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

reviewer#4018 date: Aug-30-2008
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 17-70mm DC
Minolta 50mm f/1.7
Tamron 90mm
Minolta 28-135mm
price paid:
Bokeh (though to a lesser extent)
Excellent range
Center is quite sharp wide-open
negative:For the price range, there is nothing I could really say bad about this lens. MAYBE close focus doesn't match 17-70mm Sigma DC. I'm stretching with that one...
comment:It is hard not to love this lens. It is quite compact and light for the focal length + aperture. I'm actually kind of shocked they were able to produce this lens when you compare it to the 28-70mm f/2.8's that abound.

The corners are a bit soft @ f/2.8, but this can actually be a plus depending on what and how you shoot. By f/4.5 you're VERY close to prime sharpness. At f/5.6 it matches/exceeds my trusty 50mm AND the amazing MinO 28-135mm (lens which I hold all other lenses up to).

I was on the fence with this one because I thought 50mm was too short and because I love my Sigma 17-70mm DC, but after a few days with this on my camera I am selling my Sigma. Additionally, the range actually forces you to get close to your subject, which is the advice of almost all great photographers.

I really doubt this lens will often leave my camera, as I think it's as close to all-around (size, sharpness, color, handling) perfection as you're going to find. A bargain at twice the price.

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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