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Nikon 17-55 or 17-35

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Hi guys,

 

I am trying to decide between these two lenses. Has anybody used both? How does sharpness compare both above and under water? I will use it mostly for top side but also plan to fill the gap between the 10.5, 16 and 60 in my system for underwater. Also, how do they behave behind Subal ports? I see that Subal recomends a 70mm ext ring with the 17-55, does this make the housing too positive underwater? I also thought about the 18-70, but I read lots of reviews saying that it is too soft on the D2x, can anybody confirm/deny this?

 

Thanks for any info,

 

Luiz

 

P.S.: I'm sorry if this is an old question; I tried searching, but my browser is freezing and/or crashing when I search (Firefox on Mac OS X 10.3.9).

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Hi Luiz -

 

I've shot a lot with the 18-70 on the d70...i like this lens. Not sure why it would be soft on the d2x and not on d70. the 18-70 isn't as nice as a prime lens but a very capable lens and even better when you consider the price...

 

 

M.

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I have the 18-70mm and my dive buddy has the 17-55mm. The only advantage of the 18-70mm is the price however it is not nearly as sharp as the 17-55 and does not focus very close either. I did not bother to get ports to house it u/w but it is an ok lens for land use. If I have the cash, I think I would rather go for the 17-55mm. I don't know anything about 17-35mm though.

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There is a previous message thread on this subject. I have owned both. I sold the 17-35 after I got the 17-55 as the 17-55 is sharper by my tests. The 17-35 may focus closer. I also have the 12-24 which is in my opinion a much better lens for UW. The 17 mm end is not wide enough for wide angle UW. The 17-55 I found a much better lens for land photography on the 1.5x format than is the 17-35.

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Thanks for the thoughts, right now I am leaning towards the 17-55. Mike, I agree that the 17-55 and 18-70 may look very similar on the D70, but the problem with the D2x is that it resolves so much detail that you can instantly tell the optical quality of the lens being used.

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The 17 mm end is not wide enough for wide angle UW. The 17-55 I found a much better lens for land photography on the 1.5x format than is the 17-35.

 

Hi Dave, I agree with you here, that's why I also have the 10.5 and I am more than happy with it. If I get the 17-55, it will be used mostly for land, and eventually underwater (I will only need an extension ring, so why not?).

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Ok, after reading many reviews I decided that I will get the 17-55. Anybody using this lens underwater? Subal recommends the 70mm ext. ring and no diopter, is this what I should get or is it better to get a shorter ring and use a diopter?

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Luis,

 

I have the 12-24, 17-55, 18-70, and had the 17-35 (it was damaged some time ago). I can't see much improvement in sharpness in the 17-55 over the 18-70. The difference that appears with the D2xs files is when the lens is wide open, it has more purple fringing, more vignette and is a little more soft than the 17-55. With a D70 6mpx file the sharpness difference is almost inexistent. At f8 you will barely notice any difference between the lenses, even on a D2x file. The 18-70 is a fine lens regarding sharpness. The 17-35 is not a good choice unless you plan to move to a full frame sensor soon (film or maybe the D3). I think you will use the 17-55 much more on land than underwater.

But, my suggestion is that you by the 12-24 and the 18-70, for the price of the 17-55. If you already have the 12-24 or if the both lens fit in your budget, go for the 17-55 and the 12-24.

Thon Hogan has a website with good reviews of all the lenses – www.bython.com – as well he sells an e-book about the D2x. I have not read it fully because it has more than 700 pages, but it is an excellent source for information on the D2x. I recommend it for anyone that has a D2x.

 

Best regards,

 

Marcelo Krause

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Thanks Marcelo, I just bought the 17-55. It will be mostly for land photography, underwater I will use the 10.5 and 16 fisheyes. I may use the 17-55 for fish portraits as sometimes I think the 60 is too long for big fish (I am used to it on film, on the D2x it behaves like a 90).

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Hi,

 

I've shot the 17-35 extensively back in my film days. It is a great lens, but as was said, when you factor in the 1.5x that is caused by a small digital sensor, it is just not wide enough for true wide angle scenics. Hence the 12-24mm....

 

I did try the 17-35 with my new d2x and I liked the possibilities it has as a good shark/large fish lens so much that I went out and got the 17-55mm as a replacement.

 

As far as the diopter, it was suggested I use a 2x for it. Also as an FYI, since I didn't have a 70mm ext ring and I'm leaving for Kona on Friday, I tried to stack a 40 + 33 with no luck... the lens is to thick up near the filter and won't work with the 40 +33 ext rings. Since I am leaving Friday and no one has a 70mm in the states, I am going to try a 60mm and see what I get.

 

Anyone else with any UW experience with the 17-55mm in Subal rigs?

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Hi Dwake, please let me know how the 17-55 behaves behind the dome and ext 60. I have the 60 but was going to exchange it by the 33, if it works I will keep both.

 

Luiz

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Hi Doug,

 

I was wondering if the 17-55 worked with the 60 ext. ring and the +2 diopter. Let me know... It would be great if you could post some results.

 

Luiz

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Hi Luiz,

 

I actually never got the 17-55 underwater while in Kona. I really focused on smaller critters (nudi's, frogfish, scorpionfish, etc.) and stayed with my 70-180. I going out locally on Saturday with the sole purpose of trying the 17-55 with the 60mm ring. I'll let you know how it works.

 

Doug

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Luiz,

 

Got to use the 17-55mm over the weekend and the initial results with the 60mm ext ring do look promising. I have yet to really sit down and go through the pics in detail. When I do, hopefully later this week, I'll post more detailed results.

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I have shot the 17-55 with a 66 mm ext. ring and the Subal FE2 dome port. Worked well. Used a +2 diopter.

 

It has been a while since I used it. I don't see any advantage over the 12-24. Mostly I wanted to make sure it would work if I needed it for backup.

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Hey Luiz - Just wanted to let you know that the 17-55mm is a great lens and works just fine with a 60mm ext. ring. The lens is a great lens for medium to large fish shots and, in a pinch will give you a moderate wide angle lens for scenics. It won't replace my 12-24 but is a very fun lens for in between wide angle and say, a 60mm macro.

 

Doug

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