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Thread: Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC or non-VC

  1. #1
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC or non-VC

    My son-in-law travels quite a bit and is sick of his wife shooting the travel shots with a cheap key-chain camera she bought at a supermarket check out stand.

    He is planning to get a Canon DSLR (hasn't quite decided on the model but it will be a 1.6x crop camera).

    He doesn't want to get an extended focal range zoom like the 18-135mm Canon or 18-270mm Tamron because he would like a constant f/2.8 aperture in his mid-range zoom. He will augment the mid-range zoom with the new Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 lens with VC.

    My question is: Has Tamron fixed the glitches in the VC version of the 17-50mm f/2.8 lens which caused it to produce images less sharp than the non-VC version? I have searched the various Internet forums and have recently seen a couple of posts regarding the fact that Tamron may have remedied the sharpness problems with the original VC lens.

    He doesn't want to spend the approximately $1,160 USD for the Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS and the Tamron (even though the price has been raised lately) is selling for about half the price of the Canon.

  2. #2
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC or non-VC

    I don't know if mine is a new one or not; I got it in part exchange for a 10D kit with a little extra money from a shop. But I've done an example using the Tamron VC at 17mm f6.4 and 1.3 seconds 400iso on a monopod.

    It is sharpened using Topaz Infocus so this is the best I can get out of it.

    Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC or non-VC

    Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC or non-VC

    and this is f2.8 and 17mm 1/10 secs 800 iso hand held

    Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC or non-VC

  3. #3
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC or non-VC

    Forgot to add; 3.3% barrel distortion but sometimes looks much worse, and AF works sometimes only. With the canon hfs you don't have to bother about anything, it is easy peasy; but with this lens I like f5.6-f8, but in saying that I can't see much wrong at f2.8.

    Does this look right?
    Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC or non-VC

    I was able to straighten this though:

    Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC or non-VC

    This isn't sharpened, straight from ACR.
    Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC or non-VC
    Last edited by arith; 10th May 2011 at 07:43 PM.

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    Re: Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC or non-VC

    I'm not sure if this will be along the right lines, Richard, but recently a friend bought a 60D and I suggested that he considered the Canon 18-85 IS lens which I think may be a little cheaper than the Canon you mentioned.

    My friend is delighted with this lens and is producing some excellent work.

  5. #5

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    Re: Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC or non-VC

    I am a satisfied Canon 17-55IS user myself but once had a very bad experience with a Tamron 17-50 (original version). The AF was very "twitchy" making the lens unsuitable for my purposes. A friend of mine (Nikon shooter) had lousy warranty service from Tamron after he broke his 17-50 and ended up scrapping his lens.

    The new Sigma 17-50 OS is getting good reviews. It may be worth a look.
    Last edited by Eric M; 12th May 2011 at 12:09 PM.

  6. #6
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC or non-VC

    Thanks for your comments. I appreciate your help. One of the reasons my son-in-law wants an f/2.8 lens is that he and my daughter have a reservation to stay a night in the "ICE HOTEL" in Sweden this coming winter and he wants to be able to shoot good available light images.

    Of course, having a constant f/2.8 aperture (especially with some sort of camera shake reduction) is great anytime you encounter low light shooting situations. My 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens is a very viable low light glass. I have not used my 50mm f/1.8 Mark-I since I bought my 17-55mm zoom.

  7. #7
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC or non-VC

    If it is too hard to bother; buy Canon. That is what I say. You don't have to bother about spatial resolution at apertures and focal length, and although it costs twice as much you can use it on auto and be guaranteed a good photo.

    So if your not interested in photography but more interested in the photo, 800 is not that much to make you look like a pro.

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