Tamron SP 17-50mm f/2.8 Di II

Tamron SP 17-50mm f/2.8 Di II
I bought this lens after selling my Tokina AF 19-35mm f/3.5-4.5 and it seems to make sense to go with this Tamron wide to normal zoom as a replacement for the Pentax DA 18-55 f/3.5-5.6. It is a gratifying upgrade. The lens is very similar to my favorite portrait zoom with Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 Di LD Macro. But this lens doesn't have the aperture ring. Other than the absense of aperture ring, it looks like a small brother to the Tamron portrait zoom

Tamron SP 17-50mm f/2.8 Di III tested this new zoom from Tamron over the long weekend in Thanksgiving and my family visited Monterey Bay Aquarium and the lens perform extremely well and it surprise me for the indoor shots in high ISO with Pentax K20D. A lot of test pictures are done in wide open apertures and the 17mm wide angle happen to be very useful. It really satisfy my need in the wide angle with the IQ and sharpness that I get used to with other Tamron lens

1/60 sec, f/3.5, 43mm, iso 1600, 0 Ev
Tamron SP 17-50mm f/2.8 Di II Test Shots with K20D
1/13 sec, f/2.8, 17mm, iso 1600, 0 Ev
Tamron SP 17-50mm f/2.8 Di II Test Shots with K20D
1/800 sec, f/4.0, 17mm, iso 100, 0 Ev
Tamron SP 17-50mm f/2.8 Di II Test Shots with K20D
1/200 sec, f/3.5, 43mm, iso 200, 0 Ev
Tamron SP 17-50mm f/2.8 Di II Test Shots with K20D
Impressions & Notes:

  • I am very pleased with the performance on the zoom. It can rival the respect that I have for Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8
  • Indoor in 17mm wide angle and wide open f/2.8 is outstanding with K20D
  • Outdoor for some reason tend to have underexposure in few of my test shots. Perhaps, I have many test shots under shadow of harsh lighting in the mid-afternoon
  • Sharpness is very satisfactory with the lens, it surprise me in the f/2.8 wide open aperture, very similar to its brethren in Tamron 28-75 f/2.8
  • Aperture ring is absent in this lens
  • Ergonomics is great and it is smaller and a bit lighter than the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8, I noted some stiffness in the zoom ring but I see it as a plus
  • AF seems normal and pretty decent, but MF can be poor due to 1/4 focus throw
  • Overall very satisfied and this wide zoom will easily get my recommendation



Patrick said...

I was contemplating waiting for this lens but I ended up getting the 28-75mm f2.8 because I needed it for a vacation trip. So what are your thoughts on general versatility?

Hin Man said...

For vacation trip where landscape pictures are important, I would expect the 17-50 to do better. For formal, events, and portraits, I would prefer the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 due to the focal range from 50mm to 75mm. I have sold this Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 and kept my Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8. I have since added the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 for traveling as I like the longer focal range better. There is no right answer to one's choice, it is subject to your shooting. I can recommend both Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 and Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 with biased preference towards the later. And for compromise on the 17mm, I chose the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 with 1:2.3 close up for better range in walk-around.

Anonymous said...


I have to tell you once again, "thank you" for the Tamron 17-50 I bought from you about a year ago. This lens is fantastic and the len that stays on my camera body the majority of the time. Great performer.


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