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Keywords: Tamron Canon Nikon Wide Mid Tele Zoom APS-C Di-II LD SP VC Stabilized tested


Registered: October 2012
Posts: 52
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II VC LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by dugong5pm
Review Date: 6/3/2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $350.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: IQ, build, VC, sharp, cheap
Cons: noisy VC, heavy, stiff zoom

This is a really NICE zoom lens for APS-c user
I use it on my canon body, and it delivers great images. This one is a great option to own-manufacturers 17-55/2.8 (which costs you more)

no complaints in IQ area. it's sharp, has nice & smooth bokeh look, and also good tonality.
It has a solid build (made of good-grade plastics), and heavy. It's a different animal compared to its thinner sibling (non-VC).
One of the biggest complaint maybe from the clicking noise of the VC motor. I find it's kinda annoying if I shoot in quiet environment.. but it's just me.

for the price (I got mine for $350 used, mint).. it's a GREAT lens.

Registered: April 2012
Posts: 2
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II VC LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by desp
Review Date: 4/4/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $550.00| Rating: 8 

Pros: good picture quality, good sharpness
Cons: zoom ring a bit stiff, you can hear VC

I bought this lens a few days ago. It seems good built, pictures are good quality and sharpness. I don`t like zoom ring, it`s little stiff (at least for me). When you turn on VC, you can really hear it.
I have made abot 200 fotos; AF is working good.

You can see some test shots I made on f2.8, 4.0 and 5.6 (17mm, 25mm, 35mm and 50mm). Pictures are re sized to 2400x1600.


Registered: June 2011
Posts: 2
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II VC LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by jaflor
Review Date: 6/19/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $650.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Fast and nice pictures
Cons: lock switch some times stops

after I received these lens I went to take pictures and all are good, nice focus, fast focus.
I am working with EOS 450D

Registered: January 2011
Posts: 1
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II VC LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by domagoj78
Review Date: 1/25/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $465.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: very sharp, especially f4 onward till small apertures like f16
Cons: no ultrasonic motor (sometimes slower AF in low light), noisy VC with delay

I had several copies of this lens and all were sharp, with very good sharpness at f2.8, and all were very sharp from f4 onward. With first sample the weakest point is 50mm f2.8, but sharpness is still good at this setting. CA is very well controled, and practicaly non-existant. Distortion could be lesser, but it straightens up easily in post-production in programs like DxO Optics Pro, that also has correction profile made especially for this lens.

AF is pretty sharp, very fast in good light, and reasonably sharp in low-light situations, but not as fast as ultrasonic-motor equipped counterparts.

Construction quality is good, better than model it replaces, but there are better built f2.8-fixed zoom lenses with better mechanics for sure.

But hardly for 465 bucks. For such a price, this lens is simply awesome.

Registered: May 2010
Posts: 1
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II VC LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by mal
Review Date: 5/16/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $514.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: As good as the non VC lens
Cons: Get Canon Err 001 on Conon 40D

I get Canon Err 001 on Canon 40D.
Err 001 is a communication problem between the camera and lens.
I used the camera in the house for about 3 days without problems, took about 100 pictures.
Then went on a holiday and did about 800 shots in 6 days and got the error about 4 times over 6 days. All terminals clean. Problem happens on continuous shooting of a moving object while zooming in or out. It is hard to re-produce problem.
I bought it from Citywide from Hong Kong over ebay as it is not available in Australia yet, I sent it back but they can’t re-produce problem, It’s been 1 month and still no resolution.
24 June 2010
Finally Citiwide sent a replacement lens after 6 weeks.
No problems with new lens so far, have taken about 1500 photos over 2 months so far. Enjoying VC in low light conditions.
I have the non VC model too and can’t notice the softness in the VC model when NOT zooming into picture. Unlike the non VC model, this was made and assembled in Japan.

Registered: April 2010
Posts: 2
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II VC LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by hballben
Review Date: 4/15/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $700.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Very fast Excellent quality-
Cons: None

I replaced two Nikon lenses with this one. If you are over lugging around a bunch of lenses-- Look no more! Tamron has hit a home run with this lens!
I use this lens on my Nikon D90 and everything works just fine.

Registered: March 2010
Posts: 3
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II VC LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by ifi
Review Date: 3/25/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $620.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: IQ is great, Colors are great, VC works superb
Cons: None

I use this lens on my 50D. I had the non VC version for a while and I loved it. Then once I borrowed friends VC and fall in love with it. I am thinking of selling the non VC version soon. This lens is way better than my Canon 17-40 L lens.

Registered: December 2009
Posts: 1
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II VC LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by debagus
Review Date: 12/30/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $547.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: sangat sangat tajam..dan bonus bokehh..
Cons: sedikit berisik dan bergetar saat fokus.

ketajaman hasil foto lensa ini sangat tidak diragukan, great sharpening....terutama f5,6...WOOOWWWW

body juga lebih baik dari generasi sebelumnya, ukuran filter juga sudah meningkat menjadi 72mm, bukaan f2,8 bokehnya dapet...wide juga dapet di focal length 17.

kelemahannya hanya sedikit berisik dan bergetar di viewfinder saat VC di on-kan...terutama saat mulai menekan half shutter dan mencari fokus...terlihat obyek di view finder sedikit bergetar per 1 detik, baru mulai fokus dan siap jepret.
(mungkin hal tersebut pengaruh dari VC-vibrate compensationnya Tamron)

tapi all around lensa ini termasuk 3rd party lensa terbaik.

Registered: November 2009
Posts: 2
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II VC LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by UnTone
Review Date: 12/20/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $700.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Excellent stabilization, very good image quality, F2.8 through whole range, good build quality
Cons: noicy stabilization, no AF override

I thought for a very long time which zoom lens to buy, tested all variants within 800$ and this lens is absolute champion for now in my opinion. I bought new Tamron and like it a lot.

Build quality is much better than previous version and on par with another non-pro zoom lens. When you look and touch it, you really feel what you are paying for.

Image stabilization is fantastic. I can't believe my eyes but it gives me 4-4.5 stops advantage on 50 mm. I can shoot 1/2 or 1/3 with crisp sharpness. What I don't like in Tamron's stabilization is significant noice. Also the picture in viewfinder vibrates for a fraction of second, but it is not a problem at all. In whole, it is perhaps the best stabilizer I have seen so far.

Image quality: good result through the whole frame on f2.8, and excellent on f4. I have a feeling that 2.8 loses a contrast a bit, but possibly I'm too captious. Distortion is visible on 17mm, but it seems to be smaller than competition. Cromatic aberrations: I can't test it in detail, but they are not big for sure. Vignetting: subjectively around 1 EV on 17mm and not visible for me on 50 mm.

AF: it fast enough for everyday use and not noicy. What I didn't like is that you cannot override focus. Direct competition has this option.

Additional comments: 72 mm filter size makes the lens pretty large in diameter: AF assist lamp is partially blocked on my D5000. Built-in flash makes a shadow. This is expected result, but just in case.

Very good resistance to flare. Subjectively the best what I have seen so far.

Registered: September 2009
Posts: 3
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II VC LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by DavidNJ
Review Date: 11/5/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $625.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, Fantasitc Image, Fast Accurate Auto Focus, Great VC
Cons: Focus Ring Moves and Can Be Damaged By Moving When Engaged, Only 45° Focus Ring Travel

Unbelievably good. Fast accurate autofocus leads to stunningly sharp pictures with good color rendition. Not that noisy in spite of no USM/HSM.

VC story. Doing some tests on soda cans on my desk. Handheld, 50mm, about 2'. Could read the text handheld at 1.3 seconds. Not 1/13, but 1.3. Unreal.

Build quality seems good. Zoom and focus are smooth. VC is silent, focus is not silent but not that noisy and very quick. In spite of only being 45°, manual focus seems usable.

When shooting video on a the newer crop sensor cameras (mine is a Canon 7D), you need a fast lens because you can't go faster than 1/30 of a second. This is probably the best overall choice. Comfortably the best choice.

Note, it is not as light as my Nikon manual focus primes. They are also faster and may also have a better image, however this Tamron is as close or maybe better.

This lens is much better than I expected and just excellent overall.

Registered: November 2009
Posts: 1
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II VC LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by AdamJRed
Review Date: 11/3/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $625.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp Wide Open, Good Value
Cons: Plastic Build, BIM Focusing

I use this lens on a Nikon D300S. I have previously used the Nikon AF-S 17-55 f/2.8, and the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 (NON-VC).

The lens is very sharp and works every bit as well as the previous non-VC version, if not better in every aspect. I have no concerns with the sharpness wide open, contrast is excellent.

It has a bit more CA then the Nikon 17-55 and just doesn't have the corner sharpness of the Nikon, but otherwise is a near match.

Its fast to focus and accurate on my D300S. From time to time it will focus incorrectly, but it is not often (maybe 1 out of 50 attempts).

However this lens was a bit less 'rosy' on a D90. Focus is bit slower, especially in low light. The difference between the focus speed of the Tamron and the Nikon are more evident with the D90, than the D300S.

While I am sure many will disagree, this lens has allowed me to part ways with my Nikon. The easily digestible $625 (after rebate) price and 6-year warranty have made this lens my new primary lens.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this lens to anyone.

Registered: March 2009
Posts: 6
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II VC LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by goldenpiggy
Review Date: 10/7/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $584.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Another wide open, crazy sharp @ f/5.6, VC is fantastic
Cons: focus ring moves during AF, soft case/pouch not included.

This is fantastic lens, period. The lens is sharp right off the bat at f/2.8 (particularly at the telephoto end on my sample). So it's fully usable wide open. Stop down to f/5.6 and it becomes truly spectacular -- sharp, sharp, sharp and great contrast. Very happy in the sharpness and contrast department.

The amazing thing about this lens is the VC (image stabilization). I can shoot at 1/4 sec shutter and get crisp images at 50mm. Truly amazing. Coupled with the sharp wide open performance and it's a winner. The VC makes a high pitch noise every, but nothing to be concerned about. Very effective, as good as or better than Nikon's VR.

AF accuracy is good, but not as good as Nikons which alway seem to nail it right the first time. Once in a while AF will be slightly off, but nothing bad. AF speed is fast, and now almost silent.

The lens is well-balanced on my D300. The zoom ring is damped just right. There is no zoom creep, but then again, the barrel only extends out about an inch and a quarter. There's a lock switch to keep the lens at 17mm just in case.

The VC version is noticeably bulkier girth-wise than the non-VC but doesn't weigh that much more. It is amazing how light this lens is for what it is. Construction is good -- not in the same league as metal Nikon gold ring lenses -- I would say it is on par with Nikon consumer lens like the 18-200VR. But it is better constructed than Tamrons of yesteryears. No complaints. Mine is made in Japan.

This lens takes 72mm filter. My only gripe is that the focus ring moves when it's autofocusing (like the non VC) and you can't just grab the focus ring to do instant manual focus like on most Nikon AF-S. The Tamron does use built-in motor for AF so it's compatible with motorless Nikon DSLRs like D40 and D5000.

I was originally going to get the Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6 which has a loyal following for its excellent IQ. Someone told me to check out the Tamron 17-50 non-VC which can be had for about 31,000 yen in Japan -- about half the price of the Nikon. I was leery of Tamron, having had bad experience with their original 28-200 ages ago. The reviews for the 17-50 non VC have all been very positive. It was a no-brainer to get a faster lens for less money.

I ended up going with the newer VC version for about $200 more than the non-VC. The VC version lists for 70,000 yen (73,500 with tax) and street price is around 50,000 yen. Some may argue that the extra money for VC is not worth it for a lens of this focal length and speed. IMO having VC even on a lens like this is definitely a plus.

Never thought I'd buy another Tamron in my lifetime, but I'm a believer! You will not be disappointed with this lens. It will give the Nikon 17-55 a run for the money, a lot less money.

As with any lens, I recommend you buy from a local store and bring your camera to test before you walk out. Each copy is different.


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