tamron 17-50 focus speed on d80

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by kaiyen, Mar 11, 2007.

  1. All,

    So I, like many, am torn between the tamron 17-50 and nikon 17-55. After this
    wedding season, I can afford the 17-55, but it'll hurt :).

    I've read the reviews of the 17-50. But what about focusing speed, specfically
    on the d80? I know it's not an AFS lens, but nothing abnormal of note? I will
    have to spend some time thinking about it, obviously, but am looking for
    anything weird.

  2. I am not making a strong recommendation here, but I am suggesting that you look at a few lens reviews if you are unsure.
    eg http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/1855.htm. This is a very reasonably priced lens ( in the range you are thinking of ) and although some people tend to rubbish any lens that doesnt cost a fortune, This kit lens is worth a look. At 55 mm it actually outperforms the expensive 17-55.
    If you can easilly afford the more expensive then do it. But if your money is tight then maybe think about something more affordable. After all you never know what can happen. It is good to keep some money in reserve for those little emergencies which can arise from time to time.
    Just my $0.02
  3. If you were shooting for yourself for fun, I would suggest you get the Tamron if money was an issue. As you are using it for weddings where you are getting paid for your work, stick with the Nikon lens. You need the best. Your clients deserve the best. Charge a little bit more on a couple of weddings and the extra cost of the lens will be paid for. It will last you a lifetime and give you the kind of results you expect. Averaged out for the number of years you own it or the number of events you shoot with it, the extra cost is minimal.
  4. Mark,

    Allen needs a fast pro lens if he's going to shoot weddings professionally. The 18-55 won't
    cut it. WAY too slow at the long end.

    Get the Nikon. You'll sell it someday for near what you paid for it, that is decidedly NOT true
    of third-party lenses.
  5. The Tamron at 2.8 across the range is fairly fast, and it focusses quickly as well. It has tested out with some of the highest MTF figures ever recorded in this type of lens. It's very solid, but not like a brick. PhotoZone has a full review...

    I love mine. It's very solid. It's not a Nikon. The resale won't be as good. Will the clients be moved to say, "Love this picture, but the sharpness is off."? No. I just blew up a portrait of my daughter to 10X15 and it's beautiful. It could go a whole lot larger. How many wedding photos get significantly enlarged (10X15; 16X20)anyway? Even so, the Tamron will handle this easily.

    I will say a few times before cleaning the contacts my Tamron caused an F-- warning. But that's history.

    All things considered, I think the Tamron is a great buy.
  6. I went through the same dilemna recently and chose the Nikon. The lens is everything you
    could want - fast, quiet focussing, metal lens barrel, nice locking lens hood, good
    sharpness wide-open, nice bokeh with its 9-blade rounded aperture.

    The Tamron - the only third party lens I've ever purchased was the Tamron 28-75 2.8
    back when that
    lens was getting the kind of good press that the 17-50 2.8 is currently getting. I ended
    up selling it as it wasn't as sharp as I needed it to be at f2.8. I'm not sure of the 17-50's
    performance wide-open, but for weddings/low-light events that could be a factor.

    As far as Nikon's 18-55 mentioned, looks good for the money but it's too slow.

    lens reviews, I'd look at
    PhotoZone rather than Ken Rockwell's site. Here is Mr. Rockwell,
    boasting about not using lenshoods: "Optional HB-33 bayonet hood not included. I'd never
    use it, so forget about it." Can you imagine telling newbie photographers who read
    your website to forget about using lenshoods? I don't get it.

    As far as focussing speed, the Tamron 28-75 that I had focussed fast enough, but slightly
    noisy, not near silent like the AF-S lens.

    Lastly, Bill's point about the lens contacts, and F-- warning with
    the 3rd party lens: There's something to be said for 100% compatability that a genuine
    Nikkor provides.
  7. Thanks for the input.

    Still a tough call. I will try them both out at the store for focusing speed and see how it goes. I am very impressed with the results from the 17-50, and while I _know_ the Nikon is stellar, I don't care that much about resale value and if the focusing is even close then I see no reason to spend that much on the Nikon.

    It gives me money to get, say, a 2nd SB800 or put towards another D80...or maybe a D200.

  8. Nothing like checking it out in the store. The focussing on the Tamron is much quieter than the shutter on the D80. I couldn't afford the competing Nikon glass anyway, but I used the Photozone to find/compare/purchase the Tamron. I always use the locking petal style hood that comes standard. Not that it matters, but my Tamron is made in Japan.
  9. I purchased a Tamron 17-50mm last summer, since I did not want to buy and tote the weighty 17-55mm nikon around. The particular Tamron lens I got was not crystal clear at anything other than 50mm, and the edge sharpness left an awful lot to be desired. On the other hand, the color was beautiful, and it focused close enough to objects to give some macro capabilities without swapping lenses. I very badly wanted it to work, but in the end I returned it, and am still looking for the right lens for me.

    My two cents: If you don't mind the weight of the 17-55mm, and it's in the budget, that's the lens you should get, especially if you are doing wedding photos with it also.

    If you decide to go with the Tamron, you must try a few samples to make sure you get a good one.

  10. Markus,

    I hear you, and those are the reasons why I'm still thinking about the Nikon. The 17-50, by the way, is supposed to be as about as sharp at almost all apertures as they come. One of the best Tamron has made. Photozone actually rates it as almost off-the-chart, actually. However, that's not my fear. My concerns are, indeed, about the benefits of AFS, the silent focusing, the build quality, etc.

    I'm still trying to figure it out. We'll see.

  11. Janet,

    Definitely sound advice. At the least, the Photozone review indicates that if one can get a good sample, they are seriously, seriously good.

    But I probably won't buy it until August or so anyway, so I'll make my decision then. Lots of time to try them both out.

  12. Ritz allows 30 days return on lens purchases. I bought both the Sigma 18 to 50 and the Nikon 17 to 55, knowing that I wouldn't keep them both. If you have the time to devote to it, you can test the lenses side by side doing what you do for a few days. Or you could buy the Tamron flavor and test that to see if it meets your needs, and if not, return it and buy the Nikon. Or vice versa.

    As to the increased resale value of the Nikon: what will happen to its value if Nikon does indeed introduce a full frame sensor camera? The DX format lenses will become obsolete on its highest end cameras in a few years. It's a gamble, as is any decision you make.
  13. Mark Evans, I've seen the reviews on the 18-55m and it looks like a good lens for the cheap price, however one thing prevents me from even looking at it: the lens ring rotates as it focuses. This means no easy way to use circular polarizer or ND grad filters without adjusting constantly.
  14. all - this is a very late reply but I got to try the 17-50 from Tamron up against the 17-55 from Nikon in store for quite a while on my D50, which of course has a slower focusing system than the D80 I eventually hope to get.

    First, the 17-50 focuses very quickly, even in relatively low light (I mean, I didn't try really low light - the D50's limitations come into play there). You give it decent contrast and it's fast. Distortions seems minimal on the shots I took and it is a sharp lens. It stacks up well against the 17-55 and if I wanted a roughly 28-70 equivalent I would seriously consider the 17-50.

    If I had two D80's or D200's for weddings, I'd consider the 17-50. But since I will soon have "just" a D80 with my D50 as my backup, I continue to lean towards the 17-55. But I will see. The 17-50 is a very nice lens.

  15. haven't tried the tam 17-50 but i was so impressed with the 28-75 on my d80 i started thinking about getting that one too. apparently these two, along with the tamron 90mm macro lens, are among the best lenses available for nikon users, really fitting that niche between value-minded pros and advanced amateurs. the 90mm sp consistently gets better reviews than the nikkor 105mm vr for sharpness, the 17-50 is said to be tack-sharp as well, and the 28-75 is already a staple in many pro bags. btw, the sigma 18-50 f/2.8 macro even outperformed the nikkor 17-55 according to pop photography's tests, so the nikkor may be a bit overrated, or at least overpriced...

    the one thing you will definitely get with the nikkor over the tamron and the sigma is better build, but then for the price, you could get three tamrons or sigmas and still have money left over for filters.
  16. Well, Popular Photography tests never seemed...I don't know. I never really trust them. The 17-55 seems very sharp to me, with excellent contrast, and the AFS is very fast. It _is_ possibly/probably? overpriced. If it was maybe $800, I would be a lot more comfortable getting it over the Tamron. At this point, I"m not upgrading until the next season so I am waiting.

    The build on the Tamron is actually quite nice, FWIW. But yes, I could get a heckuva lot getting the Tamron over the Nikon, and _several_ wedding photogs use the Tamron 28-75 in their bags, so it's not like that lens lost out to the Nikon 28-70 on a regular basis for pros, either.

    I am thinking, right now, for the 17-50, which would then allow me to get a 2nd SB-800 as well. And still be less than the 17-55.

  17. After reading lots of reviews, I just ordered a Tamron 17-50mm DiII from Sigma4Less. I too will be using it for weddings.

    If you don't have backups to your other equipment, such as a second SB800, I would definitly recommend getting the Tamron over the Nikon and getting backup equipment with the leftover money if you are shooting weddings. Also, a second SB800 can really add a lot to your formal group shots, just be sure you don't use your new f/2.8 lens at f/2.8 for those or someone will be out of focus.
  18. I delayed the purchase of Tamron 17-50 for nearly a year waiting for the Tokina 16-50 to come out. The recent review of Tokina at photozone convinced me that the Tamron was better thant the Nikon and the Topkina, regardless of the price? Why? Simply because the optical quality matters to me more than the build quality!

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