Since the 17-55 is a 25.5-82.5mm focal range, albiet in DX mode, what does the 24-70 offer other than being a FX lens? Also, is there any focal range that the 17-55 will function acceptably in FX mode?
Just asking particularly given the cost of the 24-70. It would appear that getting the 14-24mm f/2.8 and keeping the 17-55 offers another choice.
Hi, if you liked the 17-55 focal length on the DX camera, you should sell it and buy the 24-70 f28. If you don't require constant aperture or f28, then you could also look at the 24-120 f4.0 or the new 24-85. Congratulations on your new camera and good luck on your decision.
Did you sell the D300? If so, and you are not going to replace it with another Dx, I would suggest getting the 24-70, for about the same field of view but better optics. The 17-55 is still worth a major portion of its new cost but with so many people moving to FX, the price is the highest is will likely be right now. I have both lenses and feel the 24-70 is a better lens on either DX or FX, as long as I have something wider then 24mm(36 on DX) in the bag. We are is a similar position with 17-55 and 85 1.4D. Even on the D7000, I prefer the FX lenses. I have not mounted the 17-55 for probably a year but I use the 85 a lot now that I am getting more out of it on the D800. Like you, I have been thinking of moving to the 1.4G, mostly for corner performance. I just have a hard time selling anything. NAS is a cruel affliction....
>I even use my 70-200 2.8 VRII in Dx >mode occasionally to get a little extra reach on my D800E.
This is one of those innocent remarks that can confuse unless things are clarified...
The term "reach" can mean different things to different people. Some use it to mean tighter framing, in which case engaging DX Crop Mode can help if you're sure that the outer area of the scene contains nothing of interest - but staying in FX cropping afterwards gains flexibility at the expense of larger file sizes. On the other hand, many use reach to mean "more pixels on the subject" - and in that sense using DX Crop Mode does not make any difference.
Regarding the 17-55mm lens, I would aim to change it for a 24-70mm or equivalent to allow me to use the full FX sensor.
By the way, the D800 has about 16MP in DX Crop Mode, not 18MP
<If you like the lens try it in DX mode on your D800, its still an 18 mp DX camera. I even use my 70-200 2.8 VRII in Dx mode occasionally to get a little extra reach on my D800E.>
In DX mode your D800 is much closer to a D7000 in terms of ISO performance and file size. You really are giving up quite a bit.
As Brian suggests, crop mode is just cropping the image to a smaller size. There is no advantage to using a 70-200 in crop mode vs. cropping after the fact (other than file size). What's more, you are using a full sized viewfinder so it is not as easy to see as a DX viewfinder.
Sure you can use the 17-55 in DX mode and it will be roughly equivalent to the 24-70 in some respects. But there is a big difference in your images. The relative depth of field is about 1 1/2 stops shallower with an FX less on an FX camera - check the DOF tables for specific examples. The FX image size gets the benefits of large file that is often downsized for printing - and you lose much of that advantage in crop mode. If budget is your issue, the 24-85 is readily available and will better fit the capability of the camera than a DX crop using a 17-55.
Quality wise, the 24-70 is modestly better than the 17-55. But the other differences are very important. This is not a close call or matter of opinion as with many lens choices. The 24-70 clearly is able to take advantage of the D800 in a manner that is not possible with a 17-55 in crop mode.
I am probably one of few still holding on 17-55 for D400 in the future. I sometimes uses it with an 1.4X TC on D800. I like the weight and size of 17-55 on either D300 or D 800. The combo just feels right in my hand. I know I should replace it with 24-70 but I spent the money on 16-35VR and 50/1.4g, and I am still enjoying them on D800 to think about anything else. Picasso said it marvelously - you find pleasure in illusion but happiness in reality. I am very happy with my mid range gears while waiting for D400 silently. Nikon, have you heard me?
Wow! Thanks to all for the thoughtful and concise responses to my quandry.
I have sold the D300 to a friend, along with a 18-200 f/3.5 lens and other miscellaneous related items. I got the D800 for a number of reasons and that it has DX capabilities is OK, but I really dont have any plans or need to use it. But...it's there if I do.
I was on the fence regarding keeping the 17-55 and I have now decided to sell it and apply the $$ to the 24-70 and other desired glass.
It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us in trouble. It's the things we know that just ain't so. - Artemus Ward
The 24-120/F4 VR might be another option to consider, F4 will give you about the same DOF as the F2.8 you have on DX - you'll get a very attractive FL, a great travel lens, it's very sharp between 24-70 and a has good sharpness in the bonus range from 70-120mm - @ half the price of the 24-70, oh, yes you'll also save some weight, and hey VR2 if you like.
Yes, the 24-70 IQ, IS better, no doubt, but not by much. So it depends, if you NEED, WANT (NAS) and have the bucks for the king, then go ahead Otherwise IF you instead go with the 24-120 VR, then you'll probably will have a financed 16-35/F4 VR....
Sell the DX, once on FX you'll probably never look back.
It is a good lens but you will not the best from your D800 with a DX lens. The camera will automatically crop to DX format, your viewfinder image will probably appear smaller than in your DX camera and the images will only contain about 15.5 Mp out of the possible 36Mp.
If not keeping the D300 then rather sell the lens and get the (almost) equivalent 24-70 f/2.8. It will be somewhat larger and heavier than the 17-55mm but should address the same needs.
>Your VF size will not change in crop mode, it will still show 100%...
Apparently, when in DX Crop Mode, the framing display in the D800 viewfinder indicates only 97% of the frame vertically and horizontally, not 100%. I've no idea why they do that, but check pagee 424 in the manual for confirmation
Tue 15-Jan-13 11:42 AM | edited Tue 15-Jan-13 11:43 AM by Henry64
Yes you are right, that's what they write, have no clue why - however the VF doesn't change one bit. I also don't see how it could be possible to change the VF since that would require something to move physically inside the camera?
No, of course the viewfinder itself doesn't change. The manual's wording means that the crop markings displayed in Crop Mode indicate 97% rather than 100% of the reduced image size. I still have no idea why, but that's how it is. It's just the same in the other FX Nikon cameras
I did just that with my 17-55DX lens before I dropped it onto concrete floor by accident. It costed 2 stops but helped with handling on D800. The lens is now being repaired by Nikon Service. The photos gotten so far are sharp and very much the same as was on D300, but not better.