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First Impression! Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR DI-II VC LD Lens (Nikon Mount)

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  • First Impression! Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR DI-II VC LD Lens (Nikon Mount)

    First Impression!
    Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR DI-II VC LD Lens
    (Nikon Mount)

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    Have the chance to play with this lens today…

    Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR DI-II VC (Vibration Compensation) LD Aspherical (IF) Zoom Lens for Nikon Digital DSLR

    Did some comparison to my own Tamron SP 17-50mm (without built in motor…)


    and also Nikon AFS 17-35mm f/2.8.



    The Old and the New
    I have the Tamron SP 17-50mm F/2.8 lens myself (First Generation, screwdriver type), so I were able to compare it to the new VC version side by side. The new VC lens is significantly larger - fatter and longer. Good solidly built, which I am quite impressed with.



    The VC lens is made in Japan, which is normally an assurance of good quality control (but not all the case). At least is better feeling to owner.

    Vibration Correction
    How does it works? Nikon has VR (Vibration Reduction), Canon has IS (Image Stabilization), Sigma has OS (Optical Stabilizer), of course now Tamron has VC. All works similarly by having one of the lens element inside the lens moves in up and down / left and right position to correct for the shake of the lens and making sure that the image that hit the sensor is always sharp and stable. The good thing about lens optical correction as compared to sensor stabilizer is that you can see the effect immediately through the viewfinder, and the degree of shake correction is better.
    I still remember the first Tamron VC lens that I have tested is the 18-270mm VC, which has an annoying TICK TICK sound whenever the VC hits in. The new VC in this Tamron 17-50mm lens does not has such sound anymore, and is actually a great improvement!

    I did some test shots at 1/4 second, F/8 at 50mm focal length and found the image to be quite acceptable. Though not extremely sharp. Without the VC ON, the hand shake is obvious.

    This is my test subject:


    VC ON


    VC OFF


    Ok, VC does helped but at 1/4s, it is kind of a bit extreme…

    Sharpness?
    The Tamron 17-50VC is a very sharp lens, which I am quite impressed with.

    Test Subject


    100% crop


    Another full view


    100% crop


    As compared to the first generation version that I have, I found that mine is slightly sharper…not a scientific test so don’t take it as a definite answer. When you turn the VC OFF, I find the photo to be sharper as with VC ON.
    I also notice that VC is less successful with shooting at 1/15s, which is a critical shutter speed that is very much affected by camera mirror bounce.

    Auto Focus Speed?
    There are 3 versions of Tamron SP 17-50mm lens for Nikon mount. First is the screwdriver type, Second is the built in motor type, and now the Third version is the VC lens.

    In terms of AF, the built in motor type is the slowest, really slow that I feel throwing the lens away and you can fee how lame the lens is in AF when you first use it. The screwdriver type is fast and the VC version is similar speed as compared to the screwdriver type. This is a great improvement in Tamron for the 17-50mm lens considered that the VC version is using built in motor as well!

    How does it compared to Nikon AF-S 17-35mm? Not near and not even close. The Nikon AF-S 17-35mm is extremely fast and you can feel the difference immediately once you tried it. This can be partly due to the fact that Nikon AF-S 17-35mm is shorter in range as compared to Tamron 17-50mm. Sorry, I do not have the Nikon AF-S 17-55mm ready in hand to compare. While the Tamron 17-50mm VC has improvement in AF speed, it still can’t compare to the Silent Wave technology I believe.

    Not forgetting that the S lens is extremely quiet, while the Tamron is slightly noisier (not disturbing).

    Conclusion
    I wonder why Nikon and Canon does not implement VC into their 17-55mm and 16-35mm or 17-35mm f/2.8 lenses, is it because it might reduce the overall sharpness of the lens or is it because it is not needed in such wide angle?

    While the screwdriver version (first generation) of the Tamron SP 17-50mm f/2.8 lens is no longer available, and only the built in motor version and the VC versions are available now, I would suggest to get the VC version for the improvement in focusing speed in Nikon mount (Take note that Canon version has built in motor from day 1, and is fast like the Nikon screwdriver version.).

    A recommended lens for those who do not want to spend 2-3 times the money of the Tamron for Nikon or Canon counterparts, and is definitely a nice addition to have VC to play with when you needed it.
    Dr Koh Kho King
    Wise men still seek Him!
    www.shashinki.com - Malaysia's First & Largest Online Camera Shop!

  • #2
    Re: First Impression! Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR DI-II VC LD Lens (Nikon Mount)

    Thanx Doc !

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: First Impression! Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR DI-II VC LD Lens (Nikon Mount)

      a very informative review Doc, thanks!
      HASSLEBLOOD!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: First Impression! Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR DI-II VC LD Lens (Nikon Mount)

        THANKS doc for ur kind comparison so that members who would like to buy this lens no need to crack head whether to buy vc or non vc unit....only need to worried is comparison of the lens price only...

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: First Impression! Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR DI-II VC LD Lens (Nikon Mount)

          How is the focus accuracy doc? Is the AF performance up to par? My own experience with a Tamron SP 24-135 for Canon is that the AF motor sounded "scratchy" and AF accuracy was poorer than a USM lens as the AF motor can't drive the lens assembly as precisely. AF speed was good with that unit, although it was loud. How is the AF on this unit? Thanks for any info.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: First Impression! Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR DI-II VC LD Lens (Nikon Mount)

            auto focus is quite fast in my opinion

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: First Impression! Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR DI-II VC LD Lens (Nikon Mount)

              Thanks for the information. i think i am going to get one soon.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: First Impression! Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR DI-II VC LD Lens (Nikon Mount)

                "Conclusion
                I wonder why Nikon and Canon does not implement VC into their 17-55mm and 16-35mm or 17-35mm f/2.8 lenses, is it because it might reduce the overall sharpness of the lens or is it because it is not needed in such wide angle?"

                Doc, I think Canon has the EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 with IS.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: First Impression! Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR DI-II VC LD Lens (Nikon Mount)

                  Thans Doc for the comparison...HOW about the Tokina 16-50mm f2.8 against this new Tamron with VC???

                  Thanks!
                  Life is short, work hard...play even harder!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: First Impression! Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR DI-II VC LD Lens (Nikon Mount)

                    Faster auto focus & VC !
                    Should get one quick.....

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: First Impression! Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR DI-II VC LD Lens (Nikon Mount)

                      Very informative....thanks!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: First Impression! Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR DI-II VC LD Lens (Nikon Mount)

                        Thanks Doc,

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: First Impression! Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR DI-II VC LD Lens (Nikon Mount)

                          Originally posted by Jonathan_Kwok View Post
                          How is the focus accuracy doc? Is the AF performance up to par? My own experience with a Tamron SP 24-135 for Canon is that the AF motor sounded "scratchy" and AF accuracy was poorer than a USM lens as the AF motor can't drive the lens assembly as precisely. AF speed was good with that unit, although it was loud. How is the AF on this unit? Thanks for any info.
                          Focus is quite accurate, but definitely not as fast as the Nikon AFS 17-35mm that I have tested with. My thought is that AF accuracy is mainly driven by camera focus sensor.

                          Originally posted by plechan0202 View Post
                          Thans Doc for the comparison...HOW about the Tokina 16-50mm f2.8 against this new Tamron with VC???

                          Thanks!
                          I have not tried the Tokina, so can't comment on that.

                          Originally posted by BusyBussing View Post
                          "Conclusion
                          I wonder why Nikon and Canon does not implement VC into their 17-55mm and 16-35mm or 17-35mm f/2.8 lenses, is it because it might reduce the overall sharpness of the lens or is it because it is not needed in such wide angle?"

                          Doc, I think Canon has the EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 with IS.
                          Thanks for the correction. While Canon does put IS into the 17-55mm lens, it is not an L lens. I have not tried this lens, so not sure of the quality of it. I still think there must be a reason why IS / VR is not implemented into the wide angle L (16-35mm) or Nikon 14-24mm or 17-35mm (full frame lenses), not that they do not have that technology...
                          Dr Koh Kho King
                          Wise men still seek Him!
                          www.shashinki.com - Malaysia's First & Largest Online Camera Shop!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: First Impression! Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR DI-II VC LD Lens (Nikon Mount)

                            i can't wait for the canon version to be released.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: First Impression! Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR DI-II VC LD Lens (Nikon Mount)

                              Doc, do you have a stock for this version?

                              Comment

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