Tamron 17-50 vs Nikkor 17-55

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by acute, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. On a DX Format camera, comparing the Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II VC LD Aspherical (IF) Lens to the Nikkor AF 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX, are these two lenses really so very different that anyone pursuing excellence (or at least not willing to compromise), should not even consider the Tamron?
     
  2. Of course you should consider it. Probably the biggest difference is going to be in the ruggedness of the lenses. If you're out regularly working with the lens, and need it to work despite the knocking around and inevitable lumps, bumps, moist weather, etc. that heavier-duty use presents, then the Nikon lens is probably going to hold up better. For some shooting styles, the vibration control feature on the Tamron (which the Nikon doesn't have) may make a bigger difference than any other feature. After all, what good is the Nikon's stellar optics if you can't hold it still enough at the shutter speeds you use? If you can, handling them each in person will probably tell you more than anything else.
     
  3. On the otherhand you can buy several Tamrons for the same price as the Nikkor. An other advantage of the Tamron is the weight, lack of. On a good body the AF speed is good, screw driver AF, much better as the motordriven newer and VC lens.
     
  4. If the solution to the Tamron being more fragile is to buy more than one, that only really helps if you take more than one with you. Any lens can fail in the field, obviously. But in practical terms the biggest problem with a failed lens is that it fails when you actually need to be using it.
     
  5. Here's a good place to start.
    http://www.bythom.com/1750lens.htm
     
  6. I have used the Nikon 17-55 for years. I love the lens so much that when my wife dropped it at a wedding I sent an assistant to get a replacement on the spot. I could tell you the exact frame she went back to shooting with the 17-55 (coming from a Tamron 28-105 back up). We also have the Tamron 17-50. I really, really wanted to like this lens. More so for budget events when I didn't want to bring out the big guns. But in all honesty, after having shot with the 17-55 all this time, I just don't care for the Tamron. Every time I bring it out I am disappointed. Now I suspect that if I hadn't shot thousands and thousands of frames with the Nikon 17-55, then I might not be so disappointed in the Tamron. But I have, so I am. It is a matter of you get what you pay for.
     
  7. The Tamron has VR (VC), while Nikon is yet to release a VR version (assuming they ever will).
     
  8. I have the Tamron VC version and find it to be excellent, fast, sharp, solid. I only handled the Nikon 17-55 in the store so have no other experience with it. I shoot lower light concerts and the VC sure does help.
     
  9. DISCLAIMER: I have no experience with the Tamron, only the Nikon.
    Here's my thought: I've shot with the 17-55 for a few years now, first renting, then purchasing...
    Since I've owned the lens, it rarely leaves the camera body. It's so versatile, sharp, and well built that I use it for nearly every type of shooting I do.
    RS
     
  10. I don't think there is that much if any IQ between the two. As far as build goes, the Nikon my be stronger, but I have the Tam 17-50. A few weeks ago after a high school sr shoot, I left it outside on a ledge 3 ft above the pavement. If was left out for a few days and rolled off the ledge hitting the pavement. Thinking I was going to have to file an insurance claim, I burshed the sand off and put it on and shot another session with no problems. There wasn't even a dent on the body, no damage at all. So I'm very happy with the build of the Tam and with it's IQ.
     
  11. the IQ is very similar. older version of the tamron is sharper wide-open. tamron has a lot of distortion @17mm, 2.8. the nikkor has much better build and is faster-focusing. it's also a lot heavier so you may want to take how the lens will balance on the camera before you purchase. the 17-55 is better suited for pro bodies, although a grip will help on plastic bodies.
    i had the tamron for 3 1/2 years before it was recently stolen, used it on d80 and d300. perfect lens for street shooting, also good for events/PJ stuff. IMO the size was a plus, and the IQ was good enough that sharpness was never an issue. the build looked a lot cheaper than it actually was. i'm probably going to get another one at some point.
     
  12. I just got the Nikkor 17-55 for use on a 300s. I am finding that infinity focus is more difficult than I would have guessed, especially for a $1500 lens. I am shooting RAW in Neutral mode and have been experimenting between AF and manual focus. Can't seem to get a sharp image at infinity. Medium range and close subjets are quite good. Will still continue to experiement at various apertures to see if I can find out what is going on.
     
  13. First of all, I have not used the Nikon 17-55mm. However, my input on the Tamron is that the first copy I used (purchased online) had difficulty autofocusing except on the middle AF point (D90). Also, I could not get a sharp image at f/2.8 (my reason for buying the lens). I went back to the drawing board. While visiting a local shop, I tried a copy in-house at f/2.8 - no problem. I purchased the lens and used it that weekend on a wedding shoot with very good results. I think with the combination of getting a good copy (visit a store) and the Vibration Control feature, the lens will work out as a positive purchase.
     
  14. First of all, I have not used the Nikon 17-55mm. However, my input on the Tamron is that the first copy I used (purchased online) had difficulty autofocusing except on the middle AF point (D90). Also, I could not get a sharp image at f/2.8 (my reason for buying the lens). I went back to the drawing board. While visiting a local shop, I tried a copy in-house at f/2.8 - no problem. I purchased the lens and used it that weekend on a wedding shoot with very good results. I think with the combination of getting a good copy (visit a store) and the Vibration Control feature, the lens will work out as a positive purchase.
     
  15. First of all, I have not used the Nikon 17-55mm. However, my input on the Tamron is that the first copy I used (purchased online) had difficulty autofocusing except on the middle AF point (D90). Also, I could not get a sharp image at f/2.8 (my reason for buying the lens). I went back to the drawing board. While visiting a local shop, I tried a copy in-house at f/2.8 - no problem. I purchased the lens and used it that weekend on a wedding shoot with very good results. I think with the combination of getting a good copy (visit a store) and the Vibration Control feature, the lens will work out as a positive purchase.
    00XL05-283109584.jpg
     

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