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

reviewer#44269 date: Apr-28-2019
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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 own this lens
compared to:Sony 16-105mm f3.5-5.6
Sony CZ 16-80mm f3.5-4.5
Sony 18-70mm f3.5-5.6
Sony 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 SAM II
Tamron 28-75mm f2.8
Minolta 28-80mm f4-5.6
Minolta 35-70mm f4
plus Sony 50mm f1.4 and 35mm f1.8 primes
price paid:£115 s/h
positive:Sharp in the middle, sharp at the edges once you're at f4.

Copes well with sunsets
negative:Not as sharp in the corners as the primes.

Doesn't cope well with bright sun in the picture.

At the short end, there's a little light fall-off at the corners: this highlights that unlike the Tamron 28-75mm, it's APS-C only.

There's distortion at both ends, but my PP programs know about the lens and easily correct it.
comment:If you don't need the combination of the speed and zoom, there are better options. The primes are sharper and faster, and the zooms are either sharper or significantly cheaper, but slower.

After getting the Tamron 28-75mm, I was wondering about selling this one because I rarely need the speed with a landscape lens.

But a couple of years ago, I could only take one lens to Venice and this was it: wide enough to get the city shots, and fast enough to cope with the dimly lit Arsenale. And it was great..

.. up until the zoom locked up. Fortunately, I could get it back to 17mm and used it as a 'not quite as fast as a prime should be' prime. Fortunately, again, it was in its warranty period, so I could return it for a refund and, looking at the results I got, I ended up buying another copy of this one.

It's still a pity there's so much of an overlap between the 17-50mm and the 28-75mm though!

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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