17-55 vs 17-35 for Nikon DSLR

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by bernard_frank, Mar 27, 2006.

  1. Is the Nikon 17-55 DX on a digital Nikon really that much better than the "film" 17-35
    because of its digital optimisation? What exactly does this optimisation do, besides, of
    course, narrowing the field of view to the smaller "APS" sensor? Since I shoot both film and
    digital, I'm really wondering if the 20 mm of added focal lenght are really worth the trade-
    off of not being able to use the lens on a film body.

    Your opinion, please. Thanks.
  2. I have a 17-35 and use it both for film and digital. I think it's just great! I doubt if there is a sharper zoom lens in that size range available anywhere. True, on digital it's equivalent to a 26-53mm, but I can live with that for my style of shooting. At this point, I don't want any lenses I can't use both ways. It makes things a lot simpler for me and gives me more flexibility, and that's what I want when I'm shooting a wedding or some other event when things are moving fast and I don't have time to start ditzing around trying to figure out whether what I'm grabbing is a dx lens or not.
  3. The 17-35/2.8 is generally regarded as equal to slightly better than the 17-55/2.8 DX where the ranges overlap. However, that mere 20mm is significant in that it eliminates many of the lens changes for covering weddings and events. I have the 17-35, which covers about 2/3rds of a typical event shoot, and must be swapped with a 28-70/2.8 for the balance.

    Most people with an high-quality DSLR don't bother with 35mm film, so unless you are holding out for a FF Nikon, I'd go with the 17-55. For me, I have what I have, and it's not worth trading out.
  4. The 17-35 is digital optimized as well. It was made for the D1 and replaced the 20-35 which was developed for film.
  5. Never used the 17-55mm, but the 17-35mm is my #2 favorite lens on the DSLR. You will
    not be disappointed with it. Good luck.
  6. I usually shoot the 17-35, but the other day borrowed my editor's 17-55. I was surprised
    how nice the extra reach was. Not a huge difference, but kinda nice. Also, the handling of
    the 17-55 was really nice too, somehow smoother than the 17-35. (Could be theat my 17-35
    is almost 10 trys old, too though.) I'm not a pixel peeper by any strech, but quality is plenty
    good enough from both lenses. Still, I'm not upgrading my personal gear, not worth the
    extra cash IMO. The handwriting is on the wall for APS sensors, but it'll take Nikon a while to
    get there if history is any indication.
  7. I sold my very much loved 17-35 for the 17-55. That added range really makes it a much more versatile lens (25.5-52.5 vs 25.5-82.5) and range. Paired with my 80-200 it leaves only a small gap uncovered in the range. I'd say that for candid work the 17-55 is my primary lens 90% of the time. With the 17-35 there were frequent issues of being able to zoom in adequately across a room.
  8. Thank you all for your comments. Brad, you remind me that I almost vowed not to buy any
    G or DX lens because 1) I shoot film with AF and with older MF as well as digital and 2)
    mostly because I have a feeling Nikon will come up with a full frame sensor sooner rather
    than later. So, I think I'll stick with the 17-35 for now. When I find one at a good price, that
    is. The one I had in mind just got sold.

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