I am currently using a D300 and I am considering purchasing a new lens, either the 17-55mm or the 24-70mm. I am concerned about how wide I can now be on my D300, but I am also concerned about the future of higher end DX bodies. With this all said, what to buy for today, how will that affect the future and how soon is the future?
DX vs. FX Lens - AF-S DX 17-55mm vs. AF-S 24-70mm(29 posts) (13 voices)
If you're concerned about it not being wide enough, you shouldn't be thinking about the 17-55 or the 24-70 on the D300.
You should be looking at the 12-24 or the 10-24.
The 24-70 on a D300 is low end of normal range to short telephoto. I agree with NSX, you need to look at the lenses he suggests to really go wide on the DX format.
yup - if You want go wide, than that's not a lens for You, if You need standard and can afford the 24-70 than go for it, it's a great lens, very sharp, sharper than nikon 50/1.4AF
If you want to go very wide with Nikon lenses you only have two choices, DX w/ the 10-24 or FX with the 14-24. On any DX body, the 14-24 would be the equivalent of 21-36, wide, but not by today's standards.
On an FX body the 14-24 is probably the best in wide angle available anywhere. But, you have to figure issues of size and weight (D700 FX body plus the 14-24 = 55% more weight than D300s w/10-24), cost (59% more) and the fragility of the lens (no filter attachment, big rounded front element).
Wow, I just realized Nikon has a hole in their wide angle FX lineup. If you don't go with the 14-24, what do you use on FX if you want a wide angle lens? I don't know enough about older Nikon lenses to decide on a 14-24 replacement from Nikon.
You can get primes, but the 14-24 is sharper and not really more expensive. I have a friend who shoots Canon full-frame and is adapting the 14-24 for his camera. From everything I've heard it's extra-ordinary.
I haven't shot enough with the 10-24 (a wider zoom range than the 14-24) to find any real deficiencies. I've seen the lens tests, but haven't seen any significant distortion in my shots. The only thing I notice is that there is slightly less contrast than some prime lenses (and perhaps the 14-24), but given the wider zoom range, ability to take filters (I never leave home without at least polarizing filters), smaller size and DX sensor for my D90, I think it's a real contest.
Go for 24-70mm and don't look back for a couple of months.
You will be amazed by sheer picture quality so much you will not even notice that it is not very wide.
Then you could start thinking and saving for something wider.
I agree with mb. I really wish I had the 24-70 as it's one of the most amazing lenses made by anyone anywhere!
Disclaimer: This is just what I would do, according to MY shooting style.
I would never get the 24-70 period. It's a boring on DX you get a 36-105 which is a very boring focal lenght, I agree that the long end is ideal for portrait, but instead of spending 2 000$ I would either get a 50mm ƒ/1.8 or ƒ1.4 or a 85mm ƒ/1.8.
Everything between 36mm and 70mm is too standard to worth 2000$, it's always easy to get on various other lenses.
Even on FX I hate the 24-70. It's performances @ 24mm aren't that great and to me the only worthy focal lenght on that lens is between 24 and 30, I would get a 17-35mm ƒ/2.8 instead. Or even better: a 14-24 and 28mm prime.
Now back to DX. I'm not sure if I would get a 17-55 ƒ/2.8. Maybe the tokina 16-50, a tad wider, thats useful. Or the tamron or sigma versions as they are cheaper... Don't spend all your money on DX lenses if you think you'll upgrade sometime.
Let's see what you could get instead of the 17-55.
from 40-55 you replace that easily with a 50mm prime
24-40 you don't need this at all. I remember shooting for a long time with a friend's kit lens 18-55 and I only used 18mm and 55mm, nothing between.
Now for the 17-24, you could get the 10-24mm
I would avoid the 14-24 unless you plan to upgrade to FX in less than 6 months because it's huge, it's expensive and on DX it's not wide enough. Having 21mm equivalent on your HUGE "ultra wide" lens is silly. So get the 10-24 if you really need to go wide and sell it once you upgrade to FX.
and of course the 50mm prime is a must (unless you prefer longer than that for portrait) Then if you need something longer, then you have the 85 prime, the 105 macro, the 70-200 ƒ/2.8 or maybe the 70-300 cheaper alternative.
I currently own a Tokina 11-16 ƒ/2.8, I needed the fast aperture rather than the range, however I did miss the 30mm equivalent, so I got the sigma 20 ƒ/1.8 prime. I wish I had the 70-200 as my telephoto, but as I'm currently saving because I need video and FX, I still use my 50mm and 105mm prime as my only telephotos.
That kit might be a bit heavy but it fits my needs nicely.
Ideally, I want to upgrade to a possible D700s or D700x with video, with the 14-24 ƒ/2.8, 28mm prime and possibly the new 70-200 ƒ/2.8 once I have the need and budget for this lens.
It's only my opinion but I hope it can help you rethink your own situation and come up with your own solution!
NSX, Nikon has no hole in their FX wide angle, if you think the 14-24 is too exotic, there's the 17-35. After all, most people don't really need the wideness you get from 14 to 16. And 17 is still pretty damn wide, and you get the 30mm much needed focal length.
I think Canon is the one lacking a 14-24 zoom lens. ATM it's one of the reason stopping me from switching to the 5D mk2
as gentoo wrote nikon's 24-70 is one of the best standard zooms,
jbl - as for using 50/1.4 instead of this zoom... hmm... indeed it's much cheaper, but also isn't as good optically as the 24-70, and the difference in IQ and speed is obvious - I had both of them, and decided to sell the 50mm, as for using the 24-70 on DX, I don't see any problems it's great portrait lens on both sides
"as for using the 24-70 on DX, I don't see any problems it's great portrait lens on both sides"
Exactly, I have seen some wonderful work with this lens on DX ( D70, D80, D200 and D300 ). If anyone is able to get it, I would strongly encourage it and like I said, I'd have one now if I had the money and could find it.
I agree with jbl that 24-70 on DX, ie 36-105, is boring. On a D90, I would much rather carry the 16-85 (24-127.5). It's focal length is wider and longer, it's much smaller, lighter and cheaper. And it's got VR.
If I want faster, I use the 35/1.8 (again, small, light and inexpensive).
I personally couldn't care less about lens tests, to carry a lens as large as the 24-70 in that zoom range seems absurd. I understand the need for "big glass" with telephotos and super-wides, buy why anyone would carry this...
I think it all boils down to personal choice .. 36-105 may be boring to some.. but for others its a great portrait and people candid tool On DX. Its a real shame that there is no 35-105 option in FF. well not current anyway. So much the better for DX users.
On DX the 24-70 becomes more of a specialized portrait / people lens. although at 24 its wide enough for general wide angle use unless you like wide a lot. It really depends on your personal tastes.. I like the dx focal lengths of 20, 60 and 150. so I have 4 lenses that I use most. the 18-200 which covers my 3 fav focal lenghts in one zoom. I have the 12-24 for the wide (landscape/seascape scenery). I use the 35-70 for when I am in the mood for portraits. and I have the 150 macro when I am in the mood for Short tele or macro. for birding I am still looking for a suitable lens but I do have an old tamron 200-400.(I am really waiting for the 80-400 update I think..) Dont think I will ever get the 35mm 1.8.. I think THAT is boring :-) I am waiting for the 28mm 1.8 or 1.4 ... maybe I will just have to get the Sigma 30mm instead but I will probably wait a bit.. I have an old 50mm ais lens as well .. Its really nice for low light portraits because of the super super bokeh. but I have not had a chance to really use it properly yet. I may be replacing that with the tamron 60mm F2.0 macro lens after I see some more reviews..
So it really depends on the OP personal taste.. but generally speaking the 16-85 does look like a very very nice range for general photography.
I agree with heartyfisher, it's personal choice. One of the reasons people choose Nikon or Canon is the wide choice of lenses available. Whatever it takes to express your personal vision.
One of the wonders of SLR's is the ability to change lenses and change what you see through the viewfinder. There are some lenses that provide a magical view of the world to me. My 105 Nikon macro does that for me. So does the 10-24. One of the reasons to be involved in this forum is to hear from others. The enthusiasm among some for the above mentioned 24-70, while hard for me to understand, does make me curious enough to look at the lens in a camera store or perhaps rent it for a day.
Ted I actually agree with you and Jbl!, That 24-70 is boring and not worth it - For the money.. for my use ...May be in 10-15 years time when the price comes down I may get one off ebay :-) in the mean time my 35-70 is really unboring for portrait shots!
heartyfisher - I just don't understand how 24-70 is boring and 35-70 is not boring, as the first one covers the second one :D - as for price, there's always the sigma alternative, which surprisingly is a very good lens - very sharp at least for half the price (only one downside is the vignetting full open)
The thing with the 24-70 on dx.... Yes it's boaring, but it's also excellent. You can make a lot of
money in that range. I'm in the process of picking up the "zoom lens holy trinity" the 24 70 was my first. I plan on grabbing the 70-200 next. Then I'll probably save for full frame before I bother with the 14-24.
The 24-70 is good enough to replace my 35 1.8 & my 50 1.4 for every situation that I don't need the aperture. At 2.8, I actually think it's sharper. I like zooms because focal length matters in composition. Even at the middle range. Don't belive me? Grab a 18-200 and frame the same subject at every focal
mark. They all look pretty different.
What exactly is so boring about 24-70 on DX?
35 and 105 (24 and 70 on DX) are my favorite lens focal lengths, 35 just wide enough and 105 ideal for portraits and similar work. That is just me but this is my post so I am stating my opinion.
Of course you could get Nikon prime 24mm for around 500$, and new 60mm for about 600$ but you will still miss a longer end. Both these lenses are pretty good but inferior to 24-70, so for 700$ more you get all focal lengths in between, better usability and convenience (you do not have to swap your lenses all the time) and much better IQ then either of them, in fact best IQ available today.
Again what exactly is so boring about 24-70 on DX?
I'm not being critical. I own and love the 24-70. I call it boring because it produces shots that look essentially the same as what I see when I look at the world. With a mid-range zoom, you have to find interesting reality. With more exotic zooms, like ultra-wides or telephotos, you can transform the pedestrian into something far more interesting, just by messing with perspective..
That said, the 24-70 is excellent at most sorts of photography... Just not the awesome mind blowing stuff. When I have all the gear I want, I'll start throwing the same money at travel rather than gear. Then I'll start getting what I want out of the 24-70.
@ adamz .. : 24-70 vs 35-70 - LOL I think its just my mind playing games with me !! but here are my reasons .
1) the 35-70 cost me $150/--
2) the 35-70 cost me $150/-- and its lighter
3) the 35-70 cost me $150/-- and its filter size is only 62 mm
4) the 35-70 cost me $150/-- and its smaller
5) the 35-70 cost me $150/-- and its all I need for portrait pictures.
6) the 24-70 cost $1900/-- and i don't have it !!
Seriously though if
for portrait use the 35-70 is as good as the 24-70.
for General photography my 18-70 or 18-200 (or get the 16-85) is as good as the 24-70.
for low light a 50mm ais F1.4(cost me $70) or 35-70 is as good as the 24-70.
So for now I have that focal range and function covered at a fraction of the cost.
and the boringness is as Willis said its not for "awesome mind blowing stuff".
Still I will be looking out for one to replace my 35-70 down the road ( probably
way down the road! ) .. its really great for intimate moments though ..
in terms of priority. my lens to buy list at the moment is
1) 24mm or 28mm or 30mm F1.4 - Need a general low light lens. my 50mm 1.4 is just too long for that.
2) Tamron 60mm F2 macro. - would be lovely as a portrait and walk around lens + macro.
3) 80-400 vr replacement or the sigma 150-500 OS. VR is great for stalking bird hand held.
4) 16-85 vr - Would like something sharper than my 18-200vr for general photography
5) 24-70 - replace my 35-70 if I can find one cheap (in 10 years time?)
6) 70-200 vr - Cost too much and too heavy , but nice to have .. and if I find one at
a bargain price in a few years time I will collect it.
I can see a situation when the 24-70 on DX would be a good purchase.
First, it's always better to invest on lenses than on bodies.
Then, For someone who's really not into telephoto but who needs to do interior stuff and has a special need for the normal focal length, it simply is a good lens to have.
But then, to justify 2000$ on a normal/telephoto lens on DX, you need to be thinking about FX.
This is one of the reason why I could justify getting the 14-24 on DX... I'm really thinking about upgrading to FX. But since I already have the tokina 11-16 and a sigma 20mm prime(that ƒ/1.8), I'll wait until I really need the 14mm on FX.
I think we pretty much discussed this subject inside out I can draw two conclusions that are in the same vibe:
It's really a matter of taste/what you shoot
The expensive, heavy 24-70 is indeed a good lens, if the focal length is what you are looking for, you are not wasting your money as good lenses keep their value.
heartyfisher, if your priority is a fast prime, you might want to take a look at sigma's 20, 24 and 28mm primes. They are on the heavy/big size for primes, but they are ƒ/1.8. However, the 20mm is very soft in corners and not the sharpest when shot at ƒ/1.8, I don't know about the 24 and 28 (I think they are sharper) The focus distance is also very short, making them really fun lenses to shot with. The 28mm is considered a macro. The 20mm is not macro but what you can do with it is really impressive, Imagine shooting something from 0.5cm away from the lens at ƒ/1.8, the crazy short DOF you get are pretty fun to play with. They are kinda cheap too.
did anyone NOT note the cost difference?!
The 17-55 is $1199 new.
The 24-70 about 40-50% more. . .ummm, that's a WHOLE LOTTA lens that could be had with the difference.
I faced a similar issue, since I knew the D200 wasn't going to be my last digital body, but went with the 17-55, and with the cost savings, got the 35 1.8 ($200) and 50 1.4 ($400) instead. . . and still have cash left over. . .I used the same rationale buying my D200 over the D300. . .
Most 17-55's can be sold for $900-1000 with a box and warranty/covers, SO, when you move up to FX, a DX user will always benefit on the used market. . .
Ahh... but with the full frame 24-70, you cover 50% more space. So pixel for pixel, the cost is the same.
What's that? You don't buy it? Well at least I tried.
You must log in to post.