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  Reviews by: DerekIz  

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

Review Date: Apr 19, 2007 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: great resolution , great color , fast AF , excellent build quality.

I bought it in BKK , Thailand after tested this lens there for about 2 hours , carefully comparing it agianst the Sigma 18-50 EX macro ,which I happened to have at the time .

I concluded this lens is a stellar , fast AF , fast optics and perfect resolution , kinda unbeatable.

I brought back this lens with my Sigma and other lenses which I rented for test.

I brought them into my office and shoot out a statue of Chinese god , the lenses I used for the test shots were:
1 Tamron 17-50.
2 Canon EF-S17-85Is.
3 Canon EF-17-40.
4 CanonEF 50 F1.8.
5 Sigma 18-50 EX macro.
6 Sigma 18-200.

The tamron was the sharpest of all and the Canon EF-S17-85IS focuses fastest with highest keeper rate.

The EF17-40L has the least distortion.

Now those 2 Sigmas are for sale .

The Tamron BQ is just fantastic.

I truly love this Tamron.

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

Review Date: Apr 18, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Extremely sharp (maybe as sharp as EF-S60 Macro) , Focus very fast , no hunting in low light, excellent build quality , the soft plastic material feels so good and elastic .

This is a stellar , I bought it a week a go and love it .

I did some comparions at a store and my room, I did not have a lot of time to test them out side yet , but I will do that soon .

Any way, I compared this agaist my most trusted Canon EF-S17-85IS , EF-S60 macro , EF50 F1.8, EF-S17-55Is(rented not mine), EF17-40L(not mine),Sigma 18-50EX Macro, Sigma 18-200 and Sigma 17-70 DC Macro(rented from a shop),in my opinion, I have to admit that this Tamron was the sharpest of all those zooms and just a bit less sharp than the EF-S60 , but definitely shaper than the Nifty.

In term of AF quality, this Tamron is a kind of a big surprise , it never hunts in low light and focuses very fast , noisy , though (I dont care the noise since all SLRs make some kinda noise).

Also , this Tamron has shockingly accurate color reproduction rate , and very well controlling flare and ghosting with a cute hood that Canon force me to buy separately.

The size and BQ of the lens is excellent , the body material is of the best quality plastic of all lenses in the market now for sure..... it is not hard materail like Sigma EX's but very elastic and so it is actually more durable than those Sigmas or Canons .... plus , it is much lighter than the 17-40L or 17-55IS (very bad lens over priced , overly worshiped with nothing special to write home about IMHO).

I think Canon should learn how to design a good looking light and compact sized nice walk around zoom from Tamron , the 17-55Is feels just horribly cheap in my hands and creeps it self and stays at 55mm all the time, not because of the price but because of the BQ and size , I will never like it at all, even unable to get it why people rave about it.

The Sigma 17-70 is also very very lousy in term of build quality and design , the zoom creeps always and always stays at 70mm unless I lock it at 17mm (the 17mm of this lens is not as wide as that of the Tamron or Canon).

Also the Sigma has the distinguished Sigma urine color cast and it is annoying......... and hunts too much in low light , even in a brightly lit room , it hunts and the AF is very very very capricious, also slow.

After got this lens , I decided to sell my Sigma 18-50EX macro and 18-200 , this Tamron is a great lens and definitely a keeper , maybe this will be the most often used lens of mine or second .... for now I use the 17-85IS more often since I shoot in a museum or an art class in where I am not allowed to use a tripod , but for cityscapes or photos of people , I prefer this lens or EF-S60mm macro to my 17-85IS ......

Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC

Review Date: Apr 18, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 2 

Pros: Can't find anything good .
Sigma color, slow focus, hunts too much and sounds so annoying, soft corner and edge, horrible BQ .

There is nothing good about this lens , it is simply the worst lens I ever owned along with the horrible Sigma 18-200.

The color of the lens is so bad ,has annoying color cast like urine color.

The Af is very bad , always hunts even in Sun light ............

Never buy any Sigma any more.

Canon , Tamron and tokina are all much better companies.

Canon EF-S 17-85mm f4-5.6 IS USM

Review Date: Apr 18, 2007 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: The range , the AF speed , the AF accuracy-never hunts, the excellent color , decent price, nice look , the increased keeper rate with the IS.
CA and distortion at 17mm but it is easily corrected digitally.

Well , I love this one , most of time stay on my Camera .

I also have a Tamron 17-50 and I love both in differnt ways ....

I replaced my old slow and silly looking Sigma 18-200 with this lens and 70-300 IS, and could not be happier ......

The Sigma had urine color cast which I really hated and wanted to replace it ASAP with something better without compromising too much of range .............

For me this is the best walk around lens with decent optics , I feel that the Canon's optical compromises with this lens was the smartest way of compromise in digital age .....people gripe about the distortion or CA at the widest end of this lens very often and because of that , this lens is extremely unfairly under-rated, and been compared to much lower class of Sigmas like 18-125 or 17-70.

Maybe , the Sigma 17-70 , which often compared to this Canon , is a teeny bit shaper at 17mm though, that one is noticeably less sharp at 50 and 70mm than this Canon at the same focal lengths , also the Sigma's 70mm is more like 64 mm.

I feel that most of people just care about F matters and ignore the 3 stops advantage of the IS , and trash this one as useless in low light .........

The IS is great and extremely under rated.

If you shoot in a museum where you 're not allowed to use a tripod , you will get it and realize the f2.8 without IS is not better than the f4-5.6 with IS.

I also tested the very over rated 17-55IS against this one and I concluded this lens has better IQ in terms of flare resistance, color tone and vignetting although the 17-55 has much better center sharpness and distortion control.

My point is all problems associated with this lens are easily correted in PP digitally but the problems associated with the Sigma 17-70 or 17-55 IS are not digitally correctable.

And I dont understand why so many people rave about the 17-55 IS , which is over priced , and trade the 55-85 range of this lens for the F2.8 of the 17-55IS with increased risk of ghosting and flare problems.

Canon EF-S 17-85mm f4-5.6 IS USM

Review Date: Apr 4, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Center sharpness through-out the range ,the Powerful IS,the body design,the color and contrast, the super fast and accurate AF with FTM.
Vignetting at 17mm ,CA at wide angle, bigger than the Tamron 17-50.

This is a wonderful lens , compromised optically but in very samrt way .

the barrel distortion and CA at wide angle are a bit severe but they are easily corrected in PP.

the color is very good , the design is nice , elegant looking.

the IS is very effective , nothing like the in-camera AS of Sony alpha , which I thought did not work well and I decided to return .

unless you are extremely critical of extreme corner sharpness that can not be seen within most of normal sized prints or build quality, this is a great walk -around lens esp for the price.

Highly recommended.