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Lens review

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

18 February 2019
Maciej Latałło

11. Summary

Pros:

  • sealed construction,
  • excellent image quality in the frame centre,
  • good image quality on the edge of the APS-C/DX sensor,
  • lack of any serious problems with longitudinal chromatic aberration,
  • slight lateral chromatic aberration,
  • not especially bothersome spherical aberration,
  • low vignetting on the APS-C/DX sensor,
  • good performance against bright light,
  • very low astigmatism,
  • lack of any serious coma problems,
  • accurate autofocus,
  • 5-year warranty period,
  • good price-quality and price-performance ratio.

Cons:

  • significant vignetting on full frame,
  • noticeable distortion on the wider end of the focal range,
  • slow, audible autofocus.
When it comes to the optical business, it is difficult to surprise somebody like me, a person who has tested thoroughly half a thousand of lenses. Careful Readers of my tests already know that, although I appreciate the performance of uncompromising devices, constructed without any limitations when it comes to weight, dimensions and the price, I am far more impressed by instruments which, despite some limitations, still manage to perform exceedingly well. The Tamron 17–35 mm f/2.8–4 Di OSD should be counted among them: its list of advantages is really impressive and the list of flaws rather short. Two of the flaws, namely distortion and vignetting, were easy to predict. The only negative surprise was the noisy, whirring autofocus motor, a device like something from the previous era. Fortunately it was also accurate so we didn’t have more reasons to complain.

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My fascination with this lens has also a different source. I travel a lot and often attend different photographic events. As a keen landscape and astrophotographer I don’t like heavy devices. Even if I am impressed by the performance of such lenses as the Tamron 15–30 mm f/2.8 or the Nikkor or the Sigma 14–24 mm f/2.8, I don’t think I would like to buy them - they seem too burdensome, too big, and they don’t cooperate with normal filters. When compared to these, the Tamron 17–35 mm f/2.8–4 Di OSD is small, lightweight and noticeably cheaper. It also features a 77 mm filter thread. To be honest I wouldn’t mind to make friends with it for a longer period of time.