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01-14-2022, 05:04 AM   #1
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My broken Tamron SP 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF]

This lens and I have a lot of good memories; it was my on-body walkaround lens for about six years and is fantastic. Over Christmas, it broke and suddenly would not zoom -- the ring just turned around. I sent it to Tamron's official repair person in my country and got told "Fault reported: when zooming, the helicoidal barrel slip and the outer ring rotates without engaging and zooming. Lens is loose. Conclusion: Parts no longer available. Return unrepaired".

This is rather sad for me. Other copies are available but it is a great item and I'd love to buy a new one. A few random questions:

a) Are there any other good (UK) repair places that are likely to say something different?

b) Have Tamron officially stopped making K-mount lenses? Is this lens out of production? What would others recommend as a similar replacement? It is the first constant aperture zoom lens I have owned, and it was brilliant.

01-14-2022, 07:24 AM - 1 Like   #2
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My best guess is the cost of parts and labor to repair is greater than the value of the lens, so they just don't make those parts available. The zoom helicoid should be the same part across all mounts for that lens, so I wouldn't think it's a Pentax specific thing.

I'm not sure if the Tamron is still available new, but used copies are around, and I think you can still get the Sigma new. The Pentax 16-50 is available used quite cheaply, though with the worry of SDM failure always at hand. Of course it can be converted to screwdrive and ends up still being a fine lens.

On the other hand, if you don't really need the constant f2.8, you can get a Sigma 17-70 quite inexpensively, and it's a pretty brilliant lens. A Pentax 16-85 is a more expensive option that includes weather sealing and Pentax coatings. I use my 17-70 and 16-85 both more than my 16-50.
01-14-2022, 08:15 AM - 1 Like   #3
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The Tamron 17-50 is a bit famous for its flimsy build quality, unfortunately. It is not uncommon for copies to basically fall apart, for screws to get loose inside the camera, etc.

Amazon has a few copies in "Very Good" condition for 179 dollars and less. For just a bit more (still under 200) you can get used copies of the Sigma 17-50, which is a bit larger but better built by all accounts.

I personally have the SMC Pentax DA*16-50, I paid just a bit over 200 for my copy as it was converted to screw drive. I bought mine here in the forums Marketplace by placing a thread in the "Wanted" section. I like the lens a lot, and it seems very well built, and it's weather resistant (which the Tamron and Sigma aren't). Technically speaking, the Tamron and Sigma might be a bit superior as the Pentax is not great at 16mm and wide open (lots of CA at that setting) but it's not a concern for me because I don't use it wide open in harsh light. I like the look of the pictures better than the Tamron and Sigma, by quite a bit, which is why I went for this lens. The micro-contrast, I find, is better than with most primes by the time you shoot at f5.6-f11.

I find it hard to believe that your lens can be fixed for less than 200 so that is why I'm suggesting used copies of similar lenses...
01-15-2022, 06:15 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Landak Quote
b) Have Tamron officially stopped making K-mount lenses? Is this lens out of production?
I think the answers have to be 'yes' and 'yes'. There are no K-mount lenses in the Tamron catalog, and Tamron has not introduced a new K-mount lens in years (unless you count Pentax-badged versions of some of their full-frame lenses). Their efforts appear to be pivoting towards mirrorless and full-frame.

The 17-50/2.8 "Workhorse" was introduced in 2008 - it is very unlikely they would still be making such an old design and just not listing it in their catalog.


Last edited by THoog; 6 Days Ago at 01:35 PM.
01-17-2022, 01:57 AM   #5
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These are all very helpful replies – thank you so much. To cut a long story short, I bought on eBay the Pentax 16-50 Da* f/2.8, already converted to screwdrive (I don't know if that means that the SDM drive has already failed…) for about £180. I've got a separate Sigma 10-20 mm that I use for landscape photography and it doesn't matter to me so much if there's a bit of CA at 16 mm (though the Tamron was wonderful at 17 mm, it has to be said –*as long as you don't mind distortion!)

There are some repair videos on youtube about the Tamron lens. I might flog it for spares & repairs on eBay with a link to those in the description – someone with a JIS screwdriver and patients might be able to enjoy it ;-).
6 Days Ago   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Landak Quote
These are all very helpful replies – thank you so much. To cut a long story short, I bought on eBay the Pentax 16-50 Da* f/2.8, already converted to screwdrive (I don't know if that means that the SDM drive has already failed…) for about £180. I've got a separate Sigma 10-20 mm that I use for landscape photography and it doesn't matter to me so much if there's a bit of CA at 16 mm (though the Tamron was wonderful at 17 mm, it has to be said –*as long as you don't mind distortion!)

There are some repair videos on youtube about the Tamron lens. I might flog it for spares & repairs on eBay with a link to those in the description – someone with a JIS screwdriver and patients might be able to enjoy it ;-).
Nice, I hope you'll enjoy it. Having a WR lens is always a good thing.
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