Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 210    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 >>
reviewer#28625 date: Jul-8-2016
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta AF 24-50mm F4
Minolta AF 35-70mm F4
Minolta AF 50mm F1.7
price paid:300 Euros (new)
positive:sharp and colourful pictures
constant 2.8 and 17mm wide end make this one very versatile
fast and always accurate autofocus
low weight
good build quality for the price
very good value for the money overall
negative:quite some distortion and CA from 17 to 24mm
may be stopped down for perfect sharpness
colours are a bit oversaturated
clunky and somewhat stiff zooming
too small focus ring
loud "oldschool" autofocus
Macro on wide end
comment:Much has been said about this lens. I bought this one new years ago to replace my Minolta 24-50/4. I really do not need the extra wide end from 17 to 24mm but it is nice to have. This lens is a great performer for indoor architechture photography and for walking around in the streets taking shots, also good for landscape shots. It is a solid performer in many different situations with good sharpness (although clearly not as sharp as some more expensive lenses) and nice contrast. Pictures turn out very colourful and may not have that "professional" look like the Zeiss, more like with the old Minolta 50/1.7 prime but not as warm, a little bit oversaturated. Distortion is good from 24mm onwards. I frankly newer used the Macro feature on the wide end.

One downside is the loud noise the autofocus makes (but it is always accurate). The focus ring for manual focussing is very small. This lens extends towards the long end and zooming may be somewhat clunky. What you get here is a solid performer with 17mm wide end and constant F2.8 which both comes in very handy if you need it. But you have to keep in mind that both the wide end and shooting wide open might give you not the best results in terms of sharpness, CA and distortion. From 24 to 50mm on F4 it outperforms my old Minolta 24-50/4 so I am still very happy with it. Just do not expect a real "pro" lens for a very low price. Great for architechture and street photography. Landscape shots may be spoilt a little bit too much by the punchy colour rendition and some distortion. You might need another one, maybe two lenses to accompany this one as 50mm long end is quite short.

When I bought this lens it turned out VERY bright, one full stop brighter than any other lens I have. So I went to the service to adjust it. You have to keep in mind that the low price you pay for this lens is somewhat sacrificed by the bad Tamron quality control.
reviewer#28611 date: Jun-21-2016
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Rokinon 16 F2
Minolta AF 24 F2.8
Minolta AF 28 F2.8
Minolta AF 50 F1.7/RS
Sony AF 28 F2.8
Sony DT 30 F2.8 Macro SAM
Sony DT 35 F1.8 SAM
Sony DT 50 F1.8 SAM
Sony DT 16-50 F2.8 SSM
Sony CZ 16-80 F3.5-4.5 DT
Sony DT 16-105 F3.5-5.6
Sony DT 18-55 F3.5-5.6 SAM I/II
Sony DT 18-70 F3.5-5.6
Sony DT 18-135 F3.5-5.6 SAM
Sony DT 18-200 F3.5-6.3
Minolta AF 24-50 F4
Minolta AF 24-85 F3.5-4.5/RS
Minolta AF 24-105 F3.5-4.5 D
Tamron 18-250
price paid:175 USD (used)
positive:Moderate size and weight
Internal focus/petal hood
AF accuracy
negative:Limited zoom range
Strong/complex distortion
Soft wide-open esp. at 50 mm
Noisy, sticky zoom mechanism
Backwards, short focus throw
Slightly warm/pinkish color cast
Focal length encoder is failing
comment:The first copy came in an original retail box with the top flap torn off and missing. The focal length encoder on this copy registers 30 mm with the lens zoomed hard against the 50 mm stop. I won a second copy for $150 which came complete with an intact box. This copy had the left side noticeably soft and the right side sharper than the first lens. The first copy may also be a bit decentered. After Tamron's nice 60 mm F2 Macro I was expecting great performance from this lens. "MADE IN JAPAN"

This is the equivalent of a 26-75 mm F4.2 on full-frame. It is about twice the size of the Minolta AF 24-50 F4 and considerably cheaper feeling. It is closer in size and weight to the Minolta AF 24-85 F3.5-4.5. Image quality at the same focal lengths is similarly compromised, which is disappointing in a much more expensive lens supposedly optimized for the smaller format.

The softness in the center wide-open makes this lens hard to focus accurately. The full-frame F2.8 primes are sharper in the center wide-open and easier to focus accurately. This lens would probably benefit from stopped down focusing like that employed by E-mount cameras. If accurate focus is achieved it is sharper than the F2.8 full-frame primes especially once stopped down to f/4.

Overall I found the images from this lens to be better than those from the 16-80 and the other DT zooms except the Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM.

Test chart comparison with Sony 16-50 F2.8, Carl Zeiss 16-80, Sony DT 18-135 SAM, and primes.
Test chart comparison with the Carl Zeiss 16-80 and others.
Previous comparison with the Minolta F2.8 primes, the 24-50 F4 and the Sony DT 16-105, 18-55, and 18-135.
reviewer#16272 date: Jun-14-2015
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-55/3.5-5.6 SAM
Sony 18-135/3.5-5.6 SAM
Minolta 24-50/4
Minolta 24-85/3.5-4.5
KonicaMinolta 17-35/2.8-4
price paid:1500SEK
positive:Very sharp especially in the wide end. At the long end you need to stop down to f:4 to get sharpness in the corners.
negative:Before adjusting it was not sharp on the left-handside at f:2.8-f:4. After adjusting it is sharp all over. Build quality may vary, I have seen other copies both sharp and not sharp.
comment:My to-go lens for APS-C. This lens spends a lot of time on my camera. Very sharp after adjustment over the frame at f:2.8 in the wide end. Approx at 40mm it gets a little less sharp. At 40-50mm it needs stopping down to f:4 - f:5.6 to get full sharpness.
reviewer#12199 date: Mar-22-2015
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:sharpness is on a par with the Tamron 90mm, and way better than the Sony 18-70 kit lens that my wife now uses.
price paid:GBP 280
positive:This is an amazing lens, the constant f2.8 is a godsend, really helps in low light situations and is sharp wide open.
It balances well on the A350,550 and 700, and it is one that I use the most as a general walk around lens.
negative:none so far
comment:over all a good buy, one of the 3 best buys in my bag.
reviewer#12133 date: Feb-16-2015
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 2
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 3.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:
missing
negative:
missing
comment:
missing
reviewer#11615 date: Jan-17-2014
sharpness: 4
color: 3
build: 2
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 50 1.4
price paid:270 USD
positive:Sharpness
focal range
size for constant F2.8
focus speed
negative:Sharpness at f/3.5, f/4, and f/4.5 aren't much better than f/2.8
Sometimes FF/BF (may be my camera)
A little too much flare and CA under f/4 for being a top-of-the-line 3rd party lens, but not really bad
Somewhat rare filter size of 67mm
some really strong purple/blue fringing towards the edges.
Flat colours
aps-c only
comment:not good as minolta 50 1,4 at f2.8
reviewer#11614 date: Jan-17-2014
sharpness: 1
color: 1
build: 1
distortion: 1
flare control: 1
overall: 1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 18-50 EX DC Marco
SAL 16-50 SSM
price paid:250
positive:Sharp
negative:Build quality is limited by its price, it isn't bad but certainly lacks things like weathersealing.
A lot of flare
AF just a bit noisy
Bad copies out there.
soft at maximum aperture
Manual focus ring travel is short
P/p very low
comment:i don't like this lens, i was bought it for sold my sigma 18-50
reviewer#11611 date: Jan-15-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:CZ 24-70/2.8
Tokina ATX-Pro 28-80/2.8
Minolta 50/1.7
price paid:299 EUR (new)
positive:Overall IQ, focus speed and precision, size, bokeh wide open when background is not too busy, no lens creep. A fun lens to use with rewarding results!
negative:Build: Front lens part which holds lens shade, screw-in filter and first optical lens group came loose, developed play after three years of modest use which allowed the lens' first lens group to have play. Repaired under Tamron Germany extended warranty. First of my lenses to show such build weakness.
comment:While not as punchy as the CZ zoom, it leaves the Tokina zoom behind due to much better sharpness wide open, less flare, less CA/PF. In same league if not better than Minolta 50/1.7.
The Tamron has a perfect market: Those who want to upgrade in IQ and versatility (2.8 constant aperture!) from the kit zoom lens but do not want to spend the money for the Sony 16-50/2.8 DT SSM. I can highly recommend this lens and consider my build problem a case of bad luck which was taken care of under warranty.
reviewer#11364 date: Oct-2-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-55mm F3.5-F5.6
Tamro 17-50mm F2.8
price paid:around 350 Euro
positive:Great glass
Sharp
Quite neutral coating
Nice long focus ring movement
Internal Focus so no extending or turning the front during focus
Price, one of the cheapest ways to get into the quality zone
negative:Build quality is limited by its price, it isn't bad but certainly lacks things like weathersealing.
Lack of Inbuild Focussing Motor, requires screw drive. not so nice for shooting movies
No Internal Zoom, so the lens will get longer during zooming. Then again for that price...
comment:Ah this lens is lovely, replaces your 18-55mm kitlens. F2.8 over its full range, it feels nice in your hands though yes there is a lack of weathersealing and internal focussing motors. So it feels a bit between a really pro lens and a kitlens.

Screw focusing makes some sound, during video this might make quite a bit of sound. So for video, it isn't a bad choice as long as you focus manually.

Glass is sharp, you can even go wide open to soften things slightly up during for instance portraits. Indeed F2.8 at 50mm can be a bit soft. But at F4 all is sharp. Not bad!

One thing I found and as is found during some reviews, at 17mm f2.8 the plane of focus is curved. Corners might be a bit unsharp. Lets be fair though.. how many images do you shoot at that. Group shots I have shot are at F4 already anyway.

Nicest thing about it is its weight and size. It is not a small lens but smaller and lighter then its brethen. The glass is of great quality. It has some pretty nifty glass in there to make it show almost no weaknesses. And glass wise there is nothing to complain.

It isn't weatherproofed, it does depends on screw drive to focus so its louder. It in short is a cheap lens that does allot that the big boys do. Just within a slightly cheaper smaller body.
reviewer#11340 date: Sep-14-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-200 3.5-6.3 DT
Sony 50 1.8 SAM DT
Sony 18-55 3.5-5.6 SAM
price paid:350€
positive:-Very sharp at 2.8
-Beautiful contrast/color
-Very cheap for what you get
-2.8 all the way
-Good af for the price
negative:-A lot of flare
-AF just a bit noisy
-Bad copies out there.
comment:Amazing lens for the price. Cheap with great build, workhorse for me as a wedding photographer. Not the greatest for landscape due to the flare and range, but outstanding for events. It's absolutely usable at 2.8. Just make sure your copy does not have any back or front focusing, since my first copy had a great back focusing problem. Gave me a second one in really short time.
reviewer#11307 date: Aug-13-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:18-55 kit
price paid:$250 used
positive:Relatively cheap used
Relatively good distortion control and sharpness.
CA is minimal when stopped down and easily corrected
Color representation is good (but slightly warm)

negative:Heavy
Plastic (but metal mount)
manual focus ring is a little skinny for my taste
comment:I consider this a great upgrade from the AWFUL Sony kit lens (first generation, haven't seen or even want to try the second generation). The F2.8 fixed aperture is very nice to have and is a little soft at F2.8 BUT sharpens up nicely right after that with decent bokeh. The 67mm threads are a bit of an oddball but a adapter for 77mm filters was very cheap and not an issue. Build quality is plastic body with a metal mount, pretty standard these days and even the top models are now going to plastic bodies. There is a zoom lock for 17mm which is nice but I haven't found a need to use it (no zoom creep). Overall I found the image quality to be sharp, slightly warm in color, but very good because this zoom range is very tough to get right. Even the 16-80 zeiss barely edges this lens out in lab testing (but costs way more). Find yourself a good copy and you won't look back, yeah F2.8 is soft, but I bet this lens at F3.5 will blow the other stuff out of the water in terms of bokeh and sharpness.
reviewer#11122 date: May-17-2013
sharpness: 4
color: 3
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 3.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:389.00 €
positive:- very good image quality in this price range
negative:- soft at maximum aperture
- hit or miss AF
- CA even at f/8, depending on shooting conditions
comment:I've been using this lens for almost 2 years now, and I have to say it's been doing a decent job on my A35.
The wide aperture and focal length are great for everyday shooting.
But it is pretty noisy during focus, so I wouldn't recommend it for video.
reviewer#11030 date: Apr-10-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 35-70 f/4
Sony 18-55 f/3.5 - 5.6
Helios 44-2
Sony 50 f/1.8
price paid:400 SGD (used)
positive:Sharpness
Colors
Fast f/2.8
negative:Manual focus ring travel is short
comment:I love this lens as its my main lens for my A57. Perfect lens for everyday use. Good for wide angle to portraits close ups. Focuses really close much closer compared to my 50 f/1.8 and Minolta. Excellent image quality.

Parafocal lens which comes in handy in video shooting. Only thing I don't like is the less travel of focus ring.
reviewer#10821 date: Jan-7-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-55
Sony 50 f/1.8
Minolta 28-80
price paid:329 GBP (new)
positive:+Sharp
+Colours
+Constant aperture F/2.8
+plastic but well built
negative:-lack of ultrasonic AF motor
-stiffly zoom ring
comment:Bought this for KIT lens replacement. I wanted Sony 16-50 but it`s almost twice expensive, so I bought this one for testing.

I`m not an expert, so I don`t know why it produces better results on A35 than on A290. On old A290 it`s better than KIT, but you will hardly notice difference in many conditions. On A35 it`s pretty clear winner.

I found, that this is very sharp even wide open, it`s sharper than my Sony 50mm f/1.8 prime lens, better for portraits too, so, it replaces two lenses for me.

About auto focus motor. Sony version focuses from body in built AF motor, it`s nice and fast, but for video shooting it`s too loud and you can clearly hear that noise. Anyway, it`s much better than Canon version with built in AF motor in lens, which is not ultrasonic, like on SP 70-300, for example.

Also zoom ring is too stiffly, so it`s pretty hard to make smooth zoom-in-out while capturing video. Of course, practice makes perfect, but it`s out of competition when comparing to smooth Minolta beercans zoom ring.
reviewer#10799 date: Dec-23-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-200
price paid:200 EUR (Used)
positive:- Great sharpness
- Great colors
- F/2.8
- Light control is great
negative:Nothing =)
comment:
missing
reviewer#10697 date: Nov-13-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sigma AF 17-70mm F/2.8-4.5 DC Macro
Sony AF DT 16-105mm F/3.5-5.6 (SAL16105)
Tamron SP AF 17-35mm F/2.8-4 Di XR LD
Minolta AF 24-85mm F/3.5-4.5 RS
Tamron SP AF 28-75mm F/2.8 Di XR LD
Minolta AF 24-105mm F/3.5-4.5 (D)
Minolta AF 35-70mm F4 Macro
Minolta AF 17-35mm F/2.8-4 (D)
price paid:£150.00 (used)
positive:Weight
Price
Build Quality
Sharpness (IQ)
Constant F/2.8 Aperture
negative:Focal Length
comment:This is one of those lnses that can easily be overlooked when considering a kit lens replacement. As well as the Sigma AF 17-70mm F/2.8-4.5 DC Macro and the Sony 16-105mm, these three lenses are arguably the best of the 'affordable' short range zooms for APS-C, though still can be used at 11MP on A900/A850 full frame.

The one advantage this lens has over the other two is it's constant F/2.8 aperture giving the user far greater control of the depth of field (DoF) and thus the 'togger' can be a bit more creative, though at the cost of the focal length compared to the other two.

That said, this lens produces clean, sharp, colourful images with smooth bokeh. It's lightweight and feels 'tight' in terms of build quality. I like this lens a lot, but not as much as the Sigma AF 17-70 F/2.8-4.5 DC Macro, because for me, the additional 20mm is more useful than the constant aperture and the Sony 16-105mm although excellent, is twice the price, so for that reason I'm discounting it (sorry).

In short, this is an excellent lens which is very affordable (especially on the used market) as is it's Sigma rival, and I have no reservations in recommending this lens to anyone looking for a fast WA constant F/2.8 zoom lens, especially if looking for a kit lens replacement. Good things do come in small packages.
reviewer#10571 date: Oct-6-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 17-35D
Sigma 17-35DG
Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4.5 DC
Sigma 18-50 f2.8 EX DC
price paid:220 GBP mint
positive:Sharp
Colours
Build
negative:Range - wish it was 17-70
comment:Superb lens. The Sigma 17-70 runs it close but it isn't a constant f2.8, although its range is more useful.
reviewer#10455 date: Aug-16-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 90mm f2.8
Tamron 28-200
Tamron 70-300
Sony 50mm 1.8
18-55&55-200 kit lenses
Lensbaby muse
price paid:£250
positive:*Great sharpness even at f2.8, amazing at f3.5
*Very good build quality, although plastic, is very rugged and zoom ring and focus ring feel nice. Metal mount too
*Colors are very vibrant and almost Minolta-like
*Distortion control is pretty good, could be better.
*Zoom lock is a nice feature
*Affordable f2.8
*AF IS OK!!
negative:Lens hood is flimsy
comment:This is a truly awesome lens for beginners, or more experienced photo takers. It is a great upgrade from the standard 18-55 as it provides a constant f2.8 and 1mm more on the wide side (that's quite a bit, actually) for a very low price tag (£200-250). Sharpness is very good at f2.8, and is awesome at f3.5. Very little CA or flare is seen and bokeh is ok for this price tag. The build quality is good, and the plastic feels rugged. It also has a metal mount. I am surprised at people who are saying that the AF is noisy. The AF is quite quick and not very loud. The only downside is the cheapo lens hood.
reviewer#10393 date: Jul-18-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 35mm f/1.8
Sigma 17-70
price paid:289 € (new)
positive:Sharp
f/2.8
Constant aperture
Weight
Size
Price
negative:Bokeh could be softer
AF not always as fast as I would like
AF is noisy in video
comment:I'm using this lens on the A77.

The optical quality is really excellent - excellent center sharpness from f/2.8, excellent on the border as well from f/4.0, low vignetting, quite low distortion, good contrast. Optically it's weakness would be the bokeh that can sometime be a bit harsh. And of course this is a constant f/2.8 zoom. All in all, I'm very pleased by the optical quality of this lens!

The plastic construction is good enough to me, and probably help to keep the weight low.

The AF is quite fast outside, but a bit slow inside, where it can hunt a bit. AF accuracy is usually quite good, but is less good if the subject is close to the lens, making it a bit difficult to use wide open in this condition.
The only real problem is the noise produced by the AF, that can be *very* clearly eared on the video.
I wish tamron can produce the exact same lens with a silent AF motor!

I've compared it to the Sigma 17-70, hopping the Sigma would have a faster and quieter AF. As expeceted the Sigma has a bit more reach and a smaller aperture, but it's optical quality is also significantly lower than the Tamron, and unlike what I expected, the AF is not faster than the Tamron's AF. The noise level of the AF is another disappointment with the Sigma: it is significantly quieter than the Tamron, but can still be clearly eared on the videos.
After a few days with the Sigma, I returned it and kept the Tamron as my walkaround lens.

Excellent value for money. Highly recommended if you are not planning to use it for video.
reviewer#10339 date: Jun-28-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:directly to Sigma 17-70/2.8-4.5
older Minolta AF lenses
price paid:5000 CZK
positive:sharpness even at 2.8
quite good feel
good lens cap
negative:some distortion problems
range a bit short
comment:The most positive feeling about this lens is that there is not too much to say about it. I had Sigma 17-70, but I needed a 2.8 zoom because I shoot in lower light. I managed to sell it and bought this Tamron, even a bit cheaper. And I am very happy.

Sharpness is not an issue. I shoot at 2.8 most of the time and I don't lack sharpness. It's absolutely OK. Great. Sigma 17-70 was not so sharp wide open and it was slower. I have nothing special to say about colors. I can't see the "wow effect" I am used to with Minolta lenses, but there is also nothing to complain. I would give it 4.5 if I could.

Build is not excellent, it's plastic, but it seems OK and it should last. I had some problems with distortion in middle range, a bit disappointing (don't remember is with the Sigma), I shoot paintings at exhibitions sometimes. But at the widest setting the distortion is very acceptable, much better than the Sigma. I have never had problems with flare, but maybe I have never used it outdoors, so I give it a 4.

Generally - very pleased with it. Not a special lens, it is a standard range, but it works very reliably. Recommended!
reviewer#10150 date: Apr-27-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 28-75 f/2.8
Minolta 28-85 f/3.5-4.5macro
Minolta 50 f/1.4
price paid:425 new USD
positive:Sharp, quiet, and great in low light
negative:not quite the old Minolta color but close.
comment:It was the replacement for my trusted old work photo workhorse
a Sigma 28-75 f/2.8. The cropped nature made me always wish for a little more width. I had had that sigma glass since my film Minoltas
and it had served me well. Lets hope this one can too.
reviewer#10147 date: Apr-26-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 24-85, Minolta 24-105
price paid:$250.00 Can. USED.
positive:Sharp, Sharp, Sharp! Great in low light, fast auto-focus.
negative:Build quality, but what do you want for the price.
comment:I bought this lens for my back-up A100 which my 15 year old daughter uses quite a bit. The 24-105 was just not wide enough, nor did it work great in low light. This Lens was a HUGE jump up. On my camera the focusing is spot on. No back or front focusing. It is much more usable indoors, and the image quality is a real eye opener. On APS-C this is a jewel at twice the price!!!
reviewer#10121 date: Apr-15-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony Kit DT 18-70mm
Sony 50 F1.8
Minolta 35-70mm F4
price paid:240 € (+ MC Filter)
positive:Constant Aperture
Transtandard Zoom range
Price
negative:None for the price
comment:I wish I had bought this lens earlier.
It is sharp wide open, super sharp stopped down to F4. Perfect weight for walk-around lens and nice overall built-in quality.
This lens will allow you indoor shooting without flash, macro shooting with its 27cm minimal focusing distance, landscape pics and much more !

With an A700, the only limit is you.

First Indoor concert shooting last week, this little baby and my Minolta 135 F2.8 were the best combo ever !
reviewer#10097 date: Apr-10-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:425 USD (new)
positive:Sturdy, Fast, Constant Aperture, SHARP
negative:Can't think of much...maybe some fringing at 2.8
comment: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.
reviewer#9990 date: Mar-3-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:380(new)
positive:Rock solid Zoom mechanism
Useful F 2'8 aperture
negative:Noise while focsuing
comment:Got this at a bargain, cheap lens that produces nice colours

reviewer#9944 date: Feb-18-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta AF 28-105 3.5-4.5
Sony SAL 18-70 3.5-5.6
price paid:280 EUR (new)
positive:sharp wide open
affordable f2.8 lens
negative:AF hunts in low light, backlight
prone to flare
comment:My favorite landscape walk-around-lens. The 17-50 is a nice standard zoom lens. I would recommend the 17-50 to everyone who is looking for a landscape walk-around-lens from medium wide to short tele. Unfortunately the focal lenght sometimes is not long enough. In low light and backlight situations the AF sometimes hunts. Prone to flare when sun is in the frame. Overall it's a keeper.
reviewer#9891 date: Feb-5-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 17-70 DC OS HSM
price paid:240 GBP (new)
positive:Sharpness
Fast speed
Very useable images wide open
negative:Minimum MFD/max magnification
comment:Excellent sharpness across the frame but a tiny, tiny bit soft in the corners even when stopped down. However, this is the very extremes of the image. Well balanced lens for my A450 and reasonably fast focusing.
On an SLT (A65) body it is significantly faster than HSM lenses.

In comparison to the Sigma 17-70 DC OS HSM this is a sharper lens and produces usable images even wide open, which the Sigma does not. It does have slightly more distortion particularly at the wide end though. Build is not quite up to the Sigmas but not bad either. Also seems to have slightly more CA than the Sigma. Nice lens, I'm pleased with it so far.

Update: I have noticed more flare recently, so demoting the flare rating.
reviewer#9850 date: Jan-25-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-55 kit lens
Sony 35mm f1.8
Sony 50mm f1.4
price paid:$325 USD (new)
positive:Fast -- handles light well
Sharp
Good color
Decent af speed
negative:None
comment:I bought this with the Tamron 28-75, and, except for a macro, they complete my kit. I couldn't find any other way to get this kind of speed in a combined focal length of 17-75mm for this price. The price for the two of them together was outstanding.

This lens makes sharp photos (although not nearly so sharp as either one of my primes) with good color. The Sony 18-55 also takes sharp photos, or at least, sharp enough for me. What separates the two is the way they handle light.

The Tamron 17-50 with its f2.8 radically increases my options for where and what kind of photo I can take. The kit lens is ok, but the minute you get it indoors, it starts to fight you.

As far as I'm concerned, hauling around a big honking flash and putting it on and off the camera is no less a hassle than changing lenses. Also, a flash causes people to turn stiff in front of a camera and I lose things I want to catch while I'm messing with it. One shot with a flash, and whatever I'm trying to photograph (unless, of course, it's a rock) stops what it's doing and starts either running away or posing. Add to that the simple fact that I like the color and the ... I dunno ... the texture of natural light. I just think it's prettier.

All this makes this lens a no-brainer for me.
reviewer#9843 date: Jan-24-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-55 sam
price paid:£289.00
positive:Very sharp wide open
Lightweight
Fast AF
negative:Noisey AF
Plastic
comment:Bang for buck, You cant go wrong to be ohnest, Constant 2.8 and sharp to match, 5.6 at the sweet spot.

Lightweight plastic, so in the longrun time will tell if it stands up

Overall a cheap pro lens ;-)
reviewer#9829 date: Jan-22-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta 50mm 1.7
sigma 10-20mm
tamron 18-200mm
price paid:200 euro (used)
positive:A sharp lens with great apetures. Lovely lens for in and outdoors.
negative:expensive secondhand!
comment:A great lens to improve my photografy skills. The lens needs 'fine-tuning' before delivering outstanding pictures. A great lens for grasping our family life!
reviews found: 210    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 210
  • sharpness: 4.59
  • color: 4.46
  • build: 4.14
  • distortion: 4.17
  • flare control: 4.46
  • overall: 4.36

to add your review
you need to login

Dyxum.com - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania