Lens review

Tamron 17-35 mm f/2.8-4 Di OSD

18 February 2019
Arkadiusz Olech

10. Autofocus

The autofocus of the Tamron 17–35 mm f/2.8–4 Di OSD is like something from the previous era. First of all, when it is active you hear a characteristic whirr. What’s more, the mechanism is quite slow, running through the whole focusing range and confirming the focus takes even more than one second, no matter from what end you start and what focal length you employ.

Such are the facts; now let’s read the official info available on the Tamron website: “The autofocus motor has a newly developed OSD module (Optimised Silent Drive) that allows silent focusing. This makes the lens ideal for situations in which absolute silence is needed during photography.” I know marketing specialists sometimes go over the top and play up advantages of the instrument they try to sell. Still here I suppose we deal with deliberate misinformation which should be criticized harshly. After reading such a text any buyer might return the lens to the seller or the producer as its features aren’t in accordance with their description.

There is small consolation – the focusing motor has no problems with accuracy. Most of sample shots were sharp exactly when we wanted them to be and the number of misses didn’t exceed a very low level of 2%.

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When it comes to front or back focus tendencies we noticed it only when the lens was attached to the Canon 50D; they were easy to correct with the help of the camera’s microregulation. In the case of the EOS 5D Mark III no microregulation was necessary.

Canon 50D, 35 mm, f/4.0
Tamron 17-35 mm f/2.8-4 Di OSD - Autofocus
Canon 5D Mk III, 35 mm, f/4.0
Tamron 17-35 mm f/2.8-4 Di OSD - Autofocus