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

1750diII
Review Date: Jul 2, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: low distortion, sharpness, contrast
Cons:
CA

My last Tamron lens (17-35mm f2.8-4 Di) was an impulse buy but turned out to be an outstanding lens. My only problem with it was the variable aperture and the focal range being a bit stunted (if shooting film as well this lens is definitely worth thinking about). So knowing what I know about the excellence of Tamron optics this lens was an obvious choice and I recently picked one up.

So far I'm very impressed with it. Mine is the MIJ version (made in Japan) and I haven't noticed any IQ/QC issues that I consider out of the ordinary. I consider the build to be very good but it would be great if this lens was sealed and don't mind the focus speed/noise at all.

The only thing that really lets this lens down is the higher than average CAs, especially at wide angle. This is not something the 17-35mm suffers from but it largely disappears when the lens is stopped down a little (to f/5.6 its mostly gone).


 
Canon EF 28-105 F/3.5-4.5 II USM

ef_28-105_35
Review Date: Jan 20, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 2 

 
Pros: USM, size & weight
Cons:
soft, very poor contrast/colours, oh and did I say soft

This is one of those lenses I wish I'd never owned and one that I especially wish I hadn't bought for my honeymoon. I found my copy to be significantly worse than the 18-55mm kits lens and coupled with the poor focal length on my 20D it was not a good investment at all and was quickly ebayed. What bothers me is that so many people recommend this lens when, all things considered, its actually pretty bad.

The worst aspect of this lens is not so much the softness wide open (and not all zooms are soft wide open - I had a Tamron 17-35 f/2.8-4 and sigma 24-70 f2.8 which were pretty sharp), its the awful contrast - I find images to be very flat and dull looking (especially compared to the 85 f1.8). I can't over-emphasise this point. Absolute sharpness doesn't really impact on normal size prints (5x7.. etc) but the poor contrast/colours certainly do.

My advise would be to stay away from this as well as its highly praised big brother the 28-135mm. These lenses may still serve you well on film but for digital its a big no-no.

I have never been so dissapointed with a lens ever - and its 6 months since I sold it and I'm still wound up Smile.

BTW. I had the older version with 5 aperture blades.