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Tamron vs. Tokina 17/3.5 UWA testing

I recently picked up the Tamron 17/3.5 + hood (2nd version 151B) to test against my Vivitar-branded Tokina 17/3.5 on my 5D. Because of the reputation of the Tamron, I was expecting an uneven fight, but was surprised how the Tokina stood up to the challenge. Overall both are very good performers and affordable FF UWA options.

My observations (based on my copies):
1. Sharpness: The Tamron is better in the corners wide open and stopped down, while the Tokina is sharper in the center wide open. Stopped down they're very close in the center.
2. CA: The Tamron tended to be slightly better with CA
3. Flare: The Tamron handles flare considerably better than the Tokina
4. Distortion: I didn't test the Tamron, but from samples I've seen, both have significant mustache distortion

I shot 3 similar scenes, all with similar results and one shown below. My tests were far from scientific, but IMO representative of my real world use (tripod+remote). I need to find a better scene to test, so this for me is considered a preliminary result. I'll try to update this thread again when I get around to more tests.

Overall scene (resized):

100% Center Crops (unsharpened):

(rows top=f3.5, middle=f5.6, bottom= f8)

100% Corner Crops (unsharpened):

I would be glad to hear input and/or suggestions for improving the tests. There are some confounding factors which may need to be considered:
-Tamron has the OM-adaptall adapter + OM-EOS adapter (perhaps EF-adaptall would be better?) while the Tokina has the Nikon-EOS adapter for use on my 5D
-Neither reaches hyperfocal distance at the infinity marker, so I used pretested markers

Sep 01, 2010 at 04:59 PM

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