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Tamron AF 17-50mm F/2.8 SP XR Di II VC (Vibration Compensation) Zoom Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras

by Tamron
4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

List Price: CDN$ 778.79
Price: CDN$ 549.00 FREE SHIPPING.
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  • Compact Fast Zoom with VC (Vibration Compensation).
  • Fast Constant F/2.8 Aperture
  • For use on APS-C size DSLR cameras
  • 11.4-Inch minimum focusing distance / 1: 4.8 Maximum magnification ratio
  • Internal Focusing
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Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 8 x 8 cm ; 572 g
  • Shipping Weight: 816 g
  • Item model number: B005-C
  • Date first available at Feb. 2 2012
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #128,231 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)
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Product Description

Product Description

The new SP 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II VC covers the very popular 17-50mm focal length range (equivalent to 26-78mm in the full-frame 35mm format) making it extremely versatile. Its wide aperture and outstanding performance provide practical advantages in low-light shooting and aesthetic image control, thereby enriching the user's range of creative expression. The new lens delivers impressive sharpness and striking contrast over its entire focal-length and aperture range, and at its maximum aperture of f/2.8 it produces beautiful images enhanced by shallow depth of- field, and smooth, natural transitions in out-of-focus areas of the image (i.e. excellent bokeh.) The new lens is equipped with Tamron's proprietary Vibration Compensation (VC) image stabilization mechanism, which controls the effects of camera shake in three planes. VC provides more opportunities for sharp hand-held photography at the slow shutter speeds needed when shooting in low-light conditions (e.g. night or indoor scenes) dramatically enhancing the user's level of photographic freedom.

From the Manufacturer

A masterpiece of innovative optical design, this compact, lightweight, high performance standard zoom (26-78mm equivalent) delivers a fast F/2.8 aperture over its entire focal-length range for maximum creative flexibility. To maintain critical sharpness when shooting handheld it includes VC (Vibration Compensation), Tamron’s state-of-the-art, tri-axial image stabilization system. Three compound aspheric elements, special LD glass, and BBAR coatings ensure superb correction, color fidelity, and freedom from flare. A minimum focus distance of 0.29m (11.4 inches ) offers exciting close-up opportunities.

AF18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di II
Compact & lightweight the AF 17-50mm is ideal for shooting on-the-go
SP AF17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II VC Highlights

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 conventional cameras and digital cameras with image sensors larger than 24mm x 16mm.

Vibration Compensation (VC)
Handheld camera shake is the leading cause of blurry and unsharp pictures. Several leading companies now make lenses with built-in optical image-stabilization systems that sense the amplitude and direction of the shake and compensate by moving optical groups within the lens. Tamron’s exclusive new Vibration Compensation (VC) system that’s built into the Tamron AF28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di VC LD Aspherical (IF) Macro and the Tamron AF18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di-II VC LD Aspherical (IF) Macro lenses performs a similar function, but it executes it much more effectively due to its innovative breakthrough design
  • VC delivers blur free - handheld images for incredible results
  • VC mechanism employs a three-coil system
  • Lens element compensates for vibration using 3-steel balls (making movement quiet & smooth)
  • Exceptional images at slower shutter speeds – reduces the need for a tripod
  • Bring out contrast to motion & stillness
  • Eliminate the need to shoot with a Flash

  • Tamron 18-270mm lens highlights at
    VC Off - VC On

    Aspherical Elements (ASL) Provide the Ultimate in Image Quality and Compactness)
    Tamron uses several hybrid aspherical lens elements in many lenses bearing the Aspherical designation. These innovative optics allow us to achieve the ultimate in image quality, and at the same time produce lenses that offer remarkable zoom ranges in extraordinarily compact packages. By perfecting theses cutting-edge advances for series production, Tamron has advanced the state of optical design, and virtually eliminated spherical aberration and image distortion from the high-power-zoom series.Through the effective application of Hybrid Aspherical Technology, one lens elemen tcan take the place of multiple elements without compromising performance. This is what allows us to produce remarkably compact long-range lenses that deliver a uniformly high level of image quality at all focal lengths and apertures.

    Tamron AF 18-250 AASL Image 2
    Achieve the ultimate in image quality with Asperical (ASL) lenses
    Extra Refractive Index Glass (XR)
    Extra Refractive Index (XR) glass can bend light rays at steeper angles, thereby decreasing the physical length of the lens while enhancing imaging performance by minimizing optical aberrations. This has allowed Tamron to develop a line of shorter, smaller-diameter, lighter lenses without sacrificing lens speed, and actually upgrading image quality compared to older designs. XR glass is costlier than conventional glass but it yields enhanced optical power distribution, making possible many of the outstanding and innovative lens designs that bear the XR designation. XR glass, with its superior light-bending power, makes it possible to design a short-barrel lens with the same light-gathering ability (aperture value) as a long-barrel lens—even with a smaller lens diameter. By using this principle Tamron has been able to shorten the length of the entire optical system and produce lighter, more compact lenses of the same speed, and also to provide greater zoom ranges in lenses that are much more convenient to carry by hand.

    Tamron AF18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di II at
    Special glass for better performance and more compact lens designs
    Super Performance (SP) for Discriminating Shooters
    Tamron SP (Super Performance) series is a line of ultra-high-performance lenses designed and manufactured to the exacting specifications demanded by professionals and others who require the highest possible image quality. In creating SP lenses Tamron’s optical designers put their foremost priority on achieving superior performance parameters—they are all designed to a higher standard with little regard for cost constraints. As a result, Tamron lenses bearing the SP designation feature impressive and innovative designs that have established an enviable reputation for excellence among those knowledgeable photographers that demand the very best.

    Low Dispersion (LD)
    Low dispersion (LD) glass elements in a lens help reduce chromatic aberration; the tendency of light of different colors to come to different points of focus at the image plane. Chromatic aberration reduces the sharpness of an image, but glass with an extremely lowdispersion index, has less of a tendency to separate (defract) a ray of light into a rainbow of colors. This characteristic allows the lens designer to effectively compensate for chromatic aberration at the center of the field (on axis), a particular problem at long focal lengths (the telephoto end of the zoom range), and for lateral chromatic aberration (towards the edges of the field) that often occurs at short focal lengths (the wide-angle end of the zoom range.)
    Tamron AF18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di II Low Disperson example at
    Low Dispersion (LD) Glass for Greater Lens Sharpness

    Internal Focus (IF)
    Internal focusing (IF) provides numerous practical benefits to photographers including a non-rotating front filter ring that facilitates the positioning of polarizing and graduated filters, and more predictable handling because the lens length does not change during focusing. Even more important, Tamron’s Internal Focusing (IF) system provides a much closer minimum focusing distance (MFD) throughout its entire focusing range. In addition, IF improves optical performance by minimizing illumination loss at the corners of the image field, and helps to suppress other aberrations that become more troublesome at different focusing positions

    Zoom Lock (ZL)
    Another original Tamron mechanical engineering concept is the Zoom Lock (ZL), a simple convenience feature that prevents undesired extension of the lens barrel when carrying the camera/lens unit on a neck strap..

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

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This Tamron lens offers a wide aperture, excellent sharpness, and very good build quality--all at a price significantly less than a comparable Canon lens.
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This lens is sharp and f/2.8 is good for low light shooting. I like the image quality of the picture especially in low light situation.
Fast in large aperture setting and bright room. it feels solid with this ease to use.
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I am verry pleased with this amazing lens ! It's a bit big and heavy, but I was suprised with the quality and the sharpness of the pictures ! I would highly recommend !
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xb476d180) out of 5 stars 176 reviews
183 of 188 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb4e48f9c) out of 5 stars An Extraordinarily Sharp Lens! Dec 3 2009
By Paul C. - Published on
I'm a pure Canon lens user for the past 3.5 years. Currently using EOS 40D. This is my very first third party lens & initially was quite skeptical. After thinking it over, I went ahead to give it a try because I can't afford the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM.

After playing with the new Tamron lens for almost two weeks, here's some of my 2 cent comments:

Good News first (wow so many don't know where to begin):

-Great optical performance! All photos taken are really sharp.
-Accurate, consider fast and consistent autofocus.
-Zoom ring isn't cramped or stiff, easy to turn (opposite direction of Canon lens).
-Surprisingly at 17mm I hardly can see any barrel distortion!
-I can't detect any chromatic aberration & Vignette problem. All photos look clean & accurate. But it doesn't mean they are not there. Maybe I need to get my eyes checked. :-)
-Nice weight (lighter than my Canon 24-105L) & feel, will be my new walkaround lens.
-AF is noisier than Canon USM. It sounds like soft "mechanical turning & twisting". Some photographers may find this annoying but I'm perfectly alright with this. It's not too loud & certainly won't disttract your subject or model. In fact, I'm getting used to the sound & feel good knowing my lens is working properly (see below too).
-Manual focusing is easy to use.
-AF is fast & accurate, so you can hardly hear the AF noise except under extreme low light situation (the AF is a bit tad slow & the noise is more obvious).
-Bokeh. I love it!
-The Vibration Control VC feature is also great & I can go down really low & pic still sharp.
-Sharpness of this Tamron lens is at par with my Canon 24-105L. On color comparison, I find Tamron produces a bit more saturate & brighter.

Bad News (hmm...I have to think of some negatives because no lens are perfect):

-The focal length lock is a nice feature & but it can only lock at 17mm. Would be nice if it can also lock at other focal length.
-No manual booklet. Only a piece of info sheet in Japanese. There's no English version. f/2.8 photo results are slightly darker than other aperture used. I tried both AV & Manual mode but still the same. No big deal, I can use the exposure compensation.
-Also at open wide f/2.80 image is slightly softer but super tack sharp once reach f/4.0.

Overall View: Well done Tamron! It's light-weight and has a fast maximum aperture of f/2.8 for shooting in low-light, this is a solid lens. At 50% cheaper than Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM & with great IQ, will use the amount saved on other camera accessories. I'm as happy as a Jolly Bee, have totally no gripe at all.

I do not hesitate to recommend this lens for anyone who wants a fast, constant aperture, light-weight standard zoom lens. The image quality is great and the VC works good.
81 of 82 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb4904f90) out of 5 stars Great lens for the price Sept. 27 2009
By Antonio De La Vega - Published on
Verified Purchase
I received this lens a few days ago and immediately started using it. The lens came with a lens hood and caps only, no carrying pouch. The lens is slightly bigger and bulkier than my 18-70 Nikkor that it is replacing. It feels great in the hands and in the camera, I can feel the quality. The lens focused accurately and speedily. I can't comment on its speed versus the non VC version, but its faster than my 18-70 Nikkor (as it should since its $300 more expensive). It locked on in low light pretty good too, something I had trouble with in my 18-70. I tested the VC out and found that the VC has a delay of about a second before taking effect. You will notice the effect because the viewfinder will have a slight jerking motion before taking effect. The VC worked quite well though, taking sharp pics most of the time (if done properly) down to 1/8th second. This lens is TACK SHARP, even at F2.8 it is very sharp.

The zoom ring comes with a zoom creep lock that works at 17mm, but the rings are stiff enough that you won't need to use it.

There are three things that this lens wasn't so great on. The focus is loud, its not an ultrasonic motor. The VC has the 1 second delay which is not so hot. The VC is also loud, you can hear it take effect.

Overall, this is a fine lens for myself. Those who find the VC delay, or noise, might be turned off by it, so take that into consideration.
101 of 106 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb499af48) out of 5 stars A very good lens with some shortcomings that you may be able to live with. Feb. 16 2010
By Alex Navarro - Published on
Verified Purchase
The title of my review pretty much sums it up. The two major features of this lens are its constant aperture of f2.8 at all focal lengths, and the new VC (anti-shake) feature. The previous version of this lens was superb, but lacked stabilization, so the VC is a welcome feature.

It's a very well built lens with a metal mount. Its not pro-quality, but definitely better than any kit lens I've owned. I'd give it a solid 4 out of 5 stars for build quality and design. It's quite a bit thicker than the previous version, but not much heavier. It looks huge on my D80, but its not too heavy so it works well and balances perfect on a D300.

The vibration compensation works very well. It works just as effective as any Nikon VR lens I've owned. No complaints on the effectiveness of the VC system. Some people reported it as loud when the VC motor kicks in, but I found it to be acceptable. Not as quiet as the Nikon VR2 system, but definitely not "loud" either. Others have reported that the VC doesnt kick in as fast as Nikon VR2, and its true (very very slightly) but again, not a problem. You'll be taking your time to take a picture whenever your using VC anyhow, so it really doesn't affect real-world performance.

Optical Quality
The lens is very good. It's not quite as good as the previous version wide open at f2.8, but the previous version was so good that you can lose a bit of sharpness and still get fantastic results. With that said, wide open at f2.8 I find it very good for my type of pictures, which are generally of people. If you're into photographing brick walls or textbooks, you may be disappointed. If you're concerned more with getting great pictures, you will be pleased. From f4 on, there isn't much to complain about except the outer most part of the picture. You have to be at f5.6 or f8 to get good sharpness throughout the frame including the corners. If you need sharpness in corners as well as the center, like when photographing architecture or landscapes, you'll typically be at smaller apertures anyhow, so it may not be an issue for some. Distortion is definitely there at 17mm, but not any more than most other zoom lenses and you'll notice only on certain subject.

Focus Speed/Accuracy
This is likely where most people will find the lens a bit disappointing. I find the focus speed to be quite good. Better than the previous version. It doesn't hunt as much. The noise is about the same, not intrusive but definitely noticeable (to the photographer). The focus accuracy is what I would like to see improved the most. I've gotten occasional unsharp photos and what I realized is that if i take 2 or 3 frames of the same shot, one may come out sharper than the other. Many people will mistake this inconsistent focus for the lens being soft, especially wide open. It's not that bad and its only occasional, but it does happen more often than with my Nikons, which almost never mis-focus. You have the option to send it in to Tamron and they can calibrate and possibly improve it (which I'm going to do), but many people may not want to go through that. The reason I'm willing to do that is because I know this lens can be spectacular with just a bit of improvement. You can't get an f2.8 zoom from Nikon for less than $1200.

Sample Variation (a.k.a "bad copy)
There is a chance you could receive a "bad copy". Tamrons and 3rd party lenses in general are infamously known (online forums) to be hit or miss. It's a chance many people may not want to take but they do carry a 6 year warranty and customer service is very good about "calibrating" the lens if you think yours front or back focuses. Again, not everyone will want to deal with that, but I have to tell you that its a small inconvenience when you compare it to the years of great pictures you'll make. If you're really into photography, I think you can live through it.

For those who know the benefit of a constant f2.8 lens, you know how valuable that is. Sure you can get slightly better picture quality from other, more expensive lenses, but the attraction here is constant f2.8 at this price point. It's relatively cheap when compared to Nikon offerings. Also, most of us dont view pictures at 100% magnification, which is the only way to see the lens' shortcomings. You may never see the flaws in a 4x6 or 8x10 print. Most casual to enthusiast level photographers will never know the difference between this and a pro equivalent. I also own the nikon 16-85 VR lens (not a pro lens but exceptionally good) and I would say it favors very well against it. Although, the Nikon is a bit better at any setting, you cant get the shallow depth of field and creamy background blur with the Nikon that you can with the f2.8 Tamron. Also, once you stop down the Tamron to f5.6 or f8, the difference between the two is hardly noticeable. For me it's not all about sharpness, especially when photographing people. You don't want to highlight wrinkles and skin imperfections so I typically soften them up anyhow. Plus, when I want really sharp photos it's also up to the challenge. I've taken some exceptional images with this lens and that is the bottom line. There are trade-offs and you need to know your type of photography to know what lens will suit you best. With Amazon's awesome return policy, you've got nothing to lose. Pixel-peepers and lens-snobs need not apply.
37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb4a4d798) out of 5 stars You will not be disappointed Dec 21 2009
By HDYjr. - Published on
Verified Purchase
I purchased this lens when it became available in late November and have had a few weeks to shoot with it. This lens is used in conjunction with a Canon Rebel T1i. I originally purchased the non-VC version of this lens but returned it after a week or so simply because I was not "WOWED" with its performance (relatively slow auto focus, somewhat soft wide open, color and contrast seemed a bit lacking and it seemed to produce more noise than other lenses I've used on this camera).

This lens has none of those problems. I really can't get over how well it performs in low-light situations. I get a lot of keepers at 1/5 of a second. It's really sharp also. I have a 5D Mark II and a few L lenses and I find myself picking up my Rebel and this lens more and more often. If you are considering this lens I recommend it 100%.
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb4c4b7e0) out of 5 stars Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 SP XR Di II VC for Nikon Oct. 16 2009
By Z. Wagner - Published on
Verified Purchase
Been going back and forth with lenses for a while now, and finally have my bag full. It's filled mainly with Sigma, but when this Tamron came out, I just couldn't resist the 2.8 through the zoom range and the VC (vibration compensation). So how is it? Well, I love it. The other reviewer here mentioned it's a little loud, and that's true. But that doesn't bother me one bit. It's very, very sharp, generally focuses well and quickly, even in low light, and has accurate color representation. At 17mm 2.8 it's a LITTLE softer, but not much, and once you stop down it gets tack sharp, which is true for most lenses anyway.
As an end note, something needs to be said for Tamron's vibration compensation technology. I recently sold my 18-55 VR Nikon kit lens because I got this Tamron, and the VC works at LEAST as well as the VR does, if not measurably better. Yes, there is a jump when you depress the shutter button halfway, as the motor starts up, but it's something that you get used to extremely quickly (or at least I did), and once that's over, the image is still as a quiet summer lake. The VC works VERY well.
Overall, I'd say the build quality of this lens is very good, and it's definitely a keeper.

The one con I'll personally give it is that the macro capability leaves something to be desired. This isn't billed as a macro lens, so I can't really knock it, but my Sigma 17-70 w/macro smokes it.

Other than that, great lens, especially if you can't afford the Nikon lenses.

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