Nikon equivalent to Canon EFS 17-55 f2.8 IS USM?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by VirtualRain, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #1
    Can anyone recommend an equivalent lens to the Canon EFS 17-55 f2.8 IS USM for Nikon?

    My friend has a Nikon and is super impressed with the flexibility and low light capabilities afforded by my lens and wants to get something similar.

    EDIT: I may have answered my own question... 17-55mm f2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor - is this stabilized? Looks like it's not. :( I guess they don't have anything directly comparable. ???
     
  2. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

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    #2
    Ay, image stabilization. I will never understand why this is so important to people who aren't using long telephotos.

    The Nikon 17-55/2.8 is a terrific lens, and is better than its Canon equivalent. It's certainly far better constructed, which accounts for some of its higher price tag.

    Be sure to get it used, as you can get a great copy for about $800-850 or so. I sold mine for $830.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #3
    Forget about image stabilization, you don't need it at these focal lengths. The Nikkor is actually a pro lens since up until `recently,' they did not offer full frame bodies. Both, the optics and the build quality are excellent. I wish, I had the money to get one :(
     
  4. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #4
    I disagree about IS... it enables me to get a lot of low light shots without a tripod that I wouldn't otherwise get.

    For example, this one of the hotel lobby I was in recently... 1/8th at f5.6 and ISO 3200...

    [​IMG]
     
  5. ManhattanPrjct macrumors 6502

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    #5
    If you can make a compromise at the longer focal lengths, Nikon's 17-35mm f2.8 (which is no longer in production) is considered a legacy lens and is one of sharpest optics I have ever used. I had an opportunity to buy a used one recently and if I didn't already use a Tamron 17-50, I would have bought it without any hesitation.
     
  6. ManhattanPrjct macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Did you enjoy the "shoebox"-sized rooms at the Hudson? :rolleyes:
     
  7. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #7
    I've stayed in Manhattan a lot and the Hudson has large rooms compared to some! :D At least you could walk around the bed! :eek:
     
  8. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

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    #8
    Yes, IS has its advantages, but I'm sure I could have shot that at 1/30th at f/2.8 hand held with my Nikkor 17-55. It just takes a steady hand at 1/30th, but with practice it's very doable at wide angles. The flip side of not having image stabilization is that the Nikkor is every bit a pro caliber lens, as Luminosity and OreoCookie mentioned, both in construction, weather sealing and IQ. The Nikkor 17-55 is designed to be sharp wide open and is at its best from f/2.8 to f/8. I guess you have to consider what is really important, since even the entry-level Nikkor kit lenses now have image stabilization, as does my $100 Lumix point and shoot. But, the highly acclaimed Nikkor 24-70f/2.8 does not. It doesn't stop lots of top photographers from buying it. And it's one more thing to go wrong with a lens over time.

    I think the Tamron 17-50f/2.8 is now available with image stabilization, and lots of people really like the Tamron as an alternative to the Nikkor for Nikons, but I'd recommend the Nikkor without hesitation. As Luminosity mentioned, there are plenty of Nikkor 17-55 lenses available these days (with all the Nikon shooters moving up to full-frame) in mint or near mint condition in the mid-$800 range, but they can also sell for up to $900 in like-new condition.

    So, I guess my answer on your original question would be: the "equivalent" to the Canon 17-55f/2.8 IS would be the AF-S Nikkor 17-55mm 1:2.8G ED. Better lens, no VR/IS. :)
     
  9. TWLreal macrumors 6502

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    #9
    I like how some people make it sound like the EF-S 17-55mm IS USM is a bad lens.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Resolution charts are not comparable across systems but both lenses score incredibly high on pure resolution marks. They are some of the highest resolving lenses available for APS-C. No one should really need to complain about image quality on either lens.

    However, the fact remains that the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM is the only standard zoom with constant f/2.8, in-lens image stabilization and ultrasonic motor in any system, so far anyway.

    The AF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 G IF-ED DX is better built. The EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM is only built like other high-end EF-S lenses but does offer image stabilization and is less expensive.

    The Tamron SP AF17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di-II VC LD Aspherical (IF) for Nikon does have constant f/2.8 and in-lens image stabilization but only uses a micro-motor. It's also significantly less expensive than the other 2 lenses mentioned.

    So to sum up, everything has compromises, deal with it.
     
  10. TWLreal macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Also, it should be said that the Achilles' heel of the EF-S lenses is that you will not be able to use them on a full frame body at the cost of reduced resolution like you can with Sony DT and Nikon DX lenses.

    The benefit of Canon's success with full frame.
     
  11. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

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    #11
    The Canon 17-55 isn't built anything close to as well as the Nikon version, and that's a fact. Build quality isn't a big factor for a lot of photographers, and that's fine. I just know my copy banged into a door frame and had nothing but a tiny ding to show for it.
     
  12. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

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    #12
    TWLreal... I'm not sure what or who got under your skin... or what you're trying to get at..?? I didn't see a single post where anyone said the Canon EF-S 17-55 was a "bad lens."

    Your summation was the most useful part of your first post, and I think that's what others, including myself, are saying... I don't disagree with any part of it, although I will add that the USM motor is a Canon trademark (ultrasonic motor) and other lens makers use other names for similar... the Nikkor AF-S is the equivalent. It does lack VR, or as Canon likes to call it... IS. I think most of us are well aware of certain "compromises" we might have to make when we consider one lens/camera/etc vs. another, and IS vs. no VR was the main one we talked about. I'm not quite sure what you mean by "deal with it."

    I'm also not clear on why you felt the need to repost some website's test resolution charts, but thanks for taking the time it took. I'm also sure there are plenty of such test charts floating out there in cyberspace, some with perhaps opposite conclusions-- but that's not really the issue as I see it--results are. I know what kind of images my 17-55 can deliver wide open, in terms of sharpness, smoothness, bokeh, color rendition, contrast... all extremely good. So, I'm kind of done with over-analyzing via statistics done one time with one sample of a lens, but thank you anyway.

    Finally, since you did read the original post, and obviously can't recommend the Canon EF-S 17-55f/2.8 to VirtualRain's friend (since he's shooting Nikon,) what lens would you suggest as the "equivalent" to the Canon-- for a Nikon shooter? That seems to be the issue here. Your summation in your first post seems to say what I, and several others are saying... it would be the Nikkor 17-55f/2.8 (even if it doesn't have IS.;)) Or maybe you'd suggest the Tamron 17-50f/2.8 with stabilization... ? That's kind of up to you. :)

    I'd recommend the Nikkor-- and I explained why. Yours results may vary.
     
  13. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

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    #13
    Well, Photozone is something of a gold standard for lens testing, so it's not like posting just anyone's test results.
     
  14. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #14
    What ISO?

    I finally got an IS lens and I'm hooked...

    What I used to have to take at ISO1600 I can now take at a much less grainy ISO400...

    Pics I couldn't take at all with the available light now I have no problem...
     
  15. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

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    #15
    I've never owned a VR/IS lens before, and nothing on my short wish list has it (the Sigma or Nikon 14/2.8, the Nikon 14-24/2.8, Nikon 16/2.8, maybe the Sigma 150/2.8, and that's pretty much all).

    Not a stabilized lens in the bunch. You stabilize by upping the shutter speed and the ISO. When you shoot with a D700, you can do that pretty well.
     
  16. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

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    #16
    IS/VR is that annoying feature that you sometimes forget to turn off when you're making a multi-shot composite on a tripod, and it ends up throwing your images off registration!
     
  17. TWLreal macrumors 6502

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    #17
    It's what some have implied.

    Just here to set the record straight.
    What? What lacks VR? The EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM lacks VR? What the flying freak kind of statement is that?

    I said ultrasonic motor, not UltraSonic Motor. It's the generic term, not the trademark.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultrasonic_motor

    Just like in-lens stabilization is a generic term.

    The EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM is a standard zoom, with constant f/2.8, in-lens stabilization and an ultrasonic motor.

    The AF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 G IF-ED DX is a standard zoom, with constant f/2.8 and an ultrasonic motor.

    The SP AF17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di-II VC LD Aspherical (IF) is a standard zoom, with constant f/2.8 and in-lens stabilization.

    The EF-S 17-55mm is unique in that it has those 3 key features that the others don't have.

    Every system you choose will have compromises in some aspects. You learn to deal with it and work with what you have.

    It's not that complicated.

    It's a simple reply to you saying "The Nikkor 17-55 is designed to be sharp wide open and is at its best from f/2.8 to f/8" like it was a very special feat.

    He can make the decision himself with what everyone has said.

    There is no one suggestion. "Everything has compromises, deal with it." Life isn't perfect.
     
  18. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

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    #18
    I'd use the same ISO that VirtualRain used, 3200. He shot at f/5.6 and 1/8th. The equivalent for me would be f/2.8 and 1.30th.

    I guess I grew up shooting wide to normal lenses without image stabilization, so for me I don't even think about it as a crutch. I can see it for consumers with their point and shoots at almost any angle because the lenses tend to be so slow, and all the other stuff like autofocus on faces, etc... good for those that need it, but not for me. I'd much prefer a fast lens, and keep it simple. But... that's only me :) and everyone is free to differ.

    I'd appreciate stabilization in a long lens, I'm sure, but don't want to have to depend on it, because if you don't ever learn how to steady a camera by yourself, you could fall into the trap of having to depend on image stabilization, like some kind of drug... ;) Also, if I can't hand hold it, I'll use a tripod or monopod. It's old school, but I like to do the work myself. Having said all that... the simple fact is the Nikkor 17-55 does not come with image stabilization. Neither does the 24-70f/2.8. Maybe they would be better with it, I don't know, but I would not trade the benefits of either of those two lenses in exchange for image stabilization, if I had to have one or the other. Otherwise I'd have bought a Tamron 17-50 or switched to Lumix... ;) <just kidding there...although nothing wrong with Lumix... :)>
     
  19. TWLreal macrumors 6502

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    #19
    Then you no longer are at f/5.6. f/2.8 and f/5.6 don't give the same image.

    For a static scene, image stabilization affords you the luxury of stopping down your aperture in order to increase depth-of-field or using a lower ISO in order to avoid noise, at the expense of a slower shutter speed that will theoretically be handled by said image stabilization.

    Image stabilization isn't simply for long lenses. It's a feature that can be used for static scenes, even on wide lenses. It's there when you need it, with a minimal impact on image quality. It's an invisible monopod that you can take everywhere and anywhere. Just because some people have no need for it doesn't make a feature useless.

    Image stabilization lets you go as low as almost a full second, mostly reliably, on static scenes. No amount of hand holding and steadying will let you do that on a reliable basis.
    The beauty of image stabilization is that you don't have to carry those with you and can benefit from stabilization in places where tripods and monopods are forbidden.

    It won't be as rock solid as a tripod but it's always there when you need it.
     
  20. TWLreal macrumors 6502

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    #20
    But for the record, VirtualRain's example of 1/8, f/5.6 and ISO3200 isn't exactly the most remarkable example of use of image stabilization.

    1/8 at the wide end isn't that difficult to hand hold.

    But the point in my previous post still stands.

    Image stabilization will achieve a reliable rate, at the wide end or long end, even in the low, single digit 1/* shutter speeds. 88mm equivalent at 1/4 or lower, with a reliable shot-to-shot basis, is really nothing to scoff at.
     
  21. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

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    #21
    It won't be as rock solid as a tripod but it's always there when you need it.


    Until it breaks, which it has been known to do in the Canon 17-55.
     
  22. TWLreal macrumors 6502

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    #22
    I can't be held responsible with how Canon makes their products.

    It's not really a smear on image stabilization though.
     
  23. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

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    #23
    I'm afraid you're just looking for a fight, and I'm not going to give you one. If you read what I said, I never said the Canon EF-S 17-55f/2.8 LACKS VR. Try to read more carefully, please. Here's my exact quote, with translation:
    "...although I will add that the USM motor is a Canon trademark (ultrasonic motor) and other lens makers use other names for similar... the Nikkor AF-S is the equivalent. It does lack VR, or as Canon likes to call it... IS."​
    translation: USM is a Canon trademark..., not ultrasonic motor. And the equivalent Nikon, the Nikkor AF-S, it does lack VR, which Canon calls IS. So, we're really saying the same thing, that the two lenses have similar features---ultrasonic/silent wave AF motors and constant f/2.8 apertures. The Canon has IS, the Nikkor does NOT have VR... does this help clear my meaning up at all??

    I think we all get that... but thanks for clearing all that up... :) That is sort of what I was actually saying all along...

    No... it's really not! I'm glad you realize this, and can state it so emphatically so we all can know that you do realize this.
    And so by my saying the truth about my own experiences with my own equipment somehow threatens your... what? Do you always take offense when someone else who happens to like his non-Canon equipment tells it like it is for themselves? Their own personal experiences? How does this make any difference to you? The question was about recommending a lens that would fit on a Nikon... What is it about that you don't quite get? Sorry, bro, but the guy can't put the Canon on his Nikon, even if it's the best freakin' lens in the world... so sorry about that. If it will make you feel better, I'll say it... Your lens is better than my lens. Your lens is bigger than my lens. Your lens is prettier than my lens. I secretly wish I had your lens... but I'm stuck with my crappy old Nikkor... There... can we stop this now??
    So the point of your post was to help in which way...?? You won't even make a recommendation, but you get upset when others do? If I didn't know better, I'd almost swear you were trying to start some stupid Canon/Nikon battle by complaining about others' "implied" meanings against Canon without naming names, and by being defensive.
    Of course a person asking for suggestions would hope someone offers a suggestion, if they feel they have something to offer. I made a suggestion. You didn't like it. I don't know what the "compromises, deal with it" stuff has to do with anything. Maybe that's something VirtualRain's friend might have to consider, but for me there is no compromise by not having IS/VR or any other brand of stabilization for a wide-normal fast zoom. I actually prefer to not have it... simple as that. Clearly, others feel differently, and that's why there are choices in this world...

    Be brave, what would you tell someone who want's a Canon 17-55 equivalent in Nikon mount? After all your complaining about my opinion, surely you have an opinion of your own. Put it on the line, what lens would you recommend as the equivalent of the Canon 17-55 in a Nikon mount. That was the whole point of the thread, and all you've done so far is try to pick a fight with me, so let's have it. Either put it out there, and give your reasons, or stop criticizing those who do because you feel some kind of "implied" insult aimed at you... I don't even know you. Honest, you weren't on my mind at all.
     
  24. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

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    #24
    Can we agree to agree on something...? You really, really like image stabilization, regardless of focal length. That's really fine. That's why there are those choices. I don't really hate it, or love it... I don't have a single stabilized lens, and never have, so I'm certainly not dependent on it. I've managed to live without it. But, I won't compromise build quality, image quality and compatibility with the camera bodies I use... so for me, unfortunately, that means no Canon.... for one simple reason--- they won't fit on my cameras. :) It's simple, really. And I think the thread topic refers to Nikon mount options... of which image stabilization is only one of the considerations, not the only consideration, even though it is very important to you, obviously.
     
  25. TWLreal macrumors 6502

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    #25
    Yes.
    I enjoy proving things, with somewhat quantifiable numbers.

    I was amused with the "The Nikkor 17-55 is designed to be sharp wide open and is at its best from f/2.8 to f/8" statement, making it sound like it was something unique or remarkable. So I came in to set the record straight from the subtle implied message.
    There's really no need for you to stoop down to that level.
    He's asking for a friend, the other factors are vague, there is no budget, it's not a pressing matter, suggestions are made and well in hand.

    There's no reason we can't argue and be civil about it.
    I have no issue with anything anyone suggested.

    I just found your particular statement amusing and had to say something.
    "The AF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 G IF-ED DX is better built."

    "The Tamron SP AF17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di-II VC LD Aspherical (IF) for Nikon does have constant f/2.8 and in-lens image stabilization but only uses a micro-motor. It's also significantly less expensive"

    One is expensive, very well built, has an ultrasonic motor but no image stabilization.

    The other is inexpensive, of average build quality, has a micromotor and image stabilization.

    Compromises, real life, deal with it. Not that big of a deal.
    Whatever floats your boat.

    "Just because some people have no need for it doesn't make a feature useless."
    There are too many unknowns to make a sound suggestion.

    There is no budget mentioned, too many unknown or vague factors.

    There are not that many standard zooms for APS-C, with constant f/2.8 and image stabilization. We just about have all of them in here. Again, he can choose himself, depending on his budget and personal tastes. Every choice will have compromises as I said in my very first post.

    I don't attack anyone personally. I just see questionable statements at times and feel the need to set things straights is all. I have no issues with anyone in particular.
     

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