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Lens review

Tamron SP AF 17-50 mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF)

27 September 2007
Robert Olech

11. Summary

Pros:

  • great sharpness in the middle of the frame at all focal lengths and diaphragm ranges
  • very good picture quality on the edge of the frame (except f2.8)
  • small astigmatism
  • good performance against bright light
  • good autofocus work
  • good build quality
  • small size
Cons:
  • visible chromatic aberration
  • vignetting at the whole focal length range (although the vignetting is even bigger for competitors at the same price range,)
  • visible coma at f/2.8
Just looking at the Pros and Cons comparison we can see that the Tamron 17-50 mm is a very good lens. However, the camera that you own may determine the decision about buying the Tamron. Canon owners may not find a better substitute for a kit lens in this price range so for them the Tamron 17-50 mm has a great chance to repeat the success of the 28-75 mm model. For Nikon system owners the situation might be different. First of all, the Sigma lens autofocus works better with the Nikon than with the Canon so the Tamron has to compete with the very good position of the Sigma 17-70 and 18-50 mm. Tamron has a lot to offer, so the competition looks quite even. On the other hand, the Nikon has its own Nikkor 18-70 mm, which is a very good lens. Although the Tamron is better with its vignetting and distortion, the picture resolutions are similar, the aberration is much lower and the focal length range is larger. The Nikkor’s big advantage is the presence of the SWM motor, which makes its autofocus work more quickly and quietly than Tamron’s.

We are also impatiently awaiting the appearance of the new Tokina 16-50 mm f/2.8. The battle between Tokina, Tamron and Sigma not only interesting, but might even result in a price reduction for all the lenses in this segment. And that’s what I hope for all of us.

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Sample shots:

Tamron SP AF 17-50 mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF) - Summary Tamron SP AF 17-50 mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF) - Summary Tamron SP AF 17-50 mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF) - Summary
Camera: Canon 30D
Parameters: 42 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/400 sec, ISO 100
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 2.1 MB
Camera: Canon 30D
Parameters: 50 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/1250 sec, ISO 100
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 5.8 MB
Camera: Canon 30D
Parameters: 50 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/320 sec, ISO 100
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 4.2 MB
Tamron SP AF 17-50 mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF) - Summary Tamron SP AF 17-50 mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF) - Summary Tamron SP AF 17-50 mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF) - Summary
Camera: Canon 30D
Parameters: 17 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/250 sec, ISO 100
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 2.0 MB
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 29 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/100 sec, ISO 100
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 2.1 MB
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 50 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/25 sec, ISO 100
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 2.2 MB




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