The Tamron 17-50 2.8 lens

First impression: I bought that lens after looking for a Nikkor 17-55 2.8. I wanted a high quality normal lens to upgrade from the 18-70 or the 18-200. The logical choice was the Nikkor 17-55 2.8, but after looking at several reviews, among others on, I have been hesitating a lot. Where I live, the Tamron is costing four times less money than the Nikkor and optical performance seemed to be on par. I did a quick test at the shop between the 17-55, the Tamron and my 50 1.8 @2.8. My conclusion was clear, I took the Tamron. There are differences of course between the Nikkor and the Tamron.

The lens mounted on a D200


- price, price, price
- optical performance (sharp, even the corners are sharp, even fully open)
- light (comparable to the 18-70DX)
- compact
- non-rotating front element
- reasonably fast focus (not critical in that focal range)
- constant 2.8 aperture


- plastic build 
- no pouch delivered with the lens
- vignetting fully open at 17mm very visible
- no focus correction possible

vs the Nikkor
- the Nikkor is enormous, very heavy and built like a tank
- the Nikkor has AF-S (faster, built in motor, manual correction possible)
- the Nikkor is a pro-lens, but not worth the money, to my opinion.


if you are a pro, not too careful about your gear and if you have deep pockets, go for the Nikon, otherwise go for the Tamron, highly recommended.

A few examples