Tamron AF 17-50mm f/2.8 SP XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF] VC - Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Nikon / Nikkor (APS-C)

Sample Shots

The following sample shots were taken with a D3x (in DX crop mode) and RAW-converted via CaptureOne 4.8.

Click on a thumbnail to view the original file (opens in a separate window).

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Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 17.0mm
Aperture: f/3.5
Exposure 1/1000s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 50.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure 1/1250s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 50.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/125s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 32.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/320s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 50.0mm
Aperture: f/4.5
Exposure 1/250s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 38.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/160s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 50.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/500s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 50.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure 1/640s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 17.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/500s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 44.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/250s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 50.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/250s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 17.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure 1/1250s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 25.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/125s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 31.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/13s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 50.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/125s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 17.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/100s

Verdict

The Tamron AF 17-50mm f/2.8 SP XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF] VC is a very promising lens based on its specifications. However, it falls somewhat short of the high expectations especially when considering the excellent performance of its non-VC variant. The biggest weakness of the lens is the rather soft corner/border performance at large aperture settings. The quality increases when stopping down and it's certainly possible to achieve very high quality results. The level of distortions and vignetting is about average for a lens in this class. The good news is the unusually low degree of lateral CAs which increases the subjective quality perception at the image borders quite a bit. The quality of the bokeh is generally decent for a lens in this class.

The build quality of the lens is good although not professional grade ( as can be expected in this price range). The AF is very fast whereas the short focus path isn't exactly suitable for precise manual focusing. The primary new feature - the VC (vibration compensation) - works very well and its effectiveness is easily comparable to Nikon's native solution (VR).

However, when considering all aspects the Tamron 17-50/2.8 VC only makes sense if both speed and stabilization are required in a single lens. If VC is not high on your priority list, the still available non-VC variant gives better results at a lower price.

Optical Quality:    
Mechanical Quality:
Price/Performance:
      
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