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Tamron's SP AF17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II VC LD Aspherical [IF] is a high speed f/2.8 wide-to-moderate-telephoto zoom lens designed exclusively for Canon and Nikon-mount digital SLR cameras with smaller sensors. It covers the very popular 17-50mm focal length range (equivalent to 26-78mm in the full-frame 35mm format) making it extremely versatile. Its wide aperture and outstanding performance provide practical advantages in low-light shooting and aesthetic image control, thereby enriching the user’s range of creative expression.
The new lens delivers impressive sharpness and striking contrast over its entire focal-length and aperture range, and at its maximum aperture of f/2.8 it produces beautiful images enhanced by shallow depth of field, and smooth, natural transitions in out-of-focus areas of the image. The lens is equipped with Tamron’s proprietary Vibration Compensation (VC) image stabilization mechanism, which controls the effects of camera shake in three planes. VC provides more opportunities for sharp hand-held photography (up to 4-stops) at the slow shutter speeds needed when shooting in low-light conditions (e.g. night or indoor scenes) dramatically enhancing the user’s level of photographic freedom.
SP (Super Performance) Series Tamron SP (Super Performance) series is a line of ultra-high-performance lenses designed and manufactured to the exacting specifications demanded by professionals and others who require the highest possible image quality.
Vibration Compensation - In-Lens Image Stabilization System Tamron’s state-of-the-art VC system uses a tri-axial configuration that employs three pairs of driving coils and low-function ball bearings placed around the shake-compensating optical group to produce, in effect, a free-floating shake compensator. This simple, elegant system is able to compensate for camera shake that occurs in diagonal direction as well as for up-and-down and side-to-side movements, delivering top-notch performance in practically any shooting situation.
Internal Focusing (IF) System Internal focusing (IF) provides numerous practical benefits to photographers including a non-rotating front filter ring that facilitates the positioning of polarizing and graduated filters, and more predictable handling because the lens length does not change during focusing. Even more important, Tamron’s Internal Focusing (IF) system provides a much closer minimum focusing distance (MFD) throughout its entire focusing range. In addition, IF improves optical performance by minimizing illumination loss at the corners of the image field, and helps to suppress other aberrations that become more troublesome at different focusing positions.
Abundance of Special High-grade Glass Materials Special XR (Extra Refractive Index) glass is used to minimize various optical aberrations while decreasing the physical length of the lens. The optimum placement of three compound aspheric elements also results in a more compact optical system overall while maintaining uniformly high imaging performance. Two LD (Low Dispersion) lens elements are also employed to effectively correct axial chromatic aberrations (particularly important at the longer focal lengths), and chromatic aberrations of magnification, which occur primarily at the wide-angle end. The adoption of these high-grade glass materials ensures extraordinarily sharp images throughout the zoom range.
Zoom Lock (ZL) Tamron’s Zoom Lock (ZL) mechanical engineering is a simple convenience feature that prevents undesired extension of the lens barrel when carrying the camera/lens unit on a neck strap.
Digitally Integrated (Di-II) Lens Optimized for APS-C Format Digital SLR Cameras Tamron Di-II lenses are engineered expressly for digital SLR cameras with image sensors commonly referred to as APS-C, measuring approximately 24mm x 16mm. Rendering an ideal image circle for APS-C sensors, Di-II lenses also include properties to optimize digital imaging performance.
Pros: Super sharp photos Excellent in low light All around wonderful lens
Cons: A little heavy but not too heavy. Would be nice to be a little longer than 50mm.
Other Thoughts: I purchased this lens (VC model) a month after it was introduced. It is coupled to my D80. What a lens! I have forgotten all about the Nikon kit lens. I have taken some pictures that are so sharp, my wife says they look fake. Too sharp for portraits without resetting the camera quality - shut down the vivid setting a little. Then, it works well. 50mm is a little short sometimes. It takes sharp pix throughout the aperture and zoom ranges. There is barrel distortion (curvy trees and buildings) at the extreme horizontal limits that can usually be fixed with software. This lens is my walk-around lens and I would recommend it to anyone.
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12/4/2010 8:38:46 AM
Tech Level: 5/5
Rating: 4/5fantastic value
Pros: Price compared to Nikon lenses. Very sharp. Light weight.
Cons: Not as quick focusing as the Nikkor, Not as sharp as the Nikkor.
Other Thoughts: This is my go to lens on my D90. Note - I have the previous version without vibration reduction. This lens is nice and sharp. The slowness in focus (most common complaint) is overstated in my opinion. Unless you are a pro wedding photographer, this is the fast normal zoom to have for Nikon crop cameras.
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.
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