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Nikon 1870 vs 175528 vs 1735 vs 1224 on D70 and maby D2x



I am thinking about buying either the Nikon Zoom Kit 18-70/3.5-4.5 or the Nikkor 17-55/2.8.

camera will be short term only the D70, later probably the D2x/D200.

Who has experiences with those lenses on both bodies/one body.

Can the D70 at all use the better optics of the 17-55/2.8?

How about vignetting, flare, ghosting, resolution etc. used in the wider (17-24) and longer area (35-55) of both lenses.

Any experiences or alternatives, if better (i.e. 12-24, 17-35) are welcome.

Especially flare and ghosting are often not metioned at all in internet tests...

If the more on resolving power can not be used with a D70, is there a significant difference when used with the D2x?

Thanks in advance...


Active Member
Hi Dirk

When I switched from 18-70 to a 17-55 on my D70 I thought I had already recieved the D2X I had in pre-order.
17-55 is the most fantastic lens in any way, and even though the 18-70 is great for a kit-lens, compared with the other it far from the goal. Of course the superiority go on to the D2X as well. It is not only resolution but also contrast and saturation.

The 12-24 is in the same league as 17-55, but with a little less contrast.

None of the 3 has problems with flare, but 12-24 does vignet a lot in the wide end.


Ole Bo Jensen
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Hi Ole,

thanks for the quick reply. Onederful photos in your gallery by the way. Was it not you, who also used to have the Zeiss 18mm and made many shots with it?

I am currently evaluating all my options for going digital. I am a die hard Contax fan. Unfortuntaley, I switched a couple of years ago from the manual focussing sytem to the N-system. The system is great, but no digital option anymore

So I have to decide whether I go with Canon and buy then the Zeiss manual focus lenses to use them with an adapter on a Canon 20D or something similar, or I switch to Nikon, which I would much more prefer (handling etc. is way better IMO)

Downside of Nikon is the DX sensor. There are new rumours about an almost fullsize chip which may be offered in 18 months or so. Only very small margin less than full size (so crop factur would be below 1.1).

If that would become reality, a 17-55 would be a problem and a 17-35 would be better. But 18 months is a long time and many things can happen inbetween - even a new lens mount, which seems at the moment less likely...

So even more opinions about the mentioned lenses would be appreciated. The more, the better!

Thanks in advance



I just looked in your profile. My memory is still good !!! you are using a Contax Aria and a D70

I know it is off topic, but it is burning under my nails: Why did you go the Nikon route instead to Canon, where you could have used your old Zeiss lenses with an adapter?


Active Member
Hi Dirk

You have a goo memory, I was active too on the ContaxInfo pages.

Today I no longer have any Contax equipment. I took me 3-4 months to decide to be a full time digital photographer, both because of the many new features, AF, ZOOM, MATRIX, and also because I didn't get results as good as with Contax and Fuji.

I discovered the possibility to load new custom curves into the D70 and found a curve that could immitate zeiss + fuji. And after that discovery I knew I wouldnt go back to the old analog workflow.

My choice of Nikon over Canon was a kind of protest over that everybody else was buing Canon, and also the fact that Canon was spreding over 3 lines of cameraes with 3 different crop-factors. So either I should buy the top-model (full-frame) and lenses for it, or be unsure which lenses would be fitting my future camera-body. On the Nikon side there was a firm commitment to the 1,5 crop, and also lenses (esp. in wide-angle) that would be able to replace my old range of lenses.

With the D2X, that I use today, I think I make better pictures regarding resolution and clearness, then with my contax/fuji/KM 5400 II scanner combination, and then I'm saving on film and environment.

It takes time to adjust to the new workflow, and in my case I have used up to 10.000 exposures with every camera to find the same confidence in my shooting.

I dont think I would choose to put Zeiss on Canon, over buing some L or ED lenses.

Happy deciding.


ps. If you would like to recieve a reference shot with D2x and 17-55 please tell me so.


Hi Ole

"...With the D2X, that I use today, I think I make better pictures regarding resolution and clearness, then with my contax/fuji/KM 5400 II scanner combination..."

wow, that is a statement. I remember that I was deeply impressed by the photos you took with the Zeiss 18mm. So for me your experience with Nikon DSLR compared to your old Zeiss shots is very helpful insight for me

But speaking of the Zeiss 18mm: How did you compensate for this wideangle in the Nikon field?

Can the Nikon 12-24 be on par with the Zeiss 18mm?

And is in your opinion the Nikon 17-55 on par with Zeiss FFL in teh same focal lenght? My internal logic sais to me that a FFL 50mm "must" be better than a zoom at around 35mm.

Or is this with the new DX design, new technology in production and new sensors (D70 & D2x) not true anymore?

I use always Fuji Velvia 50 & 100F and Fuji Provia 100F and LOVE the slides


Active Member
Hi Dirk

Of course, you have to remember resolution isn't the only parameter to make a good picture, a lot of my photographer friends are talking of grains, contrast and the choice of film, as things that influence your results, but for me I consider D2X-resolution and scanned 35mm film-resolution to be compariable.

Of course medium format with film would be superior over 35mm film/digital 12,4 MP, but thats the way things always was.

Sometimes we forget that the 35mm/Digital 35mm is the little brother in the game, and that a lot of Pro's use medium/large format to get the results we see, in the everyday larger billboards and magazineprints.

I think that the Nikon 12-24 is a very, very good lens, not as sharp as 17-55, but very close, and if you keep people out of the corners on 12mm it is a great performer.

I have compared 17-55/2.8 with my 35/2.0, 50/1.8 and 60/2.8 macro, and it is at least as good, if not better than the three.

I too love slides, but I dont miss the workflow. Its like Vinyl Lps compared to CDs, the first is more natural/personal/original, the later more technical, but that dont stop me from enjoying the music.



Well-Known Member
> > Downside of Nikon is the DX sensor. There are new rumours about an > almost fullsize chip which may be offered in 18 months or so. Only > very small margin less than full size (so crop factur would be below > 1.1).

Consider this to be not impossible, but highly improbable. In the odds range of being killed by an astroid - not impossible, but highly improbable.

Nikon has made a deep philosophical and business investment in the the APS-sized DX sensor. All their new lenses are designed for it exclusively. Going to a larger sensor would require a whole new line of sensor designed lenses and a big shift in corporate culture.

As most well know, the design of film lenses can produce some dreadful results when used with sensors. The very shiny full frame sensor in the Kodak 14n produced recurring reflections between the flat rear element of some film lenses and the reflective sensor, dropping contrast and creating ghost images. While film does fine no matter what angle the light hits, sensors work best when the light comes in as perpendicular as possible.

Nikon's DX lenses are designed from scratch to match the requirements of the DX sensor. The sharp image circle they project is that of the DX sensor with minimal or no fall-off of light or sharpness in the corners. Going to a large sensor, the DX lenses may well vignette or show a severe drop-off of sharpness, invalidating the whole series. The alternate would be to use lenses designed for film, where performance could range from OK to disasterous, depending upon individual lens design.

I think the marketplace would react in a quite negative fashion. Users of the D2H and D2X would be less than delighted to find that just as they had acquired a new arsenal of DX glass, now none of it is suitable to the big sensor and film lenses are a crap-shoot, whether they will produce acceptable performance. Certainly a large sensor hitting the market in 18 months would be of a quality that every defect in a film lens over a digital sensor would show in great high-quality detail.

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ICQ 76620504



I just collected soe MTF cha'rts from Nikon Japan. Although thee MTFs are just saying something about prototypes and not of the serial production (unlike Zeiss MTF charts), it can give already an indication between the lenses:

1. Nikon 18-70DX

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2. Nikon 17-55DX

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3. Nikon 12-24DX

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I do not speak Japanase, so I can not tell at which f-stops it was measured, but I assume it is always left fully open and right 2 or 3 f-stops smaller...

And here a nice review of the 18-70 vs. 17-55 vs. 50/1.8 E, vs. 45/2.8 vs. 105/2.5

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And as a pdf file here:

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(48.6 k)</td></tr></table></center>


New Member
I have a D2X and recently took it to Glacier National Park with a 12-24 G Tokina and and an 24-120VR Nikkor. I purchased the Tokina in a hurry because I wanted to have 12-24 coverage on this trip and I read a reivew that compared it favorably, even to the Nikon 12-24. I am impressed with it. I have not gotten into all the pics the way I want to but at first indication, this lens is nice - sharp and good contrast. The 24-120VR did fair. I tried to use it in the range ofaperature and focal settings where I have read it is good. I may have a good one. It is a later model than some of the first. Of course in comaprison of lenses for sharpness, a tripod must be used in my opinion. Most of the shots on the trip were taken with a tripod. BTW, the color capture and workability of the D2X NEF shots is outstanding. I have a D70/kit lens too and took it to Maine last year for more tripod shooting. For what it cost it did a fantastic job. I would love to have a 17-55 Nikon, but after expenditure on the D2X, unable to sell my D1x, I had to cut some expense. Base on what I have read and heard, I will still get a 17-55 nikon someday. Best regards, Rick Waits


correction: the left one seems to be always the widest angle of view of the zoom and the right graphic the "tele" setting.

I do not find any indication at which aperture this was measured...


Active Member
Another very useful and good lens is the Tamron 24-135mm 3.5-5.6. I bought one recently for use on my Fuji S3, and the results are so good that I don' t feel the need to upgrade within that range, except with some fast primes fo r low light.

It doesn't have VR of course, but VR has its limitations as well, like moving objects, and the build quality is very good. Where I live (in Thailand) the price is about half of the Nikkor 24-120, but that may not be the case everywhere.

Together with one of the (many) good wide zooms available, it makes a good travel kit. Since it's full frame and has an aperture ring, it can be used on a film camera as well, even on an FM3A.