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by Lars Kotthoff

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I have Nikkor 17-35 f/2.8 and I have been using it for years ... it works absolutely well and still performing like champ. Now, looking at the new AF-S 16-35 MTF chart, it kinda makes me wonder, whether I should sell the 17-35 and get the 16-35 f/4 instead?

So here is my question - if you were in my situation, what are some pros/cons that you will consider in making this decision? Or would you bit the bullet and jump to 14-24 instead?

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2  
That's impossible to say without knowing your reason to consider a change. What are you looking for? –  Guffa Aug 3 '10 at 19:54
    
There is no strong reason - but merely updating. It looks like 17-35 is still in demand that I can sell mine and get a NEW 16-35 with new 5 year Nikon USA warranty without losing a dime. –  Johannes Setiabudi Aug 3 '10 at 20:31
    
I gave this an upvote since, while the question is kind of difficult to answer, Alan provided an excellent one that serves a good purpose given the dangers involved in choosing a lens "by MTF chart". I can easily see many people in the same position, debating an "upgrade" due to some raving review, without giving their current lens its due. –  jrista Aug 3 '10 at 21:55
    
For one, you're giving up one whole stop of light. That's half the shutter speed or twice the ISO required. –  Nick Bedford Nov 24 '10 at 22:38

3 Answers 3

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Don't let MTF charts be the reason you change lenses. If you're happy with the results of your lens, then stick with it.

With your lens change, you give up a full stop of light (f2.8 to f4), which can be huge, even with the 16-35's VR, but gain an extra 1mm on the wide angle.

Given the two choices, I would stick with the 17-35 solely for the extra stop of light. VR offers great flexibility for low light situations, but F2.8 is still F2.8, and no amount of IS/VR/ or w/e can compensate for that.

Now, that said, if I were in your shoes, and I had the means to pull it off, I would buy the 14-24 in a heartbeat. Canon shooters have been fooling around with all kinds of cockamamie solutions to get the nikkor 14-24 working on Canon bodies, so if you're a nikon shooter who likes going wide angle and has the money, then yes yes yes get the 14-24!

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That's what I was thinking too - wait and save some more and get 14-24 all the way. Thanks! –  Johannes Setiabudi Aug 3 '10 at 20:27
    
+1 Can't resist up-voting someone who makes perfect use of cockamamie in a sentence. :D Beyond that, excellent answer to what I think was a rather difficult question. –  jrista Aug 3 '10 at 21:53
    
@jrista: thanks :). I have to admit, even I got caught up in the 14-24mm on a Canon madness for a bit. There are some rumors that Canon is going to announce a lens in that range, so it should make things interesting. –  Alan Aug 3 '10 at 23:31
    
Aye, I would love a super-wide zoom. I am not quite brave enough to go cockamamie on my camera's bayonett, but the ultra wide has always fascinated me. I have the 16-35mm, which is a phenomenal lens, but it does have its soft points. –  jrista Aug 3 '10 at 23:55

Are you unhappy with the sharpness of your 17-35? Have you exhausted the reasonable improvements you could make to your technique? Unless the answer to both of these questions is "yes", a new lens purchase is not photographically justified.

Upgrade when you have a concrete reason to, not when reviews catch your eye. More on that theme in this question.

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My "weak" reason is basically for "updating". My warranty for my lens is over and although there is nothing wrong with my 17-35, I can still sell it for a good price and get a new 16-35 (with 5 year warranty) without losing a dime. –  Johannes Setiabudi Aug 3 '10 at 20:32
1  
You're correct; that's a pretty weak reason. :) –  Reid Aug 3 '10 at 21:08

Usually these lenses questions are subjective, it has pretty much to do with the way you're planning to use it (which you haven't told). Personally I'd stick with the 17-35 for the extra light, I'm a bright lens fan and this would fit real good in my gear and rhe way I shoot.

PS-If you end up selling it I hope I can grab it, I have it on my shortlist for some time

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