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Keywords: Tamron Canon Nikon Minolta Pentax Wide Mid Tele Zoom APS-C Di-II LD SP Tested


shatz

Registered: January 2014
Posts: 2
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by shatz
Review Date: 1/28/2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $350.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: very (!) sharp, AF-Speed ok, 2.8
Cons: not WR, somwhat heavy and big

I think this is the best lens to start with if you are new in photograpie! it is much better than any kit lens, it is not that expensive and you will get such a good image quality! If yours isnt tha sharp or has a front/backfocus problem you can send it to tamron, they will fix it and its worth the wait (of ap 8 days).


I used it with a Canon 400d (AF Speed was ok) and now i have settled over to Pentax K5II (AF speed is much faster than with canon 400d) and bought it again, both lenses where perfect from the start!


The only disadvantages are the weight and that its not weather sealed.
Glutte

Registered: April 2013
Posts: 6
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by Glutte
Review Date: 4/11/2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $250.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, good contrast, neutral color, bokey ok for a zoom.
Cons: Distortion 17mm f/2.8, front focus with D7000

This lens is sharp at all openings and is free of distortion with exception at 17mm where you find distortion and unsharpness till f/5.6.


Image quality from 24mm and up is excellent. I did compare it with Nikon primes like 28mm 2.8, 35mm AF-S and 50mm 1.8 and there is not that much difference between images taken with these lenses and !7-50mm even when looking at full resolution.


I used the Tamron with D200 and D300 without problem. With my D7000 and 17-50mm I have a front focusing problem. I have to adjust AF to +12
hdhani

Registered: March 2013
Posts: 14
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by hdhani
Review Date: 3/26/2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $325.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Lightweight, price, constant f2.8, 17 mm at wide end, price, 67 mm filter thread
Cons: Focus ring turns while focusing (it's bothersome), no manual override, no USD

This is 'budget' standard zoom lens with constant f2.8 and wider 17 mm. 17 mm is wiiiidddeeee enough for various shooting situation. If you need wider focal length, the only option is to buy 15-85 mm which has variable aperture or ultrawide lens, which is not as versatile.
Build quality is adequate IMHO, but for the price you get what you pay for.
One thing i don't like is that the focus ring turns while focusing.
This lens will be a significant upgrade from the kit lens, which is on par with the company's standard 17-55 mm image quality-wise. You also save a hefty sum of money in your pocket to be invested on other equipments.


All in all, a wonderful lens for photo enthusiasts...
valt3r

Registered: January 2013
Posts: 3
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by valt3r
Review Date: 1/20/2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Good color and f2.8
Cons: soft at 2.8

All photos from http://3foto.ro up to 50mm are made with this lens.
moose

Registered: November 2009
Posts: 21
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by moose
Review Date: 12/3/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $346.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: excellent build quality - sharp - fast to focus - low price
Cons:

Bought for use with my Nikon D300 and D5100.


Light professional zoom lens with a constant aperture of f2.8. I've only had this lens a few weeks and it is already a favourite!


Solid and well-built. Made in Japan. A real photographers lens that fits the hand perfectly and very tactile to work with.


Focus is instant and although the focus ring moves in auto-focus mode it is completly silent and unobtrusive.


Photographs are wonderfully sharp and the colours are vibrant.


This model weighs 440g, which is about the same as my Nikon 18-105mm. And, the filter size is the same at 67mm.


I opted for the non-vibration compensation version of this lens as it has very good reports and also features in the D300 Digital Field Guide.


This version has a built-in autofocus motor for use on my D5100.
dugong5pm

Registered: October 2012
Posts: 52
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by dugong5pm
Review Date: 10/12/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $350.00| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: sharp, nice build, lightweight, price
Cons: harsh bokeh

a budget alternative for a f/2.8 zoom. It delivers sharp images. Highly usable at f/2.8 and improves when stopped down. This is the lens for most users who want more from their zoom kit lens.
The only downside is the harsh bokeh it produces. The bokeh is still quite distracting, even wide open.
rayphoto

Registered: May 2012
Posts: 2
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by rayphoto
Review Date: 5/17/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $350.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Prime like sharp images, Fast Zoom, Smooth, Light weight
Cons: No silent motor & little more plasticy

The Tamron AF 17-50mm f/2.8 SP XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF] is a very serious performer capable to deliver very sharp images at all focal lengths. Vignetting and distortion are about average for a lens in this class. CAs are a bit on the high side towards the short end of the focal range.


Unfortunately the lens suffers from strong field curvature at 17mm which may push the corner portions out-of-focus. The level of distortion is about average in this class whereas vignetting and lateral CAs could be somewhat better.


Mechanically the lens isn't top notch but it compares very well to other lenses in this price class. Thanks to the very moderate price tag the lens is highly attractive and definitely worth a deeper look when shopping for a quality standard zoom lens for any APSC DSLR and it's also a very interesting alternative to the genuine OEM standard zooms.
yoster

Registered: May 2012
Posts: 2
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by yoster
Review Date: 5/8/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $400.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: VERY sharp, fast zoom (on a sony a55,) smooth,, fast, plain awesome
Cons: Doesn't have an internal focus motor (screw drive focus)

10's all around for this lens. I love it. I'm not marking it down for focus motor type, because I knew that's what it had when I bought it, so it's not a 'fault.'


It doesn't need VC, since I have that built in.


Overall, this lens rocks. I mean, it's REALLY good. I've sold almost all my primes because this one does the job in almost every single situation I'm in.


Despite what other say, focus is very very fast. Might be due to the camera I have though, the Sony a55.
Danno

Registered: May 2012
Posts: 2
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by Danno
Review Date: 5/5/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $392.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp from f2.8, impressive little CA, light and compact
Cons: Noisy AF, some vignetting at f2.8

This is a very good lens. I use it on a Canon 60D. The downsides are the AF, which is noisy and not very fast when shooting moving subjects and some vignetting at f2.8. Both downsides can be overcome when you know how to work with this lens. The lens is most sharp at the wide end. In light situations it's really good, better than my Sigma 50 f1.4 at the f2.8 setting. In darker situations, my Sigma becomes sharper than the Tamron at f2.8. I tested the Canon 24-70 f2.8, but it's less sharp on the 60D than the Tamron. Indoors I combine this lens with the 430EX II flash, great combo. Just test this lens before purchase to ensure a sharp copy. CA's are very well controlled, better than the Sigma 50. Note that on a crop sensor body you will not get much Bokeh at 2.8, you need a 1.4 prime really. For the price an excellent crop sensor lens. I don't see the point spending 850 Euro for the Canon 2.8 EF-S. Hope this helps choosing.
jonasjschreiber

Registered: December 2011
Posts: 2
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by jonasjschreiber
Review Date: 12/14/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $425.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sturdy, Fast, Constant Aperture, SHARP
Cons: Can't think of much...maybe some fringing at 2.8

Excellent lens which pairs well with my Sony A33. I couldn't find anything else that had a standard zoom range, constant 2.8, at this price range. Perhaps if I had looked for used gear I could, but I am extremely happy with my purchase and don't know how I could be made happier in this range, weight, and sharpness even if money wasn't a concern.
J in Colo

Registered: November 2011
Posts: 1
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by J in Colo
Review Date: 11/24/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $400.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very sharp
Cons: A little soft in lower left corner at f/2.8 that clears up at f/3.2 and beyond

I registered here to give my review of this lens after seeing a few 2 and 3 star reviews. This is my second sharpest lens (my Nikon 35mm f/1.8 is just a bit sharper). It's a joy to use. If I'm isolating a subject at f/2.8, who cares if it's a tad soft in the lower left hand corner? Stopped down just a bit it's very sharp edge to edge.


Maybe I got as good a copy as Tamron makes and the two star reviewer got a lemon but I can say that when you get a good copy it's a fine lens. It's exactly what I wanted: sharp with a steady f/2.8.
photobug13

Registered: November 2011
Posts: 1
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by photobug13
Review Date: 11/2/2011 Would you recommend the product? No | Total Spent: $460.00| Rating: 2 

 
Pros:
Cons:

This lens, that I got from Amazon.com, was absolutely the worst lens I have ever seen or read about. All photos taken at any focal length, or any lens opening, or any shutter speed, or any ISO setting had massive blurring of the right side of the image starting in the middle and getting progesively worse until at the extreme right it was totaly blurred. How this got through any quality controls is hard to believe.
Superka

Registered: May 2011
Posts: 3
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by Superka
Review Date: 5/8/2011 Would you recommend the product? No | Total Spent: $500.00| Rating: 3 

 
Pros: 2.8 aperture
Cons: Decentering defects

I had Tamron 18-200 for a long time and it was nice. I expected to have a nice lens when bought this 17-50.
This lens can be sharp, I'm sure. But I've got a sample with huge decentering defect. I tried to change it to another, but it had similar problem. Only the third was symmetrical, but I was too disappointed. I don't like this lens, and had sell it at last. I don't recommend it. QC is poor at the factory. Try it carefully before buying.


Hello from Moscow.
DLx

Registered: April 2011
Posts: 2
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by DLx
Review Date: 4/27/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $600.00| Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Affordable, fast
Cons: bokeh, lack of contrast

First the good points:
It brings you the advantages of a fast fixed-aperture zoom at an unbeatable price.
It's very sharp, especially stopped down a little.
Great for a walk around or just getting your toe in the waters of professionalism.


But there remain the bad points:
The build is very poor, almost like a kit lens. The front plastic rim with the hood and filter threads loosens quickly and you have a feeling it will drop off any second. Focus ring moves when you autofocus and very often is just under your fingertips.
Although sharpness is great, it still lags behind the Canon affordable primes in contrast and color reproduction. Also, the out-of-focus highlights are very, very bad.


All in all, I found that I used it less and less when I had Canon 10-22, 28 1.8 and 50 1.4, was worried that it wont break apart and finally sold it.


However, I would still recommend it for a casual user who takes very good care about his equipment, want's a good traveling lens and is on a budget.
jt354

Registered: May 2010
Posts: 9
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by jt354
Review Date: 2/8/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $460.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: IQ
Cons: Vignetting at 17mm, AF noise, focus ring

I just received this lens today and wanted to share a few first impressions.


Build: The barrel is mid-grade plastic, similar to Canon's higher-end consumer lenses. The zoom ring is a bit stiff to turn but is well damped -- I haven't noticed any issues with zoom creep or looseness of the extending inner barrel. A lock switch holds the zoom at 17mm, this may be necessary as the lens "wears in." The focus ring is only slightly better than that on the kit lens :P, in that it has a distance scale. I'm not a fan of the short travel for manual focusing, which makes it difficult to fine-tune focus. The hood is...subpar.


Sharpness: Excellent from 17-35mm wide open, very good at 50mm. Tack-sharp stopped down at all focal lengths. Far better than the 17-40L, and comparable to the 17-55mm IS.


Vignetting: Very noticeable at 17mm wide open, improves stopped down but can still be seen @ f/4 and f/5.6 on the wide end.


Distortion: Distinct pincushion at tele, not horrible but definitely there (I've been shooting pieces of artwork all day and it's pretty obvious for rectangular frames). Some barrel at 17mm.


Autofocus: Pretty quick and accurate, very loud and obnoxious. The focusing ring turns and the lens doesn't feature manual focus override (you have to switch to MF to be able to focus manually). The focus ring is too close to the zoom ring IMO, easy to bump by accident.


All in all, a pretty nice little lens. I'll be keeping it.
mohitkrishna

Registered: January 2011
Posts: 2
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by mohitkrishna
Review Date: 1/8/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $425.00| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Good outdoor performance, value for money
Cons: Soft at f2.8, struggles for focus in low light conditions, slow autofocus

When I first started searching for a wide angle multipurpose zoom lens, I shortlisted Canon 18-200mm IS, Canon 18-55mm IS, Canon 17-50mm F2.8 USM, Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 & Tamron 17-50mm F2.8. I read various expert reviews, user reviews and lens comparisons on the internet. Despite very good reviews, Canon 17-50mm F2.8 USM was striked out as it did not fit the pocket. Canon 18-200mm IS & Canon 18-55mm IS were rated average and inferior to any constant f2.8 spec lens in low light conditions. Though, there were various comments w.r.t. non Canon lens like they have slow Autofocus and are noisy, in the end I decided to go for a Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 for its constant f number. The model didnot support Optical Image Stabilisation, but it was the best bargain for my moderate budget. There were certain performance related issues listed in the forums with non-Japan manufactured lens, so I purchased a Made in Japan piece.


My experience with the lens is mixed. The build is sturdy and feels good to hold. The zoom ring is a bit stiff and it has not eased with use. The lens is excellent in good light conditions and give sharp photos. However, in low light conditions it struggles with autofocus. At 17mm / f2.8, even with manual focus in low light conditions, it is very difficult to get a properly focussed photo. At 17mm, barrel distortion is noticeable. From f3.5 / 24mm onwards, the results are consistently sharp. With crop factor of 1.6 for my Canon 1000D, focal length of 24 mm actually translates to 38mm and it doesnot remain a wide angle lens in enclosed spaces with poor lighting, as one would want to. Similarly at f2.8, the photos are not consistently sharp and so I avoid f2.8, the very reason that guided me to buy the lens. The autofocus is a bit noisy and slow, however the Canon counterpart with Image Stabilisation and USM motor is 3 times costlier, so no regrets. Initially I struggled with this lens. However, now I have adopted to it and use it with confidence. View my photos at http://thephotos.in
colinjames

Registered: November 2010
Posts: 8
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by colinjames
Review Date: 11/10/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $400.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: very sharp in center at all apertures, great close focus, price
Cons: vignetting @ 17mm, dust gets in (front element easy to remove though)

An excellent choice for for an wide/normal 2.8 zoom at this price point. Forget the Nikkor equivalent (too pricey for DX imho). I've printed 16x20's from 100% crops taken with d300 and have been delighted. Great beginner lens - I probably used this 80% of the time my 1st two years shooting. Not great for IR. Looking at reviews on various sights I feel this outperforms the new stabilized version...
Nikonuser

Registered: November 2009
Posts: 5
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by Nikonuser
Review Date: 11/7/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $425.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: IQ, sharp, price
Cons: External ring movement during the AF

This lens is on my D90 for about 90% of the time. Good IQ and it is sharp. It is a good all around lens.
marp

Registered: August 2010
Posts: 2
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by marp
Review Date: 8/23/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $460.26| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: image quality, constant max aperture 2.8
Cons: noisy autofocus, some vignetting on the wide end fully open

I bought this lens as a replacement for the Canon kit lens. I am perfectly satisfied with it and can recommend it to everybody. You would hardly find better lens in this price range.


The lens is sharp and has great image quality, the only downside is that there is some vignetting visible on the wide end when wide open (but that is not a big deal, see for example http://www.flickr.com/photos/martinpilat/4905305533).


The 17-50 range together with the maximum aperture of 2.8 make this lens almost ideal for indoor shots without flash.


I have some pictures taken with this lens in this set on Flickr
http://www.flickr.com/photos/martinpilat/sets/72157624785184948/
(taken with Canon EOS 1000D (Rebel XS)).
David_Weaver

Registered: August 2010
Posts: 1
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by David_Weaver
Review Date: 8/9/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $479.00| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Price / Performance is outstanding
Cons: Build quality is not great

I am a pro shooter (yes on the DX format) and needed a good wide-to-normal zoom for assignments. I often work in crowded environments and my gear gets banged up a lot. I like this lens well enough that I own 2 of them as I seem to often have one of them in for service. Image quality is very-good to excellent. I like the image quality so much that I do recommend this lens to friends that are occasional photographers and they tell me it's their favorite lens.


This lens is very similar the Nikon 17-55mm but at a fraction of the cost. I don't see spending almost 3x the money on the Nikon version jus to get a little better build quality. Besides, for as often as stuff breaks do I want to own 2x $500 lenses or 2x $1300 lenses.


The build quality seems weak. The plastic doesn't bother me, rather things like the zoom ring spinning around 180 degrees and the reduction in the quality in the autofocus over time bothers me. Keep in mind that I also shoot 50-80k frames a year - I'm brutal on gear. Maybe I'm wearing out the autofocus motor? Most people won't.


I am not crazy about Tamron repair service. Nikon service may be very slow but it is good. I've had to argue with Tamron (actually the local store does this on my behalf) about some repairs where I felt it was their problem - I have no issue telling them when I broke a lens, I've broken them a few times, but when they argue about the focus ring being spun around I had to take a stand. I'll note I didn't have to fight them the second time it happened.


Overall I give this a solid A rating. Most folks will like this lens for it's great images and they won't use it up nor complain about build issues as I do.
Mac_In_FL

Registered: April 2009
Posts: 5
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by Mac_In_FL
Review Date: 7/26/2010 Would you recommend the product? No | Total Spent: $375.00| Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Fast and compact
Cons: AF issues and usual Tamron QC

I have the newer version with built-in motor for Nikon mount.


I have tried to like this lens but have finally decided to sell it and be done with it. My primary dissatisfaction is due to the slow noisy hit-or-miss (mostly miss) AF. Even cranking up to maximum AF adjustment on my D300, the lens consistently front focuses slightly. I mounted it on a D3000 and still front focuses though not as badly. The only remedy is to begin stopping down the lens to expand the DOF which completely defeats the purpose of buying the lens.


I sent it back to Tamron for adjustment and could not detect any change or improvement when it was returned. I know they did something because the D300 didn't recognize the "chip".


Perhaps if I didn't have "senior" vision, I would just switch to manual focus and could at least get some measure of utility from the lens. But as many have discovered when migrating to a DSLR, accurate AF is almost a necessity because the manufacturers no longer provide tools to assist accurate manual focusing.


If you read the other reviews, I must have gotten a bad sample. Still, that is consistent with the Tamron experience... When you get a good lens, it is a great value. And if you don't, it is nothing but frustration and a waste of money.
adrian snow

Registered: March 2010
Posts: 6
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by adrian snow
Review Date: 3/28/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $350.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: SHARP, constant f/2.8 maximum aperature,
Cons: AF speed not the fastest, sample to sample quality control?

This lens replaced my Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G and my Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D.


This lens is a fantastic standard zoom lens.


My sample is just a little softer than i'd like on the far left side of my images.


It is still very sharp wide open in the center, and cuts like a razor at f/4 and above.


It is a fantastic lens that behaves very well. Build quality is good, but certainly no Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8.


For it's price, I really believe the best standard-zoom lens available. I never thought a Tamron would allow me to part ways with not just one, but two of my Nikkor lenses, but this lens did.


Truly a great design. It became an instant favourite for me.


If you buy used, you should probably do so locally and test the lens before purchase as there is apparent discrepency between different samples of this lens.
Lardinio

Registered: March 2010
Posts: 2
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by Lardinio
Review Date: 3/19/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $400.00| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: sharp wide open - lethal stopped down, lovely bokeh, price - brilliant value!
Cons: AF speed is decent but noise is very AF-D like (not an issue though), seriously misfocused on one ocassion, build not a nikon 17-55/2.8, loses some detail at the long end

Picked up a used version of the screw drive (non-AF motor) in the UK for £240 recently. Really pleased with performance, particularly for the price. Build is much the same as the nikkor AF-S 18-70/3.5-4.5 it replaced. Badly misfocused just once, been spot on otherwise. Really nice bokeh. Focus is a bit noisey, especially noticable to infinity and back but it's certainly not slow on my D300, no AF-S or HSM mind!


Took this with it recently on D300 - 45mm @ f/4


http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4062/4427285497_3730c0d126_b.jpg
bridges

Registered: June 2008
Posts: 4
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by bridges
Review Date: 12/30/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $360.00| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: price
Cons: no VC

Great IQ, sharp as can be. Tested in shop with VC, but VC was noticably soft, while this was tack sharp. Went for this even tho using Nikon.


VC is sharp stopped to f5, but you don't buy f2.8 to use at f5. I'll keep my 16-85 VR for general work and this for f2.8 work.


as for noise, don't notice it. Bit wierd having AF ring move vs SWM, but really, not any louder than mirror slap. SWM is faster tho.
Skunkster

Registered: December 2009
Posts: 1
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by Skunkster
Review Date: 12/4/2009 Would you recommend the product? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 4 

 
Pros: solid, well made
Cons: very, very soft f2.8- f5.0, loud motor

To be honest I am not so sure you can go by my opinion because I am beginning to believe I got a dud, especially after reading other users comments.


It wasn't until I got my 7D that I became aware of the softness in this lens. It's almost like the camera is not focusing properly. That's how soft it is. But starting at 5.6 it begins to sharpen up. So it is not a focusing problem. All of my other lenses are super sharp.


I can say that if it was sharp wide open that I would really like the lens. I bought it because of the f2.8 factor which turns out to be worthless. You should note that I am not super picky about sharpness. But this is way too soft even for me.


If you are willing to take a chance at getting a dud then maybe the lens is a good choice. I just wish I had been aware of the problem earlier so I could return it. I guess it's buyer beware.


p.s.
It does say something about using high quality lenses on the 7D. I never even noticed the lens' softness on my 30D.
mgolbe

Registered: July 2009
Posts: 2
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by mgolbe
Review Date: 10/24/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $420.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Value of optics vs. price as good as it gets.
Cons: Plastic

I have tested this lens extensively against above-average primes and zooms. It pretty much matches (or exceeds) the quality of each of them where they are best. Where they fall down, the Tamron beats them handily. No real weak spots in the optics. Construction quality accounts for the low cost. I'm used to much better so give this a six; lens shade attachment ring is loose; inner barrel can be tilted vs. outer.


In its range, the only reasons to go for a better model like the Canon or Nikon are to show off how affluent you are or because you absolutely need the very best IQ.


They've come out with a new model that has VR. I assume the optics haven't changed. Why fix what ain't broken? I'm looking forward to seeing SLRGear's lens test results on it.
drifter

Registered: December 2008
Posts: 1
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by drifter
Review Date: 9/29/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $250.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fantastic sharpness and over all image quality!!!
Cons: hard to find, some CAs at 17mm, noisy AF... nothing signifficant

First of all I have to say that I feel so sorry for those who got a bad copy of this lens. This lens is simply fantastic! It works perfectly on my EOS 30D and since I got it in December 2008, I am more than satisfied. What I have noticed after using it for some time, I completely stopped using the sharpen function in my photo-editing software.
Yes, it has some minuses; first regarding image quality, there is some visible distortion at 17mm, but it is not anything to really worry about. Still it is better than most other lenses at 17mm.
Also there are some CAs at 17mm, but also nothing that significant.
Mechanical part, the front ring turns during AF focusing. I think it is no problem to get used to, I consider it negligible.
The AF is noisy, well, unless you are a spy, who cares that it is noisy. Zooming is not very smooth, well, since it does not effect the image quality, I don’t care.
The built quality, of course it is not like Canon L, Tokina Pro or Sigma EX, but it is good enough. If you are not a professional who throws their equipment around and if you take at least some care about your equipment, there is no problem. I am a big tourist and cyclist, I take my camera with accessories everywhere. I have a special camera bag (case) specially attached to the handle bars of my mountain bike (which by the way is an excellent case, you can take out and put back in your camera very quickly). Of course the inside of it is filled with soft material. I have been riding in any heavy terrains with my camera + the Tamron 17-50 attached since I got it and no problems. If by chance it does break, it is not as expensive as many other lenses.
It’s range, if it can be considered as a disadvantage, yes it could be better. But greater range = lower image quality. Simply, you can’t have it all. Beside the distortion + a bit of field curvature and CAs, all the rest is negligible to me. Really, over all important is the image quality.
Now for the pluses; AF speed, I was so afraid that it would be slow and I was very pleasantly surprised. Of course it is slower than USM which I was used to, but it is by far not as bad. I have no problem catching moments.
Its whole range is F2.8, simply that is always an advantage in lower light conditions.
Sharpness in the whole range is really superb! Regarding this parameter, this lens is a true masterpiece. How to describe it... center sharpness (and smoothness) is totally excellent, a bit farther from the center, still excellent and far edges... almost excellent (at 17 and better further on). A huge plus is that the difference in center and edge image quality (sharpness) is really small compared to most other wide angle-zoom lenses. Another big plus, Most other lenses that start at F2.8, the picture quality at 2.8 is significantly worse than at higher F-numbers. This Tamron, it is only slightly worse and unless you look really closely, you can consider that difference as negligible. Also a plus regarding this, most wide angle-zooms reach their best performance at F8-11, what can be very limiting in many situations. This Tamron, it is best at F4-5.6!
Bokeh (out of focus blur) is quite nice for a wide-zoom lens.
Flare is very well controlled.
Vignetting is small, nothing to really worry about.
Compatibility with internal flash, in total darkness it is slower, the flash must pre-flash up to about 2 seconds in some cases for the lens to focus, but in the end it is accurate. Compatibility with external flash (I use Canon EX 430) absolutely no problem, always fast and accurate.
My conclusion; the image quality is one of the best from among all wide angle-zooms ever built. I took pictures at events where other photographers used Canon L lenses (17-40 and 24-70) after comparing our photos, not a dramatic difference, but the image quality of my was visibly better! Considering the almost funny price I bought it for... no comments. I am not a professional, but I am very sensitive to image quality. Image quality is over all most important. Everything else comes in second place and that is what this lens is about. My final words: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!
jeremiah

Registered: August 2009
Posts: 3
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by jeremiah
Review Date: 8/16/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $400.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, cheap, and small & lightweight for being a fast zoom
Cons: AF is a bit noisy when it's really quiet around you

(on a nikon d90)


I LOVE this lens. I opted to forego the kit lens on the D90 for the increase in f-stop and am very happy with my choice.


The cons listed are EXTREMELY minor and I got used to them within a few days; especially when I thought about the money I saved compared to a brand name lens.


This is the perfect starter lens / walk-around lens for DX bodies and is the lens on my camera 80% of the time.
Pugwash9

Registered: August 2009
Posts: 7
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by Pugwash9
Review Date: 8/12/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $400.00| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp
Cons: Build quality, handling

There are lots of reviews about this lens. I guess the quality can vary so it might be worth being clear that you can exchange this lens from the retailer if you get a soft copy.


It’s a bit of a bargain and my copy is VERY SHARP. However the focusing is noisy and feels slow. The BUILD QUALITY IS POOR, the front element on mine has come loose twice. This was easy to fix but appears a common problem. Against this Tamron offer a long guarantee and otherwise it has been 100% reliable.


Optically I love this lens but 90% of the time I use my Canon 17 - 85 as a walkabout, it’s not as sharp just nicer to use!
arsene_and_co

Registered: June 2009
Posts: 1
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by arsene_and_co
Review Date: 6/18/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $420.00| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: High Luminosity. Pretty quick focus. Lens Hood provided (grrr Canon...)
Cons: Noisy. A bit short in Zoom (50mm)

I replaced my genuine 18-55 from Canon's package with this lens, and have been using only this one for all purposes. It was mounted on a Canon 400D, and greatest benefit is the increase of luminosity. I was quite often taking some pictures inside with low light, and it gave good results at 1600 ISO. I can't imagine what it would give with a newer camera performing pretty well at 3200 ISO and with a VR System (maybe Tamron's working on it...)
krolsasuke

Registered: May 2009
Posts: 1
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by krolsasuke
Review Date: 5/27/2009 Would you recommend the product? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 5 

 
Pros: Cheap, small, wide aperture
Cons: Very soft image at f2.8, build quality, noisy AF

Not worth the money spent. Bought this lens for my EOS 40D after reading numerous praises throughout the internet. However to my dismay images at f2.8 were very soft and not up to my expectation. Even after stopping down to f5.6 the sharpness only improvess a little. I sent it back to Tamron Service Centre (UK) for recalibration but the IQs remain the same: disappointing.


I continue to use it until I bought the EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 and when comparing between the two it was like heaven and earth! The build quality and IQs of the EF-S lens are much better than this lens. Images taken with the EF-S also extraordinarily very sharp even at f2.8, rivaling the sharpness of my beloved EF-S 60mm Macro (although not up to the standard considering that this is a very sharp macro lens!)


So if you are looking to buy this lens please look at other alternatives first like the EF-S 17-55mm even if they are much more expensive. In the long run IQs of the images are much better and IMHO worth every cents spent.
climber

Registered: April 2009
Posts: 11
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by climber
Review Date: 4/21/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $450.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: great image quality comperable to L series, accurate focus, light, cheap
Cons: build quality, slow focus

This lens is one of the best kept secrets. Image quality is comparable to L lenses. Extremelly sharp. It's light, compact and the price is right.


The only minus is the build quality and focusing speed.


I highly recommend this excellent lens!
Nikoboyd

Registered: March 2009
Posts: 12
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by Nikoboyd
Review Date: 3/29/2009 Would you recommend the product? No | Total Spent: $300.00| Rating: 6 

 
Pros: If focuses correctly, it's very sharp
Cons: Focusing Problem

I use it with my 400D. It's very good if it focuses correctly. But for my copy, the accuracy is only about 50%. So, I think this thing is useless. Even the 18-55IS is much better.


If you're a serious photographer, don't use this lens.
PeteD

Registered: March 2009
Posts: 12
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by PeteD
Review Date: 3/13/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $420.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: really sharp away from 17mm
Cons: vignetting at 17mm. No AFS/USM

This is a super little lens for the money. The Nikon 17-55 may be marginally better but I opted for this considerably lighter and cheaper alternative with no regrets
tdenham735

Registered: February 2007
Posts: 3
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by tdenham735
Review Date: 3/12/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $435.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image Quality and Price
Cons: Zoom ring turns different than my other lenses, but not big deal once use to it.

This lens completely surprised me with its image quality. I wanted a fast lens and was willing to take a small hit in quality to get the speed, but to my surprise, this lens ended up being sharper, better contrast and color than my Nikon lens! Even at 2.8 the sharpness is incredible. If you are considering this lens at all, don't hesitate...it's an incredible lens, even if it would have cost more...My only regret is delaying the purchase of this lens because I was worried about the quality and how I thought "you get what you pay for". If you are looking for great image quality and pretty good construction and speed...go get this lens now!


There are a few others who rated this lens as poor, but I'm guessing that's a small group who may not be using the lens properly or else may have a defective lens, however the number of positive reviews I see here for this particular lens are a very good indication of how happy people are with this lens and how they want to share this excitement with others.


Good luck on whatever you decide...
nikongrapher

Registered: February 2009
Posts: 1
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by nikongrapher
Review Date: 2/25/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $220.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Good range for a good price, PRICE
Cons: Build could be better.

I find this is a great lens for outdoor and moderately lit indoor photos. Stopped down by 1-2 stops, it is open enough to catch the scene without pushing the ISO too much.


At a little over $200 used, I can't complain, and actually quite happy with this lens. I haven't tried the 17-55 Nikkor, but I don't see what added benefit that would provide for $1000 more, or 5-6 times the price.


Excellent pairing with my Nikon D80.
Canon-Nikon-user

Registered: December 2008
Posts: 14
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by Canon-Nikon-user
Review Date: 12/2/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $280.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: small, sharper than both Nikon and Canon similar lenses, better CA handling than the Canon version.
Cons: slower AF than the Canon version and Nikon version.

I bought 4 of them and all of them are sharper than a few copies of the Nikon17-55f2.8DX(already sold) and Canon EF-S17-55f2.8IS(still own 2 copies of the Canon) that I have used.


Unless you need an extremely fast AF in low light, you better off trying this lens fast before buying the super over priced Canon or Nikon version, this lens is optically better than both Nikon and Canon similar lenses , with less CA , more flare resistance and sharper corner from f4.


But to be honest , for Canon users , I recommend the Canon one although it is less sharp than this Tammy because the Canon has the IS and AF much faster in low light.


For Nikon guys though , I recommend this Tammy, it is sharper than the over priced , bulky Nikon 17-55DX , and I found this lens AF very well on my D300 , not so on my 50D or 40D though.


Any one say any Canon or Nikon is sharper than this fantastically sharp Tamorn, is a kind of guy just having to justify his expensive lens purchase or just third party hater with prejudice aginst Tamron.


Many say ,only if you cannot afford the Canon or Nikon , you may be happy with this lens or it is just good for the price , no regardless of price it is better for many people who prefer a smaller and sharper lens for landscapes or mostly shooting in day light , thus , no need for the IS.


I decided to keep this lens actually 2 copies for my D300 , 1 for my 450D , for light weight travel or walk around stuff , but in low light , I use the Canon EF-S17-55f2.8ISUSM because of the IS and FTM(if this Tamron gets the Tamron VC and USM AF, I will get it in a heart beat and sell my Canon17-55f2.8).


IF you shoot mostly in dim light or night scene , go for the Canon for its IS and USM , the lens is superb in low light and I think the 50D and EF-S17-55f2.8IS combo makes the ultimate low light,APS-C kit. But other wise , you dont need to waste your money on the bulky lens like the Ef-S17-55f2.8IS or Nikon Af-S17-55f2.8DX.


This lens is a real bargain , it is sharper than the AF-S17-55f2.8DX , EF-S17-55f2.8IS , EF24-105f4LIS , EF24-70f2.8LUSM, Sigma 18-50f2.8macro HSM, EF17-40f4LUSM, as sharp as the AF-S16-85VR.


I mostly use this lens and AF-S16-85VR on my D300 when I travel light.


And I think this Tamron is built very well , looks cheap but it is durable , I abuse it quite badly and it is still like just out of a box.


And even if it breaks , who cares? it is so cheap and easy to replace but if I break the Nikon 17-55Dx , it will be expensive to fix , Nikon charges a lot for that.
dimfinder

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 5
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by dimfinder
Review Date: 10/20/2008 Would you recommend the product? No | Total Spent: $405.00| Rating: 3 

 
Pros: Specs, price
Cons: Image Quality, Manufacturing Defects, Quality Control

This lens would be great if it weren't unusable. My copy has obvious left-right sharpness differences, a clear sign of decentered lens element(s). I can't take a decent picture with it. Hate it!
Keyroo

Registered: October 2007
Posts: 8
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by Keyroo
Review Date: 10/3/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $500.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: fast lens, great construction, fairly light, great all rounder
Cons: lens hood can be a pain to put on and off, focusing ring moves when autofocusing, have to switch to manual to focus

This is my day to day lens, very versitile, not very big, feels good on the camera.


Operation wise ti's great, smooth zoom motion, easy focus and zoom ring to use, and image quality is great,


i have a few gripes but they are all small really, the lens hood gets stuck sometimes and is a bitch to put on and off, the focus ring moves when autofocusing which can throw you off a bit if your not carefull of hand placement on the lens, the switch between manual and autofocus is kind of annoying ti's small and fiddly if you want to switch to manual real quick, lastly be carefully of stacking filters, putting a polarising filter on top of a uv creates some major vignetting, especially when stopped down, but thats common of most wide angle lenses


overall a great all round lens, i used this for a whole ski season as my main lens and it never faultered, very pleased
termotronic

Registered: June 2008
Posts: 2
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by termotronic
Review Date: 6/1/2008 Would you recommend the product? No | Total Spent: $430.00| Rating: 3 

 
Pros: None
Cons: Focus

I order the USA version of this lens from Sigma4Less but I got the imported version.
This copy has serious focus problems at 17mm and back focus at 50mm. At 17mm never got focus at any distance, at 50mm has terrible back focus.
The lens was unacceptable at any focal range. I do not think is a camera (D300) problem because I have 7 more lenses that work perfect.


Sigma4Less accept that it was his error but they refused to exchange because I opened and used the lens. They offered me a MACK warranty so …


I will you posted about what MACK guys did.
PDMAROTTA

Registered: May 2008
Posts: 1
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by PDMAROTTA
Review Date: 5/31/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: 1/3 the price of Nikon
Cons: None

Just got this lens after an egsausting decision between this and the Nikon. So glad I went with this Lens so far. Unless you hato ve $$$$ with no worries buy the Nikon...If you are unsure buy the Tamron... You will not be disappointed
megafranz

Registered: May 2008
Posts: 2
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by megafranz
Review Date: 5/17/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $380.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Image quality, price
Cons: mechanicly not 100%

@ slice4e


I took a look at your images, well I think your lens is OK, the picture of the bird is as sharp as your camera can record the images. The one with the dolls is sharp at the one with the green glasses.
For the others I think your focussing is not 100%.
Try to use a diafragma of 5 to 11 for best results
Also try to shoot in raw, that will increase IQ.


Also keep in mind that when you view the images on screen at 100% your actualy looking at a large picture of around 70x100cm, from very close by.


- Well I own this lens now for a few months, mounted on a Sony A350, this realy is a sharp performer. deforming and CA are easy adjustable
Contrast is fine, but for the color I think it is a little blueish
I am not saying that it is the best lens but for ihe price you get a lot of lens.


Mechanicly, I am not 100% satisfied, the lens feels just a little bit loose. My Sigma 10-20 feels more solid. At a certain moment I found out that the frontring whobled for 2 mm, not a big problem it was easy repaired by flipping of the coverring and thightening the screews. No big deal, but it shoudn't have happened.


Anyway I am very happy with this lens and can recoment is to any non-pro
slice4e

Registered: May 2008
Posts: 1
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by slice4e
Review Date: 5/12/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $400.00| Rating: 5 

 
Pros: Seems to be a good value for the money
Cons: Not sure I sharp enough (I am not an expert) Need some help.

I would like to start off by saying that I am very new to SLR photography. So far, I have just read a couple of books, but no real experience.


I purchased this lens as a replacement for the kit lens that came with Canon XTi. I never actually tried the kit lens.


I am a little concerned that these lens are not as sharp as I was expecting. I read some reviews ( here and in amazon), that some copies of this lens are bad, while other copies are excellent. I am worried that my copy might be bad, so I need some help from an expert. I would really appreciate it, if someone could take a quick look at my sample photos and let me know if this is the quality that is expected from this lens.
My photos are here: http://picasaweb.google.com/slice4e/Tamron175028TestImages?authkey=m7RBlm4HL2Y


When you view those photos, there is an option to download the full image as well.


Thanks a lot in advance for the help.
Anyway, those photos may be useful for people trying to decide if they want to purchase the lens or not. I have tried to include several different lighting situations, etc..
pancreas

Registered: April 2008
Posts: 4
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by pancreas
Review Date: 4/11/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $375.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Lightweight, balances well on D80 with grip, relatively cheap, excellent image quality
Cons: Relatively slow AF, zoom range is limited

You can tell this lens is state of the art by all those fancy black on gold acronyms in its name 8p I guess the marketing people at Tamron decided that the numbers alone didn't look impressive enough.


It's an excellent lens in most respects, with suprisingly good flare control, minimal distortion at the shortest focal length, and insane sharpness at the center when wide open. It comes out sharper than my kit lens in low light because I can use lower ISO settings. I've had no problems when using it with either the on board or a hotshoe mounted flash.


The built-in autofocus micro motor of my A16NII model is not marketed as "high speed" and makes a higher pitched sound than the on board motor of the D80. Still, it seems fast enough (about as fast as my 18-135 mm kit lens) and accurate. I wanted one without a motor, since supposedly they focus faster, but the dealer in Hong Kong said they were all phased out already. Anyway he assured me that all the newer models were made in Japan so, so far I haven't have any major issues with quality control.


Build quality is what you would expect for the price. The lens does not wobble when extended. The zoom ring was kind of stiff at the start but seems to be loosening up now.


One not-so-obvious bonus is that although it's heavier than my kit lens, it's also shorter so most of this weight is closer to the body. It actually feels lighter and much more balanced than the kit lens on my D80 with battery grip.


If this lens started at 16 mm it would be absolutely perfect Wink
morrisseysb1

Registered: March 2008
Posts: 2
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by morrisseysb1
Review Date: 3/22/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $410.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp pics...fast apperature, fairly quick AF
Cons: Noisy AF

Originally got a Sigma 17-70...big mistake...returned the two coppies of that I tried and went with this lens. I'm new to the hobby...but there is a huge difference between this lens and the Sigma. Highly recommend this lens. If the zoom range is close to what you are looking for you will very happy with this lens, previous reviews are very accurate.
grahambo

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 8
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by grahambo
Review Date: 2/24/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $450.00| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: fast, sharp, cheap, light
Cons: limited zoom range, softish at 50mm, boken less than fantastic, D40/D60 autofocus

I chose to get this instead of the "standard" 18-135mm with my D80. It does some things very well, but does other things only OK. Indoors, this is the perfect lens. The focal range is perfect, low light performance is great, and with an SB-600 it gets even better. Outdoors, the lens feels limited. 17mm is useful, but isn't fantastically wide. And 50mm is awful short for a walk-around lens. Image quality is great stopped down, but if you've got the light to stop down......


This is not, as some have suggested, a substitute for a macro lens. Bokeh retains a lot of pattern and the manual focus ring is way too touchy.


Wide open, it is fantastically sharp through 35mm, but gets softer, especially at the edges, near 50mm. 50mm is improved a lot by stopping down to F4.


Contrast is decent at F2.8. It isn't wild, but that keeps highlights from blowing out and works well indoors with flash. Contrast increases dramatically from F4 on. Often, it seems there is too much contrast. Outdoors, it is hard to keep the scene exposed well and keep highlights from blowing out. Again, the lens plays well to its specialty.....


I will definitely keep this lens for indoor use, but I am looking for a better jack-of-all-trades lens.


Photos with the 17-50mm on my photoblog: www.photograhambo.com/index.php?x=browse&category=19
bafrank

Registered: February 2008
Posts: 1
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by bafrank
Review Date: 2/1/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $400.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Size, Weight, Cost
Cons: Focus is a little inaccurate

I've owned the Tamaron lens for about two months now, have had no quality issues and it actually seems to be getting better with age! I lucked out and got a Made in Japan version - not sure if that makes a difference.


The Tamaron is a regular fixture on my D200. I also spent some time shooting with the Nikon 17-55 lens. The build quality and the focus speed on the Nikon are better, as they should be for three times the price. However, in many ways, I find the Tamaron lens to be more useful. First, it is about half the size, and a quarter the weight. The balance and feel on the D200 is incredible. I also tend to use manual focus and must say, I really appreciate the focus ring on the Tamaron which is uncustomarily usable for a modern zoom. Would love it to be AF/S but again, I appreciate Tamaron's value proposition to keep the optical quality high - some corners had to be cut.


The lens is sharp, though still not as sharp as my prime 1.8 50mm, and the bokeh is not nearly as artistic. You'd be splitting hairs with the 17-55.


If you're a pro and your living depends on it, I don't think there's a question about the added value, a grand means nothing compared to your job. However, for me, a grand will buy a ticket to Morocco to spend a week making sure I really like the Tamaron. Overall this is not a lens you will risk your life over, but for the price and quality of the output, I don't think it has much competition.


As a side note on build quality - I spent about an hour shooting in a howling rain storm along the CA coastline. Everything was pretty wet, and still no problems.
jonnyapple

Registered: December 2007
Posts: 6
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by jonnyapple
Review Date: 12/26/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $400.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: fast, sharp, light, cheap
Cons:

I love this lens. I use it with my Nikon D300 and the image quality is great at all focal lengths. The autofocus is fast and the viewfinder is bright with this little guy on.


I consider myself an advanced amateur, and I don't notice much optical distortion at either end. What little chromatic aberration there is at 17mm can easily be taken out with Lightroom, but I would only take the time if I was doing enlargements--on anything 5x7 or smaller, I don't think you'll see it. There is some vignetting, but that's also easily removed in Lightroom if it bothers you.


The two lenses I can compare it to are the Nikkor 50 mm f/1.8 and the Nikkor 18-70mm G DX.
It seems as sharp as the 50 and still fast, but you also have wide angle, and I'm not good enough to consistently get things in focus with the tiny depth of field on the 50 wide open (specifically when the subject is moving), so I usually have it stopped down to 2.8 or 4 anyway.
I got this to replace the 18-70, and I wouldn't think twice about doing it again. The extra speed makes it more useful for indoor things and I haven't missed the extra zoom at the tele end. It's a whole lot sharper wide open and has much less CA, especially at the short end of the range.


The zoom ring has just the right amount of resistance and I like the feel of the grip. A note for Nikon users: when people say in their reviews that the zoom ring is backward, it's not backward for Nikon users, only Canon users. I haven't had any trouble with attaching the lens to the camera--it seems as smooth as the Nikkor lenses (actually, it seems identical).


It didn't make sense given what I do for me get the Nikon version of this lens at three times the price and almost double the weight.
lextalionis

Registered: October 2007
Posts: 82
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by lextalionis
Review Date: 10/29/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $375.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp as a tack! Heck, almost too sharp esp. on potraits. Good price-to-quality ratio.
Cons: Reverse zoom ring, AF is loud, barrel locking switch awkward to use when removing the lens from the camera body.

I like this lens. I use it on scouting hikes so in the cover of the woods it takes nice group shots. Only "beef" I have about this lens is that the zoom ring is reverse and the AF is loud.


I have high-resolution sample shots here: http://www.motleypixel.com/reviews/index.htm?openfolder=Tamron%20Zooms/Tamron%20SP%2017-50mm%20f2.8%20LD%20Di/


Lex
chethaw

Registered: October 2007
Posts: 2
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by chethaw
Review Date: 10/15/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Good for Potrait
Cons: Not recommend for event shooting

Decided to buy the wide-standard zoom lens next week but a big confuse between this lens and Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC Macro , don't know which one should I choose for my Canon 30D. Somebody can give some advice, thanks!
eyrieowl

Registered: June 2007
Posts: 3
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by eyrieowl
Review Date: 8/21/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $378.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: f2.8, sharp, solid feel, comfortable size
Cons: some overexposure w/flash, some vignetting at 2.8 at ends

I have used this lens for a Nikon d50. I read a number of reviews before settling on this lens, and I haven't been disappointed. The lens rarely hunts for focus, focus is generally pretty fast, and having a good quality f2.8 in this range is a real joy. i bought this lens in anticipation of a recent trip to thailand, and the lens rarely left the camera. i switched back to a super zoom on a couple of occasions, but i really couldn't reconcile myself to the lower quality images and slower apertures. so, i pretty much just went without anything but this lens and i'm very happy i did. and the price is great as well. next up, an f2.8 for 50mm+!
EF-S10-22

Registered: July 2007
Posts: 20
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by EF-S10-22
Review Date: 8/1/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $320.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: very resistant to flare , very sharp , very good color rendition, very good AF accuracy
Cons: focus ring rotates , no FTM , no IS

I've had the Canon EF_S17-55Is but ditch it and now use this Tamron.


the reason : the flare issue of the Canon , it is really serious.



Now, testing my seventh copy of the Cnaon EF-S17-55IS and found it excellent in term of optical quality, though its build quality IMHO is worse than this Tmaorn which is 900US cheaper than the Cnaon.


Note : none of my tested copy of the Tmaorn or Canon was bad at all , I just wanted the best so tested 7 Tmaorns and 7 Canons.


The Cnaon is a bit sharper at f2.8 than this Tamorn , though as you stop both down to f5.6 , I think they are about equal and onward , the Tmaorn is sharper at f8 than the Canon at f8.


The Tamorn peaks at f8 , while the Canon peaks at f6.3 IMHO.


I'd tell you there is no day-and-night kind of difference in terms of optical quality and build quality between them , and both are great lens.



The Tmaorn is not just a good lens , is a great lens in absolute term not for the money.


I truely believe it is a much better lens than the Cnaon17-40L or 24-105L, I have had all and I am sure all of my lenses are decently sharp at least .....if not extremely sharp(I chose them very carefully and never just buy a lens but at least couple of them and choose the better one), I still say I'd give the edge to the Tamorn.


The Tamorn is a sharp lens , no doubt about it , it is purely sharp and I love its color rendition and a bit warmer but clean color , in fact , I think this Tmaorn has much better color than that of my Canon EF-S17-55IS, I am not saying the Canon has bad color , its color is also excellent(just I prefer the Tamorn color since it is more vibrant).



If you do not need the ultimate wide open sharpness of the Canon 17-55f2.8 IS, then get this Tmaorn and save your money.


The Tmaorn is able to do semi-macro like stuff and it is light and durable ............so you can abuse it.


Because it is so cheap , you can abuse it , if you damage it , who cares ? you will always be able to repalce it easily , hey man , it is priced 300US ......


I think it is a no-brainer .........considering of these price differentials among all f2.8 lenses, this Tmaorn is the best and is always or will be unbeatable for a long time.


I know many owners of this lens wondering how much better the Canon really is or if they spend a grand on the EF-S, would be able to get a much better lens than this Tamorn with expectation to see day-and-night kinda difference .
I'd guarantee you, you would not see any difference in IQ between them other than different color tones and casts, if you say you saw it and the Canon was much better , you are lying.


Unless use the DXO test tool , you wont see it , I used it and printed some pics out up to 19 inch ,still I did not see any difference except the Tamorn color was a bit more saturated than that of the Cnaon EF_S17-55IS.


After using the DXO tool , I saw some differences but they are hard to detect by naked eyes.


That said , Ilove both and Iuse both differently.


I use my Canon 17-55IS for low light and in door portrait (own a stupid studio for portrait ) and architectural stuff .


I use my Tamorn for day light landscapes and travel photography or hiking since its got better close-up focusing stuff.


If some one say the Cnaon is much better than this Tmaorn , he is lying or brain-washed by photozone.de .


I do not say it just after testing a couple of the Canon and a couple of the Tmaorn , but I tested 7 copies of both lenses ........


And both are excellent lenses.


Finally here are pros and cons of both lenses.


The Canon EF-S17-55f2.8 IS:


pros: super fast AF, esp on the 40D, the IS, the lesser barrel distortion at 17mm(it is important when you shoot buildings or stock photos like I do) , wide open sharpness(important for a portrait photographer), lesser CA issue to deal with than with the Tamorn.


cons : weight , size , a bit more prone to flares,more vignetting than the Tamorn wide open.


The Tamorn SP-AF17-50f2.8


pros: vibrant color (great for landscapes), really sharp optics, more resistant to flares(good for out door shootings) , less vignetting,better close-up focusing(good for flowers , semi-macros), weight and size, its 17mm is noticeably wider than that of the Canon17-55IS, although the 17-85 IS is even wider..


cons: more serious CA issue to deal with than with the Canon, more pronounced barrel distortion than the Canon, no IS , no USM although I do not see any problem with its AF (it is fast at least mine is).



If you get this excellent Tmaorn , just think you 've got the best not the second best since you can not say which is really better.


Seriously , it is a great lens , hope Tamorn makes a similar quality UWA to this one ..............


I decided to keep all my 3 17-xx lenses: the EF-S17-55IS , the 17-85IS and the Tamorn 17-50.


All are excellent and have different uses.


Hope this helps.
SteveBoker

Registered: June 2007
Posts: 1
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by SteveBoker
Review Date: 6/30/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $430.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent optics, light weight, constant aperture, quick focus on D200, price
Cons: some vignetting at 2.8, no AFS

This is has been a great walk around lens for me. I took it to Europe for this last month along with several other Nikon lenses. This lens was on my D200 80% of the time, to my surprise. The filter does not rotate during operation, which makes a circular polarizer easy.


The wide aperture means I don't miss VR. The zoom is enough to catch street scenes and frame most travel shots. And the trade between having a longer zoom like a 18-200mm relative to the versatility of the wider aperture made me keep this lens on the camera most of the time.


The main negatives I have found are that there is some noticable vignetting at 2.8 and that you must switch to manual focus on the camera to be able to tweak the focus. Others mention the focus noise, but I don't find that particularly bothersome. But not being able to grab the focus ring quickly is a definite negative, but not enough to justify the cost difference between this and the 17-55 2.8 nikkor.
DamianP

Registered: June 2007
Posts: 4
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by DamianP
Review Date: 6/27/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $398.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great Optics, f2.8
Cons: Noisy

Tamron only builds Plastic Lenses, we all know that. However, the build quality of this lens is very good when compared to other plastic lenses. However, relatively speaking, the build quality is no where near the 17-55mm 2.8 nikkor.


When you buy a Tamron, you are paying for it's optics. The 17-50mm's IQ is virtually identical to the 17-55mm 2.8 nikkor, but at 1/4 of the price.


Zoom ring is moderately damped, which is good so that it doesnt creep too much. The zoom ring is also very linear, comparing to my old wide zoom - nikkor 18-70mm, the 18-70mm's zoom ring is a joke.


Beware that there are 2 different versions of this lens - those made in Japan and those made in China. And you've guessed it, those made in Japan ones are better. Apparently the China made ones have overexposure, and front/back focusing problems.
C Marks

Registered: June 2007
Posts: 2
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by C Marks
Review Date: 6/20/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Price to performance is very good, lightweight, fairly compact, 67mm filter, sharp
Cons:

This is a very nice lens for crop cameras. This is a great alternative to your branded models.


The lens has a nice size and light weight. It takes 67mm filters. With a regular B+W Polarizer on there is no vignetting at 17mm.


Good colors, contrast, and sharpness.


My lens is a bit soft in the corners at f/2.8 the center is good but corners are soft. If you crop to an 8x10 print-that would solve it. Stop down to f/3.2 and corners sharpen up pretty nice and is much sharper than f/2.8 Go to f/4.6 and it is even better. You can expect that on any lens and this one does not disappoint.


I find mine is really sharp from f/3.5 to f/8 and try to keep my f/stop there only going to 2.8 in the dimmest light. Or center your subject and then the soft corners help the blurry background.


I find the lens to be quiet-maybe not as silent as a 85/1.8 USM, but still pretty quiet. Maybe being used to the ka-chunk of a medium format shutter makes this little buzz seem quiet. It's all relative. I think the shutter of the 400D is louder than the focus of the Tamron.


When I was looking I tried a 17-40L And while it was nice it was also bigger, heavier, and more $$ than I wanted to spend. The Tamron gives me something smaller, faster, cheaper, and just as sharp.


A very good buy. Save $200 toward another lens.
witan

Registered: June 2007
Posts: 2
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by witan
Review Date: 6/17/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $450.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very light and compact. Great pictures. Close to my Canon prime.
Cons: Construction quality reflects very good pricing.

Buy this lens over the Canon 17-40mm L for its great value. Some (v. little) color bias when compared to the Canon. But fast lens makes it great for indoors and the filters are sure cheaper than the ones for the Canon 17-40mm L.
fliegertiger

Registered: May 2007
Posts: 1
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by fliegertiger
Review Date: 6/6/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: built quality, F2.8
Cons: ca's at wide angle nut easily to remove with either NX or Lightroom

compared to the Nikon 18-70 kit lens this one is truely a step forward in order to support my fotografic skills, going to California nest week and will tell you how it performed.


So far it can be said this lens is the best I've ever had (considering my limited budget)
Heshusius

Registered: January 2007
Posts: 1
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by Heshusius
Review Date: 6/5/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $520.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast focus, sharp, cheap, sharp, looks quite cool , sharp and not as heavy as the real one.. and ehh.. did I mention sharp?
Cons: So far none found

Oh yes: I finally got one! It's the ultimate solution for me since the Nikon 17-55 is out of my league -> at least according to my wife Wink BTW: I got the 'made in Japan'-version.


Tack-sharp at f2.8/17 mm and very reasonable at f2.8/50 mm - from f4.0 and up it's unbeatable at 50 mm! Now that might be the ($100-) difference between this lens and the Nikon f2.8/17-55.


From this moment it's glued to my D200!! I recommend it to any photographer (both pro and amateur) with the need of a fast standard zoom.
rainerknappe

Registered: May 2007
Posts: 24
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by rainerknappe
Review Date: 5/15/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $370.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Very strong lens! About the best in its class. The resolution is outstanding even in the corners. Nearly no CA´s, little distorsion, quick AF a bit funny-noisy, only light fall off at 17mm (until f 5,6), very good price, only a bit too much plastic in the construccion makes loosing points - the rest - a top lens!
wallygva

Registered: May 2007
Posts: 1
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by wallygva
Review Date: 5/1/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $382.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Solid construction, *very* sharp lens, lens hood included
Cons:

Very impressed with this lens. So very much better (sharper and clearer) than the kit lens (18-55) that came on my Rebel XT. f2.8 makes for very nice "no flash" shots indoors.
rpoinvil1

Registered: April 2007
Posts: 1
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by rpoinvil1
Review Date: 4/16/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $429.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Quality build, $429!!!
Cons:

Shot with this for 3 days so far. It feels nice and beefy on the D200.
I will update this review soon. In the meantime here's a link to a sample shot at 17mm:


http://picasaweb.google.com/happinesss/VideoVeryCool/photo#5054234432389448658
kbaird

Registered: April 2007
Posts: 2
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by kbaird
Review Date: 4/13/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $449.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very nice lens all around, f/2.8 is great.
Cons: Makes you want to buy more f/2.8 lenses.

I decided to try it for indoor no flash photos of our children and it has been really great. It is far better than I had expected.
brodo

Registered: April 2007
Posts: 1
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by brodo
Review Date: 4/7/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $440.00| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: sharpness
Cons: sometimes little bit slow

Good lens for its price and compared to competitors.
matesa

Registered: March 2007
Posts: 2
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF review by matesa
Review Date: 3/22/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $464.00| Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Center sharpness warm color
Cons: Bad left side blur

Purchased based on good reviews allover.
Set on tripod and shot a city view at 17, 24, 28, 35, 50 mm from f4 to 11 with Canon 20D.
The left 10% side of the picture is blurred more than my Canon 18-55 Kit lens up to f8.
A little better than Canon in the center and better on the right corners.
Better colors (warmer) than Canon kit and better contrast.
At 35 and 50 mm, marginally better than my Canon 28-135 except for left side and better colors( my Canon sample is too green).
I certainly did not get those sharp results as in the Blur Index on SRLGear or @ PhotoZone.
Maybe a bad sample? Be aware.
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