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Tamron 17-35MM F/2.8-4 Di LD Aspherical (IF)

Review Date: May 18, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very, very sharp across the range. Warm. Fast focusing. Acurate focusing. Minimal hunting. Relatively fast for the price.
Massive difference in quality between lenses - try different units before forming a judgement. Focus ring rotates when focusing in auto focus mode. Variation in maximum aperture available at different zoom settings.

A great lens for use indoors in small locations - I use it mostly for fine detail product photography. I've not tried it for landscape photography as that is not my specialty.

Before buying I took camera and lap top in to the store and tested five of these lenses. There was a dramatic (read unacceptable) difference in sharpness between each of them (quality control???). In the end I opted for the shop display lens as it surpassed the others by a considerable margin. Of the 5 lenses I tested, 3 were less sharp then my Canon EFS 18-55 kit lens cheapie.

The unit I settled on is extremely sharp across the range at all apertures. I get stunning detail out of complex combinations such as lace, silk and fake fur.
The warmth of the image is pleasant after the relatively muted colours of my Canon L series lenses and suites the tastes of my target market.
Focusing is only a fraction slower then my L's and I've never experienced any focus hunting.

The best of these is very, very close to the quality of image produced by my Canon L lenses but at a much more favorable price.

The moral of the story is try before you buy - the good ones are extremely good - the bad....