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Tamron 17-35mm f2.8-4 Di LD Aspherical

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44 188838 Oct 23, 2012
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91% of reviewers $393.34
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.09
8.94
8.6
sp-af17-35

Specifications:
Tamron's 17-35mm DI features a maximum open aperture of F/2.8 at the 17mm setting, providing you with the advantage of shooting in dimly-lit conditions and helping to prevent camera shake that leads to blurred subjects. The fast f/2.8 aperture also contributes to a professional look with a beautifull blurred effect in the background : even at wide-angle where depth-of-field is commonly deeper.

Tamron's 17-35mm DI uses 3 aspherical elements , effectively minimizing various abberations. By using Hybrid Aspherical lens elements, the number of elements in this lens is reduced since even one aspherical element can compensate for the same abberations as it would take several spherical elements to do. The end result is both high image quality and compactness in this new wltra wide-angle zoom lens.

Tamron's 17-35mm DI features an LD (low dispertion) lens, which is made of special glass materials that have low dispertion indices to confine dispertion of spectra, a cause of chromatic abberations, to the absolute minimum, and provides sharp and clear images even at the corners.


 


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saaketham
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Registered: May 17, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 5643
Review Date: Jan 28, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $480.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: With just AutoLevels, this lens produces excellent color. Sharpness and brightness are awesome. Light, compact, good construction, no eye-sore colors. :-) Excellent alternative for the more costlier EF 17-40 L
Cons:
Wish it went a little more telephoto, but no other complaints.

I was considering the Canon EF 17-40 L, but it was too costly for my blood. Then I came across this and bought it and it's given me very nice images. Am really happy with the purchase.

<img src=http://jja.image.pbase.com/u15/saaketham/large/38928830.HeavenlyDay1.jpg>
<br>
<img src=http://jja.image.pbase.com/u15/saaketham/large/38928831.HeavenlyDay2.jpg>

Anil


Jan 28, 2005
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canfraggle
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Registered: Oct 27, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 60
Review Date: Jan 22, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: A better deal than the Canon 17-40 Sharp Compact Good build (better than the 28-75)
Cons:
No USM

Of the three wide angle mid price lenses available: Canon 17-40, Sigma 17-35 EX DG and Tamron 17-35 DI, the Tamron gets my pick for being well priced, well built and capable of greatness. It's the lightest and smallest of the bunch which means you are more likely to keep it on your camera, and Tamron give you a 6 year warranty.

Jan 22, 2005
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jviezel
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Registered: Jan 17, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 4
Review Date: Jan 17, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $380.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Compact, sharp, solid construction and price.
Cons:
Flare and limited range

Great lens, especially with the small sensor in many digital SLR's. I use this on a 10D which has a 1.6 magnification factor. Overall, I think this is an excellent value compared to the Canon brand lenses. It is extremely sharp and focuses very quickly.

I got this lens the day before I left for an extended vacation and was able to put it to good use for landscape, sun-set, moon-rise and desert scenes. This lens coupled with the Tamron 28-75 Di is a superb combination for any serious amateur photographer.

The only down side was that the lens flared more than I would've expected in bright sunny shots.

Other than this, the lens performed flawlessly and I highly recommend it to serious amateur using digital SLR's.


Jan 17, 2005
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Photo_lc
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Registered: Jan 4, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 4
Review Date: Jan 4, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $465.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Fairly sharp images. Good uniform lighting and sharpness. Low distortions. Light in weight. low-noise focusing.
Cons:
low-speed focusing sometimes which can also cause mis-focussing. More flares than Canon's L.

I spend a lot of time on trying different lenses. For the middle range, I found Tamron's 28-75mm Di to have the best performance/price ratio. So I purchased this 17-35mm Di because of the reputation of Tamron's 28-75mm Di.

I found this Tamron, with extended in-house and field tests, to be a very good performer, just as Photo Mag claimed. Its sharpness and picture uniformity (including light fall-off, sharpness, and distortion) can really rival Canon's 17-40mm L. It can also deliver neutral colors. I found Canon's 17-40mm L delivers more eye-pleasant colors for un-modified pictures. But you can always use Photoshop to manipulate the colors. The focus speed is generally fast although it gets slow sometimes under low-lights or so. To be fair, Sigma's new 17-35mm DG focuses faster but with rough motion and louder noise. (Do I get a bad sample?) Also, Sigma's center sharpness meets or exceeds even the standard of Canon's 17-40mm. But Tamron has better corner sharpness. So if you need the picture to contain figures from center to corner, the Tamron is obviously a better choice. Tamron also has some advantage over Canon at wide angle due to its f2/8 speed. But I found at f/4, Tamron and Canon gave me similar picture qualities.

I also noticed that I can take more good pictures using Canon's 17-40 lens. This is due to Canon's butter smooth and fast focusing mechanism. Also, Canon's lens has excellent flare controls. But if you only take pictures for still objects, I would strongly recommend the Tamron lens. Because I need to deal with my kids often, my choice would still be Canon's 17-40mm. However, I would not hesitate to recommend Tamron to you if you do not always need faster shootings. For 1-2-3-cheese shots, Tamron performs as well as Canon. So overall, Tamron may have a better value for its price (Now $479-$40 rebate from 1/1/05.) Compare to Canon's 17-40mm, I would rate this Tamron 4.5. Canon gets a 5. Sigma's 17-35mm DG gets a solid 4. However, if the price factor is considered, I would rate this Tamron a little higher than even Canon. Remember that Infinity's G35 was rated higher than BMW 330i after the price was considered?


Jan 4, 2005
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phili1
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Registered: Dec 12, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 2790
Review Date: Nov 15, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $499.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness - Fast auto Focus - Built Well
Cons:
Wish it were slightly wider

Originally I purchased the Canon 10 to 22 mm lens and was unhappy with the sharpness. When I returned it the salesman recommened this lens.

I use it for Real Estate so 17 MM gave me what I need for the visual effect I need. I hear al;lot of people say they want it wider but I saw a Sigma 12 to 24 and he did a terst at 12mm and at 17mm and the difference was 2 feet on either side, so I think I can live with that.

Anyway, I had the opportunity to take pictures at a party and the pictures were so sharp people were in awe.

Here is a pic at 17mm at my site
http://mishuna.image.pbase.com/u33/phili1/medium/35932350.IMG_0395copy.jpg


Nov 15, 2004
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RDKirk
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Registered: Apr 10, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 8976
Review Date: Nov 13, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $499.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Image quality Light weight
Cons:
Variable aperture (but I knew that when I bought it) Works better with the Tokina BH-775 hood (originally for the Tokina 28-80mm f2.8 ATX Pro)

After reading very good reviews of the Tamron 17-35mm f2.8-f4 Sp AF Aspherical DI LD (UF) zoom lens, I decided to spring for it. These results are from initial tests of the lens in Canon mount, made with Canon 300D, 10D, and 20D. As these are near-APS format cameras, they do not capture the full format of a 35mm camera, so these results apply only to the lens effectiveness in the center portion of the image.

The only manufacturer's prime I have in this focal range is the Canon f2.8 24mm. I also have a Sigma f1.8 20mm that I used in this comparison, as well as a Canon 50mm F1.8 Mark I normal lens that I use as a baseline for comparisons of all my lenses (with resonable consideration to the fact that I'm comparing apples and oranges).

Performance
Indoors with images taken by electronic flash, I found the Tamron lens every bit equal in sharpness to the Canon and Sigma primes at corresponding focal lengths. There was no difference at all. Barrel distortion at the short end and pincushion distortion at the long end were both very low (although, again, this was a test in the near-APS format). Just for argument's sake, I did compare the 35mm setting for sharpness against my wonderfully sharp Canon f1.8 Mark 1 50mm lens, and still found very little difference. The Tamron lens is very sharp across the Digital Rebel format.

I've read some comments in other forums that this lens has a problem "front focusing" (actually focusing just ahead of the intended point). I tested specifically for that and found none in my sample.

I made some tests taking images with the sun just outside the frame using the Tamron lens hood. Here there was a clear difference, with the Canon prime lens resisting both solar reflections of the sun as well as maintaining better contrast. To be sure, both lenses lost contrast, but the Canon prime was clearly better. This is not a great surprise--it's actually rather unfair to compare any zoom with a prime lens under these conditions. For its part, the Tamron is better than many others. With the loss in contrast, there were also about four small solar-reflection spots.

When I switched to the Tokina BH-775 hood, the contrast was considerably better, nearly as good as the Canon prime 24mm.

However--this was a surprise--when I did some indoor electronic flash comparisons with the flash unit firing directly into the lens over the head of a mannkin, the Tamron held contrast and resisted flare JUST AS WELL as the Canon prime 24 and 50mm lenses! I ran this several times with some differences in light position, but this held true.

Something else of note: I've compared image color tone of Canon lenses with Tamrons, Tokinas, Sigmas, and Nikkors, and I find that Canon lenses have a cyan cast compared to the others. Tamrons are often accused of having a "yellow" cast, but from my tests, it's actually Canon that is out of step with the color tone of other lenses.

Shooting a clear north sky, I found perhaps half a stop of light-fall off at full aperture and 17mm (barely discernible), but not worse at 24mm than the Canon 24mm.

Build Quality
The build of the lens is about the same as Canon non-L, non-USM mid-range lenses, such as my F2.8 24mm. I actually found no problem whatsoever with build quality, although it does not have the environmental sealing of a Canon L lens. This is a mostly polycarbonate lens, making it very light. There is no looseness or play in the focusing ring (my Sigma has an annoying "yaw" when you twist the focusing ring).

There are no cosmetic errors, the mount is cleanly machined with four mounting screws and a Canon-like red index marker. It comes with a tulip-shaped lens hood that bayonets on. It takes 77mm filters, which is getting to be very common among this kind of lens.

BIG TIP: Get a Tokina BH-775 hood (originally for the Tokina 28-80mm f2.8 ATX Pro) for this lens. It bayonets onto this lens perfectly, and is the appropriate width and depth for this lens on an APS-C camera. B&H and Adorama carry it for $40.

The lens does make a mechanical growl as it focuses, but it's quick enough that it's of short duration. It does a better job in this regard (quicker and not as noisy) than Canon's mid-range lenses. It switches from manual to autofocus with a shift of the Canon-like AF/M switch.

One disconcerting thing is that the focusing ring does turn while autofocusing. I consider this a design flaw, because on a lens this short, it's inevitable that one's fingers will frequently overlap the focusing ring in normal use. On the other hand, it does give the lens a "full time manual override" capability of sorts. But I'd probably never use that, except when guess focusing from the scale.

Frankly, I haven't been happy with the build quality of Canon lenses since they discontinued the original Rolex-fine FD line, but compared to current Canon mid-range lenses there is nothing to gripe about with the Tamron, except the turning of the focusing ring.


Conclusion
When this lens reached the shelves, B&H carried it for US$479. Recently they've raised it to US$499, which is what my local dealer charged me. Although I consider that a lot of money, it gets you more lens than you're going to get anywhere else for the same amount. I wish the focusing ring didn't turn during autofocus, but even so, I'd judge this lens a winner


Nov 13, 2004
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johsch
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Registered: Oct 1, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 27
Review Date: Nov 3, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $460.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Well made. Excellent results throughout its entire range.
Cons:
None

I bought this lens to replace the Canon 17-40L. I wanted a faster wide-angle zoom. At f2.8 wide open this lens is remarkable. Anybody that is looking for a lens to compare with the 17-40L, this is the one. Excellent build quality and sharp images throughout the entire range make this an exceptional option. It's also about two hundred dollars cheaper.

Nov 3, 2004
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imagician
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Registered: Jan 16, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 114
Review Date: Nov 1, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $380.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Nice build and balance, professional demeanor, decidedly professional results
Cons:
Occasionally prone to flare, and I'd like to see a separate lens hood for 1.6x cameras

I went to my pro shop intending to buy one of two other lenses, the Canon 17-40L or one of the Sigmas. When I noticed this one, I decided to run it through my in-store tests (can't do this on the web, folks!) - and this came up the winner. At f4, this lens was as good as or better than the 17-40 in all my optical tests, losing meaningless points on inconsequentials such as AF speed vs Canon's own L.

And in real life, this lens has allowed me to produce (and sell) some very nice photographs, it focuses very close - and produces excellent bokeh, too.

Chromatic characteristics are slightly warm and rich (which I prefer to the cyan cast of the Canons) and edge definition is superb.

The balance, heft and mechanical action on this lens are very nicely tuned, and I appreciate of the way glass and metal components (including the mounting face) have been integrated with the exquisitely milled composites.

An extraordinary value. (Pair it up with the Tamron 28-75 XR Di for a truly dynamic duo!)


Nov 1, 2004
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bquinn
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Registered: Sep 23, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 398
Review Date: Oct 10, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: For the price: Sharp, pretty quick to focus, realistic pictures.
Cons:
Lens hood. Shooting a 20d with the pop-up flash will produce a shadow. Not quite the build quality as others, but for less money it's on par.

I set out looking for a wide angle zoom lens only to find that the choices were limited and expensive. The Canon 16-35 was way too much, the 17-40 was getting close to my price range, but for the amount I use a wide angle I couldn't justify the price.

I already use the Tamron 28-75 XR Di lens with great results so I decided to try the little brother version (the 17-35). I found one used on this board for 440.00 with a B&W UV filter and couldn't be happier with the pictures I'm getting. I typically stay at around f/4 to f/8 but am not afraid to stop down to f/2.8 when possible.

I would say that f/2.8 might be a tad soft compared to f/4-f/8, but not so much that it's going to stand out in pictures.

I did do some tough lighting shots where glare could've been a problem, but I was very happy to see none.

I would say if wide angle is not your specialty and this lens would not be on your camera the majority of the time then it's a no brainer (buy one). If you are trying to sell wide angle photos as a professional then there might be better choices, but they are also going to cost much more.

For me, I'm perfectly satisfied.


Oct 10, 2004
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Digital Matt
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Registered: Aug 6, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 168
Review Date: Aug 7, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $470.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp, well built, 2.8 max aperture, takes font screw in filters.
Cons:
Slow, noisy af (not really a problem though), barrel distortion, (again not a huge problem)

I too bought this as a replacement for the Digital Rebel kit lens. So far it seems much sharper than 18-55, and the build quality is much higher for sure. It's heavier, and the zoom ring and focus ring are of nice thick rubber, and are tight, smooth. The af is noisy and rather slow, but if you are shooting mostly landscapes, which I am, you aren't really needing to change your focus very far ever.

I liked the fact that it took front mounted screw in filters. The Canon equivalents only use rear gelatin filters, and it's just not something I wanted to get into. There is barrel distortion present, like in all wide angle zooms, but it's not terrible, and it does seem to be a bit better than that 18-55. I noticed slight chromatic abberations on one shot that was in direct sunlight, but it was very minimal, versus the 18-55, where I noticed it rather often, and much worse. Flaring is not a huge problem either, like some people complained about in the Canon L lenses.

Overall, this is a cheap alternative to Canon L glass, and after reading reviews of the Canon L wide angle zooms and seeing more negative reviews than I cared for, I took a chance on this and I'm glad I did. At $470, it's quite worth the money. I highly recommend it.



Aug 7, 2004
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samplejs
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Registered: Oct 30, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 77
Review Date: Jul 26, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $469.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, Color rendition, quality
Cons:
weight, not f2.6 throught zoom range

I bought this as a replacement for the "kit" lens that came with my Digital Rebel. The too lenses are worlds apart. Right off the bat, I was impressed with how sharp and clear the photos were. Then after running them though Capture 1 I was amazed at how sturated the the color were. It is like taking pictures with a whole different camera.

I would recommend that any one looking at the Digital Rebel seriously consider foregoing the kit lens and geting this as their wide angle lens instead.


Jul 26, 2004
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orangefunk
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Registered: May 10, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 7
Review Date: May 14, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $475.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: f2.8 at the wide range, price, sharpness, color rendition, usable manual focus ring, can be used on full frame 35mm film bodies.
Cons:
Construction is not as tough as Nikon 20-35mm f2.8 and Tokina 20-35 2.8 ATX Pro. I would rate the Tamron as medium quality in build. Not bad, but just not as tough as others. First one was problematic, aperture would not stop down on about 5 of 90 of my first test shots when I bought the lens. Exchanged it for replacement and that one as been flawless. Lens hood could be better.

This is a good performing lens.

For the past year, I have rented the Nikon 17-35 2.8 and the Nikon 20-35 2.8 lenses when I needed a wide zoom to use on a D1x and D70.

I finally wanted to have my own lens after finding myself shooting this focal length more often than I thought I would. The Nikons were way out of my budget at $1200 plus (USD).

I bought this lens based on the favorable comments and feedback it had over at the dpreview forums.

Lens performance is on par with the Nikon lenses. The Nikons are a tad sharper when shot wide open. My opinion is strickly based on real photos, not test charts photos. To my eyes, and my clients' eyes, my photos look good and have printed nicely on press for publication. At f4 and above, images look the same as the Nikon 17-35 to me. Again, just comparing same shots at a glace, no scientific testing there. Barrel distortion was the same as the Nikon 17-35. No complaints.

I like the color rendition. Compared to my Nikon 28-105mm, there is less if no chromatic aberations at all. The color rendition is a personal thing, so that's is up to you.

Construction wise, there is more plastic used than on the Nikons. That is not to say that this Tamron is bad, just saying it's not rugged as the Nikons. With that said, the quality of the plastic is nice and seems durable. The manual focus ring is nice and usable.

One benefit of choosing the Tamron Di lenses is that they work on full frame 35mm bodies aswell. Sigma is releasing some lenses that are designed for the 1.6x and 1.5x image crop on DSLR bodies, rendering they useless on full frame 35mm bodies or also useless when CCD imaging sensor reach full frame in size (like how some Kodaks and Canon dSLR already have accomplished).

I had to exchange my lens within the first 2 days of testing it. The aperture would inconsistently not stop down when shooting and when pressing the DOF preview button. Exchanged it hassle free from Silvio's Camera in Torrance, CA. A good shop if anyone reading this is local. My replacement has been flawless.

The lens hood could provide more coverage. But the problem lies in that this lens hood was designed to be used on 35mm full frame body as well at 17mm setting. So they could have included or sell a second hood for use on the dSLR bodies considering their 1.5/1.6 crop factor.



May 14, 2004
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Tamron 17-35mm f2.8-4 Di LD Aspherical

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
44 188838 Oct 23, 2012
Recommended By Average Price
91% of reviewers $393.34
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.09
8.94
8.6
sp-af17-35


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