Is 17-55mm f2.8 DX a silly lens to buy?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Ryan1524, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. Ryan1524 macrumors 65816

    Ryan1524

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    Location:
    Canada GTA
    #1
    I rented Nikon's 17-55mm f2.8 DX lens for a recent club photography, and I loved it. It made my job so much easier the entire night, just because I now have the zoom flexibility while only sacrificing about 0.8 f-stop compared to using a prime.

    I'm seriously considering buying one, but at the moment, my biggest qualm is that it's a DX lens. Eventually I want to move to an FX body. Is it silly to invest in this lens? I'm sure there's still a decent amount of life left to DX bodies. D300, the upcoming D400, etc. I don't really HAVE to move to FX. I'm not that pro.

    What do you think?
     
  2. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #2
    Go for it. I bought one in August 2005 and it served me well until about a year ago. I decided to replace it with a 14-24 and 24-70 because I knew I was going to want to move back to FX when Nikon released what turned out to be the D700. You may want to buy it used rather than new. There are quite a few of these up on Ebay for example, and you could save a few bucks by buying a clean used copy of the lens.
     
  3. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #3
    get it, unless you're moving to full frame next week.

    and it's one stop slower than an f/2.0 prime. f-stops are based on sqrt(2) - 1/1.4/2/2.8/4/5.6/8/11/16/22/32...
     
  4. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #4
    You can't take pictures now with a lens you don't have. DX lenses work on FX bodies in crop mode if you need it. If there's not an FX lens with the focal range you need now in a DX body and can use later in an FX body, then it's a no-brainer. You can always sell it later to reduce your capital investment so it's not really as expensive as full-price if you need to bail on it later.
     
  5. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #5
    It's a nice lens, no doubt....but

    a mint tamron 17-50 f2.8 can be gotten used for around $325 vs $900 for the (used) Nikkor.

    Unless you make money via your images, it would be extremely difficult for *me* to justify the Nikkor. The Tamron is an excellent value.
     
  6. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #6
    It's pointless to try to cost justify spending on a hobby. By that reasoning, it's all money down the drain. We buy certain things because they bring us value, measured by the pleasure they bring us with their use and not by return on investment. That perception of value is definitely in the eyes of the beholder.

    I went through several mid-range zooms during a 2 year period before settling on the 17-55. It's a very competent mid-range DX zoom, probably the best one available for a Nikon.
     
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #7
    A lot of people like the lens. Buy it if you like it. But no it's NOT ".8 f-stops slower" It is a full TWO stops slower than an f/1.4 prime. In other words if you can shoot at 1/30th second at f/2.8 then you can do 1/120th at f/1.4 at the same ISO. Two stops is a lot. But you may not want the small DOF of a faster lens and f/2.8 might be perfect for you.

    An f-stop is a ratio of lens diameter to it's length and the standard stops (1.4, 2, 2.8. 4. 5.6,....) are selected such that the effective square area of the lens' front element doubles with each step. Remember that when you double the diameter the area is four times larger. Going from your 2.8 to a 1.4 doubles the diameter
     
  8. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #8
    Why in the world is it "pointless" to simply *point* out that there is an alternative that is 90% as good for 1/3 the cost??? Your argument is a "strawman" as a response to my post.
     
  9. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #9
    First, the emphasis in your post was how you assign value to things and my response reasonably called that into question. Second, we don't know what the OP is currently using. He may (and most likely does) already have a lens of equivalent quality to the Tamron, but used the 17-55 and liked it. Is it silly to want to use very good glass? You say yes. I say no.
     
  10. Ryan1524 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Ryan1524

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    Location:
    Canada GTA
    #10
    Yeah, sorry about the inaccurate f-stop comment. Obviously, I'm an amateur. I have a good sense of exposure control, but I can barely remember how the values are defined. I read about them a Long time ago. The fastest prime I have in that range is an f2. So it's not as massive of a jump as f1.4 - although still decent.

    I'm not making any money with them right now. This is more of a hobby. Although, I am trying to build a client base with all the free work I do. :p

    I am aware of the Sigma or Tamron 18-50 or 17-50 f2.8. I went through a lot of comparison articles recently, I dismissed them. Maybe I need to take a closer look and re-examine my needs. I can always use my 18-70 kit (too slow), or my 35mm f2 (no zoom flexibility), but the 17-55 is a very nice range at decent speeds. Not to mention the build quality is amazing.

    You guys are really convincing me that the DX tag is not a negative. I'm thinking a D300 or D400 will serve my purpose for a long time to come. Hell, I've been using my D70s for 5 years and am still exploring its potential. :D Maybe FX isn't necessary yet.
     
  11. cube macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #11
    You should seriously consider getting a used Sigma, Tamron or Tokina for yoour amateur needs. If you don't like it, just sell it again and move on to the next option.
     

Share This Page