Nikon 28-70mm f2.8 or the 17-55mm f2.8?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by ben__evans, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. I'm trying to decide which to get for my D2Xs as a general zoom.

    I'm drawn towards the 17-55mm due to it being wider, but I've heard great things
    about the 28-70mm.

    So, price aside (between these two), which do people recommend?
  2. The 28-70 is a great lens, but the 17-55 is better on a DX camera. The 28-70 on a FX is the same a 17-55 on a DX.
  3. To each his own. I couldn't live with 28 on a DX body as the wide end of my 'general zoom'. I'm looking for '24mm equivalent' at the wide end of a general zoom, and the 17-55 comes pretty close.
  4. No way I'd be happy with only 28mm as my widest lens. No way. I tend to not use that mid range much anyway.

    Kent in SD
  5. 17-55's price/performance ratio is very poor. If you want a 2.8 standard zoom for DX, I'd recommend either Sigma 18-50/2.8 or Tamron 17-50/2.8. Of course if you have money, why not...

    Its focal length corresponds 26-85mm in 35mm format, so it's relatively a bit wider and longer than 28-70mm.

    28mm equivalent is not really very wide, so the 17-55 is probably the better choice from those two, supposing you aren't buying fx or film anytime soon.
  6. The disadvantage to the 17-55 is that it becomes relatively usless on a D3 or other FF camera to come (except in DX mode). I have the 17-55 for my D200 and it is a great lens. I am sure the 28-70 is excellent as well but as others have said, having the equivalent of a 42-105 on the DX format is a problem for many.

  7. Which will drive you crazier, not being able to shoot at a legitimate wide angle lens focal length with the 28-70/2.8 (42-105 35mm equivalent), or not having a real telephoto with the 17-55/2.8 (25.5-82.5 35mm equivalent)?

    Personally, my theory would be that I'd rather have the wide angle capabilities of the 17-55/2.8 and crop when necessary to achieve longer effective focal lengths in emergencies.

    The price difference isn't that much and both are killer lenses.
  8. I've also got the Sigma 10-20mm to cover the wide lens - but maybe it would be worth getting the 17-35mm instead? Range aside, how do they compare?
  9. Might want to think about the 17-35/2.8 since we are heading into the FX sensor era.
  10. Ben, I'm going against the current on this one. I find the 28-70 range very useful on my D300. The lens is one of the best I have ever owned, and it doesn't leave my camera often. I also have the 18-70 for those times when I need to go wider. - Sean
  11. if you are sticking to DX the 17-55mm sounds like a better option.

    if you have plans to move to FX in the near future (or no so near but in the future) the 28-70mm is the lens to get IMHO.

    and then get a 17-35mm for the wide side and you have a SICK set up FX friendly.
  12. Based on real experience, I recommend the 17-35 ahead of the 28-70 for use with a D2x. I use over mine twice as much as the longer lens for events and photojournalism. The 28-70 is an extremely fine lens, but the focal length is sjimply not as useful.

    Both lenses can be used on both DX and full-frame cameras. I take about 55% of my shots on a D2x using a 17-35/2.8 (I never bought the 17-55), for both profit and leisure. With the cropping factor, the 17-35 behaves like a 24-50 lens would on film ("rounding" to the closest existing lens), which covers "normal" travel and journalistic usage pretty well.

    I use the 28-70 with my D2x mainly for portraits, formal groups, street photography and landscapes. The extra reach gives better perspective on group shots (given a way to back up) and better intimacy and isolation for candids. The 28-70 is sharper than the 50/1.4 and has less chromatic aberation, making it an excellent choice for moderate closeups, architecture and landscapes.

    Professionally, I use the 70-200 somewhat more than the 28-70 - about 30/20, mainly for concert and theater work.
  13. 17-55 for events, 28-70 for portraits. 24-70 is better than the 28-70 from what is said about it online.

    if you plan on FF ever, go with the 24-70.
  14. I second what Robert said...I own both but prefer the 17-55 as my main lens and the 28-70 is hefty but the optics are among Nikon's best.
  15. Ben

    I have just bought a 17-55 after two kit lenses and a Sigma 18-50mm failed on me. I resisted buying the 17-55 because of price,size and perceived value but mainly because of advice from this forum when I found a good used example I bought it. It is hands down the best zoom lens I have owned as far as color rendition focus speed and sharpness. The focal length is perfect and overall a fantastic lens. As a what we used to call a standard lens on a DX format camera it is very hard to beat, and even if you plan on getting a full frame camera down the line I would still buy one they sell easily and if you buy right getting most of your money back should not be a problem. I would love a 28-70 for a full frame but I think you will find it limiting on a smaller camera. I am old enough to remember when a 35mm was a wide angle and a 28 was a super wide so I am not a wideangle freak I just think 42mm is too limiting and you will be changing lenses a lot. Thanks to forum members who told me to get the 17-55 great advice.

  16. Thanks for all your comments; really useful! I'm thinking about the 17-55mm, but concerned in case I move onto a DX body in future. Perhaps a 17-35mm would be better? How do they compare in terms of build quality, image quality, AF speed, size and general colours/ contrast? I think you're right about the 28mm - 42mm equvivalent - being too limiting...
  17. The 17-35 is an absolutely superb lens, more often than not it is sat on my D2x or 2hs, saying that though I also have a 28-70 and it does live up to its reputation. If you have the choice, and the money, either one will not disappoint.
  18. Two each his own. The 28-70 is usually on the body and 50% of the shots. Then comes the 70-200 at 30% followed up by the 17-35. All of these lenses are much better than the samples I've tried of 50mm 1.4 or 1.8 at 2.8. For special times the 85 1.4 goes on.

Share This Page