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

reviewer#9850 date: Jan-25-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
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 18-55 kit lens
Sony 35mm f1.8
Sony 50mm f1.4
price paid:$325 USD (new)
positive:Fast -- handles light well
Good color
Decent af speed
comment:I bought this with the Tamron 28-75, and, except for a macro, they complete my kit. I couldn't find any other way to get this kind of speed in a combined focal length of 17-75mm for this price. The price for the two of them together was outstanding.

This lens makes sharp photos (although not nearly so sharp as either one of my primes) with good color. The Sony 18-55 also takes sharp photos, or at least, sharp enough for me. What separates the two is the way they handle light.

The Tamron 17-50 with its f2.8 radically increases my options for where and what kind of photo I can take. The kit lens is ok, but the minute you get it indoors, it starts to fight you.

As far as I'm concerned, hauling around a big honking flash and putting it on and off the camera is no less a hassle than changing lenses. Also, a flash causes people to turn stiff in front of a camera and I lose things I want to catch while I'm messing with it. One shot with a flash, and whatever I'm trying to photograph (unless, of course, it's a rock) stops what it's doing and starts either running away or posing. Add to that the simple fact that I like the color and the ... I dunno ... the texture of natural light. I just think it's prettier.

All this makes this lens a no-brainer for me.

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
Dyxum.com - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania