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

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; 61MP61 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
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.

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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