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

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; 61MP61 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)
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.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 214
  • sharpness: 4.59
  • color: 4.45
  • build: 4.14
  • distortion: 4.16
  • flare control: 4.45
  • overall: 4.36
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