Have a new D700, need a lens to replace 17-55 f/2.8 DX lens

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by lisa_marie_mclaughlin, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. I just got a new D700 for Christmas (I have been shooting with a D200 for a few years). I'm hoping to add a new lens to my arsenal to take advantage of the full-frame capability of the D700. Here is what I have currently:
    AF 17-55mm f/2.8 DX lens
    AF 50 mm f/1.4
    AF 85 mm f/1.8
    AF 70-200 mm f/2.8 VR
    I do mostly photography of children and families with available light. I'm frequently shooting indoors under pretty low-light conditions so I'm loving the great high ISO performance of the D700. I have loved the 17-55 mm f/2.8 DX lens on the D200, but want a lens that takes advantage of the full-frame sensor on the D700. I'm using the 50 mm f/1.4 as my workhorse right now, but want something for a little wider angle work. Sometimes I'm shooting in a tight living room and can't get wide enough with the 50 mm.
    Is there a good zoom comparable to the 17-55 f/2.8 that isn't DX-format? Or a wide-angle prime that people love? I'm looking for best bang for the buck here and hoping to stay around $500, so a new zoom is probably out of the question unless I want to sell my 17-55.
  2. The direct counterpart would be the new-ish 24-70/2.8. It's going to cost you a lot more than $500, and more than $500 plus the $800-1000 you could get when selling the 17-55/2.8.

    At what focal lengh(s) do you find yourself most often using the 17-55/2.8? If there's a more financially tolerable way to do this, it will come in the form of less versatility ... so it will help to know how you shoot. It may be that you should just get a 35/2 to tide you over until you can afford that pro 24-70/2.8, which is definitely the lens you really want, if you're used to the 17-55.
  3. You could have a look at:
    I have the 24-85 f3.5-4.5 (which has been superseded by the 2.8-4). It was not a very expensive lens.
    I'm very happy with it, but I'm happier with a prime if I can get away without zooming. Partly because of the wider aperture, and I find wide aperture zooms very heavy and awkward (and expensive).
  4. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    If its high price is acceptable, the 24-70mm/f2.8 AF-S is the most logical choice. Otherwise, there is also the 28-70mm/f2.8 AF-S that is available used.
    If you want to stay with f2.8, there are 3rd-party options also.
  5. The obvious top quality choice is the outstanding Nikon 24-70mm 2.8. In your budget a lot of people swear by the very fine Tamron 28-75mm 2.8 lens. Most of the image quality of the Nikon 24-70mm and a lot smaller and lighter. Read some of the reviews. A lot of pros make their living with that lens. Good luck!
  6. If you don't desperately need a zoom, Sigma 24mm/1.8 is a fast prime with good results. I have it and I'm very pleased how it behaves on D700. Very good performer in low light, even wide open.
  7. Lisa Marie,
    If you intend to keep using your D200 alongside the new D700 then may I suggest you look at a 2nd hand copy of the AF-S Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8 lens. It will still give you the same wide angle on your D200 as the 17-55mm lens but will open up a whole new ultra wide perspective for you on the D700. I can't really sing high praises of any Nikkor wide angle prime that I've used / sampled for the D700. If the 17-35mm is out of your budget range then I's suggest saving for one, this lens is well worth it.
  8. If you need wider what about the 14-24mm f2.8 AF-S? Just a thought since you have the 50mm for that middle range focal length.
  9. the direct fx lens for 17-55 is the mighty 24-70. but if you dont wana cope with its high price, there are: 2nd hand Nikkor 28-70 af-s f2.8; a very very good lens; the 35-70 f2.8, its a push-pull, and screwdriven. no so sharp as those i mention before, but its way way cheaper..(2nd hand also). And, if you wana try the third brands, there are some very good. (but major flaw are their af... not so precise and fast. Tamron 28-75, (good iq, bad af), Sigma 24-70 f2.8 (fast, but not as nikon's), and some older ones tokina's.
    for wide wide angle, there is 14-24 but i think its too wide. 35mm f2 is an "ok" prime.. no so sharp or contrasty as the new 35 f1.8 dx, sadly
    and 24 f2.8, 28 f2.8 also. but none of them are stellar. if you are a corner sharpness guy, they might not be for you.
  10. the 28-70 f/2.8 is just as good as the newer version and can be had for quite a bit less. I've seen them go for between $900-1200.
    the 17-35 I use daily on my D700 and D300 and it's great. It's a nice lens on either FX or DX and makes a 25-50 f/2.8 on the D300, which is a nice range.
  11. it will be hard not to compare your next lens to the 17-55mm. if there is a cost concern to get the nikon 24-70mm, there is the sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 as well as its little brother 24-60mm f/2.8.
    if you think you want nikon and will not miss the wide side of things, it will be the 28-70mm af-s mentioned by the others.
  12. Lisa,
    I'll put in another vote for the Nikkor 24-85D f/2.8-4. It's my walkabout lens for my D700, has fast AF with good contrast and sharpness, and the extra 15mm is often just enough to avoid switching to a longer lens. At $700 it's a bit out of your stated budget but worth the scheckles. Remember,however, that it's a film lens. I've noted some digital fringing at the low end outside edges, but nothing that Lightroom can't correct easily.
    The new 24-70 is great glass, but before you bolt that much weight (and $$$$) on your camera, I'd strongly suggest you try it out at a local store.
    BTW, let's not forget that you can use your DX lenses on the D700; you just have to tell the camera that you're doing so.
  13. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    you can use your 17-55 in FX mode on D700 from around 28-29mm (without the lenshood) to 55mm with just a reasonable vignetting and slightly softer corners​
    That is not an approach I would recommend. DX zooms typically produce very poor image quality on the FX sensor outside of the DX area, until you are very close the long end. The fact that the image circle may be big enough by the middle of the zoom range is misleading.
    As I always recommend, get your lenses lined up first before you get your FX body. There really is no point to force a DX lens onto an FX body on a regular basis; doing so is merely wasting the FX sensor/body. And it looks like the OP has the fund for some good FX lens options, although she may need to sell the 17-55mm DX.
  14. HI, Lisa
    I am shooting a lot of little ones--6 grandchildren between 2 and 4. I just got the 24-70 and it is wonderful, but prior what I was using mostly was my nikkor 35 f2 AF. It was nearly perfect for shooting them, chasing them, ava light, etc as you describe. And it is small so it doesn't add bulk to the 700. And it is within your budget. I would suggest you at least try it on.
  15. Another vote for the 35mm f2.0. Its excellent for available light
    I used it all the time on the D300, and when I switched to the D700, it is still as excellent
    Incidentally, I sold my 17-55/2.8 and got a 24-70/2.8 to pair with the D700. It really is a superb lens
    If you intend to keep your D200, I would pair that with the 70-200/2.8 and the D700 with the 24-70/2.8
  16. >Is there a good zoom comparable to the 17-55 f/2.8 that isn't DX-format? Or a wide-angle prime that >people love? I'm looking for best bang for the buck here and hoping to stay around $500, so a new >zoom is probably out of the question unless I want to sell my 17-55.
    Lisa - I own a D700 as well and when it comes to sharp wide angle shots, my 20-35mm f2.8 gets the job done especially indoors and taking group shots of people. 20mm on a FX body is already too wide for me. I think you will love this camera and lens combo. It is slightly more than $500 used at KEH.com. You can probably sell your DX lens to make up for it.
    Enjoy your Nikons.
  17. Lisa,
    I wish I had your problem. With a full-frame camera plus a 50, 85, and 70-200, your choice is between:
    • 18-35 zoom -- practical wide-angle zoom for only $600
    • 14-24 megalens -- ultra-wide very expensive
    You'll be incredibly happy with either. I have a D90 and a 12-24. The 12-24 is one of my favorite lenses.
  18. I use a D700. I purchased a Sigma 24-60mm f2.8 and did not like it. I went to my local camera store and checked out a Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 and purchased it. I also have AIS wide primes from 20mm to 35mm and they are soft in the extreme corners but small fast and light.
  19. I got a 28mm f/2.0 AIS lens for just the use you suggest: fairly wide and fast for tight interiors and dim light. It's great on a D700. It's likely not the greatest (sharpest, most contrasty, whatever) for landscapes or cityscapes, compared to a slower 28mm or a modern zoom, perhaps. But for pictures of people, up close, it's awesome. You should be able to find one in great shape for under $500.
    The 35mm f/2.0 AF-D should also be nice on your D700 for those situations. I'll try to look from some persuasive pictures from the 28/2 when I get home this evening, if you're interested.
  20. Here's one from the 28/2 -- tight interior, low available light from a candle and a MacBook. I've posted this picture before (sorry), which is why I have it at hand.
    This is turning out to be a really nice lens for low light indoor environmental stuff, and even with a D700 there are plenty of places where you'd like f/2. Or when f/2.8 is good enough, it's nice that f/2.8 is not wide open. Another nice thing about this lens (in addition to it's great size, speed, contrast, and flare resistance) is that there's not much vignetting at f/2, and essentially none at f/2.8.
  21. You have 70mm and upwards covered. And you have a 50/1.4. Given those two, I would choose a 17-35/2.8 to get the full spectrum.
  22. ...what are you gonna do with the 17-55?
  23. Another vote the AF-D 35mm f2. Light, compact, fast and sharp. You can't get much better than that! Pretty cheap, too! Makes a great walk-about lens as well. In fact, and whisper this bit, but I think images from it have a 3D look to them. See this pic.
  24. For those applications I think the 35/2 AF or the 28/2 Ai-S would work very well; 24-70 although good, is expensive and too slow in many cases for indoor available light. I use the 28/2 myself.
  25. bmm


    Add me to the 35/2 AF-D recommendees. Fabulous little lens.
    If you must go zoom, my feeling is that the 17-35/2.8 would be the most useful given what you have already.
  26. < I'm looking for best bang for the buck here and hoping to stay around $500, so a new zoom is probably out of the question>
    for $500, your best bet in a FX-compatible zoom is the tamron 28-75/2.8. ugly-looking lightweight plastic lens with fantastic IQ, comparable to the nikkor 28-70 optically.

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