166 of 171 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
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.
-Hmm...at 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.
78 of 79 people found the following review helpful
Antonio De La Vega
- Published on Amazon.com
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.
89 of 93 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
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.
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.
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.
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
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 32 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
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.