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

sp-af17-35
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.