bafrank's reviews

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

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    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)