17-35 f/2.8 D IF-ED vs. 24-70 f/2.8

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by kevin_beretta, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. I have the option to buy a near-new 17-35 for about 40% of retail. I've read about this lens and seen the write-up of Bjørn Rørslett on this lens. He liked it a lot. However, I have the 14-24 2.8, 24-70 2.8 Nikon lenses so I am wondering if there is too much overlap. Although the 17-35 is shorter by about an inch compared to the 24-70, but with less range. The 14-24 is a bit of a beast and I use it only really with a tripod for landscapes and probably the 24-70 is on my camera 80% of the time. So the question is, should I buy the 17-35 and enjoy its unique properties or am I wasting money? I realize I may be asking the wrong crowd ... :)
  2. I've not used the 17-35, although it's not the newest in Nikon's line-up if that's any statement. Tamron make a 17-35 f/2.8-4 that's reasonably small and fairly affordable, and a 15-30 f/2.8 that's a bit bigger, and I believe they both have good reviews. Might be worth a look, since I suspect they'd still under-cut the Nikkor. Good luck.
  3. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The 17-35mm/f2.8 AF-S is a dated optical design from 20 years ago. Initially it was introduced in 1999 with the D1 DSLR to recover some wide end due to the DX crop factor, which was a fairly new concept (other than the APS film bodies) at the time. Back then it was a very good lens and Bjorn's comments you read are likely from 2 decades ago. Nowadays, I would get a more recent lens.
  4. Thanks Andrew and Shun for your replies. You saved me some money :)
    Amazingly, those lenses still sell new for CAD$2,300 or more.
    Andrew Garrard likes this.
  5. Although it is an old design, I still like the 17-35 other than in the image corners, and still use it regularly on my D810. I have not compared 17-35 results it to the 16-35 that is physically larger, but the 14-30Z lens is better than the 17-35 in the corners.

    The 17-35 on one body with a 70-200 on another makes a great event shooting combo.
  6. Yes, impractical and unnecessary overlap, as all 3 are big and heavy. Don't think you would carry all 3 of them out on a photo shoot.
  7. For what it's worth, I carry the 14-24 and the Tamron 24-70, which is appreciably smaller than the Nikkor. But I can understand getting something in between. (The 16-35 Nikkor never appealed to me quite as much, although the field curvature of the 14-24 means mine mostly lives as a vastly obese f/7 lens.)
  8. In direct comparison tests that I've seen, the 17-35/2.8 wasn't optically as good as the 16-35/4, especially in the corners. I have been happy with my 16-35/4 - until I compared it to the Tamron 15-30/2.8 (first version, not the current G2) which is clearly better everywhere.
    kevin_beretta likes this.
  9. The people that state that "the 17-35/2.8 was created for early DX digital" or similar are wrong.
    I've owned my copy since 2006, across D200, D2Xs, D3, and D800 bodies. It was not very good on DX, it is much better on FX.
    If you have actual experience shooting with this lens, you know that it is clearly designed for FX.
    It is actually very good ('very good' is not as good as 'excellent', mind you), "sharpness"-wise, at 20, 24, and 28mm, and clearly performs best at 24mm. It is fairly good at 17mm, meaning useable but the outer zones are usually a bit softer. It is weakest at 35mm, where the outer zones often need f/11 to sharpen up, and depending on the geometry of the shot, the outer zones at 35mm may never get sharp. It IS a primitive design by today's standards---no question. IMO, it does need to be replaced with something along the lines of what Canon has done with the latest (c.2017) iteration of their 16-35/2.8.
    kevin_beretta likes this.
  10. Kevin I have the 17-35mm and the 16-35mm Vr . Back in its day the 17-35 was the best of the wide angle zooms. I still enjoy mine.
    Now its still an OK lens but is dated. In the wide focal length range I have started to purchase high quality fixed focal length lenses. The current DSLR and mirrorless cameras make all lenses better but get more out of the more current lens selections. As well the fixed focal length lenses still as always perform better. The wide angle Sigma and Zeiss fixed focal length lenses for DSLRs in the 14mm to 21mm range are very good. That's the direction I would go in that focal range.
    kevin_beretta likes this.
  11. I recommend buying new lens. i still have this lens. Using it for landscape work. Robust. Take filters.

    Very good sharpness at center. weaker as it goes to the edge. Don't recommend shooting wide open with focus point on edge. I mostly shoot landscape with f/8 or smaller. It is still sharp for me.

    Couple it with DX camera, it is an ideal for walk around lens / street photos. it "takes away" the edge too where it is weak.
    Erik-Christensen likes this.

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