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

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; 61MP61 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.

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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