Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF

Lens Reviews / Tamron Lenses i Lab tested
17-50mm $299
average price
image of Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF

Lab Test Results

  • Blur
  • Chromatic Aberration
  • Vignetting
  • Geometric Distortion

(From Tamron lens literature) The SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 is a lightweight, compact, fast standard zoom lens designed exclusively for digital SLR cameras, expanding the product concept of the popular SP AF 28-75mm f/2.8 zoom lens.

In addition, portrait shots are made beautiful with the natural out-of-focus effect characteristic provided by the fast f/2.8 aperture. Additionally, a broader photographic expression through the use of faster shutter speeds as a result of the maximum aperture offers enhanced photographic pleasure. The lens boasts one of the best close-up shooting performances in the class of fast standard zoom lenses designed exclusively for digital cameras and featuring an f/2.8 maximum aperture throughout the entire zoom range, to ensure stress-free photographic shots at all focal lengths and distances.

Di II lenses are designed for exclusive use on digital cameras with smaller-size imagers and inherit all of the benefits of our Di products. These lenses are not designed for 35mm film cameras and digital cameras with image sensors larger than 24mm x 16mm.

Note: PMA, January 31, 2008, Las Vegas, NV -- Mr. Morio Ono, president and CEO of Tamron Co., Ltd., announced that the company has developed SP AF17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II (model A16) with a Built-In Motor for Nikon.

Test Notes

This was another lens that was a really pleasant surprise when we ran it through its paces in our test lab; its performance was really excellent in practically every parameter, and it sells for a very attractive price.

At its maximum aperture (a very wide and constant f/2.8), it's blur plot is remarkably flat across almost its entire focal length range, softening a bit overall and more in the corners at 50mm. One stop down to f/4, and its sharpness is very good to excellent across the entire frame at all focal lengths. Diffraction limiting sets in somewhere between f/11 and f/16.

Its other characteristics are quite nice as well. Chromatic aberration is generally very good; a little high in the corners at 17mmm but decreasing to very low levels at longer focal lengths. (Go ahead and load up the interactive viewer for CA though, there are some odd behaviors some places within the operating envelope, minimum CA doesn't necessarily occur with the lens either wide open or fully stopped down.) Geometric distortion ranges from a high of 0.65% barrel at 17mm to 0.37% pincushion at 24mm, holding more or less steady at that value from there to 50mm. The inflection point of zero distortion appears to be somewhere around 21mm. Light falloff in the corners ("vignetting") is moderate when shooting wide open (0.4 - 0.54 EV) but dropping to 1/4 EV or less for all focal lengths at f/4.

Build quality on this lens seems quite good: It does have a primarily (if not exclusively) plastic body, but fit and finish are excellent, and the zoom ring operates very smoothly. The zoom control has enough resistance to it to avoid "zoom creep" pretty completely. The lens appears to use a conventional motor and gear train (rather than an ultrasonic motor), and gear noise while autofocusing is quite loud as a result. Also, the manual focus ring rotates when the lens is being autofocused, a minor impediment if your grip of its body happens to extend past the zoom ring. (We also found the focus ring travel a little short when trying to focus manually with precision.) On a positive note though, the front element doesn't rotate, either while zooming or focusing, so this lens will work very well with polarizer or gradated neutral density filters.

Competition - Manufacturer's Kit Lenses
Competitively, this lens makes a compelling argument for itself. Optically, it competes very strongly with the Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 DX, as well as with Canon's EF-S 17-55m f/2.8 IS. - But it sells for a third the cost of the Nikkor model, and for less than half the price of Canon's 17-55. (In fairness though,the Canon lens does have image stabilization, a very worthwhile feature.) As you might expect, it figuratively mops the floor with Canon and Nikon's "kit" lenses (the EF-S 18-55mm and 18-70mm DX, respectively, although perhaps the higher-priced Nikon than the inexpensive Canon optic). It's obviously more expensive than either kit lens, but it delivers such excellent optical quality that it really makes sense as a replacement for either. - If you really wanted to get the most from a new DSLR purchase, buying a body-only version and pairing it with this lens would give you a really high-quality system, with optics to match the capability of the camera much more so than do the kit lenses generally offered.

Competition - Sigma 17-70mm
The competition gets a bit tighter when this Tamron is put up against the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC lens. (We haven't tested the Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 yet, as of this writing.) The Sigma 17-70mm reaches a bit further at the telephoto end, and at a lower street price, but at the cost of a smaller maximum aperture at the tele end of its range. (f/4.5 at 70mm, f/4.0 at 50mm) The Tamron does slightly edge out the Sigma model across their shared focal length range wide open, and is notably sharper at f/4. The Tamron's vignetting is lower at full wide-angle, but is generally a bit higher across the rest of its range. The Sigma has more barrel distortion at wide angle, but generally lower distortion at other focal lengths. The Sigma's chromatic aberration is somewhat better at 17mm, but the two lenses are fairly close to each other in this regard at other focal lengths.

Botttom Line
At the end of the day, the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 Di II strikes us as an excellent option for a "walk-around" lens for your DLSR, one that we think hasn't really gotten the attention it deserves in the crowded lens market. (Highly recommended, in case you were wondering.)

Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF User Reviews

8.6/10 average of 94 review(s) Build Quality 7.8/10 Image Quality 8.7/10
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by SquireSnapsalot (2 reviews)
    sharp, lightweight, f2.8
    no stabilization, build quality, noisy old autofocus motor

    I have the Promaster branded version, bought used in 2010, other than the branding and a different zoom ring texture it's simply a first generation Tamron. F/2.8 is fuzzy in the far extreme corners, pretty good on the edges, and the centre is almost as sharp as at f8. F8 pretty nearly wrings out every pixel of my 7D. Bokeh can get a bit harsh with high contrast backgrounds.

    Sometimes I wish the lens was stabilized, I wish it wasn't in a plastic fantastic body (the front element got knocked and came slightly loose once so I had to pry off the cosmetic front piece of plastic to be able to tighten up the screws), and I wish it had fancy autofocus. But I've used this lens in dim museums plenty of times without stabilization, the plastic body is light, and the noise doesn't bother me much and the AF works fine.

    So I've had this cheap little zoom for a long time, even though sometimes I pine for something fancier I just always come back to loving my sharp little zoom.

    reviewed July 29th, 2017
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by ophiramitai (3 reviews)
    sharp across the range, no CA, light, cheap, great aperture

    This lens has served me as my walk around lens for quite sometime.
    It's so sharp that I do not need a larger zoom.
    I simply crop the part of the image I want to enlarge. No one saw the difference so far.

    In addition it's very small and light considering the optics quality and big aperture.

    Highly recomended!

    reviewed July 12th, 2015
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by shatz (2 reviews)
    very (!) sharp, AF-Speed ok, 2.8
    not WR, somwhat heavy and big

    I think this is the best lens to start with if you are new in photograpie! it is much better than any kit lens, it is not that expensive and you will get such a good image quality! If yours isnt tha sharp or has a front/backfocus problem you can send it to tamron, they will fix it and its worth the wait (of ap 8 days).

    I used it with a Canon 400d (AF Speed was ok) and now i have settled over to Pentax K5II (AF speed is much faster than with canon 400d) and bought it again, both lenses where perfect from the start!

    The only disadvantages are the weight and that its not weather sealed.

    reviewed January 28th, 2014 (purchased for $350)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by Glutte (6 reviews)
    Sharp, good contrast, neutral color, bokey ok for a zoom.
    Distortion 17mm f/2.8, front focus with D7000

    This lens is sharp at all openings and is free of distortion with exception at 17mm where you find distortion and unsharpness till f/5.6.

    Image quality from 24mm and up is excellent. I did compare it with Nikon primes like 28mm 2.8, 35mm AF-S and 50mm 1.8 and there is not that much difference between images taken with these lenses and !7-50mm even when looking at full resolution.

    I used the Tamron with D200 and D300 without problem. With my D7000 and 17-50mm I have a front focusing problem. I have to adjust AF to +12

    reviewed April 11th, 2013 (purchased for $250)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by hdhani (14 reviews)
    Lightweight, price, constant f2.8, 17 mm at wide end, price, 67 mm filter thread
    Focus ring turns while focusing (it's bothersome), no manual override, no USD

    This is 'budget' standard zoom lens with constant f2.8 and wider 17 mm. 17 mm is wiiiidddeeee enough for various shooting situation. If you need wider focal length, the only option is to buy 15-85 mm which has variable aperture or ultrawide lens, which is not as versatile.
    Build quality is adequate IMHO, but for the price you get what you pay for.
    One thing i don't like is that the focus ring turns while focusing.
    This lens will be a significant upgrade from the kit lens, which is on par with the company's standard 17-55 mm image quality-wise. You also save a hefty sum of money in your pocket to be invested on other equipments.

    All in all, a wonderful lens for photo enthusiasts...

    reviewed March 26th, 2013 (purchased for $325)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by valt3r (4 reviews)
    Good color and f2.8
    soft at 2.8

    All photos from http://3foto.ro up to 50mm are made with this lens.

    reviewed January 20th, 2013
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by moose (21 reviews)
    excellent build quality - sharp - fast to focus - low price

    Bought for use with my Nikon D300 and D5100.

    Light professional zoom lens with a constant aperture of f2.8. I've only had this lens a few weeks and it is already a favourite!

    Solid and well-built. Made in Japan. A real photographers lens that fits the hand perfectly and very tactile to work with.

    Focus is instant and although the focus ring moves in auto-focus mode it is completly silent and unobtrusive.

    Photographs are wonderfully sharp and the colours are vibrant.

    This model weighs 440g, which is about the same as my Nikon 18-105mm. And, the filter size is the same at 67mm.

    I opted for the non-vibration compensation version of this lens as it has very good reports and also features in the D300 Digital Field Guide.

    This version has a built-in autofocus motor for use on my D5100.

    reviewed December 3rd, 2012 (purchased for $346)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by dugong5pm (52 reviews)
    sharp, nice build, lightweight, price
    harsh bokeh

    a budget alternative for a f/2.8 zoom. It delivers sharp images. Highly usable at f/2.8 and improves when stopped down. This is the lens for most users who want more from their zoom kit lens.
    The only downside is the harsh bokeh it produces. The bokeh is still quite distracting, even wide open.

    reviewed October 12th, 2012 (purchased for $350)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by rayphoto (2 reviews)
    Prime like sharp images, Fast Zoom, Smooth, Light weight
    No silent motor & little more plasticy

    The Tamron AF 17-50mm f/2.8 SP XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF] is a very serious performer capable to deliver very sharp images at all focal lengths. Vignetting and distortion are about average for a lens in this class. CAs are a bit on the high side towards the short end of the focal range.

    Unfortunately the lens suffers from strong field curvature at 17mm which may push the corner portions out-of-focus. The level of distortion is about average in this class whereas vignetting and lateral CAs could be somewhat better.

    Mechanically the lens isn't top notch but it compares very well to other lenses in this price class. Thanks to the very moderate price tag the lens is highly attractive and definitely worth a deeper look when shopping for a quality standard zoom lens for any APSC DSLR and it's also a very interesting alternative to the genuine OEM standard zooms.

    reviewed May 17th, 2012 (purchased for $350)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by yoster (2 reviews)
    VERY sharp, fast zoom (on a sony a55,) smooth,, fast, plain awesome
    Doesn't have an internal focus motor (screw drive focus)

    10's all around for this lens. I love it. I'm not marking it down for focus motor type, because I knew that's what it had when I bought it, so it's not a 'fault.'

    It doesn't need VC, since I have that built in.

    Overall, this lens rocks. I mean, it's REALLY good. I've sold almost all my primes because this one does the job in almost every single situation I'm in.

    Despite what other say, focus is very very fast. Might be due to the camera I have though, the Sony a55.

    reviewed May 8th, 2012 (purchased for $400)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by Danno (2 reviews)
    Sharp from f2.8, impressive little CA, light and compact
    Noisy AF, some vignetting at f2.8

    This is a very good lens. I use it on a Canon 60D. The downsides are the AF, which is noisy and not very fast when shooting moving subjects and some vignetting at f2.8. Both downsides can be overcome when you know how to work with this lens. The lens is most sharp at the wide end. In light situations it's really good, better than my Sigma 50 f1.4 at the f2.8 setting. In darker situations, my Sigma becomes sharper than the Tamron at f2.8. I tested the Canon 24-70 f2.8, but it's less sharp on the 60D than the Tamron. Indoors I combine this lens with the 430EX II flash, great combo. Just test this lens before purchase to ensure a sharp copy. CA's are very well controlled, better than the Sigma 50. Note that on a crop sensor body you will not get much Bokeh at 2.8, you need a 1.4 prime really. For the price an excellent crop sensor lens. I don't see the point spending 850 Euro for the Canon 2.8 EF-S. Hope this helps choosing.

    reviewed May 5th, 2012 (purchased for $392)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by jonasjschreiber (2 reviews)
    Sturdy, Fast, Constant Aperture, SHARP
    Can't think of much...maybe some fringing at 2.8

    Excellent lens which pairs well with my Sony A33. I couldn't find anything else that had a standard zoom range, constant 2.8, at this price range. Perhaps if I had looked for used gear I could, but I am extremely happy with my purchase and don't know how I could be made happier in this range, weight, and sharpness even if money wasn't a concern.

    reviewed December 14th, 2011 (purchased for $425)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by J in Colo (1 reviews)
    Very sharp
    A little soft in lower left corner at f/2.8 that clears up at f/3.2 and beyond

    I registered here to give my review of this lens after seeing a few 2 and 3 star reviews. This is my second sharpest lens (my Nikon 35mm f/1.8 is just a bit sharper). It's a joy to use. If I'm isolating a subject at f/2.8, who cares if it's a tad soft in the lower left hand corner? Stopped down just a bit it's very sharp edge to edge.

    Maybe I got as good a copy as Tamron makes and the two star reviewer got a lemon but I can say that when you get a good copy it's a fine lens. It's exactly what I wanted: sharp with a steady f/2.8.

    reviewed November 24th, 2011 (purchased for $400)
  • 2 out of 10 points and not recommended by photobug13 (1 reviews)

    This lens, that I got from Amazon.com, was absolutely the worst lens I have ever seen or read about. All photos taken at any focal length, or any lens opening, or any shutter speed, or any ISO setting had massive blurring of the right side of the image starting in the middle and getting progesively worse until at the extreme right it was totaly blurred. How this got through any quality controls is hard to believe.

    reviewed November 2nd, 2011 (purchased for $460)
  • 3 out of 10 points and not recommended by Superka (3 reviews)
    2.8 aperture
    Decentering defects

    I had Tamron 18-200 for a long time and it was nice. I expected to have a nice lens when bought this 17-50.
    This lens can be sharp, I'm sure. But I've got a sample with huge decentering defect. I tried to change it to another, but it had similar problem. Only the third was symmetrical, but I was too disappointed. I don't like this lens, and had sell it at last. I don't recommend it. QC is poor at the factory. Try it carefully before buying.

    Hello from Moscow.

    reviewed May 8th, 2011 (purchased for $500)
  • 6 out of 10 points and recommended by DLx (2 reviews)
    Affordable, fast
    bokeh, lack of contrast

    First the good points:
    It brings you the advantages of a fast fixed-aperture zoom at an unbeatable price.
    It's very sharp, especially stopped down a little.
    Great for a walk around or just getting your toe in the waters of professionalism.

    But there remain the bad points:
    The build is very poor, almost like a kit lens. The front plastic rim with the hood and filter threads loosens quickly and you have a feeling it will drop off any second. Focus ring moves when you autofocus and very often is just under your fingertips.
    Although sharpness is great, it still lags behind the Canon affordable primes in contrast and color reproduction. Also, the out-of-focus highlights are very, very bad.

    All in all, I found that I used it less and less when I had Canon 10-22, 28 1.8 and 50 1.4, was worried that it wont break apart and finally sold it.

    However, I would still recommend it for a casual user who takes very good care about his equipment, want's a good traveling lens and is on a budget.

    reviewed April 27th, 2011 (purchased for $600)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by jt354 (9 reviews)
    Vignetting at 17mm, AF noise, focus ring

    I just received this lens today and wanted to share a few first impressions.

    Build: The barrel is mid-grade plastic, similar to Canon's higher-end consumer lenses. The zoom ring is a bit stiff to turn but is well damped -- I haven't noticed any issues with zoom creep or looseness of the extending inner barrel. A lock switch holds the zoom at 17mm, this may be necessary as the lens "wears in." The focus ring is only slightly better than that on the kit lens :P, in that it has a distance scale. I'm not a fan of the short travel for manual focusing, which makes it difficult to fine-tune focus. The hood is...subpar.

    Sharpness: Excellent from 17-35mm wide open, very good at 50mm. Tack-sharp stopped down at all focal lengths. Far better than the 17-40L, and comparable to the 17-55mm IS.

    Vignetting: Very noticeable at 17mm wide open, improves stopped down but can still be seen @ f/4 and f/5.6 on the wide end.

    Distortion: Distinct pincushion at tele, not horrible but definitely there (I've been shooting pieces of artwork all day and it's pretty obvious for rectangular frames). Some barrel at 17mm.

    Autofocus: Pretty quick and accurate, very loud and obnoxious. The focusing ring turns and the lens doesn't feature manual focus override (you have to switch to MF to be able to focus manually). The focus ring is too close to the zoom ring IMO, easy to bump by accident.

    All in all, a pretty nice little lens. I'll be keeping it.

    reviewed February 8th, 2011 (purchased for $460)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by mohitkrishna (2 reviews)
    Good outdoor performance, value for money
    Soft at f2.8, struggles for focus in low light conditions, slow autofocus

    When I first started searching for a wide angle multipurpose zoom lens, I shortlisted Canon 18-200mm IS, Canon 18-55mm IS, Canon 17-50mm F2.8 USM, Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 & Tamron 17-50mm F2.8. I read various expert reviews, user reviews and lens comparisons on the internet. Despite very good reviews, Canon 17-50mm F2.8 USM was striked out as it did not fit the pocket. Canon 18-200mm IS & Canon 18-55mm IS were rated average and inferior to any constant f2.8 spec lens in low light conditions. Though, there were various comments w.r.t. non Canon lens like they have slow Autofocus and are noisy, in the end I decided to go for a Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 for its constant f number. The model didnot support Optical Image Stabilisation, but it was the best bargain for my moderate budget. There were certain performance related issues listed in the forums with non-Japan manufactured lens, so I purchased a Made in Japan piece.

    My experience with the lens is mixed. The build is sturdy and feels good to hold. The zoom ring is a bit stiff and it has not eased with use. The lens is excellent in good light conditions and give sharp photos. However, in low light conditions it struggles with autofocus. At 17mm / f2.8, even with manual focus in low light conditions, it is very difficult to get a properly focussed photo. At 17mm, barrel distortion is noticeable. From f3.5 / 24mm onwards, the results are consistently sharp. With crop factor of 1.6 for my Canon 1000D, focal length of 24 mm actually translates to 38mm and it doesnot remain a wide angle lens in enclosed spaces with poor lighting, as one would want to. Similarly at f2.8, the photos are not consistently sharp and so I avoid f2.8, the very reason that guided me to buy the lens. The autofocus is a bit noisy and slow, however the Canon counterpart with Image Stabilisation and USM motor is 3 times costlier, so no regrets. Initially I struggled with this lens. However, now I have adopted to it and use it with confidence. View my photos at http://thephotos.in

    reviewed January 8th, 2011 (purchased for $425)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by colinjames (8 reviews)
    very sharp in center at all apertures, great close focus, price
    vignetting @ 17mm, dust gets in (front element easy to remove though)

    An excellent choice for for an wide/normal 2.8 zoom at this price point. Forget the Nikkor equivalent (too pricey for DX imho). I've printed 16x20's from 100% crops taken with d300 and have been delighted. Great beginner lens - I probably used this 80% of the time my 1st two years shooting. Not great for IR. Looking at reviews on various sights I feel this outperforms the new stabilized version...

    reviewed November 10th, 2010 (purchased for $400)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by Nikonuser (5 reviews)
    IQ, sharp, price
    External ring movement during the AF

    This lens is on my D90 for about 90% of the time. Good IQ and it is sharp. It is a good all around lens.

    reviewed November 7th, 2010 (purchased for $425)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by marp (2 reviews)
    image quality, constant max aperture 2.8
    noisy autofocus, some vignetting on the wide end fully open

    I bought this lens as a replacement for the Canon kit lens. I am perfectly satisfied with it and can recommend it to everybody. You would hardly find better lens in this price range.

    The lens is sharp and has great image quality, the only downside is that there is some vignetting visible on the wide end when wide open (but that is not a big deal, see for example http://www.flickr.com/photos/martinpilat/4905305533).

    The 17-50 range together with the maximum aperture of 2.8 make this lens almost ideal for indoor shots without flash.

    I have some pictures taken with this lens in this set on Flickr
    (taken with Canon EOS 1000D (Rebel XS)).

    reviewed August 23rd, 2010 (purchased for $460)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by David_Weaver (1 reviews)
    Price / Performance is outstanding
    Build quality is not great

    I am a pro shooter (yes on the DX format) and needed a good wide-to-normal zoom for assignments. I often work in crowded environments and my gear gets banged up a lot. I like this lens well enough that I own 2 of them as I seem to often have one of them in for service. Image quality is very-good to excellent. I like the image quality so much that I do recommend this lens to friends that are occasional photographers and they tell me it's their favorite lens.

    This lens is very similar the Nikon 17-55mm but at a fraction of the cost. I don't see spending almost 3x the money on the Nikon version jus to get a little better build quality. Besides, for as often as stuff breaks do I want to own 2x $500 lenses or 2x $1300 lenses.

    The build quality seems weak. The plastic doesn't bother me, rather things like the zoom ring spinning around 180 degrees and the reduction in the quality in the autofocus over time bothers me. Keep in mind that I also shoot 50-80k frames a year - I'm brutal on gear. Maybe I'm wearing out the autofocus motor? Most people won't.

    I am not crazy about Tamron repair service. Nikon service may be very slow but it is good. I've had to argue with Tamron (actually the local store does this on my behalf) about some repairs where I felt it was their problem - I have no issue telling them when I broke a lens, I've broken them a few times, but when they argue about the focus ring being spun around I had to take a stand. I'll note I didn't have to fight them the second time it happened.

    Overall I give this a solid A rating. Most folks will like this lens for it's great images and they won't use it up nor complain about build issues as I do.

    reviewed August 9th, 2010 (purchased for $479)
  • 6 out of 10 points and not recommended by Mac_In_FL (5 reviews)
    Fast and compact
    AF issues and usual Tamron QC

    I have the newer version with built-in motor for Nikon mount.

    I have tried to like this lens but have finally decided to sell it and be done with it. My primary dissatisfaction is due to the slow noisy hit-or-miss (mostly miss) AF. Even cranking up to maximum AF adjustment on my D300, the lens consistently front focuses slightly. I mounted it on a D3000 and still front focuses though not as badly. The only remedy is to begin stopping down the lens to expand the DOF which completely defeats the purpose of buying the lens.

    I sent it back to Tamron for adjustment and could not detect any change or improvement when it was returned. I know they did something because the D300 didn't recognize the "chip".

    Perhaps if I didn't have "senior" vision, I would just switch to manual focus and could at least get some measure of utility from the lens. But as many have discovered when migrating to a DSLR, accurate AF is almost a necessity because the manufacturers no longer provide tools to assist accurate manual focusing.

    If you read the other reviews, I must have gotten a bad sample. Still, that is consistent with the Tamron experience... When you get a good lens, it is a great value. And if you don't, it is nothing but frustration and a waste of money.

    reviewed July 26th, 2010 (purchased for $375)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by adrian snow (6 reviews)
    SHARP, constant f/2.8 maximum aperature,
    AF speed not the fastest, sample to sample quality control?

    This lens replaced my Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G and my Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D.

    This lens is a fantastic standard zoom lens.

    My sample is just a little softer than i'd like on the far left side of my images.

    It is still very sharp wide open in the center, and cuts like a razor at f/4 and above.

    It is a fantastic lens that behaves very well. Build quality is good, but certainly no Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8.

    For it's price, I really believe the best standard-zoom lens available. I never thought a Tamron would allow me to part ways with not just one, but two of my Nikkor lenses, but this lens did.

    Truly a great design. It became an instant favourite for me.

    If you buy used, you should probably do so locally and test the lens before purchase as there is apparent discrepency between different samples of this lens.

    reviewed March 28th, 2010 (purchased for $350)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by Lardinio (2 reviews)
    sharp wide open - lethal stopped down, lovely bokeh, price - brilliant value!
    AF speed is decent but noise is very AF-D like (not an issue though), seriously misfocused on one ocassion, build not a nikon 17-55/2.8, loses some detail at the long end

    Picked up a used version of the screw drive (non-AF motor) in the UK for £240 recently. Really pleased with performance, particularly for the price. Build is much the same as the nikkor AF-S 18-70/3.5-4.5 it replaced. Badly misfocused just once, been spot on otherwise. Really nice bokeh. Focus is a bit noisey, especially noticable to infinity and back but it's certainly not slow on my D300, no AF-S or HSM mind!

    Took this with it recently on D300 - 45mm @ f/4


    reviewed March 19th, 2010 (purchased for $400)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by bridges (4 reviews)
    no VC

    Great IQ, sharp as can be. Tested in shop with VC, but VC was noticably soft, while this was tack sharp. Went for this even tho using Nikon.

    VC is sharp stopped to f5, but you don't buy f2.8 to use at f5. I'll keep my 16-85 VR for general work and this for f2.8 work.

    as for noise, don't notice it. Bit wierd having AF ring move vs SWM, but really, not any louder than mirror slap. SWM is faster tho.

    reviewed December 30th, 2009 (purchased for $360)
  • 4 out of 10 points and not recommended by Skunkster (1 reviews)
    solid, well made
    very, very soft f2.8- f5.0, loud motor

    To be honest I am not so sure you can go by my opinion because I am beginning to believe I got a dud, especially after reading other users comments.

    It wasn't until I got my 7D that I became aware of the softness in this lens. It's almost like the camera is not focusing properly. That's how soft it is. But starting at 5.6 it begins to sharpen up. So it is not a focusing problem. All of my other lenses are super sharp.

    I can say that if it was sharp wide open that I would really like the lens. I bought it because of the f2.8 factor which turns out to be worthless. You should note that I am not super picky about sharpness. But this is way too soft even for me.

    If you are willing to take a chance at getting a dud then maybe the lens is a good choice. I just wish I had been aware of the problem earlier so I could return it. I guess it's buyer beware.

    It does say something about using high quality lenses on the 7D. I never even noticed the lens' softness on my 30D.

    reviewed December 4th, 2009
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by mgolbe (2 reviews)
    Value of optics vs. price as good as it gets.

    I have tested this lens extensively against above-average primes and zooms. It pretty much matches (or exceeds) the quality of each of them where they are best. Where they fall down, the Tamron beats them handily. No real weak spots in the optics. Construction quality accounts for the low cost. I'm used to much better so give this a six; lens shade attachment ring is loose; inner barrel can be tilted vs. outer.

    In its range, the only reasons to go for a better model like the Canon or Nikon are to show off how affluent you are or because you absolutely need the very best IQ.

    They've come out with a new model that has VR. I assume the optics haven't changed. Why fix what ain't broken? I'm looking forward to seeing SLRGear's lens test results on it.

    reviewed October 24th, 2009 (purchased for $420)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by drifter (1 reviews)
    Fantastic sharpness and over all image quality!!!
    hard to find, some CAs at 17mm, noisy AF... nothing signifficant

    First of all I have to say that I feel so sorry for those who got a bad copy of this lens. This lens is simply fantastic! It works perfectly on my EOS 30D and since I got it in December 2008, I am more than satisfied. What I have noticed after using it for some time, I completely stopped using the sharpen function in my photo-editing software.
    Yes, it has some minuses; first regarding image quality, there is some visible distortion at 17mm, but it is not anything to really worry about. Still it is better than most other lenses at 17mm.
    Also there are some CAs at 17mm, but also nothing that significant.
    Mechanical part, the front ring turns during AF focusing. I think it is no problem to get used to, I consider it negligible.
    The AF is noisy, well, unless you are a spy, who cares that it is noisy. Zooming is not very smooth, well, since it does not effect the image quality, I don’t care.
    The built quality, of course it is not like Canon L, Tokina Pro or Sigma EX, but it is good enough. If you are not a professional who throws their equipment around and if you take at least some care about your equipment, there is no problem. I am a big tourist and cyclist, I take my camera with accessories everywhere. I have a special camera bag (case) specially attached to the handle bars of my mountain bike (which by the way is an excellent case, you can take out and put back in your camera very quickly). Of course the inside of it is filled with soft material. I have been riding in any heavy terrains with my camera + the Tamron 17-50 attached since I got it and no problems. If by chance it does break, it is not as expensive as many other lenses.
    It’s range, if it can be considered as a disadvantage, yes it could be better. But greater range = lower image quality. Simply, you can’t have it all. Beside the distortion + a bit of field curvature and CAs, all the rest is negligible to me. Really, over all important is the image quality.
    Now for the pluses; AF speed, I was so afraid that it would be slow and I was very pleasantly surprised. Of course it is slower than USM which I was used to, but it is by far not as bad. I have no problem catching moments.
    Its whole range is F2.8, simply that is always an advantage in lower light conditions.
    Sharpness in the whole range is really superb! Regarding this parameter, this lens is a true masterpiece. How to describe it... center sharpness (and smoothness) is totally excellent, a bit farther from the center, still excellent and far edges... almost excellent (at 17 and better further on). A huge plus is that the difference in center and edge image quality (sharpness) is really small compared to most other wide angle-zoom lenses. Another big plus, Most other lenses that start at F2.8, the picture quality at 2.8 is significantly worse than at higher F-numbers. This Tamron, it is only slightly worse and unless you look really closely, you can consider that difference as negligible. Also a plus regarding this, most wide angle-zooms reach their best performance at F8-11, what can be very limiting in many situations. This Tamron, it is best at F4-5.6!
    Bokeh (out of focus blur) is quite nice for a wide-zoom lens.
    Flare is very well controlled.
    Vignetting is small, nothing to really worry about.
    Compatibility with internal flash, in total darkness it is slower, the flash must pre-flash up to about 2 seconds in some cases for the lens to focus, but in the end it is accurate. Compatibility with external flash (I use Canon EX 430) absolutely no problem, always fast and accurate.
    My conclusion; the image quality is one of the best from among all wide angle-zooms ever built. I took pictures at events where other photographers used Canon L lenses (17-40 and 24-70) after comparing our photos, not a dramatic difference, but the image quality of my was visibly better! Considering the almost funny price I bought it for... no comments. I am not a professional, but I am very sensitive to image quality. Image quality is over all most important. Everything else comes in second place and that is what this lens is about. My final words: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

    reviewed September 29th, 2009 (purchased for $250)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by jeremiah (3 reviews)
    sharp, cheap, and small & lightweight for being a fast zoom
    AF is a bit noisy when it's really quiet around you

    (on a nikon d90)

    I LOVE this lens. I opted to forego the kit lens on the D90 for the increase in f-stop and am very happy with my choice.

    The cons listed are EXTREMELY minor and I got used to them within a few days; especially when I thought about the money I saved compared to a brand name lens.

    This is the perfect starter lens / walk-around lens for DX bodies and is the lens on my camera 80% of the time.

    reviewed August 16th, 2009 (purchased for $400)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by Pugwash9 (8 reviews)
    Build quality, handling

    There are lots of reviews about this lens. I guess the quality can vary so it might be worth being clear that you can exchange this lens from the retailer if you get a soft copy.

    It’s a bit of a bargain and my copy is VERY SHARP. However the focusing is noisy and feels slow. The BUILD QUALITY IS POOR, the front element on mine has come loose twice. This was easy to fix but appears a common problem. Against this Tamron offer a long guarantee and otherwise it has been 100% reliable.

    Optically I love this lens but 90% of the time I use my Canon 17 - 85 as a walkabout, it’s not as sharp just nicer to use!

    reviewed August 12th, 2009 (purchased for $400)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by arsene_and_co (1 reviews)
    High Luminosity. Pretty quick focus. Lens Hood provided (grrr Canon...)
    Noisy. A bit short in Zoom (50mm)

    I replaced my genuine 18-55 from Canon's package with this lens, and have been using only this one for all purposes. It was mounted on a Canon 400D, and greatest benefit is the increase of luminosity. I was quite often taking some pictures inside with low light, and it gave good results at 1600 ISO. I can't imagine what it would give with a newer camera performing pretty well at 3200 ISO and with a VR System (maybe Tamron's working on it...)

    reviewed June 18th, 2009 (purchased for $420)
  • 5 out of 10 points and not recommended by krolsasuke (1 reviews)
    Cheap, small, wide aperture
    Very soft image at f2.8, build quality, noisy AF

    Not worth the money spent. Bought this lens for my EOS 40D after reading numerous praises throughout the internet. However to my dismay images at f2.8 were very soft and not up to my expectation. Even after stopping down to f5.6 the sharpness only improvess a little. I sent it back to Tamron Service Centre (UK) for recalibration but the IQs remain the same: disappointing.

    I continue to use it until I bought the EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 and when comparing between the two it was like heaven and earth! The build quality and IQs of the EF-S lens are much better than this lens. Images taken with the EF-S also extraordinarily very sharp even at f2.8, rivaling the sharpness of my beloved EF-S 60mm Macro (although not up to the standard considering that this is a very sharp macro lens!)

    So if you are looking to buy this lens please look at other alternatives first like the EF-S 17-55mm even if they are much more expensive. In the long run IQs of the images are much better and IMHO worth every cents spent.

    reviewed May 27th, 2009
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by climber (11 reviews)
    great image quality comperable to L series, accurate focus, light, cheap
    build quality, slow focus

    This lens is one of the best kept secrets. Image quality is comparable to L lenses. Extremelly sharp. It's light, compact and the price is right.

    The only minus is the build quality and focusing speed.

    I highly recommend this excellent lens!

    reviewed April 21st, 2009 (purchased for $450)
  • 6 out of 10 points and not recommended by Nikoboyd (12 reviews)
    If focuses correctly, it's very sharp
    Focusing Problem

    I use it with my 400D. It's very good if it focuses correctly. But for my copy, the accuracy is only about 50%. So, I think this thing is useless. Even the 18-55IS is much better.

    If you're a serious photographer, don't use this lens.

    reviewed March 29th, 2009 (purchased for $300)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by PeteD (12 reviews)
    really sharp away from 17mm
    vignetting at 17mm. No AFS/USM

    This is a super little lens for the money. The Nikon 17-55 may be marginally better but I opted for this considerably lighter and cheaper alternative with no regrets

    reviewed March 13th, 2009 (purchased for $420)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by tdenham735 (3 reviews)
    Image Quality and Price
    Zoom ring turns different than my other lenses, but not big deal once use to it.

    This lens completely surprised me with its image quality. I wanted a fast lens and was willing to take a small hit in quality to get the speed, but to my surprise, this lens ended up being sharper, better contrast and color than my Nikon lens! Even at 2.8 the sharpness is incredible. If you are considering this lens at all, don't hesitate...it's an incredible lens, even if it would have cost more...My only regret is delaying the purchase of this lens because I was worried about the quality and how I thought "you get what you pay for". If you are looking for great image quality and pretty good construction and speed...go get this lens now!

    There are a few others who rated this lens as poor, but I'm guessing that's a small group who may not be using the lens properly or else may have a defective lens, however the number of positive reviews I see here for this particular lens are a very good indication of how happy people are with this lens and how they want to share this excitement with others.

    Good luck on whatever you decide...

    reviewed March 12th, 2009 (purchased for $435)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by nikongrapher (1 reviews)
    Good range for a good price, PRICE
    Build could be better.

    I find this is a great lens for outdoor and moderately lit indoor photos. Stopped down by 1-2 stops, it is open enough to catch the scene without pushing the ISO too much.

    At a little over $200 used, I can't complain, and actually quite happy with this lens. I haven't tried the 17-55 Nikkor, but I don't see what added benefit that would provide for $1000 more, or 5-6 times the price.

    Excellent pairing with my Nikon D80.

    reviewed February 25th, 2009 (purchased for $220)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by Canon-Nikon-user (14 reviews)
    small, sharper than both Nikon and Canon similar lenses, better CA handling than the Canon version.
    slower AF than the Canon version and Nikon version.

    I bought 4 of them and all of them are sharper than a few copies of the Nikon17-55f2.8DX(already sold) and Canon EF-S17-55f2.8IS(still own 2 copies of the Canon) that I have used.

    Unless you need an extremely fast AF in low light, you better off trying this lens fast before buying the super over priced Canon or Nikon version, this lens is optically better than both Nikon and Canon similar lenses , with less CA , more flare resistance and sharper corner from f4.

    But to be honest , for Canon users , I recommend the Canon one although it is less sharp than this Tammy because the Canon has the IS and AF much faster in low light.

    For Nikon guys though , I recommend this Tammy, it is sharper than the over priced , bulky Nikon 17-55DX , and I found this lens AF very well on my D300 , not so on my 50D or 40D though.

    Any one say any Canon or Nikon is sharper than this fantastically sharp Tamorn, is a kind of guy just having to justify his expensive lens purchase or just third party hater with prejudice aginst Tamron.

    Many say ,only if you cannot afford the Canon or Nikon , you may be happy with this lens or it is just good for the price , no regardless of price it is better for many people who prefer a smaller and sharper lens for landscapes or mostly shooting in day light , thus , no need for the IS.

    I decided to keep this lens actually 2 copies for my D300 , 1 for my 450D , for light weight travel or walk around stuff , but in low light , I use the Canon EF-S17-55f2.8ISUSM because of the IS and FTM(if this Tamron gets the Tamron VC and USM AF, I will get it in a heart beat and sell my Canon17-55f2.8).

    IF you shoot mostly in dim light or night scene , go for the Canon for its IS and USM , the lens is superb in low light and I think the 50D and EF-S17-55f2.8IS combo makes the ultimate low light,APS-C kit. But other wise , you dont need to waste your money on the bulky lens like the Ef-S17-55f2.8IS or Nikon Af-S17-55f2.8DX.

    This lens is a real bargain , it is sharper than the AF-S17-55f2.8DX , EF-S17-55f2.8IS , EF24-105f4LIS , EF24-70f2.8LUSM, Sigma 18-50f2.8macro HSM, EF17-40f4LUSM, as sharp as the AF-S16-85VR.

    I mostly use this lens and AF-S16-85VR on my D300 when I travel light.

    And I think this Tamron is built very well , looks cheap but it is durable , I abuse it quite badly and it is still like just out of a box.

    And even if it breaks , who cares? it is so cheap and easy to replace but if I break the Nikon 17-55Dx , it will be expensive to fix , Nikon charges a lot for that.

    reviewed December 2nd, 2008 (purchased for $280)
  • 3 out of 10 points and not recommended by dimfinder (5 reviews)
    Specs, price
    Image Quality, Manufacturing Defects, Quality Control

    This lens would be great if it weren't unusable. My copy has obvious left-right sharpness differences, a clear sign of decentered lens element(s). I can't take a decent picture with it. Hate it!

    reviewed October 20th, 2008 (purchased for $405)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by Keyroo (8 reviews)
    fast lens, great construction, fairly light, great all rounder
    lens hood can be a pain to put on and off, focusing ring moves when autofocusing, have to switch to manual to focus

    This is my day to day lens, very versitile, not very big, feels good on the camera.

    Operation wise ti's great, smooth zoom motion, easy focus and zoom ring to use, and image quality is great,

    i have a few gripes but they are all small really, the lens hood gets stuck sometimes and is a bitch to put on and off, the focus ring moves when autofocusing which can throw you off a bit if your not carefull of hand placement on the lens, the switch between manual and autofocus is kind of annoying ti's small and fiddly if you want to switch to manual real quick, lastly be carefully of stacking filters, putting a polarising filter on top of a uv creates some major vignetting, especially when stopped down, but thats common of most wide angle lenses

    overall a great all round lens, i used this for a whole ski season as my main lens and it never faultered, very pleased

    reviewed October 3rd, 2008 (purchased for $500)
  • 3 out of 10 points and not recommended by termotronic (2 reviews)

    I order the USA version of this lens from Sigma4Less but I got the imported version.
    This copy has serious focus problems at 17mm and back focus at 50mm. At 17mm never got focus at any distance, at 50mm has terrible back focus.
    The lens was unacceptable at any focal range. I do not think is a camera (D300) problem because I have 7 more lenses that work perfect.

    Sigma4Less accept that it was his error but they refused to exchange because I opened and used the lens. They offered me a MACK warranty so …

    I will you posted about what MACK guys did.

    reviewed June 1st, 2008 (purchased for $430)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by PDMAROTTA (1 reviews)
    1/3 the price of Nikon

    Just got this lens after an egsausting decision between this and the Nikon. So glad I went with this Lens so far. Unless you hato ve $$$$ with no worries buy the Nikon...If you are unsure buy the Tamron... You will not be disappointed

    reviewed May 31st, 2008
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by megafranz (2 reviews)
    Image quality, price
    mechanicly not 100%

    @ slice4e

    I took a look at your images, well I think your lens is OK, the picture of the bird is as sharp as your camera can record the images. The one with the dolls is sharp at the one with the green glasses.
    For the others I think your focussing is not 100%.
    Try to use a diafragma of 5 to 11 for best results
    Also try to shoot in raw, that will increase IQ.

    Also keep in mind that when you view the images on screen at 100% your actualy looking at a large picture of around 70x100cm, from very close by.

    - Well I own this lens now for a few months, mounted on a Sony A350, this realy is a sharp performer. deforming and CA are easy adjustable
    Contrast is fine, but for the color I think it is a little blueish
    I am not saying that it is the best lens but for ihe price you get a lot of lens.

    Mechanicly, I am not 100% satisfied, the lens feels just a little bit loose. My Sigma 10-20 feels more solid. At a certain moment I found out that the frontring whobled for 2 mm, not a big problem it was easy repaired by flipping of the coverring and thightening the screews. No big deal, but it shoudn't have happened.

    Anyway I am very happy with this lens and can recoment is to any non-pro

    reviewed May 17th, 2008 (purchased for $380)
  • 5 out of 10 points and recommended by slice4e (1 reviews)
    Seems to be a good value for the money
    Not sure I sharp enough (I am not an expert) Need some help.

    I would like to start off by saying that I am very new to SLR photography. So far, I have just read a couple of books, but no real experience.

    I purchased this lens as a replacement for the kit lens that came with Canon XTi. I never actually tried the kit lens.

    I am a little concerned that these lens are not as sharp as I was expecting. I read some reviews ( here and in amazon), that some copies of this lens are bad, while other copies are excellent. I am worried that my copy might be bad, so I need some help from an expert. I would really appreciate it, if someone could take a quick look at my sample photos and let me know if this is the quality that is expected from this lens.
    My photos are here: http://picasaweb.google.com/slice4e/Tamron175028TestImages?authkey=m7RBlm4HL2Y

    When you view those photos, there is an option to download the full image as well.

    Thanks a lot in advance for the help.
    Anyway, those photos may be useful for people trying to decide if they want to purchase the lens or not. I have tried to include several different lighting situations, etc..

    reviewed May 12th, 2008 (purchased for $400)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by pancreas (4 reviews)
    Lightweight, balances well on D80 with grip, relatively cheap, excellent image quality
    Relatively slow AF, zoom range is limited

    You can tell this lens is state of the art by all those fancy black on gold acronyms in its name 8p I guess the marketing people at Tamron decided that the numbers alone didn't look impressive enough.

    It's an excellent lens in most respects, with suprisingly good flare control, minimal distortion at the shortest focal length, and insane sharpness at the center when wide open. It comes out sharper than my kit lens in low light because I can use lower ISO settings. I've had no problems when using it with either the on board or a hotshoe mounted flash.

    The built-in autofocus micro motor of my A16NII model is not marketed as "high speed" and makes a higher pitched sound than the on board motor of the D80. Still, it seems fast enough (about as fast as my 18-135 mm kit lens) and accurate. I wanted one without a motor, since supposedly they focus faster, but the dealer in Hong Kong said they were all phased out already. Anyway he assured me that all the newer models were made in Japan so, so far I haven't have any major issues with quality control.

    Build quality is what you would expect for the price. The lens does not wobble when extended. The zoom ring was kind of stiff at the start but seems to be loosening up now.

    One not-so-obvious bonus is that although it's heavier than my kit lens, it's also shorter so most of this weight is closer to the body. It actually feels lighter and much more balanced than the kit lens on my D80 with battery grip.

    If this lens started at 16 mm it would be absolutely perfect ;)

    reviewed April 11th, 2008 (purchased for $375)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by morrisseysb1 (2 reviews)
    Sharp pics...fast apperature, fairly quick AF
    Noisy AF

    Originally got a Sigma 17-70...big mistake...returned the two coppies of that I tried and went with this lens. I'm new to the hobby...but there is a huge difference between this lens and the Sigma. Highly recommend this lens. If the zoom range is close to what you are looking for you will very happy with this lens, previous reviews are very accurate.

    reviewed March 22nd, 2008 (purchased for $410)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by grahambo (8 reviews)
    fast, sharp, cheap, light
    limited zoom range, softish at 50mm, boken less than fantastic, D40/D60 autofocus

    I chose to get this instead of the "standard" 18-135mm with my D80. It does some things very well, but does other things only OK. Indoors, this is the perfect lens. The focal range is perfect, low light performance is great, and with an SB-600 it gets even better. Outdoors, the lens feels limited. 17mm is useful, but isn't fantastically wide. And 50mm is awful short for a walk-around lens. Image quality is great stopped down, but if you've got the light to stop down......

    This is not, as some have suggested, a substitute for a macro lens. Bokeh retains a lot of pattern and the manual focus ring is way too touchy.

    Wide open, it is fantastically sharp through 35mm, but gets softer, especially at the edges, near 50mm. 50mm is improved a lot by stopping down to F4.

    Contrast is decent at F2.8. It isn't wild, but that keeps highlights from blowing out and works well indoors with flash. Contrast increases dramatically from F4 on. Often, it seems there is too much contrast. Outdoors, it is hard to keep the scene exposed well and keep highlights from blowing out. Again, the lens plays well to its specialty.....

    I will definitely keep this lens for indoor use, but I am looking for a better jack-of-all-trades lens.

    Photos with the 17-50mm on my photoblog: www.photograhambo.com/index.php?x=browse&category=19

    reviewed February 24th, 2008 (purchased for $450)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by bafrank (1 reviews)
    Size, Weight, Cost
    Focus is a little inaccurate

    I've owned the Tamaron lens for about two months now, have had no quality issues and it actually seems to be getting better with age! I lucked out and got a Made in Japan version - not sure if that makes a difference.

    The Tamaron is a regular fixture on my D200. I also spent some time shooting with the Nikon 17-55 lens. The build quality and the focus speed on the Nikon are better, as they should be for three times the price. However, in many ways, I find the Tamaron lens to be more useful. First, it is about half the size, and a quarter the weight. The balance and feel on the D200 is incredible. I also tend to use manual focus and must say, I really appreciate the focus ring on the Tamaron which is uncustomarily usable for a modern zoom. Would love it to be AF/S but again, I appreciate Tamaron's value proposition to keep the optical quality high - some corners had to be cut.

    The lens is sharp, though still not as sharp as my prime 1.8 50mm, and the bokeh is not nearly as artistic. You'd be splitting hairs with the 17-55.

    If you're a pro and your living depends on it, I don't think there's a question about the added value, a grand means nothing compared to your job. However, for me, a grand will buy a ticket to Morocco to spend a week making sure I really like the Tamaron. Overall this is not a lens you will risk your life over, but for the price and quality of the output, I don't think it has much competition.

    As a side note on build quality - I spent about an hour shooting in a howling rain storm along the CA coastline. Everything was pretty wet, and still no problems.

    reviewed February 1st, 2008 (purchased for $400)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by jonnyapple (6 reviews)
    fast, sharp, light, cheap

    I love this lens. I use it with my Nikon D300 and the image quality is great at all focal lengths. The autofocus is fast and the viewfinder is bright with this little guy on.

    I consider myself an advanced amateur, and I don't notice much optical distortion at either end. What little chromatic aberration there is at 17mm can easily be taken out with Lightroom, but I would only take the time if I was doing enlargements--on anything 5x7 or smaller, I don't think you'll see it. There is some vignetting, but that's also easily removed in Lightroom if it bothers you.

    The two lenses I can compare it to are the Nikkor 50 mm f/1.8 and the Nikkor 18-70mm G DX.
    It seems as sharp as the 50 and still fast, but you also have wide angle, and I'm not good enough to consistently get things in focus with the tiny depth of field on the 50 wide open (specifically when the subject is moving), so I usually have it stopped down to 2.8 or 4 anyway.
    I got this to replace the 18-70, and I wouldn't think twice about doing it again. The extra speed makes it more useful for indoor things and I haven't missed the extra zoom at the tele end. It's a whole lot sharper wide open and has much less CA, especially at the short end of the range.

    The zoom ring has just the right amount of resistance and I like the feel of the grip. A note for Nikon users: when people say in their reviews that the zoom ring is backward, it's not backward for Nikon users, only Canon users. I haven't had any trouble with attaching the lens to the camera--it seems as smooth as the Nikkor lenses (actually, it seems identical).

    It didn't make sense given what I do for me get the Nikon version of this lens at three times the price and almost double the weight.

    reviewed December 26th, 2007 (purchased for $400)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by chethaw (2 reviews)
    Good for Potrait
    Not recommend for event shooting

    Decided to buy the wide-standard zoom lens next week but a big confuse between this lens and Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC Macro , don't know which one should I choose for my Canon 30D. Somebody can give some advice, thanks!

    reviewed October 15th, 2007
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by eyrieowl (3 reviews)
    f2.8, sharp, solid feel, comfortable size
    some overexposure w/flash, some vignetting at 2.8 at ends

    I have used this lens for a Nikon d50. I read a number of reviews before settling on this lens, and I haven't been disappointed. The lens rarely hunts for focus, focus is generally pretty fast, and having a good quality f2.8 in this range is a real joy. i bought this lens in anticipation of a recent trip to thailand, and the lens rarely left the camera. i switched back to a super zoom on a couple of occasions, but i really couldn't reconcile myself to the lower quality images and slower apertures. so, i pretty much just went without anything but this lens and i'm very happy i did. and the price is great as well. next up, an f2.8 for 50mm+!

    reviewed August 21st, 2007 (purchased for $378)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by EF-S10-22 (19 reviews)
    very resistant to flare , very sharp , very good color rendition, very good AF accuracy
    focus ring rotates , no FTM , no IS

    I've had the Canon EF_S17-55Is but ditch it and now use this Tamron.

    the reason : the flare issue of the Canon , it is really serious.

    Now, testing my seventh copy of the Cnaon EF-S17-55IS and found it excellent in term of optical quality, though its build quality IMHO is worse than this Tmaorn which is 900US cheaper than the Cnaon.

    Note : none of my tested copy of the Tmaorn or Canon was bad at all , I just wanted the best so tested 7 Tmaorns and 7 Canons.

    The Cnaon is a bit sharper at f2.8 than this Tamorn , though as you stop both down to f5.6 , I think they are about equal and onward , the Tmaorn is sharper at f8 than the Canon at f8.

    The Tamorn peaks at f8 , while the Canon peaks at f6.3 IMHO.

    I'd tell you there is no day-and-night kind of difference in terms of optical quality and build quality between them , and both are great lens.

    The Tmaorn is not just a good lens , is a great lens in absolute term not for the money.

    I truely believe it is a much better lens than the Cnaon17-40L or 24-105L, I have had all and I am sure all of my lenses are decently sharp at least .....if not extremely sharp(I chose them very carefully and never just buy a lens but at least couple of them and choose the better one), I still say I'd give the edge to the Tamorn.

    The Tamorn is a sharp lens , no doubt about it , it is purely sharp and I love its color rendition and a bit warmer but clean color , in fact , I think this Tmaorn has much better color than that of my Canon EF-S17-55IS, I am not saying the Canon has bad color , its color is also excellent(just I prefer the Tamorn color since it is more vibrant).

    If you do not need the ultimate wide open sharpness of the Canon 17-55f2.8 IS, then get this Tmaorn and save your money.

    The Tmaorn is able to do semi-macro like stuff and it is light and durable ............so you can abuse it.

    Because it is so cheap , you can abuse it , if you damage it , who cares ? you will always be able to repalce it easily , hey man , it is priced 300US ......

    I think it is a no-brainer .........considering of these price differentials among all f2.8 lenses, this Tmaorn is the best and is always or will be unbeatable for a long time.

    I know many owners of this lens wondering how much better the Canon really is or if they spend a grand on the EF-S, would be able to get a much better lens than this Tamorn with expectation to see day-and-night kinda difference .
    I'd guarantee you, you would not see any difference in IQ between them other than different color tones and casts, if you say you saw it and the Canon was much better , you are lying.

    Unless use the DXO test tool , you wont see it , I used it and printed some pics out up to 19 inch ,still I did not see any difference except the Tamorn color was a bit more saturated than that of the Cnaon EF_S17-55IS.

    After using the DXO tool , I saw some differences but they are hard to detect by naked eyes.

    That said , Ilove both and Iuse both differently.

    I use my Canon 17-55IS for low light and in door portrait (own a stupid studio for portrait ) and architectural stuff .

    I use my Tamorn for day light landscapes and travel photography or hiking since its got better close-up focusing stuff.

    If some one say the Cnaon is much better than this Tmaorn , he is lying or brain-washed by photozone.de .

    I do not say it just after testing a couple of the Canon and a couple of the Tmaorn , but I tested 7 copies of both lenses ........

    And both are excellent lenses.

    Finally here are pros and cons of both lenses.

    The Canon EF-S17-55f2.8 IS:

    pros: super fast AF, esp on the 40D, the IS, the lesser barrel distortion at 17mm(it is important when you shoot buildings or stock photos like I do) , wide open sharpness(important for a portrait photographer), lesser CA issue to deal with than with the Tamorn.

    cons : weight , size , a bit more prone to flares,more vignetting than the Tamorn wide open.

    The Tamorn SP-AF17-50f2.8

    pros: vibrant color (great for landscapes), really sharp optics, more resistant to flares(good for out door shootings) , less vignetting,better close-up focusing(good for flowers , semi-macros), weight and size, its 17mm is noticeably wider than that of the Canon17-55IS, although the 17-85 IS is even wider..

    cons: more serious CA issue to deal with than with the Canon, more pronounced barrel distortion than the Canon, no IS , no USM although I do not see any problem with its AF (it is fast at least mine is).

    If you get this excellent Tmaorn , just think you 've got the best not the second best since you can not say which is really better.

    Seriously , it is a great lens , hope Tamorn makes a similar quality UWA to this one ..............

    I decided to keep all my 3 17-xx lenses: the EF-S17-55IS , the 17-85IS and the Tamorn 17-50.

    All are excellent and have different uses.

    Hope this helps.

    reviewed August 1st, 2007 (purchased for $320)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by SteveBoker (1 reviews)
    Excellent optics, light weight, constant aperture, quick focus on D200, price
    some vignetting at 2.8, no AFS

    This is has been a great walk around lens for me. I took it to Europe for this last month along with several other Nikon lenses. This lens was on my D200 80% of the time, to my surprise. The filter does not rotate during operation, which makes a circular polarizer easy.

    The wide aperture means I don't miss VR. The zoom is enough to catch street scenes and frame most travel shots. And the trade between having a longer zoom like a 18-200mm relative to the versatility of the wider aperture made me keep this lens on the camera most of the time.

    The main negatives I have found are that there is some noticable vignetting at 2.8 and that you must switch to manual focus on the camera to be able to tweak the focus. Others mention the focus noise, but I don't find that particularly bothersome. But not being able to grab the focus ring quickly is a definite negative, but not enough to justify the cost difference between this and the 17-55 2.8 nikkor.

    reviewed June 30th, 2007 (purchased for $430)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by DamianP (4 reviews)
    Great Optics, f2.8

    Tamron only builds Plastic Lenses, we all know that. However, the build quality of this lens is very good when compared to other plastic lenses. However, relatively speaking, the build quality is no where near the 17-55mm 2.8 nikkor.

    When you buy a Tamron, you are paying for it's optics. The 17-50mm's IQ is virtually identical to the 17-55mm 2.8 nikkor, but at 1/4 of the price.

    Zoom ring is moderately damped, which is good so that it doesnt creep too much. The zoom ring is also very linear, comparing to my old wide zoom - nikkor 18-70mm, the 18-70mm's zoom ring is a joke.

    Beware that there are 2 different versions of this lens - those made in Japan and those made in China. And you've guessed it, those made in Japan ones are better. Apparently the China made ones have overexposure, and front/back focusing problems.

    reviewed June 27th, 2007 (purchased for $398)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by C Marks (2 reviews)
    Price to performance is very good, lightweight, fairly compact, 67mm filter, sharp

    This is a very nice lens for crop cameras. This is a great alternative to your branded models.

    The lens has a nice size and light weight. It takes 67mm filters. With a regular B+W Polarizer on there is no vignetting at 17mm.

    Good colors, contrast, and sharpness.

    My lens is a bit soft in the corners at f/2.8 the center is good but corners are soft. If you crop to an 8x10 print-that would solve it. Stop down to f/3.2 and corners sharpen up pretty nice and is much sharper than f/2.8 Go to f/4.6 and it is even better. You can expect that on any lens and this one does not disappoint.

    I find mine is really sharp from f/3.5 to f/8 and try to keep my f/stop there only going to 2.8 in the dimmest light. Or center your subject and then the soft corners help the blurry background.

    I find the lens to be quiet-maybe not as silent as a 85/1.8 USM, but still pretty quiet. Maybe being used to the ka-chunk of a medium format shutter makes this little buzz seem quiet. It's all relative. I think the shutter of the 400D is louder than the focus of the Tamron.

    When I was looking I tried a 17-40L And while it was nice it was also bigger, heavier, and more $$ than I wanted to spend. The Tamron gives me something smaller, faster, cheaper, and just as sharp.

    A very good buy. Save $200 toward another lens.

    reviewed June 20th, 2007
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by witan (2 reviews)
    Very light and compact. Great pictures. Close to my Canon prime.
    Construction quality reflects very good pricing.

    Buy this lens over the Canon 17-40mm L for its great value. Some (v. little) color bias when compared to the Canon. But fast lens makes it great for indoors and the filters are sure cheaper than the ones for the Canon 17-40mm L.

    reviewed June 17th, 2007 (purchased for $450)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by fliegertiger (1 reviews)
    built quality, F2.8
    ca's at wide angle nut easily to remove with either NX or Lightroom

    compared to the Nikon 18-70 kit lens this one is truely a step forward in order to support my fotografic skills, going to California nest week and will tell you how it performed.

    So far it can be said this lens is the best I've ever had (considering my limited budget)

    reviewed June 6th, 2007
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by Heshusius (1 reviews)
    Fast focus, sharp, cheap, sharp, looks quite cool , sharp and not as heavy as the real one.. and ehh.. did I mention sharp?
    So far none found

    Oh yes: I finally got one! It's the ultimate solution for me since the Nikon 17-55 is out of my league -> at least according to my wife ;) BTW: I got the 'made in Japan'-version.

    Tack-sharp at f2.8/17 mm and very reasonable at f2.8/50 mm - from f4.0 and up it's unbeatable at 50 mm! Now that might be the ($100-) difference between this lens and the Nikon f2.8/17-55.

    From this moment it's glued to my D200!! I recommend it to any photographer (both pro and amateur) with the need of a fast standard zoom.

    reviewed June 5th, 2007 (purchased for $520)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by rainerknappe (24 reviews)

    Very strong lens! About the best in its class. The resolution is outstanding even in the corners. Nearly no CA´s, little distorsion, quick AF a bit funny-noisy, only light fall off at 17mm (until f 5,6), very good price, only a bit too much plastic in the construccion makes loosing points - the rest - a top lens!

    reviewed May 15th, 2007 (purchased for $370)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by wallygva (1 reviews)
    Solid construction, *very* sharp lens, lens hood included

    Very impressed with this lens. So very much better (sharper and clearer) than the kit lens (18-55) that came on my Rebel XT. f2.8 makes for very nice "no flash" shots indoors.

    reviewed May 1st, 2007 (purchased for $382)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by rpoinvil1 (1 reviews)
    Quality build, $429!!!

    Shot with this for 3 days so far. It feels nice and beefy on the D200.
    I will update this review soon. In the meantime here's a link to a sample shot at 17mm:


    reviewed April 16th, 2007 (purchased for $429)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by kbaird (2 reviews)
    Very nice lens all around, f/2.8 is great.
    Makes you want to buy more f/2.8 lenses.

    I decided to try it for indoor no flash photos of our children and it has been really great. It is far better than I had expected.

    reviewed April 13th, 2007 (purchased for $449)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by brodo (1 reviews)
    sometimes little bit slow

    Good lens for its price and compared to competitors.

    reviewed April 7th, 2007 (purchased for $440)
  • 7 out of 10 points and recommended by matesa (2 reviews)
    Center sharpness warm color
    Bad left side blur

    Purchased based on good reviews allover.
    Set on tripod and shot a city view at 17, 24, 28, 35, 50 mm from f4 to 11 with Canon 20D.
    The left 10% side of the picture is blurred more than my Canon 18-55 Kit lens up to f8.
    A little better than Canon in the center and better on the right corners.
    Better colors (warmer) than Canon kit and better contrast.
    At 35 and 50 mm, marginally better than my Canon 28-135 except for left side and better colors( my Canon sample is too green).
    I certainly did not get those sharp results as in the Blur Index on SRLGear or @ PhotoZone.
    Maybe a bad sample? Be aware.

    reviewed March 22nd, 2007 (purchased for $464)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by SteveDP (1 reviews)
    Sharpness, IQ Color, Low Light Focus Speed, Build Quality, Weight, Size, Price, 6 Year Warranty
    No Red Ring (LOL!)

    I had been considering to purchase this lens for a while. After reading hundreds of professional and users reviews, I still couldn't make up my mind. I don't want to spend $1000 for non-L EF-S lens. At the end, I realized that I really got nothing to loose if I just buy this lens because of Tamron's excellent warranty program and service. The performance of this lens actually far exceeded my expectation. The build quality was close to my Nikon and Olympus lenses. The sharpness, IQ and focus speed are better than my Zuiko 14-54mm. I use it for landscape, indoor kids shots and portraits etc. It is also an excellent macro lens and take fantastic closeup pictures.

    reviewed January 20th, 2007 (purchased for $419)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by hobbit (5 reviews)
    Small, Fast, Well built...
    None - so far

    I recently bought this lens to replace kit lens for Rebel XT. The image quality is higher than with 18-55 even when you do it on 17 f/2.8. The noise amount at high ISO 800 - 1600 seems to be reduced comparatively to 18-55.
    Build seems to be better as well.
    Light falloff is present at 17 f/2.8 but generally you have to look for it to see it.
    So far I had no problems with the lens.
    Note that the price mentioned is in Canadian $ and it was bought in Calgary. The lens was made in China, which disappointed me at first but...It looks like it is working well and I have 6 years warranty :)

    reviewed January 15th, 2007 (purchased for $508)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by ealatsis (4 reviews)
    low light specialist
    expensive for some, but better value.

    No complaints regarding this lens. I shoot with a D80; and also have a 50mm and 70-200 VR. They all focus extremely well in low light. I also think it is built well.

    reviewed January 15th, 2007 (purchased for $450)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by jlam (4 reviews)
    f/2.8, light weight, shape, fast focus, 17mm on wide end
    Blue fringing, zoom ring rotates opposite to Canon’s, ends at 50mm

    I’ve had this lens since X’mas 2006. Because of the large aperture, I was able to photograph my toddler kids indoor without flash – something that I struggled much more previously with my Canon 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS.

    Having mentioned that, I do miss the IS capability. Large aperture doesn’t make up for IS, or vice versa. You just have to keep different things in mind when you shoot your subjects.

    I’ve noticed strong blue fringing (at the edge of overexposed areas) roughly 1/4 radius from the center. This is surprising to me because I always thought that this would happen further away from the center.

    I also tend to turn the zoom ring the wrong way. I don’t find myself getting used to it any time soon.

    I was considering Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 as my primary lens. It is not quite wide enough for indoor but the Tamron is not long enough to be a walkaround lens outdoor. I only wish that there were such a lens as 18-70mm f/2.8 out there.

    reviewed January 15th, 2007 (purchased for $422)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by silverbluemx (16 reviews)
    Sharp, a bit wider than 18mm, light and small
    Some AF problems.

    I had the occasion of testing this lens in a store on my EOS 300D.
    I found that the maximum aperture setting is very usable, quite sharp on the whole focal range.
    Also the 17mm position on this lens is really a little wider than the 18mm on my Sigma 18-125, it is not a fake spec.
    I only think that it could be a little longer, maybe up to 70mm, but it would certainly lose another advantage : this lens is quite small and light.
    Build quality is good, not top level but quite high given the price and specs.
    The only drawback : AF. It is a little slow (nothing dramatic), but too noisy for me. I also experienced some hunting even in good light (maybe a problem with my 300D only?)
    Finally, I think that it is a very good choice for those who want to replace their kit lens with the same focal range but a lot better IQ without spending a lot of money.

    reviewed January 14th, 2007
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by helper94 (2 reviews)
    Very sharp, great contrast, fast, relatively compact
    Build is not as good as Canon L

    After agonizing between this lens and the Canon 17-40L, I decided to go for this one for my Rebel Xti to replace my kit lens, primarily because of its speed advantage and smaller size. I don't intend to take the lens to extremes, so the slightly-less-solid build did not matter as much to me. Bought it new at MAP Camera in Shinjuku in Tokyo. By paying 5% more than the list price, they gave me a three year in-store warranty. I was a little disappointed to see they were selling the "assembled in China" version, and not the "made in Japan" version, so I had some concerns about having the back focusing or front focusing problems that others have talked about.

    However, after using it, I have no complaints. At 50mm, the picture is as sharp to my eye as my EF-S 60mm 2.8, which actually makes me think about returning the EF-S due to redundancy. The 17mm has some barrel distortion, but nothing that can't be corrected by software - it's also great to be able to get a full picture of my 1 year old son in his car seat, with me sitting right next to him in the car!

    It's a little bigger in size than the kit 18-55 lens, but seemed a lot smaller than the 17-40L - the Tamron on my Xti fits snugly but easily into the Canon digital hard case.

    No complaints so far.

    reviewed January 14th, 2007 (purchased for $339)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by ohcello (1 reviews)
    Resolution for the price... amazing
    Field Curvature for landscape shots

    Very sharp, even wide open.... this could replace a prime if needed. Great for portraits at 50mm x 1.6, etc.

    The Field Curvature problem when attempting to focus on a 'flat' landscape shot.... you might notice blurring at the edges.... your only recourse is to stop down unless you have already!

    But other than that.... best resolution in a zoom I've seen under $500

    reviewed January 12th, 2007 (purchased for $429)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by jdf (8 reviews)

    I have used this lens on eos 30D. it did impressed much as it is very sharp! At 2.8 it's very good, but from there and up it's amazing.
    At 2.8 you can find a little CA, after this it's gone :)

    One thing that was not so good was it's AF, it's a bit noisy and not very precise, especially in a 2.8 lens where this is crucial :S

    Well I have done a little test my self wich you can find it here:

    At 17 MM


    At 50 MM


    reviewed January 12th, 2007
  • 7 out of 10 points and recommended by bfischer (15 reviews)
    outstanding optics, cheap, small, light
    poor mechanics, AF problems

    I tried the Nikon version of this lens to check if it could replace my large and heavy Nikkor 17-55/2.8. Weight and size is what bothers me most with the Nikkor. This is no issue with this Tamron.

    Optically it really is almost as good as the Nikkor. At f/5.6 and f/8 it may be even slightly sharper in the center. Corners are a little behind the Nikkor, but not much. Shooting contrasty scenes you may get in trouble with CA and purple fringing.

    The lens has screwdriver type AF and obviously the same sloppy AF mechanics as the Tamron 28-75/2.8. The lens has severe auto focus problems, which often ruins image sharpness completely.

    If Tamron could manage to build an AF-S type ultra sonic motor into this lens and compensate the AF offset errors it probably would be the best APS-C standard zoom under 1000$ for a bargain price.

    reviewed January 11th, 2007
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by adobo (17 reviews)
    *Great IQ for Price, One of the Sharpest Lens
    *Zoom turns the other way..

    First of all..

    How can third-party lens makers construct this small (compared to Canon's 17-55 2.8 -- with allowance for IS) and still produce good quality pics?!

    Hmm.. anyway, compared to other similar lenses (Sigma 18-50, and Canon 17-55 IS) this is best when you the price is important to you

    First comparing this to the Canon..
    It doesnt look as nice (heh!)
    It doesnt have IS
    Zoom ring turns the other way
    But it is smaller!
    And sharper!
    And most importantly CHEAPER!

    Now compared to Sigma, I would still prefer this lens (although I haven't tried the new Macro revision)
    Because it has more consistent quality (left vs. right)
    But the Sigma turns similarly to Canon lenses

    A good buy if you ask me..

    reviewed January 11th, 2007 (purchased for $500)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by snnamagh (1 reviews)
    Sharp @f2.8, good price for the quality
    front focus, a little bit dark

    I have been owned this lens for almost a month and using it for a Canon Rebel XT.

    What I like about that it is quite useful@ f2.8 throughout the 17mm to 50mm.
    IT IS sharp at f2.8 and the best sharpness can be reached @ f5.6 for my copy.
    Also I had a chance to have Sigma 18-50 DC EX f2.8 (not macro one) for a week.
    I compared them through different tests: Overall, I liked the tamron more.
    The tamron had a better control over the distortion and vignetting even at widest angel and better sharpness at borders.
    However at center over different focal length it is hard sometimes to say which one is better.
    Also, I got a bit better (shallower) DOF for the tamron and as it supposed to be, the better BOKEH was more recognizable at f2.8 and 50mm setting for the tamron copy.
    .(But in terms of sharpness the tamron not really performed better than the sigma while the focus was the centre subject).

    my tamron copy tends to front focus a bit.(not still a big issue on that, but recognizable specially when I compared to my Canon 50mm f1.8 through the test).
    And, the tamron tends to produce a little bit darker image compared to the sigma and canon lens kit EFS 18-55. (exactly at the same aperture and shutter speed setting)
    At last, the tamron was noisier. But, not really noticeable yet when I am walking around with it.

    Although I ordered mine from a retailer in Japan but it is marked assembled in China on the body of the lens. I checked another copy from a local retailer (Ottawa-Canada)
    and it was marked assembled in China as well. So, not really sure yet if there is any difference in quality between those marked clearly "made in Japan" and those
    marked as"assembled in China from Chinese and Japanese parts"

    reviewed January 10th, 2007 (purchased for $400)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by moeman (3 reviews)
    Very nice pics, super fast AF w/ my a-100
    no significant cons

    Meets all my expectations--highly recommended. AF is SUPER FAST w/ my Sony A-100 even at low-light. Image quality is superb. A little noisy (sound).

    Pretty darn good wide open and since the DOF of a prime 50 at 1.4 or 1.7 is so small I think I'll past on a prime in this lens' zoom range. Stopped down even to 3.5 it's very sharp.

    I wonder if its possible for a zoom to add a little to the tele end and keep all the other qualities this lens has...That would be my only dream improvement.

    reviewed January 5th, 2007 (purchased for $440)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by Arthas (1 reviews)
    Sharp even at f/2.8, improves quickly one and two stops down
    Focus not as fast as USM, buzzing noise when focusing,no full-time manual focus or IS

    I bought this lens with a new 30D as a general use walkaround and for people shots. I've been ver impressed with it so far as there is excellent detail in the centre even at f/2.8 iso 1600 in challenging lighting conditions.

    Sharpness does improve quite a bit when stopped down, I find for group shots f/5.0 gives good results.

    On the downside, the distortion at the wide angle (17mm) is fairly dramatic at the edge of the frame. It's not too hard to correct in processing, but I find myself framing shots so that no-one's face is close to the edge when at 17mm which reduces the effective range a bit. However, it's good to have it for those times when you absolutely have to go wide.

    Some posters commented on the loud focus noise and speed. While it's not as fast or smooth to focus as my 85 1.8, it's perfectly acceptable for general use and I haven't missed any shots because of it, in fact I've caught a fair few reaction shots at events. It wouldn't be ideal for sports but then a 17-50 f/2.8 zoom isn't a sport shooter's chocie anyway.

    There is a buzzing noise when focusing but it's not that loud. It's no more disturbing than the 30D's shutter anyway.

    Overall, I'm very happy with the lens!

    reviewed January 4th, 2007 (purchased for $490)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by SteveR12682 (10 reviews)
    Very sharp

    This lens is an excellent choice for a "walk-around" f/2.8 zoom. Image quality is superb, and images are very sharp, even wide open. It is a great low-cost alternative to the Canon 17-55.

    reviewed December 30th, 2006 (purchased for $450)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by logogogue (10 reviews)
    excellent quality, fast focus, good construction, zoom lock, very inexpensive.
    noisy - no HSM, reverse zoom twist from Canon lens.

    Very good lens overall. I find it to be very flexible at most aperatures. I tend to use it most often below f4 and I have not been disappointed with image quality. I find the reverse twist of the zoom ring a bit annoying since I am used to the Canon lenses. Although the lens does focus quickly, it is pretty loud and it seems slower than it really is. I find low-light hand-held shots to be very capable. You could spend double on the Canon version but why? Highly recommend this lens.

    reviewed December 27th, 2006 (purchased for $420)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by CharleyS (2 reviews)
    f/2.8 through out gives this lens great low light capabilities. Sharp images. Compact design.
    None so far

    I've read about Tamron's QC problems with this lens and I debated a long time about buying one, but all I can say is this is one GREAT lens!!!!
    I took about 100 test shots to try and find any of the problems I had read about, but I honestly can't find a single complaint.

    The only time this lens now comes off my D80 is when I need more zoom.

    This is the highest quality lens I own, so I don't have a "heavier" lens to compare it to, but the build quality to me is quite good. I could tell when I first picked it up that it is much more lens than the 18-55 nikkor kit lens it is replacing.

    If you are looking for a mid range zoom with great low light capabilities, I would highly recommend this lens. At this price point, this lens is a steal.

    reviewed December 26th, 2006 (purchased for $449)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by amelo14 (10 reviews)
    Extremely sharp image quality, bargain price, weight, Tamron warranty.
    no IS, no USM, no “L” build, some copies seem to front-focus.

    This lens is simply a joy to use. Tamron has managed to continue the amazing quality of its famous 28-75, making it now available for the 1.6x sensors. Even at 2.8 it is quite sharp throughout the whole range. Being 2.8, it competes well with IS alternatives which cost almost twice and cannot really be used for stopping action. The build quality is not the greatest, but it is not bad either. Low-light can be a bit tricky for the AF system, but once again it is really above-average. Its weight and size allow you to take other lenses with you, which increases your chance of making different types of images.

    Bottom line, an excellent lens at a bargain price which will save you the money required to get others lenses which will allow you to explore other photographic possibilities. For the price of one 17-55 IS USM, you can get this lens, the excellent Canon 85 1.8, and finally, either a 35 2.0, or a 50 1.8 MK1. This will surely open up you creative possibilities.

    reviewed December 25th, 2006 (purchased for $400)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by gadgetguy (62 reviews)
    sharp, value for money
    colors lack "pop", looks "third party-ish"

    For it's price, this lens holds it own against Canon's 17-55/2.8 - really a great value-for-money lens.

    It lacks great color off the camera, but with some PP, it can deliver.

    Construction quality if above average, but if it matters to you, the lens just "looks" very third-party-ish. I know it's superficial, but sometimes you just want a nice solid feel and LOOK when you buy a quality product. Tamron couls sell more of these if they just made it look more "pro looking", I think.

    reviewed December 22nd, 2006
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by SamuelMV (6 reviews)
    Sharp, IQ, price, fast
    AF, it's fast and accurate, but a little bit noisy and no FTM

    I have this lens for Canon mount and I can compare it with my Canon 28-135 IS USM.

    First, its IQ is much better than the 28-135, and I have wide angle again, and 2.8!!! (you really need to stop down the canon to f/8).

    The Tamron AF is as fast and accurate as the Canon 28-135, the only downside is a little bit of noise (I can live with that), and no Full Time Manual (just switch to MF).

    Image Stabilization is nice, but it doesn't stop motion, so I prefer fast aperture (with good IQ), over IS in a wide angle lens (for a tele: no IS -> no way)

    Ok, you can get the Canon 17-55 2.8 IS, and have both, but it's much bigger, heavier, more expensive ... and the IQ is more or less the same (if you really need exceptional IQ, get a good prime). $1300: too much for an AF-S lens that I'm going to sell when I go full frame ;-)

    Finally, the zoom ring rotates in opposite direction to Canon (it's like Nikon's). No big deal, although it's annoying.

    reviewed December 22nd, 2006 (purchased for $530)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by keegan (6 reviews)
    Affordability, size
    sharpness wide open

    Excellent solution to not being able to afford the Nikon 17-55. Sharper than my Nikon 18-200VR at F4-F11, better contrast too. At 2.8 the lens softens a little, and that is the $1000 difference between this lens and the 17-55. Also, this lens weighs significantly less than the Nikon equivalent, making it a much better walk-around and all-day use lens. Awesome value. I'd recommend it to anyone wanting a fast standard zoom.

    reviewed December 13th, 2006 (purchased for $350)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by duffer18 (3 reviews)
    Great quality at a resonable price
    Weird base cap and cheap hood 5 mm less zoom then the nikor

    Need a mid level zoom with low light abilities? Well if you are not made of money or don't want to lug around a few more pounds compare this lens to the Nikor.

    Tamron vs Nikor stacks up like this.
    Tamron is the super model weight wise. More space for other things like a blue/gold polarizer or other goodies.
    Tamron is only a 17 - 50 vs the 17 - 55 in the Nikor. So you loose a few mm.
    Tamron delivers great quality shots, so good this has become my new walking around lens.

    I say give this lens a try. You might really like what you find...

    reviewed December 9th, 2006 (purchased for $550)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by id (1 reviews)
    Sharp, f2.8, image quality
    A bit noisy

    You get a lot of lens for your money.

    The image quality is great!
    However, make sure you get a good copy, since there might be some quality issues with this lens. But don't let that hold you back, just make sure it's a good copy and you are fine.

    reviewed December 1st, 2006 (purchased for $450)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by jemaerca (5 reviews)
    Constant f/2.8 aperture, sharp images, nice build quality, compact size and light weight
    Build quality compared to Nikon's tank like build quality, flimsy hood, works with DX sized sensor only

    PROS: Constant f/2.8 aperture, sharp images, nice build quality, compact size and light weight

    CONS: Build quality compared to Nikon's tank like build quality, flimsy hood, works with DX sized sensor only

    As I looked for a fast midrange zoom, I was initially drawn to the Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 lens. But the $1,200 price made me look at some alterntives and I'm glad I did. The Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 is about 1/3 the price of the Nikkor and most of the reviews you will find will say that performance is right there with the Nikkor. My experience so far supports these reviews. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind spending the $$ for quality optics but I need to see the benefit of the extra investment. In this case, it just wasn't there enough to justify spending an extra $800 for a Nikkor. The only reason I can think of to choose the Nikkor over the Tamron is if you are rough on your equipment. The build quality of the Tamron 17-50mm is first rate but isn't like the tank like build of the Nikkor. If you need that build quality, go for the Nikkor. If you don't, you'll be happy with the Tamron 17-50mm and will have $800 in your pocket to buy some other lens. Cheers!

    reviewed November 29th, 2006 (purchased for $420)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by Karl777 (2 reviews)
    Ultrasharp, leightweight, fastfocus

    When i decided to buy a DSLR my focus was on the quality of the lens. I searched for reviews for the Nikon Lenses Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G and Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G but both lenses were not fast and the Image Quality was not outstanding at all.

    I searched for alternatives and found this lens. When i shared the first photos with my nikon colleagues they all were amazed about the image quality and so i;

    To get good picture qulality you can start fro m step 2.8; in tests vignetting described high but as far i had no problems with it.
    Focusing is fast and i did not recognize noise; But this may be different to your demands making silent exposures.

    A great thing is the macro capability with this lense. It's not a full macro but compared to the competitors it's top!

    The fast lens gives you ability even at low light to shot pictures without or with a litte bit flash support. Flashed pictures tends to overexposure at 2.8 -4.0. i usually reduced my built in flash with -1 step and get great results;

    Build quality is ok. A full metal would even give more trust in build quality.

    Highly recommended

    reviewed November 28th, 2006 (purchased for $420)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by nohm (11 reviews)

    The poor man's 17-55 Canon/Nikon equivalent lens.

    I didn't mind while I owned it. :D

    The image quality is barely any different than my new 17-55, if not slightly better on the wide end.

    For those of you sulking in depression over not being able to afford those expensive pro line lens, wake up. This lens is more than qualified to fullfill your needs at a much cheaper price.

    reviewed November 27th, 2006
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by drwho9437 (9 reviews)
    Price for 2.8, compact, good performance
    Focusing mech

    When I dumped my 300D for a 400D I didn't get the kit knowing this lens was out there.

    I have only had it for a short time, but here is what I can tell you to date. First off the most annoying thing about the lens is the focusing mechanism. The throw in the ring is tiny about a 1/4 turn. Some fellow said he MF with it, I should think that rather hard to do. The AF motor is very loud for a lens of its era.

    Other than that the build is fine. You get a hood and a nice center pinch cap.

    As for performance, I haven't noticed any large issues. It seems to get the job done. Having 2.8 across the range is very nice. When you don't have this you often end up shooting at wide and wide open in low light and cropping.

    All in all it probably lives up to its billing.

    reviewed November 26th, 2006 (purchased for $430)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by Jarrad_Kevin (11 reviews)
    Very useful zoom range, Light and Compact for a 2.8 zoom, Good Image Quality
    Noisy AF Motor, Pronounced barrel distortion @ 17mm, Colour Fringing, Lack of Full Time Manual.

    I own the Canon EOS mount version of this Lens.

    Like most 2.8 lenses this one is sharpest at 5.6. It's usable wide open, but really does benefit from stopping down. It's also sharpest at it's long end. It's not quite 50mm. I'd guess closer to 47-48mm.
    Center resolution is very good all throughout the zoom range. Edges do soften on the very wide end, but I've seen far worse. It's nothing to worry about.
    Chromatic Aberrations are noticeable on the wide end.

    It feels good in use, not lacking in build quality, but certainly nothing like the Canon L-series. I like it's small size and light weight.

    The Auto Focus motor is quite loud and annoying. A wasp in a matchbox, as they say. I usually use this lens in Manual focus anyway, so it doesn't matter to me. The AF accuracy and speed is fine. I wouldn't use it for fast paced sports, but it'll probably handle most situations very well.

    Very high value for the money.

    reviewed November 15th, 2006 (purchased for $420)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by sduford (9 reviews)
    Good build quality, very sharp, small, excellent value
    No HSM type autofocus, very short focus throw.

    I think this lens offers killer value. It's image quality rivals the Nikkor 17-55mm F/2.8 and this at a third of the price and half the size.

    Build quality is excellent for the price and image quality really surprised me. This lens has excellent image quality even wide open. Contrast and colour rendition are top notch. I'm very happy with what I got for the money with lens. It has quickly become one of my favourites.

    I only wish ti would go a little longer, like 60 or 70mm.

    reviewed August 1st, 2006 (purchased for $450)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by fabio777 (3 reviews)
    excellent resolution, small dimension for f2,8 lens.
    fucus ring turn with focusing motor

    Excellent, probably the best therd party lens you should use with aps-c sensor. Only Canon EFS 18-55 f 2,8 IS USM is better of this lens but price is triple.

    reviewed July 2nd, 2006 (purchased for $400)