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Canon 17-55 or 24-70

Jake Hilleary , Mar 03, 2010; 01:41 a.m.

I'll start by apologizing for the relatively cliche question, but I've searched these forums endlessly and still haven't found my answer. I recently purchased a 17-40L as a "general purpose" lens for my 50D, and I've been very pleased with the image quality. However, I'm now realizing that the limitations are too obvious to be ignored. When I was originally searching for an all-around lens, I briefly considered the 17-55, but didn't know enough about it, and was turned off by the price. Also, I thought that I might some day go full frame, but I am really loving the 1.6 crop at this point, so this is no longer a deciding factor. As far as the 17-40 goes, the f/4 aperture is not cutting it, I do a lot of l ow light work and I need something with 2.8. Also, the reach is obviously pretty short, and I'd like to extend it. I've h eard great things about the 17-55, and the build quality issues and/or dust stories don't really bug me much, I'm not a professional photographer and I don't necessarily need it, although it is nice to have. The 24-70 sounds very a ppealing, besides the question of whether or not 24 is wide enough on a crop frame. Well, I have a Sigma 10-20 that I use often, and I don't usually mind switching lenses. So if I really need that wide end, I can always switch over, plus t he extra 55-70 on the long end would be nice, I also do a lot of outdoor photography. I've also set my 17-40 at 24mm i ndoors to see if I would miss the wide end, and I could definitely get used to 24 if I had too, the 24 vs 17 difference d oesn't startle me. Also, does the 17-55 get great saturation/contrast like the 24-70? Besides this here are the d ifferences that I can see: price, weight, L reputation and build quality. Most importantly, if I decide to save s ome money and get the 17-55, will I EVER wish that I had waited for the 24-70? Sorry for being long-winded, I j ust wanted to get the entire situation out there!

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< p>(Also, this is my current lens set up: Sigma 10-20, Canon 17-40L f/4, Canon 50 f/1.8, Canon 70-200 f/4)< /p> < p>

< p>I'd love some opinions!

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Yakim Peled , Mar 03, 2010; 05:04 a.m.

I'm prejudice. I love my 17-55. See what I wrote about it in this thread.

Happy shooting,

Mark Kissel , Mar 03, 2010; 06:06 a.m.

Obviously they are two very different lenses but not that far apart in either price or image quality. My 17-55 is a regular workhorse for me. One advantage (other than wider focal range) is image stabilization. That feature is a welcome addition to this lens. It is fast becoming legendary. The 24-70 IQ is pretty much already legendary. However, when push comes to shove, and I really need something that falls within both lens' focal range, I'll swap the 17-55 out for the 24-70 every time.

Joshua Tench , Mar 03, 2010; 06:19 a.m.

I went through a similar choice about 12 months ago (instead upgrading from the 17-85) and decided that the 17-55 was my best bet. I haven't regretted it and know I made the right choice.
Like you I have the 10-22, 50 f1.8, 70-200 f4 and with the 17-55 I feel I have the best combinations to cover 10-200. I think I'd really miss the 17-24 range in my main zoom lens as I do use it a lot.
The 17-55 is sharp, great contrast and produces vibrant colours. I also really like the results I get wide open.
The biggest downside is that I'd really like to go full frame but because of the lenses I own I am very hesitant as I'm not ready to pay for the equivalent FF lens (24-70).

Darwin, Australia by night (f2.8, iso1600)

Joshua Tench , Mar 03, 2010; 06:29 a.m.

Another favourite from the 17-55 f2.8

Christmas Lunch (late afternoon wide open)

Jeff Bubis , Mar 03, 2010; 08:19 a.m.

Last fall, when I was trying to decide whether to go upgrade my 40D to a 5DM2 or a 7D, the 17-55 wound up being one of the deciding factors. There is no FF equivalent for this lens. I've loved my 17-55 since I got it. The IS alone justifies this lens' place in my kit. It's not a L lens, build-wise (though mine has held up just fine), but the IQ is every bit as good as the L lenses I have (35L, 70-200/2.8, and 100-400). If or when Canon makes a 24-70/2.8 L IS, I might be more motivated to go FF, but I find the 24 to be a bit to tele on my 7D. The 17-55 is an amazing lens and well-worth the cost IMHO.
BTW, if cost is a consideration, you should also look at the Tamron 17-50/2.8 with OS.

Jon-Erik Lido , Mar 03, 2010; 10:41 a.m.

Before you go out and get the 17-55 consider the reliability. This is not a rock-solid lens.

zyg zyg , Mar 03, 2010; 01:27 p.m.

17-55 probably best zoom canon makes. probably best from any maker.

Brett W. , Mar 03, 2010; 01:31 p.m.

Take a look at the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 (non-vc) - very sharp and gets good reviews

Jake Hilleary , Mar 03, 2010; 01:59 p.m.

This seems to be going overwhelmingly in the direction of the 17-55, which must be for a reason. Thanks for the opinions everyone, I think the 17-55 must be the best option.

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