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

Review Date: Mar 29, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $380.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Extremely sharp. Great image quality. Compact and light!
I dont like how practically the entire body is a zoom ring! Makes it annoying to remove the lens. Using the lock is one step too many when it's just plain unnecessary to make the zoom ring so large. Also no internal motor (AFS) which makes the focusing a tad noisier.

I was reading here and there on several forums about this lens. I was extremely skeptical at first as I always equated Tamron with the stinkiest of the big 3 third party lenses (Sigma & Tokina being the other two). However I saw a review site with the MTF curves and they were astounding. Then I saw a guy's in-depth comparison between this Tamron and the stalwart Nikkor 17-55mm. To my surprise they were both equal!

The Nikon 17-55mm was of course almost triple the price of this Tamron. Sure it may be better built, but I could buy three Tamrons for that price. Also I don't know how you shoot, but I could do without having Nikon's 10 pound lens on the front of my camera -- especially at this walk-around focal length!

My first wedding with this lens had me shocked. Shocked that I had to hit a whole lot of photos with a layer of blurring because they were too sharp. Seriously, out-of-camera photos looked like I had already applied an unsharp mask to them.

Corner sharpness is not 100% perfect, but neither is the Nikon's 17-55mm. It would be unusual for this focal length to have edge to edge sharpness anyway.

Bokeh is great. No complaints there.

As I wrote on top, I have no idea why Tamron makes the whole body of the lens a zoom ring. It really makes swapping out lenses harder than it needs to be. I'm sure once I get used to using the zoom lock it won't be a problem, but for now it's a bit annoying.

Anyway, highly recommended.