Tamron 17-50mm tested VS Nikon 17-55mm

Started Jun 8, 2006 | Discussions
Crave Contributing Member • Posts: 885
Re: Tamron 17-50mm tested VS Nikon 17-55mm

Thanks for this test!!!
I ordered mine, but they are out of stock...
Could you post some portraits, or pictures outside?
That would be nice!!!

D70 RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

instamatic Veteran Member • Posts: 3,563
Another defective Nikon 17-55mm ??

I don't know about the overall test, but your 17-55mm crops look quite soft to me.

I would test both at hyperfocus as well to see which one holds up better.

Kind Regards,
Przemek

Ben Seese wrote:

Today I had a chance to test the brand-new $450 Tamron 17-50mm
f/2.8 versus the $1300 Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8. Punch-line: Just like
the older 28-70, it's optically just as good its Nikon equivalent
at a fraction of the cost. Tao has had me pining for the Nikon
17-55 as long as I can remember, but I think this test just saved
me $850.

My test method:

D2X
Manfrotto Neotec tripod
Manfrotto 3437 pan-tilt head
JPG Large Fine, quality-optimized
ISO 100
sRGB
White balance locked on "cloudy"
In-Camera Sharpening: +1
Tone Comp: Normal
2-second self-timer
Exposure delay mode (aka mirror lock-up)

Three different focal lengths (17mm, 28mm, 50mm) and two different
f-stops for each (f/2.8--1/200sec and f/5.6--1/50sec).

Focused on a brick wall about 15 feet away. For each exposure, I
shot with two different auto-focus modes, and chose the sharper
picture of the two.

I went in and picked corner, center, and edge crops for each focal
length, then stretched each one out to 200% with 'nearest neighbor'
to make the pixel-level detail visible.

Here are the results, in huge JPGs (sorry dialupers):

http://www.flickr.com/photos/benseese/162794265/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/benseese/162794441/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/benseese/162794603/

I stared at these long enough to conclude that both lenses must
have a fairly badly curved focus plane at 17mm f/2.8. Turns out
I'm not the only one:
http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/tamron_1750_28/index.htm
(about 2/3 down the page, they talk about the plane curvature).

Both lenses seem to slightly vignette the corners at f/2.8 at all
focal lengths, but the Tamron is a little better in this respect.

All twelve full-resolution originals (with EXIF) are available for
you to download at my flickr photostream:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/benseese/with/162791800/

-Ben

instamatic Veteran Member • Posts: 3,563
Re: It's kinda funny

I noticed you're from Chicago. It is possible that Helix gave you a defective/opened/returned 17-55mm Nikkor to play with.

They tried to take advantage of me twice before and once they succeeded. I will never go there again, not to the store on Racine at least.

Kind Regards,
Przemek

Ben Seese wrote:

Phil Youngblood wrote:

Has anyone else noticed this little quirk? Any time there is a
whatever vs Nikkor "test", I can always tell when the verbiage is
going to be slanted towards the third party lens by checking the
price stated. The price difference given is always greater than
actuality. Why is that? Is it some kind of human failing we use to
further justify a decision? Yes, the Tamron costs $450US but the
Nikkor does not cost $1300 -- never has. Interesting.

Phil

Yes, my write-up was biased. You're absolutely right -- I
intentionally didn't quote B&H's $1200 price nor mention the $100
spring rebate. I can justify it (at least to myself) by noting
that B&H is out-of-stock on the 17-55. The store I work at, Helix
Camera, charges $1300 for it, but DOES have several in stock. I'm
sorry that I didn't (and won't) go searching for the lowest
internet price for an in-stock 17-55.

Any commentary on the content of my post, Phil?

Thanks,
Ben

dsl_r Senior Member • Posts: 1,023
Re: I just received mine.. BUT...

my initial impression is not impressed. shots without flash are fine... as sharp as 17-55 or close, but with flash, 17-55 will blow the socks off the Tamron. Then I compare the Tamron to my gf's 18-55... surprised! 18-55 is sharper.. well, the Tamron is going back to the store tomorrow.. See ya Tamron!

EvilGreg Regular Member • Posts: 255
comparison pics? (nt)

text? what text?

dsl_r Senior Member • Posts: 1,023
Re: comparison pics? (nt)

sorry. i have packed it up and it needs to go back to the store. all i can tell u is that i am very disappointed. maybe i got a bad sample.. but i am just not happy.

OP Ben Seese Veteran Member • Posts: 3,367
Re: It's kinda funny

instamatic wrote:

I noticed you're from Chicago. It is possible that Helix gave you
a defective/opened/returned 17-55mm Nikkor to play with.

They tried to take advantage of me twice before and once they
succeeded. I will never go there again, not to the store on Racine
at least.

Kind Regards,
Przemek

Uh, you didn't read my post clearly enough... I work at Helix. I personally opened these lenses fresh from their boxes.

I'd love to hear off-board what your experiences were. The guys I work with are very much on their customers' sides, and your story is in conflict with what I understand of our decades-old reputation.

Thanks,
Ben

OP Ben Seese Veteran Member • Posts: 3,367
Doubtful

instamatic wrote:

I don't know about the overall test, but your 17-55mm crops look
quite soft to me.

Keep in mind that it's a 12 megapixel file stretched out to 200% that you're looking at. This is NOT real-world stuff you're seeing here. By my calculations, the crops on your monitor are approximately equivalent to a 60"x90" print. So that is to say, no, I would not describe either lens as "quite soft."

I would test both at hyperfocus as well to see which one holds up
better.

I might just try that, though it'll take some creativity to set it up.

-Ben

Adam Barkow Senior Member • Posts: 1,113
Another disappointed Tamron 17-50 user

I got one yesterday and my initial reaction was positive, but after several test shots compared with the Nikon 17-55 I was extremely disappointed.

The Tamron focused terribly and the better images were at best soft. I was really hoping for something better.

The Nikon 17-55 is an AWESOME lens, but just a bit heavy for my taste. I will be sticking with the Nikon for now.

 Adam Barkow's gear list:Adam Barkow's gear list
Nikon D4 Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G +2 more
OP Ben Seese Veteran Member • Posts: 3,367
Re: I just received mine.. BUT...

dsl_r wrote:

my initial impression is not impressed. shots without flash are
fine... as sharp as 17-55 or close, but with flash, 17-55 will blow
the socks off the Tamron.

Huh? I've never heard of some lenses liking flash and other lenses liking non-flash. Could you please support this with some sort of evidence?

Then I compare the Tamron to my gf's
18-55... surprised! 18-55 is sharper.. well, the Tamron is going
back to the store tomorrow.. See ya Tamron!

Well, your 18-55 is sharper than your Tamron, and my Tamron is as sharp as my Nikon 17-55. So I guess that means that the $70 Nikon must be better than the $1200 one. Please understand that I can't really take your story seriously without seeing the results of your test myself.

-Ben

Adam Barkow Senior Member • Posts: 1,113
Re: Focusing

Hmmm...

Did you try the Tamron's MF?

Ben Seese wrote:
The manual focus ring of the Tamron is clearly inferior, but until
Nikon's viewfinders become usable, that's a non-issue for me.

-Ben

 Adam Barkow's gear list:Adam Barkow's gear list
Nikon D4 Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G +2 more
instamatic Veteran Member • Posts: 3,563
Ah, you work at Helix

Sorry I missed that. Well at one time some sales guy there tried to convince me that Tamron makes lenses for Nikon. I didn't buy anything then.

The second time I was shopping for a remote control for studio strobes and a safe sync adapter. When handed an adapter packaged as new in a clear plastic, I complained that it looks beaten up and clearly used. I was then handed a different one that looked ok - for the same price though.

The remote control lasted me less than a year after which it broke. Changing the battery didn't help - so yes, I sank $130 or so. So technically I wasn't cheated - I just acquired a low quality product that didn't meet expectations. I haven't bought anything at Helix since.

It's fine though. Perhaps I had bad luck. I noticed you guys have the Tamron 180mm Macro for a good price. It's tempting, very tempting - although I'm generally only open to buying genuine Nikon lenses. If I cave to the lust I might be stopping by on Saturday, if you're open.

Kind Regards,
Przemek

Ben Seese wrote:

instamatic wrote:

I noticed you're from Chicago. It is possible that Helix gave you
a defective/opened/returned 17-55mm Nikkor to play with.

They tried to take advantage of me twice before and once they
succeeded. I will never go there again, not to the store on Racine
at least.

Kind Regards,
Przemek

Uh, you didn't read my post clearly enough... I work at Helix.
I personally opened these lenses fresh from their boxes.

I'd love to hear off-board what your experiences were. The guys I
work with are very much on their customers' sides, and your story
is in conflict with what I understand of our decades-old reputation.

Thanks,
Ben

dsl_r Senior Member • Posts: 1,023
Re: Correction

Maybe I was a bit exaggerated or maybe I expected too much from Tamron after I saw your post

Well, it's not that bad.. what I want is a Nikkor 17-55 performance lens in a Tamron size and price Guess I'll stick with 17-55 for now...

OP Ben Seese Veteran Member • Posts: 3,367
Re: Focusing

Adam Barkow wrote:

Hmmm...

Did you try the Tamron's MF?

I didn't try using it for this test, no. I didn't have time or means to use & verify MF.

I don't have the lens in front of me at the moment, but as I recall, its focus ring has an incredibly short throw. That is, you only spin it a very short distance to go from minimum to infinity. Totally normal for Tamron. But again, who cares.

-Ben

Ben Seese wrote:
The manual focus ring of the Tamron is clearly inferior, but until
Nikon's viewfinders become usable, that's a non-issue for me.

-Ben

Crave Contributing Member • Posts: 885
Re: Correction

How bad was the pictures using the flash?!
Im sorry, but i didnt understand the problem!
Now i dont kwow if i shoud cancel my order, or if i shoul buy it!..
Could you post some pictures comparing the lenses?

D70 RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!

AdamT
AdamT Forum Pro • Posts: 58,986
Could Be ------->

The same "disease" which some found with the Sigma 18-50DC EX in that the lens didn't focus properly on the red striping the speedlights output (both Canon and Nikon), I can't see any other reason why a lens should focus differently (or be softer) when using flash or not ..

-- hide signature --

Please ignore the Typos, I'm the world's worst Typist

 AdamT's gear list:AdamT's gear list
Canon PowerShot G1 X Sony RX100 III Sony RX10 III
dsl_r Senior Member • Posts: 1,023
Re: Correction

It's not too bad but not as good as my Nikkor 17-55 nor 18-55. I suspect that Tamron doesn't have the chip which communicates well with Nikon's 3D matrix and fill-flash.

Crave Contributing Member • Posts: 885
Re: Correction

dsl_r wrote:

It's not too bad but not as good as my Nikkor 17-55 nor 18-55. I
suspect that Tamron doesn't have the chip which communicates well
with Nikon's 3D matrix and fill-flash.

I doubt that, all the new lens have the chip to measure the ligth for the ittl!

My Tamron 90mm is very cremy from f2.8 to about f4, maybe is this what you dont like?

I sold my kit lens to buy a better lens, and i really liked the result from Photozone, but now im connfused!

I cant buy a 17-55 2.8 that costs 1500 euros, my alternative is the tamron or the sigma 18-50 2.8 that cost around 400 euros!
Could you post some pictures from your test?

D70 RULES!!!!!!!!!!!

Paisley Regular Member • Posts: 126
Looks like you may have ruffled a few feathers here?

Ben,

Have you noticed the people unhappy and returning their Tamron 17-50’s have no pictures to post supporting their claim.

Looks like you've ruffled a few feathers here with your new, other than Nikon economy lens...

UPS should be dropping my new 17-50 at my door step any time now.

dsl_r Senior Member • Posts: 1,023
Re: Correction

I've used so many lenses but no lenses like Nikkors. The third-party lenses always tend to disappoint me. (maybe i was not lucky enough to grab the good copies.) well, Nikkor 17-55 is a great lens (if the size is smaller). No matter how good it is, i just leave it at home.

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