Disappointed with the Tamron 17-50mm

Started Jun 20, 2009 | Discussions thread
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bvphotos Regular Member • Posts: 259
Disappointed with the Tamron 17-50mm

I bought a Tamron 17-50mm lens, hoping it would be better than the Sigma 18-200OS in the overlapping range. After many test shots, here are my observations:

  • at 50mm it's very soft wide open

  • it is a little better at 17, but still not sharp enough

  • microadjustment with the 50D doesn't help much

  • it's no better than my Sigma 18-200OS.

I'm not comparing it to the standards of my 100 f2 or the 100mm macro, which are very sharp lenses. But I did compare it to my 50mm 1.4, and in every shot I could tell which was taken with the Tamron and which with the Canon (even in portrait mode on a laptop screen).

Enclosing 100% crops from both the lenses. I realize comparing the Tamron wide open with the Canon at 2.8 isn't quite fair, but the difference is very apparent, and if I can't use the Tammy at 2.8, why have it?

Do I have a particularly bad copy? Or is this what one can expect from a Tamron? If so, should I bite the bullet and buy the Canon EF-S 17-55mm IS or the 24-105 f4?

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Canon 50D, Canon 100 f2, Canon 100-400 IS, Canon 50 1.4, Tamron 17-50mm, Sigma 18-200 OS, Tamron Pro 1.4TC, Speedlite 430EX, Feisol 3402 + Giotto ballhead.

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