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Tamron SP AF XR LD Aspherical IF Di II 17-50mm F2.8 Review RSS Feed

Tamron SP AF XR LD Aspherical IF Di II 17-50mm F2.8

Sharpness 
 9.0
Aberrations 
 8.5
Bokeh 
 8.1
Handling 
 8.2
Value 
 9.1
Reviews Views Date of last review
90 323,079 Fri January 12, 2024
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
93% of reviewers $337.65 8.49
Tamron SP AF XR LD Aspherical IF Di II 17-50mm F2.8

Tamron SP AF XR LD Aspherical IF Di II 17-50mm F2.8
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Tamron SP AF XR LD Aspherical IF Di II 17-50mm F2.8
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Tamron SP AF XR LD Aspherical IF Di II 17-50mm F2.8
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Tamron SP AF XR LD Aspherical IF Di II 17-50mm F2.8
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Description:

The Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical [IF] is a lightweight, compact, and fast standard zoom lens designed exclusively for APS-C digital SLR cameras.


Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF]
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
APS-C
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
No
Diaphragm
Automatic, 7 blades
Optics
16 elements, 13 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F2.8
Min. Aperture
F32
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
No
Min. Focus
27 cm
Max. Magnification
0.22x
Filter Size
67 mm
Internal Focus
Yes
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 78-31 ° / 67-27 °
Hood
Included
Case
Lens Cap
Included
Coating
Multi-coated
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Zoom Lock
Diam x Length
7.4x8.1 mm (2.9x3.2 in.)
Weight
430 g (15.2 oz.)
Production Years
to 2018
Pricing
USD current price
$434 USD at launch
Engraved Name
Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF]
Product Code
A16
Reviews
User reviews

Price History:



Add Review of Tamron SP AF XR LD Aspherical IF Di II 17-50mm F2.8
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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 90
New Member

Registered: May, 2022
Location: Ho Chi Minh City
Posts: 9
Review Date: January 12, 2024 Recommended | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Wide aperture, well built, sturdy, good color, very capable in most situation
Cons: sharpness,
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5   

I have this lens for about a year and a half, this is the most common lens I can find and also the cheapest f2.8 zoom in the market. This is a very good lens overall, suitable for most style of photography. I've been used this lens for party, portrait, travel, landscape and its can handle every situation exceptionally. Its also able to handle ghosting and flares very well.

However there are cons to this lens and mostly because of the sharpness, this lens is sharp from F4.0 to F8.0, if I take a shot with an aperture outside of this range, the image will be very blurry. Some will find the sharpness of this Tamron lens satisfiable but I would want it to be sharper.
   
New Member

Registered: November, 2018
Posts: 24

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: April 17, 2022 Recommended | Price: $196.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Light, easy to handle, sharp.
Cons: The mechanics
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: Pentax KP   

Purchased only for the paltry cost, planning to replace it in the near future with a professional lens.After 4 years of use I am convinced that I have a good lens and for sure I will not replace it.I also own a Pentax-DA * 50-135mm F2.8 and the image quality compared to the Tamrom 17-50I don't find it better.
   
Junior Member

Registered: January, 2017
Posts: 27

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: January 9, 2022 Not Recommended | Price: $180.00 | Rating: 3 

 
Pros: Sharpness (at times), compactness and balance (with a K5)
Cons: Loud and inconsistent autofocus, green tinge to photos, lens Jams up
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 2    Value: 9    Camera Used: K5ii, K100d Super   

This lens can get very good pictures when everything aligns. When the focus is right, sharpness and image quality are great, although can accent the greens a bit too much. However, I want to highlight 2 major issues:

1. Autofocus is terribly inconsistent. It often misses focus, especially if light is at all low. This means shots are often very soft, undercutting the potential sharpness. I got a much higher keeper rate with the 18-135. Also, the autofocus is noisy - and when it is noisy and inaccurate, there is truly nothing to like about the autofocus.

2. There is a screw inside the lens which keeps getting loose and locks the zoom up. I've had to take the lens apart twice to reattach the screw, and I can feel it starting to catch a third time. Too much cost cutting with this lens. Because of its decent wide open performance, I plan to lock the whole lens to 17mm @ infinity focus, and use it only as an Astro lens for Milky way shots.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2008
Location: Detroit MI, USA
Posts: 508

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: June 18, 2021 Recommended | Price: $125.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp wide open, sharp corners
Cons: No built in AF, No Weather sealing
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5 K20D   

Set this lens to f/4 or higher and it’s very sharp corner to corner throughout the focal range. Set to f2.8 it’s not much different just slightly lower sharpness in the corners but the corners are still good; again throughout the focal range. Something almost all Standard zooms struggle with, but not this lens. Chromatic aberration including purple fringing are low. I don’t have to deal with them in PP if I don’t want to. The CA/PF performance is at least as good as my Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5 lens. This lens can replace a normal prime or two in your travel camera bag to free up space and lower weight a little. Say the 35mm f2.4, 50mm f1.8 or f1.7. With near equal light transmission and sharpness. The lens has nice rendering, With nice contrast and rich but neutral colors.

It’s constant f2.8 aperture gives a bright viewfinder through its zoom range. It’s a major benefit in low light along with increased shutter speed and or lower ISO. Plus this lens is very good at f2.8, peaking around f5.8. It’s a Pro lens in terms of speed and optically. Build quality is above the kit, but below lens such as the Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5. Perhaps it’s light weight unfairly makes it seem less well built than it is. After all light weight was a design goal of Tamron in this lens. Tamron uses 6 high-quality lens elements to reduce size and weight.

Not many negatives, it doesn’t have a built-in auto-focus motor or shake reduction but that’s built into the Pentax body. The only real negative for me is the lack of weather sealing. However, this and the sigma 17-50mm f2.8 are the best standard third party walk around zooms (~17-50-18-55) out there IMO. The Tamron is equal to the Sigma optically according to most pro reviews, but the Tamron cost less and is notably smaller and lighter a plus in my aging opinion.

ADENDUM
I now own both the Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX lens and the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8. The above still holds as the Tamron is slightly better wide open. The Sigma is slightly better above f/2.8. The Sigma is heavy, but well built, it is the more reliable of the two according to user reviews. The Tamron inners are plastic, the Sigma metal. Little to choose from really IQ wise. Sigma offers in lens AF, Tamron Screw drive. Probably the biggest difference.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: November, 2014
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 1,749

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: January 10, 2020 Recommended | Price: $275.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp; Budget; Decent Construction
Cons: no weather sealing
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-30   

I got this lens to replace my DA WR 18-55 kit lens that came with my K-30. As kit lenses go, it was a great lens, but I ran up against the limitations of the slow and variable aperture, and wanted something sharper. And boy, does this deliver!

If you need one well built, sharp, dependable, fast standard zoom lens, this is the one to get. Fantastic results. It doesn't have the same pop as some of the limited lenses, but it offers a lot. When I went back to my kit lens for a while, I really noticed the difference in quality. Another pro, it might be out of production but the new price is really low and comes with the longest warranty I've ever seen for a lens!

Cons: I think the 50mm of this lens is a bit shorter than 50mm, comparing it to some other lenses I have. It may be more like a 45mm. Also, the "T-stop" of this lens may be closer to 3.2 than 2.8, and its a bit darker than comparable lenses.
   
New Member

Registered: April, 2015
Posts: 11
Review Date: July 5, 2019 Not Recommended | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 2 

 
Pros: Sharpness
Cons: Very slow AF; only useful for still objects.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 1    Value: 2    Camera Used: K-30   

Very slow AF.
   
New Member

Registered: May, 2018
Posts: 10
Review Date: April 30, 2019 Recommended | Price: $169.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Sharp, lightweight
Cons: None yet
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-5   

1 Year Update:
Took me a while to realize it, but I had a bad copy of this lens. I noticed a persistent front focusing issue with this lens, most noticeable when I was shooting portraits. Could not correct it in the settings of my K-5. Purchase price plus repair cost, I decided it wasn't worth keeping and went for the Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 DC EX HSM instead.

Downgrading my rating to 6 due to Tamron's poor QC with this lens.


If you get a good copy, it provides excellent value for the money. Picked this up from KEH (Excellent) for $169. Agree with other posters that its a little soft wide open, but not terribly so. Stopping down 1-2 stops sharpens things up quickly.

I'm impressed by the ability of this lens on my K-5 to handle tricky lighting. I did not experience any hunting at all when getting this shot:

   
Forum Member

Registered: April, 2018
Location: Tartu
Posts: 82
Review Date: December 20, 2018 Recommended | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharpness - Close focus
Cons: autofocus issues
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 6    Handling: 7    Value: 8    Camera Used: K50 and K3   

Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 SP AF XR LD Aspherical IF Di II

My thoughts after 7 months.

Ergonomics and design
  • The zoom ring is sometimes a little stiff. (it doesn't really affect my photography, but it feels a bit odd.)
  • The focus ring moves almost too easily and has a throw of ONLY 60 degrees!!! Be extremely careful when using manual focus.
  • It is quite a bit bigger and heavier than the kit lens and extends a lot @50mm.
  • Rubber grips seem quite good. They don't slide and aren't loose.
  • The hood is small, but then again you couldn't use a bigger one with 17mm. It's def. a plus and you can mount it backwards on the lens.
  • There's also a small zoom ring lock which only works @17mm. It's not useful, because the zoom ring is sticky enough. I've never had the need to use the lock.
  • No seals anywhere. Dust gets in. Wouldn't take it out in rain.

Optics
  • The sharpness of this lens is exceptional. It's not quite DA*50-135 or prime level, but almost. Even the corners are good.
  • At f2,8 it's a bit hazy, but from f4 it's very sharp.
  • The bokeh is lackluster for my taste. It does show some onionrings and the background never gets buttery smooth. It always has a hectic feel to it.
  • I feel as if the front element is a bit soft - it can get more easily scratched than other lenses.
  • When it flares, it flares hard and ugly.
  • Ch. aberrations are noticeable at times.

Autofocus
  • No in-body motor. It uses a noisy screwdrive mechanism.
  • The AF is quick and snappy. Better on the K3 than the K50.
  • Sometimes it has a hard time acquiring focus and starts hunting.
  • The mayor problem: lack of quality control?
    I've read the reviews on the internet and many copies of these lenses across all mounts show one common problem: this lens misfocuses differently on different focal lengths. This means you can only calibrate this lens to have accurate focus on one focal length. On my copy the difference between 17 and 50 is an microadjustment span of over 120qm. This is insane. Out of paranoia, I even checked the internals of this lens. Everything seemed fine, no loose flex cables.
    Please consider this when buying!!!!! Definitely test it out before buying.


It's a great value lens that beats the much more expensive DA*16-50 F2.8 in sharpness.
Just know that it might not provide as good of a look and lacks all the premium features of the DA* lens.
If you can find it used for under 150$ it's a steal. Definitely recommended at that price. And whenever possible: test it out for AF issues before buying.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: November, 2014
Posts: 366
Review Date: December 14, 2018 Recommended | Price: $85.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very sharp, excellent IQ
Cons: Build quality (loose screws)
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K3 & K-S2   

I love this lens and can't believe I got it on Craigslist for only $70 last year and only needed to add a lens hood for $15 more.

The image quality is top-notch but the build quality is shaky. The zoom mechanism was a little loose and would not register an accurate focal length on the camera when I first got it (but the images looked amazing). I dared to take it apart and found the loose screws and put it back together with a prayer that it would still work and I was not disappointed. Some other screws on the filter ring got loose that I had to tighten up as well.

Even so it is certainly worth the money.

I took this single frame 150 second Astro-trace photo of the Milky Way in July at Cherry Springs State Park in Pennsylvania.
   
New Member

Registered: November, 2016
Location: Alpes du Nord - FRANCE
Posts: 1
Review Date: December 2, 2018 Recommended | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, Constant F
Cons:
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K5 and K3   

Hi,

This is a really good and cheap lens.

This is my first review, for me picture can explain why i considering this lens.

K3 + 17-50 @F4 ISO100
K5 + 17-50 @5.6 ISO400
   
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2017
Location: Sofia
Posts: 947
Review Date: August 27, 2018 Recommended | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, light weight, fast focus
Cons: none for me
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K500   

Compared wit my kit lense DAL 18-55, this one is a level hiher. It is as sharp as the kit on 2.8 and much faster ofcours. From 4.0 it is extreamly sharp and dhe 27 sm. focusing distanse makes it almost macro lense. I didn't believed it untill I tried it. My pease is very stabel with no comlains on handling. It is the closest to the universal lens I can imagine and is perfect walkarownd lense for me. I'm very happy to have it. hihly recomand it.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: December, 2013
Posts: 796
Review Date: July 7, 2018 Recommended | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp, flare resistant
Cons: Focus accuracy, cheap build, bad quality control
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 7    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-30   

This lens is sharp. My copy was extremly sharp from F3.2 for a zoom. Altough the official pentax and tamron service couldn't set the focus calibration correctly for my lens. (I sent back the first copy with the same fault.) This lens feeles cheap even after handling a DAL kit lens. The hood is soft and the touch of the focus ring is bad. However the lens optically is very good. When I changed to a DA*16-50, I missed the sharpness and flare resistance of the tamron. Altough the DA* has some magic and a more plesent creamy bokeh.

Here are some images:
IMG150906_0019 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG150813_0028 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG150511_0015 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG150529_0012 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG0141_150405 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG0003_150314 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG0188_150404 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG0033_150405 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr
   
Junior Member

Registered: January, 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 32
Review Date: November 28, 2017 Recommended | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Light weight, Price, Sharpness
Cons: Manual focusing, no aperture ring
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K30, K70, KP   

Good built quality for the price. At 17mm, very sharp, but a little bit too much distortion and vignetting. At 50mm, less sharp.
Very light lens for a 17-50/2.8.
Excellent value. In terms of image quality, very close to Pentax DA Limited 20-40/2.8-4.0, and slightly better than Sigma 17-70/2.8-4.0 C,
The focusing ring is not very good (too light, short course), as most autofocus lenses.
   
Forum Member

Registered: November, 2013
Location: Queensland, Australia
Posts: 87
Review Date: June 19, 2017 Recommended | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Image quality, Contrast,
Cons: Low light AF,
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: KS1 K200D   

I've had this lens for about three years now, and was my first upgrade from the kit lens. Comments have been made regarding the build quality but I've felt it has been robust enough for my needs over those years.
The image quality, contrast and AF are fantastic in good light. Thankfully in Australia we have that in plentiful supply.

Low light will let you down at times, and the overall results can be a bit patchy. When it's good it's good... etc. I've just purchased the DA 15mm HD limited, so it will be interesting to see if the results from that lens exceed the Tamron.

It is fantastic value for money, especially when compared to the Pentax/Sigma comparable zoom lenses.





   
Veteran Member

Registered: February, 2010
Location: California
Posts: 1,602
Review Date: March 20, 2017 Recommended | Price: $299.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Cost/value, color rendition, low aberrations
Cons: AF which I thought was very poor
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 8    Camera Used: K5ii   

I may have received an abnormal copy but the AF was very poor. I initially thought it was front focusing so I did a FF test and the results were all over the place. I did the battery test and used a tripod and could not get consistent results even in a very well lit situation. Using the lens in real world situations also produced inconsistent photos. When the focus did lock in and was not front focusing the photos were very nice and sharp. The color was always very good and the aberrations were very low even when shooting against a clouded sky. I noticed the AF issues would occur mostly in low-light situations and would occur much less in well lit environments. I know many other owners have had a better experience with the lens and I consider my copy an abnormality so I still recommend this lens to others who want an upgrade from their kit lens, especially at the price point. I am however, exchanging the lens for the Sigma 17-50.
Add Review of Tamron SP AF XR LD Aspherical IF Di II 17-50mm F2.8



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