Nikon 17-35 2.8 vs 17-55 2.8 DX

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by johnyeatts, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. This question has probably been already tackled a million times, but one the eve
    of a new purchase I beg for advice.

    I have a D70. I probably won't go back to film in a 35mm format. I will probably
    upgrade my camera body in the near future. I need a wide angle zoom (I am a
    minimalist so I want one lens at that end; I have nothing at that end because I
    sold my 12-24 DX). My camera store has the 17-55, but not the 17-35. I get the
    feeling that the market is really excited about the 17-55, but I don't want to
    pay for hype. I want a good lens that won't go out of style. The price
    difference between those two lenses doesn't matter to me.

    I tend to shoot urban landscape/documentary and natural landscape and portraits
    (for which I obviously have another lens).

    Which one would you buy, the 17-55 or the 17-35?
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    This topic has been discuss a lot of times. I am not sure that you'll get anything new with yet another thread.

    For whatever it is worth, I can tell you my experience. I have had the 17-35 since 2001 and added the 17-55 in 2004. In the last few years I don't shoot 35mm film any more and the 17-35 has been sitting on the shelf all this time.

    Your mileage may certainly be different.
  3. I find that the 17-35 isn't wide enough OR long enough for the kind of work I usually want to do but that's just a question of style. The optics are fantastic, though. Still, the lens is just huge.
  4. My experience is the same as Shun's. I never saw much difference between the 2 lenses and got rid of the 17-35mm.
  5. I try to buy as few DX lenses as is possible (ONLY at the wide end where I need them). I think within a few years the DX lenses will suffer the same fate as 8-track players and Beta video-cassetes......

    I still shoot film, and, with a Nikon FF DSLR lurking on the horizon, I think a lot of people will be wishng they had kept/bought the 17-35 instead of the 17-55DX.

    It's also been suggested by many that the 17-35 is much better at landscapes and the 17-55 is better at action photography--YMMV
  6. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Lisa, in my experience, in the range they overlap, the 17-55 and 17-35 are about equal. At 17mm, the 17-35 may have a bit less distortion. Again, I still own both lenses and I favor the 17-55 for DX sensors.

    I wouldn't look too far into the future. While I do agree that Nikon will likely have a FF DSLR soon, but most people will continue to use DX sensor DSLRs for cost reasons so that there will always be a huge market for used DX lenses. Meanwhile, take Canon as an example, they have upgraded their original 17-35mm/f2.8 to a 16-35mm/f2.8 a few years ago. They have just upgraded it again to a 2nd-generation, 16-35mm/f2.8 Mark II. Any old FF lenses can easily become "old models" if Nikon replaces them with new ones that better match future DSLRs. Just because a lens can cover the 35mm film frame doesn't necessarily mean it'll work well with FF DSLRs.
  7. The new Canon Mark III is arguably the current flag ship camera for sports shooters. Its a 1.3 crop. Some people seem to get so fixated on the way things used to be, and how that's supposedly better. I don't think the Mark III is going to go the way of 8 track tapes. In addtion, many people that shoot wildlife (birds etc) love their crop cameras.
  8. My frind returned his 17-35 in favor of the 17-55 and regrets it, the 17-35 is a killer lens
  9. John,

    I went through this same thing your going through just recently. I ended up getting the 17-55mm for a couple reasons. First, because of the extra reach. I thought the 17-35 was too limited for the type of shooting I was going to use it for. If I got the 17-35 I thought I would either be switching lenses more then I wanted or be cropping more then I wanted if I couldnt get closer to take the shot I wanted.

    2nd, I wasnt planning on using it for film, so no big deal there.

    3rd, Im not worried about the FF DSLR issue in the future, By the time they are cheap enough for me to afford I will have more then gotten my use out of this lens. Not to mention, Nikon may come out with something better like a 17-70mm f/2.8 full frame.

    4th, I really bought this lens to be shot wide open at f/2.8. From everything I read, every review, of both lenses the 17-55mm was said to be sharper at f/2.8. Im not sure if this is true, but it is sharper wide open then my other lenses.

    As far as using the 17-55mm, I love it so far. It was made to go with
    a D200, or D2x.

    Either way you go you cant go wrong. These are cream of the crop lenses. Good Luck.
  10. Thanks for the input everyone. I went ahead and purchased the 17-55 DX today. While the guy with whom I was dealing in the camera store was a big fan of the 17-35, the general consensus among everyone in the store was that the 17-55 was a great lens. Both of these lenses are great lenses, and you can't go wrong with either. They felt like the Nikon FF DSLR threat was a bit of a ways off, and even if and when it comes to the market the cost is going to be out of reach for most avid amateurs. I haven't had the chance to really work the lens, but I'll put some pics up as soon as I do. Thanks again.
  11. Congratulations John. Its a fine lens.
  12. The extra length on the 17-55 made it worth it to me...sold my 17-35...I just didn't have anything to cover the gap to my 80-200 except the 35-70, but with the 17-55 the gap is narrow enough that I also sold the 35-70.

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