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Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 17mm f/3.5 (51B/151B) Review RSS Feed

Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 17mm f/3.5 (51B/151B)

Reviews Views Date of last review
16 69,192 Tue October 2, 2018
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
69% of reviewers $178.27 7.13
Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 17mm f/3.5 (51B/151B)

Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 17mm f/3.5 (51B/151B)
Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 17mm f/3.5 (51B/151B)
Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 17mm f/3.5 (51B/151B)

"A very good ultra wide angle lens with excellent sharpness and contrast ...Notably, this lens has almost non-existent lateral color!
The later version (model (151B) features a cosmetic redesign and discarded the built-in filters as a cost savings measure. "

This lens was made in two versions. The earlier version 51B featured built-in filters for black and white photography. The later version 151B (pic 3) discarded the built-in filters and is a structural redesign of 51B, in the same style as the 01BB, 52BB. The optical design is unchanged.

Focal Length (mm) 17
Apature Maximum 3.5
Apature range 0
field of view 104
optical construction (elements / groups) 12/10
Coatings BBAR Multi layer
Minimum focus distance (mm from film plane) 250
magnification ratio 0
filter diameter NB the internal diameter of the front of the lens is 67mm but has NO thread: (mm) 82 F
"length( mm at infinity)" 43
maximum diameter (mm) 70
"weight (g)" 290

Need a cap? The B+W model 300-70 push on cap is a perfect fit.

Video comparison of Tamron 17mm with the Tokina 17mm (Sony apsc).
Mount Type: Third-party (adapter required)
Price History:

Add Review of Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 17mm f/3.5 (51B/151B)
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Junior Member

Registered: September, 2018
Posts: 27
Lens Review Date: October 2, 2018 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $196.00 | Rating: 1 

Pros: wide angle
Cons: little sharpness at all openings
Sharpness: 3    Aberrations: 3    Bokeh: 3    Handling: 3    Value: 3    Camera Used: pentax k1   

Hello everyone, I wanted to make some consideration about the 17mm adaptall2 3.5 tamron 151B: I bought it on ebay for 170, a figure that I do not consider economic, I did it mainly for landscapes and to exploit the depth of field but I was immediately disappointed by its lack of sharpness even in the center of the frame. Things are better with landscapes but with the close up it is better to let it go even if I have never used it at full aperture. I think I'll sell it again.
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2016
Location: central Iowa
Posts: 873
Lens Review Date: February 1, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $55.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: loves blue skies, sharp at f/8 or above - wonderful for landscapes
Cons: soft/unusable at f/3.5, problematic below f/8, awkward hood
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 6    Handling: 6    Value: 9   

I have the 151B variant. Bought it new/old stock at a closeout auction, with a box of other stuff; I don't think it had ever been used before. Used it during January 2018 for the "Single In Challenge" - which I would encourage you to consider trying. It's a wonderful way to get to know a lens and meet some great photographers.

The pros:
- Holy crap, does this lens love sky! Blue skies just explode off the frame, which is a really good thing for a lens designed for landscapes.
- Wide-angle landscape and nature shots are a joy with this lens. I found out, about 10 days in, that all I really had to do was set the focus on infinity, the aperture at f/8, and the rest would take care of itself if the lighting was sufficient. I know this is true of pretty much any ultra wide angle lens, but it was my first time experiencing it firsthand.
- at f/8 and above, sharpness was excellent. I didn't notice much falloff toward the edges, sharpness-wise, at those apertures.

The cons:
- Whoever designed the hood (which is affixed with two set screws, top and bottom) needs to be hung by their toenails. The hood is the only way to mount a filter on the lens, and so using it is kind of a necessity for protection's sake. But the hood itself is easily the most awkward design I've ever worked with - it tends to fall off, and putting it back on is a fiddly, time-consuming exercise. The hood also gets in the way when you use a flash - serious vignetting - and so flash work gets done with the lens unprotected.
- The lens is noticeably prone to flare. Sometimes the flare is attractive, but sometimes not. Of course, with the weird hood attachment, getting a longer hood to accommodate APS-C sensors is a nonstarter. So you live with it as best you can.
- forget about anything below f/8 if you care about sharpness at all. f/3.5 is unusable, as is anything up to f/7.1 (which is reaaaallly borderline, sharpness-wise).

That being said - this lens is a keeper. Within its limitations can deliver stunning photos, especially landscapes.

Some of my favorites from the month:

amateur dirt farmer

Registered: December, 2014
Location: probably out in a field somewhere...
Posts: 26,143

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 8, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: wide, well-built, color saturation
Cons: odd compromises, flare/loss of contrast
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 7    Value: 7    Camera Used: K-3   

a disclaimer to begin: I bought this lens to hopefully stave off the LBA urge to hunt down a DA15 Ltd....

I used this lens in the Single In Challenge for the month of September 2016.

I paid $100 for this UWA lens - it was an eBay 'best offer' and I was honestly surprised with the seller accepted the admittedly-low-ball offer... Lucille arrived and shows signs of use: the clear-plastic window over distance scale had been shoddily repaired, the barrel has some scars on it, as does the (nearly) impossible-to-find hood (more on the hood later) - I had to source a front lens cap from B&H (70mm push-on)and another Adaptall-2 P/KA adapter.... and then I was off!

This lens is deadly-sharp in the center, but falls off noticeably towards the edges, the coatings allow light to blow your contrast, and the focus ring is surprisingly narrow for a MF lens (and you will get your fingers in the shot if you aren't thinking about them). My copy also has four spots somewhere inside the assembly - I only noticed them in sky shots and then I have SnapHeal to thank for the corrections...

It is a well-built, tactile lens, heavy but with a nice feel to it. The lens cap has to be a slip-on, due to the protruding front element, so finding the right size is critical.

And the hood.....

I call it a Franken-hood - it is held on the barrel with tension, provided by two set-screws, which are mounted at 10 and 4 o' clock on the hood. It is a metal and composite affair that does a good job of helping restrict stray light from destroying your contrast. It is also threaded for filters (82mm), since the lens barrel is not threaded. But - and here it is - you have to choose: hood or cap, since Tamron could not see its way to provide a better way to protect the lens. The only way around this would be to thread an empty filter ring into the hood and use a pinch-cap that way, but adding more complexity to this mess. The hood also does a good job of making this large-ish lens even bigger and more difficult to stuff into your bag.

All that being said - if you can find a copy in good condition for a decent price, it is worth adding if you need an UWA lens.... and don't mind the Adaptall issue, the hood vs cap, and the narrow focus ring....

on second thought, I am glad that I didn't pay much for it because much more than the price I paid would have soured the taste in my mouth at the end of the month... so, with reservations, I can recommend the lens...

and the shots:

Tamron 151B on K-50 by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

Kamikaze by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

summer storm pano by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

morning light-trails by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

here is my flickr-album for the lens:

and, if you were still curious, I am no longer lusting after a DA15 Ltd - I just don't find the width that interesting to invest that amount of money for it...
New Member

Registered: September, 2012
Location: Belo Horizonte
Posts: 17
Lens Review Date: March 17, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $175.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Ultra wide
Cons: A bit soft at 3.5 across the board
Sharpness: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: canon 6d   

Overall, a very good lens ,
for those who do not want to pay $ 1,000 in OEM lens .

Very sharp stopped down 5.6 already has a very good sharpness
Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2014
Posts: 38

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 23, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: very well built, built-in filters, small size for an ultrawide, eye catching, too!
Cons: none from my perspective
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax Kx   

Like reviewer Jean below, I find it curious as to the diverse responses to this lens. Mine is excellent, and very sharp especially from about f5.6 to f11, where I normally use it, anyway. I gave it an 8 above, but it should be 8.5. No, it's not a Pentax 15mm, but it's still a terrific lens.

I have the older version of it, with the built-in filters, handy, sturdy, easy to use, and one of my most used lenses. Because I shoot a lot of film, as well as digital, it operates effectively on both types of cameras, and is a very modest 27mm lens on the CMOS sensor, about as wide as I use normally on a 35mm camera. That it can do double duty is a real plus. Its always with me when I travel.

On the digital sensor, it has the central area used for coverage, and thus is more than acceptably sharp. I use it often in place of my 10-20mm Sigma because it does double duty (my film MX is always with me, too, usually loaded with HP5) and it is half the size. I have great images full frame, too.

As with any ultrawide, you must be careful of flare and perspective distortion. I find this a useful, excellent lens and I recommend it highly.

Here is a couple of images from a recent trip I took to Powell River, BC. These are just snaps taken while walking - no tripod or other support. They're not great images, but a reminder of a nice trip, and from a travelogue perspective, more than acceptably sharp. Camera, Pentax Kx. ISO 400, both shots at 1/125 at f8. These images are 700 dpi on the long side, so don't give a true indication of the quality of image. The full file is much better, of course.

This image had the sun directly overhead, so I had to shade the hoodless glass with my left hand while I took the shot. There was considerable fog, so the image does have very little or no detail in the bright areas . . . .

Recommended. And if you have a bunch of cameras, so very useful, those Tamron mounts!
Veteran Member

Registered: June, 2010
Posts: 750
Lens Review Date: March 15, 2014 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: None indicated | Rating: 4 

Pros: cheap wide angle prime, good build quality
Cons: poor optical performance

I bought this lens long time ago, in a search for wide prime but I sold it quite quickly. Optically it didn't offer any advantage over DA16-45/4 which I had at a time...and when I bought K 18/3.5 (which was superior to both) the days of Tamron were counted. The only advantage of the lens was it was very cheap, but so are modern zooms da16-45 or 17-70 today and frankly both are better than this old Tamron prime, hence it doesnt make any sense to buy this anymore.
New Member

Registered: November, 2013
Location: Port Orchard, WA
Posts: 10
Lens Review Date: January 24, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Wide angle, metal construction.
Cons: No filter ring.
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 8   

My copy of this lens was purchased used with a decent amount of wear. It still is quite clean inside and all of the functions (including the selectable filters) work fine. I do not have the filter ring/hood and I have yet to modify the lens to accept filters or a hood. I have had no real problems with the lens without the hood.

This lens is quite rugged, but can be difficult to use. It can be difficult to determine where the focal plane lies in your frame and what areas of the image will be in focus. As with any wide lens like this, lens flare is a fact of life. Despite the exposed nature of the lens, this lens is quite free of fringing and CA--especially compared to some of my other lenses (including my Pentax-M 50/1.7). I have no use for the built in filters, and they are more of a novelty at this point. I have yet to make use of them in any real constructive way.

I wish I could say I used this lens more, but I don't. It could be me, it could be the lens. That being said, the lens does seem to do what it is supposed to with a reasonable level of quality, especially considering it is a wide-angle full frame lens.

Some samples:

Registered: April, 2011
Location: Lost in translation ...
Posts: 18,015

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 25, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp enough, build, wide even on APS-C, looks great on a K-5 ...
Cons: Filters, hood problem(s) ...
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 8    Camera Used: K-1 & K-5   


I recently acquired this lens (151B) and like what I have seen thus far. I need to shoot more outside and under differing conditions in order to evaluate it better, but for the moment it gets a temporary "8" overall rating.

What surprises me is the divergence of ratings for this lens ... Three ratings of "5" with "No" recommendations, and on the other hand, a few "9"s and a "10" ... with some very good sample images ... what gives?

EDIT : Here's my flickr album using the 17 on K-1 and a few images

Mayor's Office by Jean Poitiers, on Flickr

Couple leaving Saint-Hilaire le Grand by Jean Poitiers, on Flickr

Grave bouquet by Jean Poitiers, on Flickr

Older post content :

Here's what a 151B looks like on the K-5 ... J

Edit : here's a substitute hood solution if you do not have an original hood ... slide a 27A hood over the focusing ring of the 151B ...

Senior Member

Registered: February, 2011
Posts: 118
Lens Review Date: November 15, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $265.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp, great landscape lens
Cons: not friendly with screw-on filters
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

I have 151B version that doesnt come with built-in filters. Haven't had 51B.

I don't know why some say this is a soft lens but my copy seems to be quote sharp compared to other rectlinear wide angles.
It is definitely a lot sharper than FAJ 18-35 lens.

To me this lens presents great value and performance because a full-frame lens of this focal length is quite rare.
Find one from named european manufacturers will easily cost a ton of moolah.

It holds up quite well compared to other primes in the range, with excellent sharpness and contrast, at more than half'd the cost.
Some test results are posted here for comparison:

It allows you to get up close with min focus distance of just 25cm, but I mainly use it to shoot landscape with velvia or provia 100 on my film camera.

Highly recommended!
Junior Member

Registered: August, 2011
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 35

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 25, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $215.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Best aperture click-stops ever. No, seriously. Generally awesome build quality and handling, fun to shoot with.
Cons: soft, no filter threads (read on to get threads on yours)

here's how to get filters on it:
-buy a 67mm step-up ring to 72, 77, or 82mm. I used 82mm sicne that's the filter size specified on the lens. 67 is critical, as this fits perfectly inside the front of the lens and will ensure the ring is perfectly centered and flat
-epoxy ring onto end of lens. I used rubber cement
-add filters! If you keep the cementing clean, your filter ring won't even interfere with lens disassembly

lens with step-up ring

For all this lens's faults and the fact that I can't really get a decent picture out of it, I still love shooting with it. It just feels so good to use and It's pretty much the widest non-fisheye MF lens out there.

Registered: June, 2011
Location: Sacramento(formerly from B'Ham, England).
Posts: 1,424
Lens Review Date: October 11, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great for landscapes.
Cons: Can't attach filter.
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

Bought it used in Japan 29 years ago and have used it ever since, but not as much as I used it on a recent trip to Jamaica. On the K-5, it's more like a 24mm which came in handy for the wide landscapes I encountered and for pics of the Kids in the ocean with myself chest deep taking close-ups.

I would've used the warming filter, but I couldn't remember which one it was as I didn't have Internet in the hills.
Veteran Member

Registered: June, 2010
Posts: 750
Lens Review Date: July 1, 2011 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: None indicated | Rating: 5 

Pros: metal body, cheap
Cons: built in filters, image quality,

I 've used this lens for while alongside DA16-45 and K18/3.5. The Pentax lenses were visibly better. Tamron was soft even stoped down and pictures lacked detail, built in filters are not that useful for digital bodies. Stop down metering was pretty much wild guess.
The only advantage is that it's relatively cheap compared to other UWA primes, but maybe look for well regarded zooms like Tamron 17-50.
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2010
Location: California
Posts: 2,223
Lens Review Date: June 9, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $325.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Wide angle, no distortions, very sharp, easy to handle, great lens for architectural photo
Cons: A bit soft wide open, but that is it.

I am describing here the Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 17mm f/3.5 (151B), the one without the filters. I found this lens very easy to use, provide excellent and sharp images, a bit soft wide open. It works with my Pentax Kx wonderfully. I have not seen any of the bad stuff mentioned above, maybe because this is the 151B version of the lens. One image is worth 1000 words, so, I will let the images speak for themselves: (Please check the Exif data for more detail on how the photos were taken)

Mission Santa Barbara Chapel - HDR by Palenquero, on Flickr

Mission Santa Barbara Hall by Palenquero, on Flickr

Same image as above, but in HDR:

Mission Santa Barbara Hall - HDR by Palenquero, on Flickr

Santa Barbara Mission - HDR by Palenquero, on Flickr

Here are two photographs, taken using HDR (built in the Pentax Kx):

San Juan Bautista Hotel - HDR by Palenquero, on Flickr

San Juan Bautista Carriage Museum 2- HDR by Palenquero, on Flickr

Registered: January, 2007
Location: Warsaw
Posts: 338
Lens Review Date: May 16, 2010 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 5 

Cons: very soft, hood and big filter thread

I was totally dissapointed with that lens. I have DA 12-24/4 and tried to find FF lens which will be not worse that DA. Tamron is softer than DA at any aperture - center and edge.
Veteran Member

Registered: February, 2007
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 1,056
Lens Review Date: December 3, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $180.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Build quality, feel, looks badass ;)
Cons: Gigantic lens hood, can't mount filter on front

I had the version w/o the integrated filters. This lens is a decent performer optically, but being an ultrawide 35mm lens, there are a lot of compromises to get that wide. That said, this lens is great to use. It feels great in the hand, focuses very well, and it is easy to set hyperfocal distance because of the huge DOF and clear distance scale. FWIW it also looks awesome, with a huge, unwieldy lens hood that has a pair of metal screws sticking out the sides to hold it in place. Of course, that means you can't fit it in your bag easily (or put a cap on it). There also aren't any front filter threads, which always makes me nervous.
Add Review of Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 17mm f/3.5 (51B/151B)

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