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  Reviews by: Jeremy Brown  

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

Review Date: Oct 3, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: F2.8, included lens hood, light and compact, very clear, sharp images, not overly contrasty, very reasonable price, included center pinch lens cap, good build for a AF lens.
rather loud AF, AF hunts in low light (30D may contribute to this as well), gritty focus ring.

Overall I would highly recommend this lens. Considering the Canon alternative is over twice the price, I think this lens is a great bargain. My test shots are all clear and crisp even at f2.8! Early on F5.6 seams to be the sweet spot. All apertures all have a smooth contrast. The corner sharpness appears to be a highlight, with close to prime lens performance. With my old Canon 17-35 the corners had that unattractive smeared pastel look all the way up to f5.6, what is the point of paying for and carrying around a heavy f2.8 lens if you can't use the f2.8 images?

The focus and build quality are maybe just OK. I don't understand why no one can build a smooth turning, well packaged lens anymore. The focus ring is gritty, the AF is noisy and the case has a plastic look. But, I am not going to pay 600 dollars more for the Canon that is just a little better. Every once and a while I'll pull out my old Zeiss 50 just to hold a well made lens again.