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

reviewer#4159 date: Sep-30-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 3
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:18-70 DT
Sony 18-250
Sigma 2.8 zooms
Fast primes
price paid:Ebay new -going rate
positive:Faster in low light than 18-70
Well engineered and built
Pretty sharp and good contrast
17mm plenty wide
negative:Colours a bit disappointing
Handling a bit awkward
50mm a bit short sometimes
comment:Never as sharp as primes, but still sharper than the kit zoom. Not sharp wide open at edges.

Quite a conspicuous lens, and I didn't get comfortable with the handling for some reason.

I took some very nice dramatic landscape silhouettes backlit by the setting sun with this lens and the contrast was spot on, lots of detail, and no flare at all.

The colours varied from being a little weak to a bit 'sandy' and also pictures at ISO 400 on the A100 were noisier/grainier in artificial light that those taken with the kit lens wide open. The Tamron is sharp for the price but I didn't like the pictures enough to keep it. Still a good buy though - just not a replacement for primes or a big enough step up from the Sony zooms in terms of character

Compared (without testing back to back) to the Sigma equivalent this has less distortion at the wide end. Easy to sell on.

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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