them for under $1,500.00 each. This was also another factor in my decision to purchase them when I did.
I would say that if you are going to FX anytime in the near future and it sounds like you are, then you should make the leap. This assuming the finances are right. I am planning on these lenses lasting me for the next 7 to 10 years and I think you could to, at least I hope so.
I will probably wait for the D700 replacement and then move into a FX body. By then my D300 should be 2 to 3 years old then.
Good luck to you.
My thinking is different than others. I am a DX shooter, and lack of wide primes forces me to a wide zoom (currently the Sigma 10-20, will choose between the Tokina 11-16 and Nikon 10-24 once reviews on the second are out). For mid range, there are so many great, compact, and relatively inexpensive fixed focal length lenses available -- and the are up to two stops faster than even the best zooms. I have a 24mm (not that great a lens, honestly -- may upgrade to a Voigtlander), 35mm f2, 50mm f1.4, 60mm micro 2.8, and 85mm f1.8 (not as fine as the 1.4, but fast, small, and affordable).
Sure, you have to change lenses, but the total weight is similar, the price is lower, and the lenses are faster, sometimes much faster. And they handle very well on the camera.
think about this...
the focal length on a D300 with a 17-55 is actually like a 25-82-ish with the 1.5 conversion.
the focal length on a D700 with a 24-70 is... well, 24-70. about the same.
It sounds attractive to have that "extra" bit on the wide end of the 17-55, but in reality its no wider than -about- 25mm.
Now, the 24-70 on a D300 is like a 35-105. a little bit longer on both ends... giving up a much needed wideangle. Ive got an older cheaper 28-105 that i f*&@ around with sometimes, but its never really wide enough to do much with for my taste. so i keep the 12-24 on there most of the time. (18-36mm on DX)
To some people, technically a 35 is still considered a "wide-angle"... but for me, no where near wide enough. ive shot with the 24-70 on a D700 before, and its freakin' beautiful.
If FX is written in the stars for you... anywhere in the near future... ide aggree with a couple guys above and say go with the 16-85. its not a 2.8, but for the money, its gotten great reviews, covers a whole great range from super side to decent zoom, and you wont have spent 1200 on a DX lens that you'll put back in the closet when you go FX.
the 24-70 is IMHO worth every penny... esp with FX, but the focal range isnt too appealing with DX.
hope this helps mate...!
i actually disagree with everyone here!
If you're an event shooter, you'll need two bodies minimum; I came to that realization quick!
I have a DX body coupled with my DX only 17-55 f/2.8 - which covers, as someone noted, 28-80mm on an FX.
I use my Film body (essentially a hold over until the D700 comes down in price) with a 14-24 f/2.8 (rented for events, waiting for price reduction) and 50mm f/1.4 prime.
In essence, I get coverage from a very wide 14mm - 24mm on FX, get coverage from 28-80mm with the DX, and when I need to get the long shots, can throw on a long range zoom onto the DX body to get that extra reach.
But this only makes sense for a professional event shooter.
As a hobbyist, DX suits me better due to size and portability - I don't want to lug around huge lenses when on vaca or taking candids with friends/family, the 35mm f/1.8 and 18-55 VRII work brilliant (and are super small!)
As for t he 24-70 f/2.8, there are copies floating around that have QC issues, this is well documented on nikonian's. . . .so when you buy, make sure it's dust free/no specles in the glass, etc. . . .there are also some front-focusing issues. . .
Both are fantastic lenses, ive been using the 17-55 for around 2 years and loved it. Im now on the 24-70 and if it can be said its an improvement, Ive also gone FX as well.
I don't know if other people found this, but the 17-55 could be a little soft on the edges when wide open. It was a bit of an issue I understand, my new 24 - 70 is just sharp all the way!!
Hey JackTee. You can make your choice easier for yourself by shopping in Australia. Here, there is only $170.00 AUD difference between the two lenses you have in mind, with the 17-55 being the better buy.
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