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02-06-2012, 09:55 PM   #1
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Tamron 17-50 AF noise comparison?

I want to buy a fast mid-range zoom and am considering the Tamron 17-50 or the Sigma 17-50. Because of where I live, I will have to purchase the lens without having tried it.

The Tamron is my first choice, but I am concerned about the AF noise. I have a 35 f/2.4. How does the Tamron's AF noise compare to that lens's? I also previously owned the non-HSM Sigma 17-70. Same question.

Thanks for your help.

Jeff

02-06-2012, 10:43 PM   #2
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Tamron 17-50 (Pentax Mount) uses screw-drive AF, just as the 35 f2.4. The whirling sound during AF comes from the focusing motor in camera. They will tend to sound as loud as any other K-mount lenses utilizing screw-drive AF including the kit lens . At least they did on my K-x. Cheers!
02-07-2012, 06:58 AM   #3
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If you need to focus in a situation where silence is required,
you can also focus manually.
One trick is to focus at the tele end, and then zoom back to where you want.
The silence will be broken by the shutter noise.
02-07-2012, 07:41 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by K57XR Quote
The whirling sound during AF comes from the focusing motor in camera.
Thanks. i'd assumed that the noise was from the lens, not the camera, but checking my old 50-200, it's noisy too. I wonder why there have been so many comments about the Tamron's AF noise.

Jeff

02-07-2012, 07:52 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jeff Charles Quote
Thanks. i'd assumed that the noise was from the lens, not the camera, but checking my old 50-200, it's noisy too. I wonder why there have been so many comments about the Tamron's AF noise.

Jeff
Because people are comparing it to the DA* 16-50 which has SDM.
02-07-2012, 08:45 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
If you need to focus in a situation where silence is required,
you can also focus manually.
One trick is to focus at the tele end, and then zoom back to where you want.
The silence will be broken by the shutter noise.
Thanks.

The noise from my 35 f/2.4 is mostly a problem when it hunts or when it has to go from near to far focus or far to near. When I am taking several shots at the same distance, and the AF frame is on a good target, the noise is not a problem. I'd guess that the same factors would affect the Tamron's AF noise.

I've owned the Nikon version of the Tamron, but with the built-in motor. It is quiet but slow focusing. In the Nikon community, the prior non-motorized version, which I assume is the same as the Pentax version, is preferred for its faster AF.

The Sigma 17-50 is the obvious alternative, but are the added size, weight, and cost, with arguably no better optics, worth it in exchange for quiet focusing? I don't think there is much dispute about the facts - the comparative review on this site is excellent - so it comes down to personal preference. I did find the AF noise from the non-motorized Sigma 17-70 on my K100D and K10D very annoying, so maybe the Sigma 17-50 will be a better choice for me.

Jeff
02-07-2012, 08:53 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jeff Charles Quote
I've owned the Nikon version of the Tamron, but with the built-in motor. It is quiet but slow focusing. In the Nikon community, the prior non-motorized version, which I assume is the same as the Pentax version, is preferred for its faster AF.
The IQ of the earlier version is also supposed to be better.
02-07-2012, 09:39 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
The IQ of the earlier version is also supposed to be better.
You may be right, but I don't recall discussions of IQ differences between the non-motorized and motorized versions. The newer, image-stabilized version, however, is not as good.

02-07-2012, 09:46 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jeff Charles Quote
You may be right, but I don't recall discussions of IQ differences between the non-motorized and motorized versions. The newer, image-stabilized version, however, is not as good.
Right, that was the one I was thinking of.
Thanks for picking up on that.
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