Canon 17-55 or 24-70

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by jake_hilleary, Mar 2, 2010.

  1. I'll start by apologizing for the relatively cliche question, but I've searched these forums endlessly and still haven't found my answer. I recently purchased a 17-40L as a "general purpose" lens for my 50D, and I've been very pleased with the image quality. However, I'm now realizing that the limitations are too obvious to be ignored. When I was originally searching for an all-around lens, I briefly considered the 17-55, but didn't know enough about it, and was turned off by the price. Also, I thought that I might some day go full frame, but I am really loving the 1.6 crop at this point, so this is no longer a deciding factor. As far as the 17-40 goes, the f/4 aperture is not cutting it, I do a lot of l ow light work and I need something with 2.8. Also, the reach is obviously pretty short, and I'd like to extend it. I've h eard great things about the 17-55, and the build quality issues and/or dust stories don't really bug me much, I'm not a professional photographer and I don't necessarily need it, although it is nice to have. The 24-70 sounds very a ppealing, besides the question of whether or not 24 is wide enough on a crop frame. Well, I have a Sigma 10-20 that I use often, and I don't usually mind switching lenses. So if I really need that wide end, I can always switch over, plus t he extra 55-70 on the long end would be nice, I also do a lot of outdoor photography. I've also set my 17-40 at 24mm i ndoors to see if I would miss the wide end, and I could definitely get used to 24 if I had too, the 24 vs 17 difference d oesn't startle me. Also, does the 17-55 get great saturation/contrast like the 24-70? Besides this here are the d ifferences that I can see: price, weight, L reputation and build quality. Most importantly, if I decide to save s ome money and get the 17-55, will I EVER wish that I had waited for the 24-70? Sorry for being long-winded, I j ust wanted to get the entire situation out there!
    < p> < p>(Also, this is my current lens set up: Sigma 10-20, Canon 17-40L f/4, Canon 50 f/1.8, Canon 70-200 f/4)< /p> < p> < p>I'd love some opinions! < p> < p> �
  2. I'm prejudice. I love my 17-55. See what I wrote about it in this thread.
    Happy shooting,
  3. Obviously they are two very different lenses but not that far apart in either price or image quality. My 17-55 is a regular workhorse for me. One advantage (other than wider focal range) is image stabilization. That feature is a welcome addition to this lens. It is fast becoming legendary. The 24-70 IQ is pretty much already legendary. However, when push comes to shove, and I really need something that falls within both lens' focal range, I'll swap the 17-55 out for the 24-70 every time.
  4. Jake,
    I went through a similar choice about 12 months ago (instead upgrading from the 17-85) and decided that the 17-55 was my best bet. I haven't regretted it and know I made the right choice.
    Like you I have the 10-22, 50 f1.8, 70-200 f4 and with the 17-55 I feel I have the best combinations to cover 10-200. I think I'd really miss the 17-24 range in my main zoom lens as I do use it a lot.
    The 17-55 is sharp, great contrast and produces vibrant colours. I also really like the results I get wide open.
    The biggest downside is that I'd really like to go full frame but because of the lenses I own I am very hesitant as I'm not ready to pay for the equivalent FF lens (24-70).
  5. Another favourite from the 17-55 f2.8
  6. Last fall, when I was trying to decide whether to go upgrade my 40D to a 5DM2 or a 7D, the 17-55 wound up being one of the deciding factors. There is no FF equivalent for this lens. I've loved my 17-55 since I got it. The IS alone justifies this lens' place in my kit. It's not a L lens, build-wise (though mine has held up just fine), but the IQ is every bit as good as the L lenses I have (35L, 70-200/2.8, and 100-400). If or when Canon makes a 24-70/2.8 L IS, I might be more motivated to go FF, but I find the 24 to be a bit to tele on my 7D. The 17-55 is an amazing lens and well-worth the cost IMHO.
    BTW, if cost is a consideration, you should also look at the Tamron 17-50/2.8 with OS.
  7. Before you go out and get the 17-55 consider the reliability. This is not a rock-solid lens.
  8. 17-55 probably best zoom canon makes. probably best from any maker.
  9. Take a look at the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 (non-vc) - very sharp and gets good reviews
  10. This seems to be going overwhelmingly in the direction of the 17-55, which must be for a reason. Thanks for the opinions everyone, I think the 17-55 must be the best option.
  11. Why not a fast wide prime? You've got everything else covered it seems.

    That said, in your post you give a lot of arguments in favor of the 24-70 and only a few for the 17-55. That should tell you something about how your feelings lie.

    The best option is borrowing or renting them for a few days.
    If that's not possible go to pixel peeper and compare the images of both lenses when used/shot with a 50D.
    (or a XSi/450D/T1i/500D if there are 0 50D results)

    If you still can't decide... wait till september before even considering buying a new lens because you are not ready in that

    Note: this is not a decision for life, both lenses have great resale values.
  12. I agree that a 24-70 seems like a better choice, Both are very good lenses The L is heavier and built better and will work on full frame. If you don't mind changing lenses ( I have a 10-22 + 24-105 combo for a while and i personally did not like to switch at that range but it was a good kit that many use and like ) But since you have 17-40 and 10-20 I would think a 24-70 would make the most sense with your current lenses.
  13. Jake:
    When initially deciding on a wide to normal zoom, I ordered the 17-40 L because it was cheaper and an L, but I was not impressed with it's IQ, (I may have received a dud) so I returned it and ordered the 17-55 IS and I can agree that do to it's sharpness (even wide open) and contrast and IS and 2.8 aperture, it is my favorite lens. Highly recommended! (But then I've never used the 24-70 L)
  14. I LOVE my 17-55. If, like you said, you have ruled out a full frame in the near future, I would go for this lens. The biggest advantage, IMO, is the wider angle. For a crop sensor, it will be more useful. I had a 28-135 before purchasing this lens and was always limited by the focal length. It doesn't seem like much difference in theory, but when you are in a situation requring a wide angle, you will be soooo glad you purchased the 17-55,

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