What about Tamron 17-50 2.8?

Started May 23, 2011 | Discussions thread
DRode Senior Member • Posts: 2,815
Re: What about Tamron 17-50 2.8?

VERY few lenses are at their best wide open. Most lenses are better stopped down a bit. The sweet spot for an f/2.8 lens is often in the f/4 - f/5.6 range, compared to a variable aperture zoom where the sweet spot is f/5.6 - f/8. My f/1.8 lenses hit that sweet spot even sooner, typically being excellent by f/2.8.

My Tamron 17-50 and my Nikon 70-200 are my sharpest zooms wide open (f/2.8). i can and do use them wide open but stop down a bit if I can as both improve at f/4. A cheaper zoom, as you describe, will not hit that sweet sport until f/5.6 - f/8 and still may not rival the IQ of the 17-50 or 70-200.

What lenses do you have that are as good wide open as they are stopped down? I'm sure there are a couple. The 58mm f/1.2 noct come to mind. I think those go for about $3k used...

Waterengineer wrote:

PhotoAV8R wrote:

........Sharp at 2.8 and only gets better stopped down.........


PhotoAV8R, not a slam on you, but a general comment.

I have never understood this comment. Lots of people make similar comments including professional lens reviews.

The whole point is the ability to use the lens wide open. Sure, at times it gets stopped down but the big money is for the large diameter glass to use the lens wide open and in low light.

If you have to stop it down to 3.5, 4, 5.6, whatever then why not just own a cheaper lens.

I view this comment as a negative. If the lens is not great wide open or if I have to stop it down for it to be great I don't want it.

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