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Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF]

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Reviews Views Date of last review
189 392749 Dec 9, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
87% of reviewers $411.50
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.09
9.32
8.7
1750diII

Specifications:
Di II: Lenses are designed for exclusive use on digital cameras with smaller-size imagers and inherit all of the benefits of our Di products. These lenses are not designed for conventional cameras and digital cameras with image sensors larger than 24mm x 16mm.



The SP AF17-50mm F/2.8 is a lightweight, compact, fast standard zoom lens designed exclusively for digital SLR cameras, expanding the product concept of the popular SP AF28-75mm F/2.8 zoom lens.



In addition, portrait shots are made beautiful with the natural out-of-focus effect characteristic provided by the fast F/2.8 aperture. Additionally, a broader photographic expression through the use of faster shutter speeds as a result of the maximum aperture offers enhanced photographic pleasure. The lens boasts one of the best close-up shooting performances in the class of fast standard zoom lenses designed exclusively for digital cameras and featuring an F/2.8 maximum aperture throughout the entire zoom range, to ensure stress-free photographic shots at all focal lengths and distances.

Model A016
Lens Construction (Groups/Elements) 13/16
Angle of View 7845'-3111' (APS-C size equivalent)
Type of Zooming Rotation
Diaphragm Blade Number 7 (Circular apertures)
Minimum Aperture F/32
Minimum Focus Distance 10.6in.(0.27m)
Macro Magnification Ratio 1:4.5 (at f=50mm MFD 0.27m)
Filter Diameter 67
Weight 430g (15.2oz)
Diameter x Length 2.9 x 3.2in.
(74.0 x 81.7mm)
Accessory Flower shaped lens hood
Mount Canon AF, Sony/Maxxum AF-D, Nikon AF-D


 


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Rubber Soul
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Registered: Dec 11, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 636
Review Date: Mar 9, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Extremely sharp at all focal lengths; Very compact and lightweight design; Best price to performance ratio of any lens;
Cons:
Questionable quality control; loud focusing noise; focus can hunt in very challenging situations --- low contrast objects in low lighting;

What can I say? This is one of the sharpest lenses I own. It starts off fairly sharp at f2.8, and so I certainly do not hesitate using the lens wide open. It noticeably improves at f4, before peaking at f5.6. The lens is amazing --- it's corner-to-corner sharp at all focal lengths. And yes, I've done the obligatory pixel peeping photos of newspaper clips on the wall. Side-by-side comparison shots with my 70-200L and 85 f1.8 lenses were done... and the Tamron's sharpness certainly holds its own.

My complaints with the lens is the loud focusing motor, as well as its tendency to focus inaccurately under very challenging situations --- low contrast subjects under low lighting.

Build quality is superb, and it's as good as I've seen on any non-L Canon lens. The plastic feels dense, and certainly does NOT creak like most EF-S lenses. The thick rubber zoom ring is very nicely tight. My only complaint with regards to the build quality is the somewhat loose focus ring. Not only is it not tight enough, but the focus ring barely rotates a quarter turn from min to max focusing distance. Precise manual focusing can be difficult with this baby.

One of the nicest features of this lens is its compact size! The lens simply looks beautiful on a camera like the EOS 400D or the Nikon D40. Handles extremely well, and it's perfectly balanced. In comparison, the EF-S 17-55 lens is nearly twice as massive (20 cubic inches vs 37 cubic inches) and weights 50% more (435 grams vs 650 grams). Maybe size wouldn't be an issue on a bigger camera like the EOS 30D or Nikon D80. But on the smaller cameras like the 400D and D40, it *is* a big deal. A digital rebel with Tamron 17-50 is about as compact as the bigger point & shoot cameras.

I heartily recommend this lens with only one reservation: Please buy it at a store where you can test it on your owncamera. Tamron's quality control can be fairly questionable. Of the 4 lenses I tested at a store, 2 were great, 1 was badly de-centered, and 1 had a severe backfocusing problem. I would most definitely not risk blindly buying any Tamron or Sigma lens without having tested it first --- and that means a big "NO" to online retailers. Trust me, it's not worth the little online savings to risk getting a lemon.

The HUGE upside of this lens greatly outweighs its negatives. I heartily give it a "10 out of 10". It's not just a great lens for the low price. It's a great lens, PERIOD.

For reference, I've only ever given a "10" for one other lens review --- the heavenly EF 70-200 f/4L IS lens. I rated the 85mm f/1.8 a "9", and gave the EF-S 10-22mm a "8".


Mar 9, 2007
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George E
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Registered: Oct 9, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Mar 8, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $430.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: price, feel, sharpness, colors
Cons:
loud

This is a first class lens at a second class price. I already own the 28-75 and this lens is actually an improvement in build, feel and coloration, which I didnt expect, while maintaining the superb sharpness the 28-75 is famous for.
I havent taken this lens off my camera since I bought it.
The 17-50 has a loud, but timely focusing system. Its accurate and quick, but makes a high pitched motor sound that may turn some people off. I just look at the pics and realize its not a big deal.
Highly recommended for a great walk-around lens, f2.8 across the range for low light quality and distortion is mild, but under control.
I have used this lens as a portrait/still life lens with great results but some say it has too much distortion for professional use in this regard.

Look here for a few samples of this lens' outstanding quality.


Mar 8, 2007
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DynoMoHum
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Registered: Mar 24, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 304
Review Date: Mar 8, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Very good image quality when it focuses correctly. Overall build quality is quite good I think, not quite as good as a "L" lens but it's not bad.
Cons:
Quality control issues? I have owned four of these, the first three had severe front focus problems, the fourth one focuses fine. The location of the zoom ring takes some getting used to... it's easy to get your fingers/hand in the way of the focus ring while using the zoom...

Aside from having to obtain four or these before I got one that focused correctly... I have no complaints about this lens. I purchased four of these lenses, from three different retailers. I tried several of them on four different Canon bodies. I was really close to giving up on this lens, until I obtained the fourth one that focuses correctly.

The issues I had with obtaining a 'good' lens are really the only significant negative issue I've had with this lens. In the USA you get a five year warranty with the Tamron and overall I think this lens is a very good value for the owner of a APS-C type DSLR.

Yes, the focus is louder then a USM lens... but hey, no one said it was USM.


To me, the best alternative to this lens is the Canon 17-55 f2.8 IS, but at twice the price... I just could not justify the cost of that lens for my photography needs.


Mar 8, 2007
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goonygoogoo
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Registered: Dec 28, 2006
Location: Iraq
Posts: 11
Review Date: Mar 7, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Image quality, sharpness, 2.8, and range for a reasonable price. Great default and walkaround lens.
Cons:
AF is not as good as Canon's USM on L's. Noisy and slow in comparison, but still accurate. No full time manual focus when AF is on.

I bought this lens as a replacement for my kit lens after seriously considering the 17-40 F4L but after reading many reviews on the IQ of this lens decided to go for this one. Honestly I would have gone with the 17-40 had it been 2.8 but hight shutter speeds are a common need of mine and felt that would be a better bet. Focus speeds are slower on the Tamron so it's a little bit of a toss up still but I am very happy with this lens. Before getting this lens I was constantly changing lenses between my 50 1.8, kit lens, and 17-200L but since getting the Tamron it stays on my camera most of the time. Sure for more than double the cost I could have the Canon 17-55 IS 2.8 but for the cost this lens can't be beat.

Mar 7, 2007
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Heatseeker99
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Registered: Jun 27, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 165
Review Date: Mar 7, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $439.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: I have had this lens for a year now and it is my "go to" lens for any shots in this range. Accurate AF (fast enough), sharp at 2.8, nice colors. Its built well enough for me. Nice and tight construction, zoom lock, comes with hood. Nice bokeh.
Cons:
AF is a little noisy. Hunts some in low light. would love an extra 20mm on the long end.



Mar 7, 2007
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jlandaue
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Registered: Feb 4, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 673
Review Date: Mar 6, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $449.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Fast and accurate focusing, Sharp, good color saturation
Cons:
None

Get this lens instead of the kit 18-55 lens that come with the camera. The f 2.8 is a plus. I really don't mind the sound made by the focusing motor. In fact some times call people's attention.

I had previously owned the Canon 17-40 L, but some times I prefered to use this Tamron. Specially because focusing was more accurate.

This is a lens to always have in your camera. I have used them for night parties, as well as indoors sport events where the ambient light is low, but the 2.8 helped me out a lot.

Photographing people is nice with this lens. Exposure and skin tones are perfect. Some times a little bit oversaturated, but that is not a major issue.


Mar 6, 2007
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Raf Manteleers
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Registered: Mar 6, 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 6, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: fine saturated colours.
Cons:

This is an excellent lens that produces fine, saturated and natural colours and sharp images on my Canon 350D. It's light and looks good.

Mar 6, 2007
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SKYWESTR
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Registered: Feb 18, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1241
Review Date: Mar 6, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $425.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Low cost, great color/contrast, very sharp.
Cons:
Hunts a little in low light/low contrast scenes.

I've had the 17-50 for about six months and it's my primary lens. I've compared it to my friends 17-40L and at 2.8 it's hard to notice any image quality differences at 4.0 they're identical. The build is not as bullett proof as L glass but it's half the cost as well. This is a great lens for someone who wants pro images but can't afford the pro price. I would also recommend you make sure you're getting a sharp copy. Tamron's quality control isn't like Canon's so some lenses are great and others back/front focus.

Mar 6, 2007
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crosstrainer
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Registered: Jan 7, 2006
Location: Philippines
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 5, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Image quality is better than what you're paying for how it's built - tight and dense, but not too heavy quick AF even though it's not an AF-S Close-focus capability
Cons:
Noisy AF - antiquated screw-driven mechanism Distortion at the wide end, till about 40mm not wide enough (15mm please) not long enough (70mm please)

Put succintly, the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR LD Aspherical (IF) is a poor man's constant aperture crop-factor optimized normal lens. Sure there are a lot of great film-optimized 28-70mm f/2.8 lenses out there, but 28mm isn't exactly wide on digital. Sure, both nikon and canon makes excellent 17-55mm f/2.8 lenses, but they cost an arm and half a leg.

Image quality is better than what you're paying for, and in fact it is quite surprising. Colors are bright, contrast is just right and sharpness is pretty good.

Even the way it's built is quite pleasing. For a constant 2.8 lens, it's compact, tight and dense, but not too heavy nor too long.
Focusing is also very good, and it focuses quickly even though it's not an AF-S lens. This plus the fact that it focuses quite close, it makes for an amazing walk-around lens, with slight macro capabilities.

A few caveats though:

Noisy AF - antiquated screw-driven mechanism
Distortion at almost all focal lengths, and even at 50mm, portraiture is rather difficult without distorting your subject's face.

samples:

flower shot
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chewychua/262760513/in/set-72157594316245821/

100% crop of the flower shot above
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chewychua/262760514/in/set-72157594316245821/

yummy prawns at 30,000 feet
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chewychua/290438509/in/set-72157594316245821/

pretty lemon squeezer
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chewychua/378780354/in/set-72157594316245821/

more shots here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chewychua/sets/72157594316245821/





Mar 5, 2007
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Aephid
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Registered: May 6, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 260
Review Date: Mar 5, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Price, image quality, size, weight, focal range, 6 year warranty.
Cons:
APS-C only, noisy AF motor, no full time manual focusing.

I have owned both the 17-40 L and this lense. I sold the L and am not sorry. This lens is fast and sharp and has an awsome focal range.
Only wish it were a little more quiet.


Mar 5, 2007
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notica007
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Registered: Aug 3, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 14
Review Date: Mar 5, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Price
Cons:
Not as sharp as equal Canon Lens, Tamron Support

I have now had owned this lens for just under a year. During that year, I used it for about two months when I noticed that it was starting to back focus. I sent the lens to Tamron for repair. I received delivery confirmation from USPS so I knew they had received the lens. After about two weeks of hearing nothing from Tamron, I emailed there tech support using their Repair Status option found on their website. After using this lens for a total of four times without ever getting a response I called them directly. Long story short... after six months of the lens being in their hands, I received it back with the same problem. I now only use this lens when I really need the wide 17mm and f2.8 in the interim while I wait for my Canon replacement lens.

Mar 5, 2007
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GreenMage
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Registered: Jun 10, 2004
Location: Austria
Posts: 255
Review Date: Mar 4, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: f2,8 , lightweight, sharp
Cons:
plastic, loud AF, not as fast as USM

I really like the Tamron!
Lovely contrast and colors, sharp at 2,8: 100% usable outcome

The AF noisy, and in Lowlight slow, but it never misses :-)

Perfect lens for people who can't afford the 17-55 L IS for 400 bucks more you geht better buildquality and USM nothing more.

I had mine sent in for 3 long months because of frontfocus, now its spot on.


Mar 4, 2007
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Strid3r
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Registered: Apr 18, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 1334
Review Date: Mar 4, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $449.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Amazing Lens...period. Cannot be beaten for the money and takes nearly double the price to beat it with the 17-55 IS.
Cons:
AF is loud.



Mar 4, 2007
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Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF]

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
189 392749 Dec 9, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
87% of reviewers $411.50
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.09
9.32
8.7
1750diII


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