Tamron AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di-II LD SP ZL Aspherical (IF) Zoom Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras
List Price: $1022.95

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Product Description

Lenses are designed for exclusive use on digital cameras with smaller-size imagers and inherit all of the benefits of our Di products. These lenses are not designed for 35mm film cameras and digital cameras with image sensors larger than 24mm x 16mm. The SP AF17-50mm F/2.8 is a lightweight, compact, fast standard zoom lens designed exclusively for digital SLR cameras, expanding the product concept of the popular SP AF28-75mm F/2.8 zoom lens. In addition, portrait shots are made beautiful with the natural out-of-focus effect characteristic provided by the fast F/2.8 aperture. A broader photographic expression through the use of faster shutter speeds as a result of the maximum aperture offers enhanced photographic pleasure. The lens boasts one of the best close-up shooting performances in the class of fast standard zoom lenses designed exclusively for digital cameras and featuring an F/2.8 maximum aperture throughout the entire zoom range, to ensure stress-free photographic shots at all focal lengths and distances. Diameter x Length - 2.9 x 3.2 inch (74.0 x 81.7mm) Accessory Flower shaped lens hood

The Tamron AF 17-50mm aspherical lens expands on the popularity of the AF 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di zoom, with a 17mm focal length that offers a wider angle of view than an ordinary standard zoom lens. Designed exclusively for digital SLR cameras with smaller-size imagers (24 x 16mm or smaller), the 17-50mm standard zoom is extremely lightweight and compact for its speed. And with a fast f/2.8 maximum aperture throughout the range, it delivers fast shutter speeds and a natural soft-focus effect that makes your photography even more sophisticated than usual.

Superior image quality
Constructed with cutting-edge Tamron elements--three elements of XR (extra-refractive index) glass, two hybrid aspherical lens elements, and one element of LD glass--this elegant piece of technology inherits Tamron's tradition of premium image quality and compact size. By incorporating Tamron's SP (super performance) and Di-II (designed exclusively for digital cameras) specifications, along with special internal surface coatings to eliminate ghosting and flare, you're guaranteed to get the superior performance you need from your digital camera.

Broadening your horizons
Tamron's SP AF17-50mm offers a wider angle than the standard 18mm zoom lenses ordinarily used with digital cameras. With a wider-angle focal length of 17mm (26mm equivalent), this lens is unbeatable for indoor photography, and for capturing full-length people shots or an entire building. The lens is also top-level in its class for minimum focus distance at 27cm (10.6 inches) across the entire zoom range, making it easier than ever to enjoy the creative combination of wide-angle and macro photography.

  • Focal length: 17-50mm
  • Maximum aperture: f/2.8
  • Angle of view (diagonal): 78 degrees (at 45 feet) to 31 degrees (11 feet)
  • Lens construction: 16 elements in 13 groups
  • Minimum focus distance: 10.6 inches
  • Maximum mag ratio: 1:4.5
  • Filter size: 67mm
  • Diaphragm blades: 7
  • Minimum aperture: f/32
  • Standard accessory: Flower-shaped hood
  • Compatible mount: Canon AF, Konica Minolta AF-D, and Nikon AF-D
  • Dimensions: 2.9 inches in diameter and 3.3 inches long
  • Weight:15.2 ounces
  • 17-50mm aspherical zoom lens with f/2.8 maximum aperture for Canon DSLR cameras
  • Delivers fast shutter speeds and natural soft-focus effect to produce sophisticated results
  • 3 elements of XR glass, 2 hybrid aspherical lens elements, and 1 element of LD glass
  • Minimum focus distance of 10.6 inches; internal coatings eliminate ghosting and flare
  • Measures 2.9 inches in diameter and 3.3 inches long; weighs 15.2 ounces; 6-year warranty

Customer Reviews:

  • Not So Great Lens
    Own this lens but very disappointed with the image quality. My cheap Canon 50mm f1.8 lens produced much superior images. Would probably trade-in for Canon 16-35mm or 17-40mm lens in the near future....more info
  • Very Sharp Lens - Well Worth the Money
    I bought this lens after reading several reviews and looking through FLICKR to see some sample shots from other photographers. After reading some of the bad reviews on Amazon, I was a little apprehensive. When I received the lens, I stuck it on my 400D (Rebel XTi) and tested it out.

    The 2.8 aperture throughout the zoom range is great and allows for better shots in lower light. The camera has a nice sturdy built and solid feel to it. Not quite as solid as an L lens, but solid nonetheless. It's got some weight to it compared to the kit lens, so you might need a grip to balance it out.

    The images came out very sharp compared to my kit lens. Compared to the 17-40 4/L, the Tamron holds its own. It's hard to tell the difference (besides the $200 price difference). The images come out slightly dark, but my main concern was sharpness since color and other issues can be tweaked in Photoshop.

    This lens is definitely worth the money. I've already convinced my co-worker to buy one....more info
  • UPDATED - You want silence??? Go elsewhere... Quality? Stay here...
    I ended up returning this lens and getting some Canon glass. I still believe that the final output can be great per my first review below, my problem came with the focusing of the lens. Maybe my copy is poor, but this lens just misses too many critical shots. Speed is ok, but is appears to be front focusing on subjects, even with center focus and fairly close range.

    If you look at most of the 2 star reviews, people complain of noise. I am guessing they are tracking deer in moccassins and trying to focus and shoot completely silently... as for any other application this lens is great. I have the Canon 70-200 "L" and this lens in my bag(sold my 28-135). If final output is your primary goal, this is it. I almost bought the canon "L" equvalent, but decided to go with this to save a few $'s (and Amazon would take a return if I did not like it)... Couldn't be happier with the decision. Saturation, sharpness, bokeh...they all live up to the reviews you see from others. Little more I can say! If you want the ultimate lens across all categories, buy a Canon "L"...I love my 70-200, but if you are looking for great final output in a value priced lens, look no further....more info
    Dear photographers friends, I am a Canon guy and this is my first third party lens. I confess that I was afraid of leaving Canon's dome and take the risk however, I CAN SAY WITH 100% OF SURE THAT I AM PRETTY MUCH HAPPY WITH MY TAMRON 17-50MM F/2.8 DI II LD. IT IS AWESOME!!! SHARP, SHARP, SHARP! TACK SHARP!!! And that is not all about this beauty! The F/2.8 aperture throughout all the focal length is wonderful! In my opinion this lens rivals Canon's L series. I have just come from NY where I took a bunch of shot during four days for iStockPhoto and all of them are fantastic! Contrast, sharpness etc is nothing less than perfection. The only thing that is a bit strange is the noise it makes when focusing. Well, it does not bother me at all because I did not buy this lens for wildlife shots. If you intend to photograph wildlife, this lens is not for you because of its makes a loud noise when focusing in automatic focus mode and will certainly scare all the wildlife around you. Otherwise, if you intend to take architecture and portraiture photos then BUY, BUY, BUY this lens without any fear......more info
  • Great Lens, especially for the price
    I purchased this lens a few months ago. I was looking for a lens to replace my kit lens (18-55mm, non-IS). I was looking at this lens and the 17-40/f4L Canon. I had a tough time deciding but this lens won out b/c of the speed. I wanted the 2.8 since I figure this lens would be used indoors and in low light. I have the 50mm f/1.8 which is a great lens too, but indoors its way too long most of the time.

    Initially I was mixed on the lens. For whatever reason, it seemed like I was missing focus. I'm a medium level hobbiest, so I understand the fundamentals pretty well. I never had this type of problem before. I tested the lens with focus tests and worked out fine. So I don't know if I hit a weird period where I just was missing focus on anything that moved or wasn't stationary.

    I took this lens on a trip recently, it stayed on my camera the whole time, and it did a great job! Most of shots were excellent and I didn't run into the focus problem I initially did. I was kind of worried. I think the IQ is pretty good on the lens and definitely beats out my copy of the kit lens. For the price, its a good deal in my opinion.

    The bad things:

    * Loud focus - loader than I expected, but I have the 50mm f/1.8 which is also fairly loud
    * Focus hunt - Run into this a little more than I expect. I understand this will happen in trying situations, but in some situations I felt shouldn't be too trying, it would focus hunt. Not so bad most of the time though
    * Slight Hue Cast on photos - I noticed that there is a slight orange/yellow cast on photos, not a big deal as its easily fixed in post processing, or it sometimes adds to the photo

    The Good:
    * Price - Great price
    * Speed - I love the 2.8 aperture
    * Good focal range - I like that it pretty much replaces my kit lens. The 17-40L which was my alternative would have been a little short on the tele side
    * Great IQ - My images are sharp and I like the overall IQ. It doesn't quite match up to the 50mm f/1.8, but it comes close and for me at least, beats out the kit lens

    Overall, I'd still get this lens. THe first month or so, I was wondering about it mainly b/c it seemed like my focus was always off. I guess it was just me as I took over 700 pics on my summer vacation and focus was just fine. I also used this lens for a ballet recital. It wasn't quite long enough for where we were sitting, but it did very well in low light and didn't have too many problems. I had a few more instances of focus hunting, but that would be expected given the conditions. ...more info
  • Thank GOODNESS for TAMRON!!!
    I have to keep myself in check on this subject because Canon's Rebel XT/XTi kit lens (EF-S 18-55mm) was so insulting that the thought of it brings out the Don Rickles in me ... 'Canon, you hockey-pucks, you shmucks...', etc. I did not expect a professional lens, but I did not expect Canon to put what amounts to wooden wagon wheels on a Lexus, either. Eeek!

    The difference over Canon's Kit Caper is incomparable. The color, clarity, sharpness, contrast and depth of this Tamron lens will bring out the true capabilities of your Canon D-SLR. The lens is designed exclusively for digital APS-C sensors, including bodies other than Canon. It will NOT migrate to a full frame sensor Canon ... beware.

    The fixed f/2.8 aperture will get you arrested on the streets at night while looking for low-light photo-ops without flash. Odds are HIGH you will be ecstatic with any f/2.8 shot, which only gets BETTER with an extra stop or two. You will hardly care it's not a true macro upon discovering it can focus an object that is nearly touching the lens.

    One comparison would be against Canon's 17-40mm f/4.0 'L' professional lens streeting around $650. Here is what you would 'lose' buying Tamron:

    * the silence of USM (I like the Tamron 'whir'... money in my pocket)
    * A narrower f/4 aperture (you will love Tamron's f/2.8 in low light)
    * Some auto-focus speed (the Tamron isn't shabby... fast enough)
    * 1-year warranty (Tamron's is SIX YEARS USA!!!)
    * Some build quality (The Tamron is still quite durable)
    * The need to buy a pricey $Canon$ flare hood (INCLUDED by Tamron)
    * A less friendly lens cap (Tamron's go on/off with flare hood ON)
    * If there is anything else, it must be really insignificant

    An even more comparable model is Canon's EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM. It is a high quality prosumer lens with very good glass that can beat Tamron performance with image stabilization and silent USM. It will also cost you $1300 to get these extra features and it will not migrate to a full frame sensor Canon, either. It's a great lens, but way overpriced compared to the value of a Tamron 17-50mm ... in my humble view.

    An Important Point
    * The Tamron sells used for amazingly high prices, often close to new street. I have seen two copies sell used for MORE than new street. I can't say why, but it speaks to the value this lens offers.

    Make your final decision after comparing models at Photozone, with excellent details on barrel distortion, vignetting, image quality and chromatic abberation. You'll discover this Tamron more than holds its own notwithstanding the price difference. For the average bear wanting really nice photo results with a lens that can handle wide shooting environments, this one goes high on your list....more info
  • Great lens for the money
    This lens does have issues, as you will soon find out by reading other reviews. Focusing in dim light is problematic. Frequently the lens is not focused on anything in the frame, or your subject is just out of focus. Of course, switching to manual focus resolves the focus issue, but it can be a pain in the neck. In bright light and particularly for wide angle shots, this lens performs wonderfully. The 2.8 aperture for all zoom levels is really handy if you like experimenting with depth of field or if you work in dim light. As has been noted by other reviewers, the motor is noisy. This could be an issue if you are photographing weddings, but otherwise it is just a slight annoyance and I don't see why it would cause a problem.
    Bottom line: This lens is not perfect, but it is still an excellent value for the price....more info
  • How does it Rate
    I have to admit this is a nice lense for the money. i preforms like all the other reviews say it does. "Great" images are clear at Wide open and at the extremes. The corners are nice and clear. I've taken some really nice photos with it and love to have it hanging on the end of my camera....more info
  • Canon who?
    This is my first ever Tamron purchase. Apparently in the past they made mediocre lenses, but that seems to have changed recently, and this lens seems to confirm it. Images are SHARP, SHARP, SHARP. Color is good, contrast is good, and there's almost no picture degradation on the outer edges, even at f/2.8. No color bleed, no fringing. It's almost too good -- I can see every little skin cell and blemish on someone's face. I can see every little grain on my grandma's leather purse. I can see every little teeny leaf in a far-off tree. It's a vast improvement over Canon's standard 18-55mm kit lens, and better than Canon's mid-grade too. Granted, I haven't tried the famous L series lenses from Canon, but this is about half the price and likely as good.

    Cons: everyone complains about the focusing noise. That doesn't bother me at all -- I get used to almost anything. If silence is a factor then go with Canon. Otherwise, the Tamron AF17-50mm f/2.8 does about everything you'd ever want....more info
  • Tamron 17-50 Lens - Alright if you don't use it much.
    I am not impressed by this lens. I, once again, should have waited until I could afford the Nikon 17-55 f/2.8 before I bought this lens. I shoot NASCAR Whelen All American Series races at a local short track on Saturday nights. On the average night I shoot approximately 400-600 shots. I didn't use this lens for very much else, but within 2 months it already went downhill. Hopefully I might be getting it back from Tamron soon. At the point where I sent it back, the lens was vignetting where it hadn't before and every now and then the aperture failed to open.

    As far as sharpness goes, I think it's wonderful. This lens is definitely not made for lots of shooting. It's built very light as compared to the Nikon variant. I compared the photos from this lens to the photos from the Nikon and they were very close as far as sharpness goes. In my opinion this is the best lens Tamron has produced. But, that isn't saying much.

    If you're a casual shooter, this lens is for you. If you like to shoot a few hundred frames a week, I would not recommend it. After it gets back from being repaired I will update this if things get better. I'm not expecting much, though. ...more info
  • great!
    I just purchased this lens. I LOVE it! I wanted something that was a little wider than the 28-74 (or whatever that is) but still had the 2.8. I was a little worried about going with Tamron vs. Canon, but for the price difference it was worth a try. Its very sharp and the colors are great!...more info
  • Excellent standard zoom
    Very nice lens. Tack sharp wide open, light weight for a f/2,8, nice color and contrast. I considered this or the Canon 17-55IS. I picked this one because of the price, and I'm thrilled with it. The only downside is AF. It's noisy and slow compared to USM lenses from Canon, but the thing I miss the most is the FTM you get with USM/HSM lenses.

    Handles well. The zoom ring is nice. However, the MF ring is not too good, but with the lack of FTM, I find myself not using it so much.

    Construction quality is decent, but it's certainly not a Canon L or Sigma EX.

    Apart from some minor downsides, it's a great lens capable of delivering amazing IQ. I don't give it a 5 star rating because of the AF....more info
  • Fantastic lens
    This is a fantastic lens for the price. Since I got it it has been on my Xti(400D) most of the time. I can't comment on the quality issues, as my copy was perfect. It is fully made of plastic, but it is well built and feels robust. (I don't own any L-series lenses to compare).

    The cons of these lens are that the focus motors sound quite a bit, and is not the fastest I've seen. It has no IS, but in this focal range you can live without it unless you shoot in very low light conditions. As others pointed, flare could have been controlled better.

    Why 5 starts? Because it is _very_ sharp. Sharper than my 28-135IS and even the 50mm f1.8 II. And the colors are good. I've played with the Canon 17-85mm and the image quality of the Tamron is much better. If you don't want/can't spend the almost $1000 the canon 17-55 cost, I certainly recomend this....more info
  • Sharp lens, iffy focus
    From the first shots I took with this lens I was amazed by the sharpness. To my eye it looked much better than my 28-135 lens -- when it's in focus, it's great. But the focus is the problem, for my copy at least, on a 40D, the autofocus was all over the map. In normal shooting I was noticing that the focus was way off way too often, my subject would be out of focus or just barely in focus, and the ground close to me or stuff in the background would be perfectly sharp. So I did some controlled tests and found that even in ideal conditions it was missing the correct focus on more than 1 in 3 shots. As in focus bad enough that the correct focus point was just on the edge of or outside the in focus DoF more than 1/3rd of the time. It looked like there was a tendency to front focus at the 50 end (which was what I was noticing in real world shooting) and back focus at the 17 end (which was just making landscapes soft), but overall I'd say it just tended to be really inconsistent, missing in either direction from one shot to the next. I also had a lot of exposure problems with this lens, but it's the widest lens I've shot with so I don't know if that's the lens or the camera.

    If you're willing to take multiple shots of everything, or manually focus, or if you get a better copy or if it works better on other bodies . . . as I say, when it's in focus it's a really nice, sharp lens. It hooked me on the first shots, enough so that I was willing to overlook the misfocused ones as flukes or user error. When it kept happening I started thinking, it's a bargain lens, when it does get it right it gets it really right. But after a couple weeks worth of looking at missed shots it wasn't worth it to me any more....more info
  • Great lens but can't beat Canon
    I have this lens because, like many people, I can't afford such a fast lens with the Canon name on the barrel. The lens is great, lives up to all the other reviews, and I have only two complaints: 1) contrast and color are not as great as the results you get from Canon lenses. A small price to pay for a low-light, wide angle lens but I thought it was worth mentioning. 2) Build quality is not as solid as comparably price (but admittedly less loaded) Canon lens. I thought it wouldn't bother me because when I originally bought this lens I had an XTi, but when I upgraded to a 40D it seemed very light and provides some imbalance. I can live with it though. What they say about the noise when focusing is right. It's very loud but under most circumstances it doesn't bother me. The only time it really did was when I was photographing a one-on-one interview and the noise really distracted my subjects. All in all, I would recommend this lens. ...more info
  • Quality Issues: Not as sharp as my 28-135 kit lens
    I have a 40D with 28-135 IS kit lens. After read all positive reviews from this site, I ordered one but have return it since its picture quality even cannot match what I got from 28-135 kit lens of 40D. I also tried to use focus test chart to see if it is because focus problem, but focus is ok only the pictures are not as sharp as 28-135 kit lens. I also tried with tripod to isolate hand-shaking issue, but the picture is still not sharp. Anyway, I might got a bad copy. Sharpness for my test in the descending order is: Canon 50mm f/1.8 II, Canon 28-135mm (kit lens), and this one. If you buy this for low light, this one will not help, I got sharper picture with 28-135 IS than this one with handhold. For now I will stick with 28-138 IS till I have money for a canon L lens. If high speed is what you are looking for, don't forget canon 50mm f/1.8 II, you cannot beat it on quality/money....more info
  • great lens
    Agree with all the positive feedback. Very good walk around lens. Only wish it is 17-85mm....more info
  • Replacement for the Canon 18-55mm kit lens
    Never having had my hands on a Canon L lens, I can't make any valid comparisons. I will say this though, if this lens is noticably lacking in the "feel" of a more expensive L lens, then those lenses must be wonders indeed. It is not lacking in the area of feel and quality at all. I'm not sure it is even fair to compare it to the cheap feeling kit lens which this one replaced on my 20D. There is no comparision at all.

    I shoot 100% RAW and in my post processing (Canon DPP and Photoshop CS2) I have not seen any evidence of CA, flare or vignetting. I have looked but even blown up, I do not see those problems even on the many shots I have made at lower f-stops down to and including f/2.8. If they're there, they're not enough to consider if you can't see them. Just might be slight differences in different copies of the lens. Who knows.

    I have never had the pleasure of experiencing Canon's USM AF but I know that the AF in the original Canon kit lens I had was better than some lenses I had used on my previous film EOS SLR and this Tamron is noticably better than the kit lens at speed and accuracy. Yes, it is a little noisy but I can live with that. After a few shots, you tend to forget about the sound. At least I have so it's not noticable. Perhaps to my photo subjects, but not to me.

    I did some focus tests (the 45 deg angled calibrated chart test) looking for any signs of front or back focus and this lens focuses right on the target line consistantly. I also did some test comparing the sharpness with that of the kit lens (fair test or not?) and as expected, this one is sharper at f/2.8 than the EF-S 18-55mm kit lens is stepped down a couple of stops. No news there. That's what I expected and wanted. I also now shoot with the 20D Set to Parameter 2 (all neutral) and my needed adjustments in post processing the RAW image are fairly minimal and more for taste than technical corrections.

    Shortly after getting this lens I took it with me on a trip to Quebec City and ended up photographing a lot of the same scenery I had photographed a couple of years ago using the Canon kit lens. Now perhaps I just becoming a better photographer, but the dramatic difference in the quality of the shots this trip vs. the previous one speaks for the differences between the lenses used.

    Negatives for this lens? From my point of view, nothing I can come up with yet....more info
  • My Default lens!
    I bought this lens because it was cheaper than Canon lenses, and it has a 67mm. This lens have a great zoom range (17-50) and an f2.8 maximum aperture size. This make it ideal for wide angle portraits as long as close up portrait. It gives a cool background blur and can be a good in taking landscape as well.

    I bought my Canon 30D without the default lens and bought this one instead. I use this as my default lens, and not yet thinking about buying another lens. Maybe I will buy Canon 85mm/f1.8 because I mostly shoot portrait, and the Sigma 10-20 for ultra-wide shots. But I don't have the money now, besides, my Tamron takes great portraits as well as landscapes ....more info
  • Quality Control Issues
    After reading all of the front focusing issues some people were having - I still took the plunge and gave this lens a shot. It really seemed like a good value and I hoped for a good copy. Well, I received the lens and of course immediately tested it to see if it had any focus issues. Without a formal focus test - there was an obvious front focus especially at 40-50mm when the subject was more than 4-5 feet away. And it had helluva time locking focus in less than bright conditions (using a 40d).

    Tamron needs to get their act together and fix this lens. I didn't even bother with another copy and got a refund. I ended up with a used Canon 17-55 2.8 which I am very happy with.

    Bottom line... If you are OK with possibly having to exchange it or wait for a month for Tamron to repair - then go ahead and buy it. A good copy of this lens is great for the price and many people are happy with it. If not, and you can afford it - the Canon 17-55 2.8 is an awesome lens. Or, if you haven't yet, pickup a 430EX flash so you can utilize some of your slower lenses indoors. ...more info
  • Fast & compact, good general purpose lens
    Depending on how you plan to use your camera (mine is a Canon EOS 40D) and lens, this product from Tamron can make for a great general purpose lens.

    I typically travel with a fair bit of digital equipment while on business trip: notebook, cell phone, blackberry, Creative Visiom:M, camera and if my wife happens to come along, a Panasonic MiniDV camcorder and tripod too. With a relatively large amount of electronic to lug around, the 28-135mm kit lens that comes with the EOS 40D was simply too large and heavy.

    Our experience also tell us that a large number of our photo shooting takes place in indoor conditions and we like to take shots of the food we order (makes for great memories). The Tamron's constant f2.8 comes in really handy, especially when flash photography isn't allowed.

    Some reviewers complained about the noise of the lens focusing, quite frankly, unless you're hiding in some closet trying to take a clandestine photo of someone, you won't notice it. Ambient outdoor/indoor noise cancels it to the extend that you won't notice it at all.

    What I like:
    1. Light weight, compact (important for frequently travelers!)

    2. Constant f2.8, useful indoors and when flash isn't allowed or you want to avoid spooking otherwise friendly animals (eg. domestic dogs, horses etc.)

    3. Price/capability ratio really good.

    4. 17mm wide angle, useful in cities (where most of my business trips are).

    5. Comes with a lens hood.

    6. Well thought out design, lens cap easily clipped on even with lens hood attached.

    7. Made in Japan.

    What I would like to see:
    1. Longer zoom while retaining image quality and weight/size.

    2. OR: A companion glass in the 50-200mm (or there about) range with the same compact/light weight form factor and constant f2.8 performance....more info
  • simply the best bang for your buck
    After previously owning a Tamron 17-35 f/2.8-4 and disappointed with its low light performance in the telephoto end, I decided I needed a prime or fixed aperture zoom with f/2.8 or faster lens. After cycling through the Tamron 17-35, the Canon 50mm f/1.8, the Canon 50mm f/1.4 and the Sigma 30mm f/1.4, I finally settled on this and have been blown with the quality ever since. May not be a Canon 85mm f/1.2, but for a beginner this is a great bang for the buck. The quality easily matched the 50mm f/1.4 (which I found useless in the f/1.4-1.8 range for quick shots due to thin DOF).

    I also read a review which compared the Tamron with the Sigma 18-50 F/2.8 and the Tokina 16-50 f/2.8 and this came out on top in terms of auto focus speed and sharpness.

    As a beginner's kit, my Rebel XT, this lens, a Canon 580 EX-II flash, Orange/White flash diffuser caps and Noiseware Professional for removing noise in high ISO images has been a great bargain at around $1300.

    Vijay...more info
  • Front focusing, soft results, problems in low light
    Tried and really wanted it to work, but the first copy had severe problems with focusing, most images came out soft, front focusing issues, slow focusing in low light. Tried a second sample, a little better, but still not acceptable. Obviously, Tamron has real quality problem issues. Switched to Canon 17-85IS and all problems magically went away, fast reliable focusing in any light and it is instant due to USM. Yes it is not a 2.8 Lens, but what's the point of 2.8 if it has problem focusing in low light? I thought one of the reasons to buy 2.8 was because of low light. Moral for me at least: stay away from third brand lenses....more info
  • Great value
    Update 4/17- Received new copy of this lens from Amazon today (their Replace policy is excellent) and had some time to test the front focusing issue that I noted on my previous copy (see below). This lens is much, much better. It is pretty accurate on focusing, might get a little front focused as it gets towards 17, but nothing bad.

    Very fast at f2.8. Auto focus is decently quick, if not a little loud (as compared to HSM and USM AF from other vendors). Size and weight are excellent. Feels good in my hand, matches nicely to the XTi in terms of size. All-in-all I think I'm going to be happy with this choice.

    If you have a front focusing version, I'd recommend having it replaced if possible. If not, Tamron should be able to calibrate it; not sure if it will be covered under the warranty, but if it's bad enough they should. An accurately focusing version is an excellent choice.

    Original Review: First copy I received has significant (10-20mm) front focusing issue on Canon XTi when using AutoFocus. Can help a little by switching from 9 point AF to single point AF, but still has pretty significant front focus issue. RMA to amazon, they are shipping a new copy before I return the old one. I love Amazon, hopefully the next copy will be better....more info
  • What a Gem of a Lens!
    I received my Tamron 17-50mm just this week, and I have to say I'm blown away by the image quality of this little thing. I immediately tested it against my sharpest lens, a Pentax 50mm f/1.4 Super Multi-Coated Takumar. My Super Tak beats all my other lenses hands down for sharpness and contrast, so I figured I'd test the Tamron against it. I didn't think anything short of Canon's L-Series would match the Tak, but the Tamron sure comes close.

    With both set at 2.8, the Tamron is very sharp in the middle but a tiny bit soft on the edges, whereas the Super Tak is sharp across the board. Don't forget, though, that at f/2.8 the Tak is already stopped down a couple of notches, where the Tamron is wide open. By f/4 you have to strain very hard to see any difference between the two, and by f/5.6 the Tamron is every bit as sharp as the Tak.

    I consider this to be a very impressive performance by the Tamron. Those old Super Multi-Coated Takumars are renowned for their sharpness, which is why I bought one and adapted it for use with my Canon EOS 400. For a zoom lens to come so close to matching a high-quality prime lens is, for me at least, quite a feat.

    As for the other aspects of this lens, the auto-focus is fast and accurate. I've read some reviews that say it's noisy, but mine seems quiet enough. The finish and build quality are very nice. It's not built like a tank, as my Takumar is, but it feels solid enough. The zoom action is nice and smooth, and I noticed no need for the zoom lock switch to prevent zoom creep.

    All-in-all, I have to say that this lens was money well spent. For about $400.00 you get a fast, sharp, near L-Series quality lens with a 6-year warranty, something Canon doesn't even think about offering. It's certainly a huge step up from a kit lens. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this little beauty to a friend....more info
  • Excellent sharp lens
    This lens lived up to the reviews, very sharp. Much sharper than the Canon 17-85 IS which I also own (and have now sold). I also have the 50mm 1.8 prime, and the Tamron is every bit as sharp.

    In fact, colors are much more saturated and there is a bit more contrast on the Tamron compared to the 50mm 1.8. If the 50mm wasn't so dirt cheap to begin with I'd be selling that too, since most of the time it's easier to shoot at 50mm with the Tamron than go through the hassle of changing lenses - especially since I don't have to sacrifice any image quality with the Tamron. I read the good reviews on this lens before buying but was still surprised just how good it is.

    AF will startle you at first, especially if you're used to quiet USM, but it's really no big deal after a few minutes....more info
  • Sharp, so long as you know the rules
    I got this to replace the kit lens from Canon, and I agonized for months over whether to get this, the Sigma or (outside chance) Tokina.

    I ended up with Tamron because it seemed to have fewer complaints about sharpness.

    The lens is quite well built, easy to use, and, if used properly, quite sharp.

    But to get that sharpness, you have to play by the varifocal rules. That means that if you want a really sharp 17mm photo, zoom to 50, focus, hold that focus as you widen back to 17, then shoot.

    Seems cumbersome, right? It can be. But in checking between photos done that was or just at 17mm, there's a significant difference in sharpness _when you magnify/crop the image_.

    I asked around a few forums, and folks seemed to agree that most zoom lenses are like this. I just hoped that the technology had improved to address this.

    Edit 1/3/08

    Tamron's never been able to lick this issue on my lens. I still love it when it works, but when it doesn't...it's just sad. If you get a good copy, hang on for dear life....more info
  • Returning 2nd Copy. Tamron's Fault
    I'm returning my second copy of this lens due to severe front focusing issues. I've done some research and found that Amazon was given a bad lot. This time I'm getting a refund, and possibly giving it a third try from another retailer. Sorry Amazon. You've been great in letting me return and even admitted that there is a quality control issue with the lot that you have received from Tamron. TAMRON.. shame on you. You should pull all of the copies that Amazon has and reissue them a new set.

    Everyone really loves this lens when it works. Wish I knew. ...more info
  • Excellent walk-around constant f/2.8 lens
    This lens does not seem to get the credit it deserves. It is very sharp, especially at f/4 and smaller apertures. It peaks at around 35mm f/5.6 where it is extremely sharp edge to edge. Color rendition is excellent.

    Autofocus is quick, partly because it is only 45 degrees from close focus to infinity [manual focus is difficult for that reason]. Like all lenses, autofocus does hunt in low light or when the focus point is on an area of low contrast, nothing new here. Auto-focus is a camera-and-lens task, so can't blame only the lens (I am using a Canon XTi 400D).

    Build quality is excellent, but not quite L class. I am very happy with this lens. It is a keeper....more info
  • Very nice lens for a very nice price
    I bought this lens for my Canan Rebel XT for my studio photo class, and it is great. Worth every penny. If you want a great lens for just walking around shooting or studio work, this is a great value.
    Some people were talking about the autofocus not working, I havent had that problem all photos come out crisp and clean.
    5 stars....more info