i hate making these, but 14-24 or 17-55?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by notelliot, Feb 12, 2008.

  1. notelliot

    notelliot TPF Noob!

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    first, i really don't like these threads, but i'm real stuck. i've had a lot of coffee, too, so some of this may not be coherent.

    i used the 17-55 months ago (only for about an hour, though) on a d300. i liked the weight and overall feel - except the physical size of the hood - it's a monster. i wasn't impressed with the focusing, it seemed to wander A LOT for a seemingly decently-lit mall. seemed like there was a lack of clarity too. leads me to think that i was using a bad sample, but a nikon rep was who had given it to me to try - you'd hope a rep wouldn't have a bad sample, but they only know the paperwork inside out, not much else.
    the other thing was the zoom ring. it's almost touching the body, i'm sure i'd get over that quickly, but it seems awkward.

    unfortunately, no one in town has a 14-24 in stock, and i don't know anyone that owns one (in this part of the world, anyway). so it's pretty hard to judge the feel of this. but i think it's slightly heavier/larger than the 17-55. examples posted on the net have, mostly, been pretty stellar.

    the reason i want one of the two isn't really about the working range or their light gathering abilities. i'm after reliable focus and good clarity, mainly. there are a few pros and cons though..

    pros 17-55
    - used to this range.
    - wouldn't likely need my 20/2.8, 35/2 MAYBE not even the 50/1.4 (less change-ups)
    - price (at cost it's about $1250, probably a little less)
    - easy to get

    cons
    - i'm VERY hesitant about dx glass. when fx is affordable, dx is out.
    - my experiances with it (haha)

    pros 14-24
    - wiiider
    - seems like better overall IQ
    - will work well with future fx bodies.
    - different range could bring about different/interesting techniques. (not counting on this)

    cons
    - probably not the greatest for portraits.
    - price (although it's not a huge leap. not sure if i can get this at cost either. if not, it's going to be almost 800-900 dollars difference between the 17-55)
    - that front element. no filters? at least a UV would seem reasonable to protect the damned thing.
    - availability

    lastly, i'm shooting a lot of action and portraits. weddings, shows, press kits/ band labels, and editorial stuff. it's not that i need a burst of 8 imgs at 14mm in 1 second. i need (like i said) reliable and quick af.
    this is going to be replacing my (retired) 18-70, 20/2.8 and 35/2. what i'm aiming for is the 14-24 or 17-55 on my d80 and my 85/1.4 & 135/2 on the d300.

    sorry, i realize that was a lot to read. any guidance would be nice. thanks for reading.
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Is the 14-24mm a new lens? I'm not a Nikon shooter...but I haven't heard anything about that lens. (I had to Google it, just to be sure that it wasn't a typo).

    It seems to be in the middle of wide and ultra wide, on your camera anyway. If you want wide, why not go for the 12-24mm or even the Sigma 10-20mm?

    I agree that these wide angles may not be ideal for portraits, so you might be better off with something in the 17-55mm range.
     
  3. notelliot

    notelliot TPF Noob!

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    thanks for responding mike. yeah, the 14-24 is fairly new - released with the d3-300, and a 24-70, around august 07.

    i'm thinking i could really use a few more millimeters for weddings. and just in general. i actually borrowed a 12-24 when i shot a d70s, wayyy too much distortion at the wider end. kind of silly to say, comparing it to the 14-24, but it has very little distortion compared to the 12-24's around.
    also, f4 is a bit slow for me. i said i wasn't looking for light-gathering abilities, but i meant going from 1.4/2 to 2.8 wasn't killing me. 1.4 to 4 wouldn't be a completely different game for me.
    as for the sigma (NO OFFENSE INTENDED HERE, TO ANYONE), but i bought a nikon body for nikon glass. i'm spoiled a bit. i have tried one, and it was fun, but that was it. fun.

    i'm almost ready to cave and get the 14-24 but, then i hear "portraits" in the back of my head.

    i think i need to try one.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That's understandable.

    I guess it depends on where and how you want to use it. Maybe you use it for more general stuff, and use something else for portraits.

    I have a Canon 10-22mm that I love for landscape and even some fun 'people' shots (for weddings or in general)...but it does have a lot of distortion for portraits.
     
  5. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you don't have an FX body, this lens isn't worth the $1700. If you really like 14mm, look at the rectilinear (corrected) 14mm f2.8, it'll be about half the price (if you buy used). I've also heard that the 14-24 weighs a ton and it's huge! Like almost 2 times the size of the 17-55. I'd defintely save yourself $600, buy the 17-55 and be happier with your zoom range. If you want a wide-angle on a crop sensor, get something that zooms out to 12 or 10.

    Also, when stepping into the ultra-wide zoom range, keep in mind that you will only need about 1/15th shutter speed to hand hold. So f2.8 becomes less of an issue, especially with the high ISO capability on the FX sensor.
     
  6. notelliot

    notelliot TPF Noob!

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    i remember looking at this a while ago, mainly for the speedlites/icebergs thing. but "sandro" has a couple d3's with 14-24s on them sitting close to a foot away from superbikes throwing sparks, in the rain. i think that says something for the build quality, and how much protection it requires.

    nikon pro challenge

    i can't post the specific image here, but if you look through sandro's on-location gallery, it's # 6 or 7 in the series.
    at 14mm on the d3, it doesn't bend a lot of lines. 21mm on dx would be even better.
     
  7. notelliot

    notelliot TPF Noob!

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    i don't currently pay retail for nikon gear :D

    although i do like 14mm, the test results i've seen for the 14/2.8 don't meet it's build or price and i'm trying to get away from primes in this range.

    i'm not looking for an ultrawide. 21-36 on dx is a pretty good range to go with what i already have. i think it's a smarter long-term investment. i don't want to buy a 17-55 and a year later have to sell it for fx glass.
    sure, i'd save 600 bucks this month, but in a year, i'd spend the 600 bucks i saved (and whatever i get for the 17-55) on the 14-24 or 24-70, whatever.
     
  8. Trenton Romulox

    Trenton Romulox TPF Noob!

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    All right, I have the 14-24, so I'll chime in...
    I was torn between the Nikon 12-24mm DX and the 14-24mm FX and I decided to go with the 14-24 FX because I plan to go full-frame when I upgrade from my D300 (two years or so probably) and I'd heard nothing but great things about the 14-24's IQ. Let me tell you, the thing is a tank. And it's not like, too heavy or whatever, in fact, if you have a D300 and battery grip, it's really well-balanced. The 14-24 is big though, don't get me wrong, but it's not too big. It's extremely well-built, but, the lack of a filter option does kill the deal a bit. But, overall, if you have the money for the 14-24, go for it, you're getting the best IQ at that focal range, period.
     
  9. notelliot

    notelliot TPF Noob!

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    could you post an image of the 14-24 and d300 combo? i just want to get a size reference.
     
  10. Trenton Romulox

    Trenton Romulox TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, I'll do that as soon as I can. It might take me a while though.
     
  11. Trenton Romulox

    Trenton Romulox TPF Noob!

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    All right. Here's three pictures of the combination for you. Taken with my D80, so I sort of forgot how to use the thing... HAHA.

    Front View:
    [​IMG]

    Side View:
    [​IMG]

    Top View:
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    I had to sell my 17-55 to be able to live and bought a Nikkor 18-70 off of craigslist for a little under $200.

    Hate to say it and I wish I did more research but the 18-70, despite it's build quality (or lack thereof), speed, and distortion, is every bit as crisp as my 17-55 was, even wide open. it doesn't quite have the contrast, but that's adjusted anyway in post production.

    the 17-55 wasn't a bad sample in case you were wondering.
     

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