Nikkor 17-35 f/2.8 or the new 16-35 f/4 VRII?

Wide-angle/zoom purchase, which of the two?


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Apr 7, 2010
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Southern Enclave
#1
Contemplating on a future wide-angle purchase - would like to hear what the experienced have to say about the two.

Decided to opt out 14-24 due to the filter-less issue.

17-35 while much older lens, is slightly lighter and a guaranteed 2.8. I'm thinking of getting a good used one instead of brand new (which is about equal to a new 16-35).

Agreed that it seems I may have made up my mind on the 17-35mm already, but I maybe swayed if the decision is not a wise one.

Which route would you take if it was your choice and why? All thoughts and comments are appreciated.

I'll be using it on a cropped-frame D90, with possibility to upgrade to FF in distant or not too distant future...

(note: your vote will be revealed in the poll)
 

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Kit

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#2
It really depends on what you use the lens for. If you need f/2.8 then the choice is clear. The price of a used 17-35mm is around $1600, which is lower than a brand new 16-35mm. Sharpness of the 16-35mm at the bigger apertures is better then the 17-35mm but they pretty much even out at f/8 and beyond. I couldn't stand the curvilinear distortion on the 16-35mm especially from 16 to 20mm.
 

ZeroDivine

Senior Member
Sep 5, 2004
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#3
It depends what you use them for.
But if you can get 10 condition 17-35 good copy for 1.6k I would pick it over the 16-35.
at f/4 the 16-35 is slightly better esp in the corner, contrast and saturation is a bit better too on the new glass. Not obvious unless u scrutinize side by side. the old 17-35 is still a v good lens.
 

Dec 12, 2008
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#4
since ur on crop body now, why not use a DX lens 1st (10-24mm), and when u upgrade to FF u can sell both? These 2 lenses are kinda bulky and heavier... if you're not using full frame its abit wasted I think :)
 

#5
Both are good lens. the VR is a good edge technology over the other. Using the 17~35mm and loving it. Almost no distortion. Good for my landscape shoots as well as my photo journalistic style.

Both are sharp at their widest aperture. My 17~35mm is 6 years strong and I had to change the SWM on the 5th year. Pass down to me. Maybe the 16~35 has better tolerance and can last longer? I am a heavy user of the 17~35mm lens.

They next thing you may want to think about is... how long will the VR and SWM last... Change both is $$$$? :bsmilie:

You will love both. :-}

Cheers!
 

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K S Kong

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Dec 11, 2007
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#6
With the Nano Crystal Coating, the 16 - 35mm f/4 is More suitable for digital camera to obtain Better contrast and colour.
 

Numnumball

Senior Member
Mar 6, 2009
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#7
Bro,

This is heavily discussed before in great details.. u shd do a search man :)

Anyway.. A repost from my previous post. i'm in favor of the new 16-35 :lovegrin:

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Did side by side comparision with my ex workshorse 17-35 f2.8 make me decided to retire my 17-35 which i had for 2 years.

Plus points imho:-

1. Deliver real nice constrasty iq and render rather pleasing color reproduction.
2. Very sharp even wide open, and i am talking abt corner sharpness compared with 17-35 at wide open.
3. Nil Lateral Color Fringes and CA issues
4. Lightwieght
5. VR imo supercedes my need for 1 stop lower and Nano coating does help to a certain extent in minimizing ghost & flare.
6. Diffraction at f16 is better than 17-35

Minus points imho:-

1. Plasticly feel compared to the superior metal alloy body construction of the heavy weights 17-35 and 14-24 (liek wad u mentioned, even the 105 VR f2.8 is better built at 500+ lesser)
2. Focus 1 tad slower than 17-35, but t wont matter that much unless ur superdemanding, its still ultra fast nonetheless.
3. Focus less closer than 17-35 by a mere 1-2cm, who cares!
4. Distortion issues (from 16-22mm, base on my observation is worse off than 17-35 and as bad as the 18-35)

That said, i miss the build quailty of the 17-35 but considering the fact that barrel distortion (that looms from 16-22mm) can be fixed easily post snap.. Those plus points above give me more than enough reasons to make the jump.
 

Numnumball

Senior Member
Mar 6, 2009
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#8
However on a serious note, i rather u get a dedciated UWA for DX usage instead.

The likes of 10-24 or even 3rd parties in Tokina 12-24, 11-16 or Sigma 10-20 might be better catered for ur needs. FX UWA can wait..

*Personally i wont bother using a UWA on a Cropped, since it defet its purpose and u ended up in a middle of nowhere, neither wide or mid range..*
 

Jan 5, 2009
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#9
hi

Do you shoot on a commercial basis?

Otherwise I think 16-35mm F4 is a good budget lens

If you have money to burn, then its up to you.
 

Apr 7, 2010
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Southern Enclave
#10
hi

Do you shoot on a commercial basis?

Otherwise I think 16-35mm F4 is a good budget lens

If you have money to burn, then its up to you.
Nope, it's for personal use. I've been looking through the entire fixed focal range and wondered if I should just get a one-for-all lens instead of getting multiple fixed lenses (not all of them are fantastic either - ca/distortion wise)...

Numnumball, I hear you. Ultimately, I'm not targetting on a UWA strictly but rather the ability to cover 24/25.5-52.5mm in one lens instead of 3-4 fixed (which will round up to about the same costs). I'd still get proper UWA for the DX on top of that (UWA is not the top priority right now).

Recently I've been using my 60mm Macro for street and portrait shots (to test out the focal length for practicality-sake). A number of times I'd have to stand far enough or else I couldn't get everything or everyone in especially in tight confined spaces. In places where there aren't enough room to stand far away and where there are a lot of people, a shorter focal length would be preferable. Yes, 50mm 1.4 is a must have, but on a DX body, that's not much different from 60mm...

I'm not into buy and sell - I see myself passing my D90 to my kid in a couple of years time - it would ripe for him and hopefully me moving onto FF then, and we would share the lenses on our photography outtings and probably swapping between the FF and CF bodies.

Don't fancy swapping fixed lenses outdoors while exposing to the elements, hence the consideration for a zoom lens instead of a few fixed. One exception I might give way to, would be a 50mm 1.4 (gotta have a 1.4!).

I've also worried about the SWM / VR motor replacement possibility in the future, but that's probably looking too far ahead already...

Initially, I've considered 16-85mm VRII DX... but like I've said, I prefer not to end up selling the lens... However, considering that I might not sell the D90 afterall, would that be a good option? By itself, there's some UWA capabilities already...

I might look into 3rd Parties as NNB suggested, but only if I have no other choice as I'm not into B n S...

Nano coating - that's something to think about too...

Thanks for all your opinions (all being considered), if there are more please feel free to highlight what I might have missed.

P/S: yes I did a search like "16-35 versus 17-35" somehow ended up on the Canon forum instead... :bsmilie:
 

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#11
Ha Ha TS!

I think I have gone through similar experiences as you.

17~35mm is adequate for general in door and Travel up close contact with people. It is a must have lens for photojournalist which is why I bought the lens.

Great on a Crop for photojournalism to get up-close and give adequate Bokeh to knock out unwanted distractions indoors on my D300 crop. Good for Landscape and Cityscape on my D700.

The f/2.8 helps me to capture may shots which I might have missed in low light and misty conditions.

There are plenty of good old lens around. I don't buy into all that ED, Nano and VR stuff. I am more concern about the light and mood of the day. Hey, Steve Macurry and Anson Adam did not have all these but their pictures live!

Hope you find your lens soon and make good pictures!

Cheers!
 

#12
I think we discussed this before, but anyway...I still love my 17-35 f2.8...I have not considered replacing it as there is no reason to for me...I dislike any G lens as they do not have external f stop rings...but thats for another discussion..I like to cross mount lenses on occasion and for me the G lenses are not as easy to use on Eos or M4/3 bodies or for that matter on my F or FM or Nikormat ft3 bodies....etc... I also refuse to buy any more DX lenses as on occassion I shoot with FF bodies....

Also the 17-35 f2.8 is built like a tank!

Cheers:)
 

Apr 7, 2010
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Southern Enclave
#13
Ha Ha TS!

I think I have gone through similar experiences as you.

17~35mm is adequate for general in door and Travel up close contact with people. It is a must have lens for photojournalist which is why I bought the lens.

Great on a Crop for photojournalism to get up-close and give adequate Bokeh to knock out unwanted distractions indoors on my D300 crop. Good for Landscape and Cityscape on my D700.

The f/2.8 helps me to capture may shots which I might have missed in low light and misty conditions.

There are plenty of good old lens around. I don't buy into all that ED, Nano and VR stuff. I am more concern about the light and mood of the day. Hey, Steve Macurry and Anson Adam did not have all these but their pictures live!

Hope you find your lens soon and make good pictures!

Cheers!
Granted that a 17-35mm / 16-35mm maybe wasted on me, but I was having so much fun with my 60mm's 2.8 aperture (handheld and at 2.8) that I'm beginning to wonder whether 17-35mm or 16-35mm will give me a lot more play than usual! I've shot landscapes with my crappy 28-80 - certainly not the widest..more like 42mm (at 28mm)! So having 25mm would be cherry on the topping already...:bsmilie:

Well, I've been a fan of Ansel Adam's B/W landscapes, so I hear you on all the techie stuff. I do believe they would help a bit, just not sure it would a tremendous boost to the images...
 

Apr 7, 2010
2,560
0
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Southern Enclave
#14
I think we discussed this before, but anyway...I still love my 17-35 f2.8...I have not considered replacing it as there is no reason to for me...I dislike any G lens as they do not have external f stop rings...but thats for another discussion..I like to cross mount lenses on occasion and for me the G lenses are not as easy to use on Eos or M4/3 bodies or for that matter on my F or FM or Nikormat ft3 bodies....etc... I also refuse to buy any more DX lenses as on occassion I shoot with FF bodies....

Also the 17-35 f2.8 is built like a tank!

Cheers:)
I've never own a tank before... hence I'm curious how it feels like having to own one... :bsmilie: Burn a few calories while enjoying the shoot? :sweat:
 

#15
Granted that a 17-35mm / 16-35mm maybe wasted on me, but I was having so much fun with my 60mm's 2.8 aperture (handheld and at 2.8) that I'm beginning to wonder whether 17-35mm or 16-35mm will give me a lot more play than usual! I've shot landscapes with my crappy 28-80 - certainly not the widest..more like 42mm (at 28mm)! So having 25mm would be cherry on the topping already...:bsmilie:

Well, I've been a fan of Ansel Adam's B/W landscapes, so I hear you on all the techie stuff. I do believe they would help a bit, just not sure it would a tremendous boost to the images...
A lens is a wasted lens if it stays at home all the time. Most Nikkors are very very good! Some of the pictures you see on my Web are done by my old D80 with a 50mm AIS lens. Likewise, I love my 28~105mm Nikkor and still use the old 70~300mm G (No ED $100 lens) for sports and shooting landscape. The 17~35mm is a hand down lens. I pay $1100 for it. SWM died and I repaired it. All my f/2.8 are 2nd hand. I mainly use the 17~35, 60mm AFD and 80~200 AFD and 28~105 for Travel.

I like to shoot festive and I do a lot of treking. I need a tank to keep up with my shooting. Can't afford to buy new too.

Like my mentor always tell say: Buy the Best Lens you can afford. Stay hungry and chase after the light!

Cheers!
 

#16
Ha Ha TS!

I think I have gone through similar experiences as you.

17~35mm is adequate for general in door and Travel up close contact with people. It is a must have lens for photojournalist which is why I bought the lens.

Great on a Crop for photojournalism to get up-close and give adequate Bokeh to knock out unwanted distractions indoors on my D300 crop. Good for Landscape and Cityscape on my D700.

The f/2.8 helps me to capture may shots which I might have missed in low light and misty conditions.

There are plenty of good old lens around. I don't buy into all that ED, Nano and VR stuff. I am more concern about the light and mood of the day. Hey, Steve Macurry and Anson Adam did not have all these but their pictures live!

Hope you find your lens soon and make good pictures!

Cheers!
:)I agree with you 100% Andrew...You hit it right on the marK!

Cheers

www.snakephoto.blogspot.com

PS... I see that I'm not the only one that tries to stay clear of "G" lenses...http://diglloyd.com/articles/LensesNikon/Nikon-24f1_4G.html
 

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Apr 7, 2010
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Southern Enclave
#17
I wouldn't exactly stay clear of G lenses - just so happens that 70-200 VRII only comes in G type... And that is a long-term lens that I'm targeting at for nature and sports... I'm sure there maybe other options, but I doubt any lens would come as versatile and speedy as that... I doubt they will back-date it to a D version...

Looks like 16-35mm is leading the poll race, but 17-35 trailing not too far behind? I'd consider that a pretty close fight...
 

Kit

Senior Member
Jan 19, 2002
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#18
The last thing you want to do is to let the poll influence your decision. In fact, I don't see the point of having it at all. Those who polled are casting their votes based on their own experience (or sometimes, the lack of) and the popular choice might not be what you need afterall. I suggest you assess your own needs before buying anything.
 

Apr 7, 2010
2,560
0
0
Southern Enclave
#19
The last thing you want to do is to let the poll influence your decision. In fact, I don't see the point of having it at all. Those who polled are casting their votes based on their own experience (or sometimes, the lack of) and the popular choice might not be what you need afterall. I suggest you assess your own needs before buying anything.
Seems like it, doesn't it? In fact, I'm more curious of what experiences (ex-)owners of the lenses have to say more than anything else. Which ever lens leads will have little effect if not none - not necessarily the majority wins over my vote. I've also allowed the names of the voters to be shown as well...

I trust both lenses are very capable lenses, with very finite differences between the two for the most picky. The thing is, whether my own sets of nit-picking matches those that comes close to the same experiences that I might encounter...
 

mazeppa26

New Member
Dec 28, 2005
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#20
A lens is a wasted lens if it stays at home all the time. Most Nikkors are very very good! Some of the pictures you see on my Web are done by my old D80 with a 50mm AIS lens. Likewise, I love my 28~105mm Nikkor and still use the old 70~300mm G (No ED $100 lens) for sports and shooting landscape. The 17~35mm is a hand down lens. I pay $1100 for it. SWM died and I repaired it. All my f/2.8 are 2nd hand. I mainly use the 17~35, 60mm AFD and 80~200 AFD and 28~105 for Travel.

I like to shoot festive and I do a lot of treking. I need a tank to keep up with my shooting. Can't afford to buy new too.

Like my mentor always tell say: Buy the Best Lens you can afford. Stay hungry and chase after the light!

Cheers!
i like wad ur mentor says :)
 

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