Lens review

Tamron SP AF 17-35 mm f/2.8-4 Di LD Aspherical (IF)

5 October 2010
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

Taking into account the price of this instrument, the housing and the build quality can hardly be criticized. Of course we won’t have here the magnesium alloy quality of the L 17-40 mm but it will be enough for any amateur photographer. The housing makes a good impression, being solid and stylish, especially because of a metal bayonet mount (in Canon AF, Konica-Minolta/Sonly, Nikon AF or Pentax AF mount versions). As it is designed to work on full frame, its dimensions can’t be small; accordingly, the Tamron is significantly bigger than the Canon EF-S 18-55 mm kit lens. On the other hand it is also noticeably smaller than the L 17-40 mm although it is faster. We must mention the fact, though, that, contrary to the L lens, the Tamron’s casing extends with the increase of the focal length. It might cause the ingress of dirt and different specks of dusts inside.

Tamron SP AF 17-35 mm f/2.8-4 Di LD Aspherical (IF) - Build quality

Tamron SP AF 17-35 mm f/2.8-4 Di LD Aspherical (IF) - Build quality

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From the functional side the Tamron 17-35 is beyond reproach. The zoom ring is very comfortable, situated in the right place and moving as it should. You can write the same about the manual focus ring which allows you very precise movements.

Although the focal range is rather narrow (zoom only 2.06x) the Tamron is a relatively complex construction because it maps a very wide angle on full frame and is quite fast. It consists of 14 elements in 11 groups. Two aspherical elements were used and one made of low-dispersion LD glass, which main task is fighting the chromatic aberration efficiently. Additionally we get an aperture mechanism with seven diaphragm blades, which at 17 mm can be closed down to f/22 and at 35 mm – to f/32. The front element, with a filter thread 77 mm in diameter, doesn’t rotate, making the design a joy to use with polarizing or split-field filters.

Tamron SP AF 17-35 mm f/2.8-4 Di LD Aspherical (IF) - Build quality