17-55 2.8 vs. 16-85 3.5/5.6 VR

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by C.Lloyd, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. C.Lloyd

    C.Lloyd TPF Noob!

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    So I shoot Nikon D80, and want to upgrade from the kit lenses.. Is the 2.8 really worth twice the price of the 3.5/5.6 VR lens? ($1500 vs $800) Will the vibration reduction make up for the smaller aperature size and allow me to keep the shutter open for longer enough to gather the same light? Or should I just man-up and get the more expensive lens? I'm getting started shooting weddings, but so far they have been outdoor gigs and I've actually been reasonable happy with the results of the kit lenses... but the indoor shots (after the ceremony) have been lacking a bit due to low light issues.

    Let me know your thoughts.
     
  2. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

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    You are not only buying a faster aperture with the 17-55. The 17-55 is sharper and I'd guess the contrast and colors to be much better too. Plus if you stop the 17-55 down to the 3.5-5.6 range then it will be even sharper leaving the 16-85 in the dust by that point.

    If you are wanting a really sharp lens in those ranges I'd suggest you check out the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 and Sigma 18-50 f2.8 HSM. Both of these are every bit as sharp as the Nikon 17-55 f2.8 and better than the 16-85 and both of these are in the Sub-$500 range.

    For weddings, you may want something longer too though so maybe also check into the Tamron 28-75 f2.8 or Sigma 24-70 f2.8 HSM. You don't want to shoot a bride with a wide angle lens anyway as it will make her look bloated and fat most of the time.
     
  3. C.Lloyd

    C.Lloyd TPF Noob!

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    Thanks... I'll check into those other lenses you mentioned. And I want to get a lens down in the 18 range because I seem to find myself having to back up or not get the shot I want in tight spaces with the 24-70 lens I have now.
     
  4. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    Vr doesn't freeze motion, VR doesn't give you the subject isolation of f/2.8, the 16-85 is not built like the 17-55.
     
  5. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

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    Gotcha. Well check out the ones I talked about...maybe check Flickr. My Tamron 17-50 f2.8 is stupid sharp...even wide open it's crazy sharp. photozone.de commented that it has one of the highest resoultion figures out of any lens they've tested and is sharp throught the range. The newest Sigma 18-50 f2.8 with the HSM is supposed to be just as sharp.

    If you compare the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 to the 50mm f1.8, wide open the Tamron blows the 50 out of the water and even with the 50 stopped down to f2.8 and the Tamron still wide open...the Tamron is sharper.
     
  6. C.Lloyd

    C.Lloyd TPF Noob!

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    And THAT is one of my concerns. Will the VR allow me to lengthen shutter times enough to compensate for the smaller aperature without introducing motion blur? That should have been part of my first post. Most of the stuff I would shoot that wide open wouldn't be moving a lot anyhow, I'm not doing sports photography or anything. The build quality, though, that I'd be concerned with.

    I guess I'll check out the Tamrons though... I had been reviewing lenses for a few hours and started getting a little overwhelmed!
     
  7. smyth

    smyth TPF Noob!

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    the 17-55 is a great lens. You won't regret purchasing it.
     
  8. Pure

    Pure TPF Noob!

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    Get a sigma 18-50 2.8, cheaper, and sharper than both.
     
  9. itznfb

    itznfb TPF Noob!

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    agreed. i've used the nikkor 17-55 and 18-50 side by side before purchase and for me the sigma won in every aspect except build quality. however the build quality of the sigma is still very good.
     

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