Review Tamron 17-50 mm/2.8 DII VC SP XR LD (N APS-C)

Tamron 17-50 lens

In 2010, Tamron came out with the 17-50 mm 2.8 DII VC SP XR LD or Tamron 17-50 mm 2.8 VC. It remains available in addition to a version that is not equipped with built-in image stabilization. Image stabilization makes the contemporary version much more versatile. Nikon offers no 17-50 mm 2.8 with built in image stabilization, but Sigma does: the Sigma 17-50 mm 2.8 EX DC OS HSM. The garantee Tperiod of 5 years, given by the Dutsch importer of Tamron lenses, is unique.Tamron 17-50 lens

Field of view (FOV) @ 17mm
FOV @ 50 mm

Construction and autofocus

The zoom ring shows no play but the resistance is not constant along the entire route. The focus ring turns very smoothly and has a short stroke. Focusing manually is therefore not easy. The lens is nicely finished and feels solid enough.
This Tamron is one of the first lenses of this brand that has a built-in drive for the autofocus. Focusing is quick with a Nikon D7000 from 15 meters to 1.5 meters in 0.24 seconds. The drive makes a little more sound than we are used to from other brands but the AF is also sufficiently accurate in low light.{insertgrid ID = 289}

Image stabilization

The effectiveness of the built-in image stabilization, called Vibration Compensation, is measured at a focal length of 50 mm. The effectiveness is about 3 stops. This is comparable to other types.IS-Tamron-17-50


Vignetting in stops is only on the high side at f/2.8. In the other apertures, vignetting is negligibly low. A program like Lightroom recognizes the Tamron lenses and corrects for vignetting.lichtafval-Tamron-17-50


The distortion, expressed as a percentage, is substantially at 17 mm, but so low at the other focal distances that it rarely will be disturbing. Distortion can be controlled with software.vervorming-Tamron-17-50


These shots were taken with a Nikon D90 at a focal length of 50 mm.

The widest aperture is f/2.8; limiting depth of field is possible with this lens. The blurry circles are strongly plagued by rings, the bokeh is therefore not so beautiful.

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Tamron1750 2
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The Tamron is not very sensitive towards flare. In strong backlight ghosts can be seen.APS-C Tamron 17-50 mm overstraling


The resolution, expressed in lines / sensor height, has high to very high values in the center at all apertures.  The difference in resolution between the center and the corners is fairly large with the Tamron at 28 mm and 50 mm.


Chromatic aberration

The chromatic aberration is kept low. Nikon camera’s correct for chromatic aberration in jpg files. Not only for Nikon lenses, but for other lenses as well.


Conclusion Tamron 17-50 mm/2.8 DII VC SP XR LD review


  • High center resolution
  • Fast (f2.8)
  • Compact
  • Built in image stabilization
  • Affordable price


  • Resolution in the corners lags behind
  • Sensitive to backlight
  • Limited zoom range

The Tamron 17-50 mm 2.8 DII VC SP XR LD is a fast alternative to the little Nikon 18-55 mm kitlens. The recommended retail price and weight are higher but you get much in return. The initial aperture is considerably larger and the resolution is much larger than what is usual for a kit lens. In practice, back light will have to be taken into account. All in all, the Tamron is excellent value for its money.


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