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

Price: CDN$ 509.83 & FREE Shipping. Details
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7 new from CDN$ 489.95 1 used from CDN$ 458.00
  • 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

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 8 x 8 cm ; 572 g
  • Shipping Weight: 862 g
  • Item model number: B005-N
  • Date first available at Amazon.ca: Feb. 2 2012
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #172,831 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 Amazon.com
    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 Amazon.com
    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 Amazon.com
    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 Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 183 reviews
82 of 83 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great lens for the price Sept. 27 2009
By Antonio De La Vega - Published on Amazon.com
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.
104 of 109 people found the following review helpful
4.0 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 Amazon.com
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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good in it's own way. May 23 2010
By P22nut5 - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This is the review of the copies I tried.

I compared the Tamron 17-50 f2.5 BIM with Tamron 17-50 f2.8 VC. The first VC I received was totally soft at 50mm 2.8, actually the proper word is blurred. So I returned it and exchanged for another copy. (Thanks to Amazon excellent return policy). The second copy is very good so I did a comparison shots with the BIM copy first using a tripod then handheld.

With Tripod = BIM copy is way sharper than VC on the corners. Center sharpness, sometimes they are both equal but most of the time I found the VC a tad sharper in some aperture and focal length.

Handheld = VC is sharper than BIM at all aperture and focal lenght. I dont have shaky hands but I still found the VC works for me better.
There is also a strong barrel distortion at 17mm with the VC and significantly less with BIM.

If I will be using tripod all the time, I will definitely buy the non-VC. It's IQ is better than VC and so much cheaper. But since this is gonna be my carry around/travel lens I decided to get the VC version. I love visiting museums and carrying tripod for me is inconvenient for me especially if I'm tagging along with me a toddler(my son) when we are traveling. Some countries also dont allow the use of the tripod in public and some places dont allow the use of flash. VC helps very well also when taking handheld night shots without using a flash.
The VC copy I got is very sharp at 50 and 17mm wide open. And just a little softness at 35mm and sharp at 24mm again. Stopped down to f4 and f5, it's really sharp. Of course with some softness in the corner in some stop and focal length. Otherwise I think this lens is a very good performer. AF is fast. And I dont really find it noisy like some people complained. Whether you buy the BIM or VC you cant go wrong with any of these lenses. It just depends how you want to use it. Both are highly recommended as a cheaper alternative to the more expensive counterpart.

UPDATE: June 26,2010
I decided to send it to Tamron for calibration because it was back focusing a little. In less than 2 weeks I had my lens back even if I was told that it would take 2-3 weeks before I would get it back...and my lens now is FREAKIN' SHARP!!!..even wide open at all focal lenght. And corners are so much sharper. Totally love it. FIVE STAR for Tamron.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An great lens at a reasonable price Feb. 14 2010
By John P. Mcclellan - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
The Tamron 17-50mm VC lens does everything that the ads said it would do and more. I read a couple of online reviews that thought the VC & focus motor were too noisy. I have to disagree. If nothing else you know for sure that it is working when you can hear it. I put this lens on my Nikon D300. I compared it in two different camera stores with the comparable Nikorr lens. The Nikorr focused a fraction of a second faster. But then again at three times the price, I would expect it to do something at least a little better or faster. I took several test photos with both lenses, and if I hadn't taken notes, I would not be able to discern the difference. The pictures were sharp and crisp throughout the focal range and at several different apertures. I read a review that stated the pictures were too "soft" at the wide apertures. I believe the reviewer was not focusing carefully enough. At f2.8, you don't have much depth of field, and these auto-focus cameras can certainly have a mind of their own when it comes to where it wants to focus. I find fault with the photographer here, not the camera or lens. All in all for the money this is a fantastic bargain. It is the fourth Tamron lens that I have purchased, and Tamron has made me a believer in their products.
5.0 out of 5 stars Tamron AF 17-50mm F/2.8 SP XR Di II VC Oct. 8 2013
By Dave Beal - Published on Amazon.com
Style Name: Canon Verified Purchase
So far I am loving this lens. I have taken shots inside and outside and they are great. I used it for a portrait shoot inside with studio lights and the images were awesome. Outside it's so nice to have the zoom capability and the ability to frame up close and get decent, sharp images is excellent.

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