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Tamron17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical [IF] Autofocus Lens for Pentax Digital Cameras
 
4.3

(based on 41 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (23)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

81%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (24)
  • Consistent output (21)
  • Strong construction (19)
  • Easily interchangeable (16)
  • Durable (15)

Cons

  • Heavy (8)
  • Blurry focus (3)
  • Slow focus (3)

Best Uses

  • Low light (20)
  • Landscape/scenery (17)
  • Night photography (17)
  • General purpose (15)
  • Weddings (12)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (18), Enthusiast (7), Semi-pro photographer (6), Casual photographer (5), Semi-professional (4)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (19)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Great low light lens

I use this lens for moonlit landscapes wide open.Lightweight,sharp,great walk around lens

I use this lens for moonlit landscapes wide open.Lightweight,sharp,great walk around lens

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Great lens, but may not really be f/2.8

I already owned the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8, but I wanted to supplement my kit with a wider angle zoom. I found that the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 took very sharp pictures...Read complete review

I already owned the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8, but I wanted to supplement my kit with a wider angle zoom. I found that the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 took very sharp pictures with great contrast and color, even wide open.

However, I noticed that when compared to my 28-75mm, the 17-50mm was producing darker pictures at identical exposure settings. In my in-studio high-key portrait photography, my subject would be dark and my white background would not longer be properly blown out (overexposed) when I replaced the 28-75mm with the 17-50mm but kept the settings the same.

I also compared my Pentax 18-55mm lens, and found that it produced identical exposure to the 28-75mm, but the 17-50mm was darker than both. After further evaluation under controlled conditions, I found that the 17-50mm performs more like f/3.3 wide open. The problem become worse as aperture decreased. Wide open it was about half a stop underexposing, and at f/10 it was a full stop.

I think that the aperture is being set too small, resulting in a lens that is not as fast (bright) as it should be. I returned it, since I do a lot of available-light and indoor photography, and I need an f/2.8 lens to perform like an f/2.8 lens.

Reviewed by 41 customers

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

mixed feelings

By karro

from Alameda

About Me Casual Photographer

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
  • Nice Bokeh

Cons

  • Pronounced Cas
  • Underexposure

Best Uses

    Comments about Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical [IF] Autofocus Lens for Pentax Digital Cameras:

    They say: don't get your hopes up too high, and they are quite right on that.
    I had really high hopes for this lens, but the initial impressions are less than stellar. K-x is the current body for the lens.

    Let's start with the bad:
    1) constant underexposure by about 1EV.
    2) "purple/yellow fringing" is quite pronounced
    3) slightly lifeless color rendition at times. "plasticky" probably would be a good word. Will try it on a different body, maybe they'll get along better.

    not everything is bad, though:
    1) it's sharp
    2) bokeh is nice and smooth wide open
    3) AF works fast, although at times it requires refocusing; I have no idea on what exactly the focus locks on. luckily that doesn't happen often.
    4) other reviewers sometimes bash the build quality; can't complain about that

    I did a stupid thing and filled in the warranty card before taking this lens out on a more serious "field trip", so I can't exactly return it anymore, but I'm going to send it to Tamron to get the underexposure at least looked into it (fingers crossed, it will be fixed).

    It has potential, obviously, and maybe I just wasn't lucky, maybe it has something to do with "made in china" imprinted on the body of the lens, maybe it doesn't, but I think - you might be able to do better than this. I will keep playing with it for a while, maybe it will "grow on me", but somehow I regret [a bit] not spending the extra $$$ on 16-50/2.8. OTOH, for the money, there probably isn't better fast zoom out there for Pentax. Except 17-70, perhaps, if you are OK with f/4.

    I can't exactly "recommend it for a friend". That friend has to check it out by him/herself, maybe it will work, maybe it won't. Depends on the requirements.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    5.0

    Best bang for the buck

    By Den

    from Orlando, Fl

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Consistent Output
    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
    • Nice Bokeh
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Indoors/Low Light
      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Night Photography
      • Wildlife Photos

      Comments about Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical [IF] Autofocus Lens for Pentax Digital Cameras:

      This lens is tack sharp, even wide open. Colors look great, this a very good replacement for the kit lens.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • Yes

      Share this review

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Good lens for the money

      By Scurv64

      from Asheville, NC

      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Fast / accurate auto-focus

      Cons

      • Heavy

      Best Uses

      • Indoors/Low Light
      • Weddings/Events

      Comments about Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical [IF] Autofocus Lens for Pentax Digital Cameras:

      I use this lens for portraiture. The zoom assures I don't miss anything while allowing me to crop in camera. The viewable area on my camera is a little tighter cropped than the final image. I usually use prime lends but this is a nice alternative.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      5.0

      Tamron 17-50 - Pentax

      By kami

      from Iowa

      About Me Casual Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical [IF] Autofocus Lens for Pentax Digital Cameras:

            Sharp and good IQ with K-5.
            There are some dust particles at both ends, that should not affect IQ.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

             
            3.0

            Disappointed

            By John

            from Chesterfield, MO

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Rugged
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

            • Blurry Focus
            • Heavy

            Best Uses

            • Indoors/Low Light
            • Landscape/Scenery

            Comments about Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical [IF] Autofocus Lens for Pentax Digital Cameras:

            It was my second copy. I exchanged my first copy due to bad front focusing problems (I had to dial a -10 in the AF Fine Adjustment page to make it focus reasonably). The second copy was even worse. Out of frustration, I returned it for a refund.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            best product

            By gee

            from jacksonville, florida

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easily Interchangeable
            • Fast / accurate auto-focus

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical [IF] Autofocus Lens for Pentax Digital Cameras:

                this is the best lens I bought, it's worth the price!

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                3.0

                Front Focus Issues

                By John

                from Chesterfield, MO

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Strong Construction

                Cons

                • Blurry Focus
                • Heavy

                Best Uses

                • Indoors/Low Light
                • Landscape/Scenery

                Comments about Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical [IF] Autofocus Lens for Pentax Digital Cameras:

                Received the new Tamron 17-50mm for Pentax as an early Christmas present few days ago, but was disappointed right away with the first photo I took with it. Pictures that I took with Tamron was extremely soft so I had to put it aside and put my Pentax kit lens back on for few days. Yesterday I did some controlled testing with the Tamron and was able to confirm that it has severe front focusing issue. Hopefully I can send it back to BHPhotos for another copy after the holidays.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • Yes

                Share this review

                (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                My Primary Lens

                By Sue the Cyclist

                from Seattle, WA

                About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Consistent Output
                • Durable
                • Easily Interchangeable
                • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                • Rugged
                • Strong Construction

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Indoors/Low Light
                  • Macro Photography
                  • Night Photography
                  • Weddings/Events

                  Comments about Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical [IF] Autofocus Lens for Pentax Digital Cameras:

                  I am so [pleased with this lens it is now my primary lens - Love the fact that it will keep at F/2.8 when used at the full 50mm focal length. Very sharp and worth the weight (which is not all that heavy for a f/2.8 lens).
                  Thank you

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Great low light lens

                  By marcc

                  from Antioch,Calif.

                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Consistent Output
                  • Durable
                  • Easily Interchangeable
                  • Lightweight

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Indoors/Low Light
                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Night Photography

                    Comments about Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical [IF] Autofocus Lens for Pentax Digital Cameras:

                    I use this lens for moonlit landscapes wide open.Lightweight,sharp,great walk around lens

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    Share this review

                    (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    2.0

                    Not what I expected

                    By Peter

                    from Guatemala, Guatemala

                    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                    Pros

                    • Good in low light
                    • Nice Bokeh

                    Cons

                    • Difficult to Clean
                    • Lens Creep
                    • Weak Casing

                    Best Uses

                    • Indoors/Low Light

                    Comments about Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical [IF] Autofocus Lens for Pentax Digital Cameras:

                    I bought this lens instead of the Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 because I thought it was sharper... what a deception.
                    This lens is not sharp and it's construction is terrible, it's weak and mine have a lots of spots of dust inside and are impossible to remove.

                    I wanted other Tamron lenses, but now I'm very disappointed with this brand.

                    I recommend you to bought the Sigma one or the Pentax.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Love this lens

                    By Sue the Cyclist

                    from Seattle, WA

                    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Consistent Output
                    • Durable
                    • Easily Interchangeable
                    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                    • Rugged
                    • Strong Construction

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Indoors/Low Light
                      • Macro Photography
                      • Night Photography
                      • Weddings/Events

                      Comments about Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical [IF] Autofocus Lens for Pentax Digital Cameras:

                      I now find myself keeping this lens on my camera more than the 18-200mm Tamron. Sharp images and so nice to be able to keep the f stop at 2.8 when zooming out to almost 50mm. Very versatile, good buy for the $$ and not too big-

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      5.0

                      A good choice for a Pentax

                      By cpl366

                      from Amarillo, TX

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Consistent Output
                      • Durable
                      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                      • Nice Bokeh

                      Cons

                      • Noisy

                      Best Uses

                      • Indoors/Low Light
                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Night Photography
                      • Sports/Action
                      • Weddings/Events

                      Comments about Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical [IF] Autofocus Lens for Pentax Digital Cameras:

                      A good lens, with a fast constant 2.8 aperture. Mounted on a K-5, it focuses very accurately. Color rendition is good. It is a bit noisier than the Pentax 16-50 2.8 DA, but without the SDM worries.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      3.0

                      front focus

                      By chris r

                      from cincinnati ohio

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Durable

                      Cons

                      • Blurry Focus

                      Best Uses

                      • Indoors/Low Light
                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Night Photography

                      Comments about Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical [IF] Autofocus Lens for Pentax Digital Cameras:

                      if you get a good one , its very sharp, I got a front focusing one. went back to canon lens.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      Share this review

                       
                      4.0

                      Must have lens

                      By Al Paca

                      from NYC

                      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                      • Strong Construction

                      Cons

                      • Heavy

                      Best Uses

                      • Indoors/Low Light
                      • Weddings/Events

                      Comments about Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical [IF] Autofocus Lens for Pentax Digital Cameras:

                      Bought to replace kit lens. RIght now using on older Pentax DSLR, and can already see improvement in picture quality and AF.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      Share this review

                       
                      4.0

                      Good to stay on the camera all the time

                      By Ari

                      from PA

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Consistent Output
                      • Durable
                      • Easily Interchangeable
                      • Nice Bokeh
                      • Rugged
                      • Strong Construction

                      Cons

                      • Slow Focus

                      Best Uses

                      • Indoors/Low Light
                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Night Photography

                      Comments about Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical [IF] Autofocus Lens for Pentax Digital Cameras:

                      Very Good lens, very sharp, for best results use manual focus.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      Share this review

                       
                      5.0

                      great versatile fast zoom

                      By Brian

                      from Arlington, VA

                      About Me Casual Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Easily Interchangeable
                      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                      • Nice Bokeh

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • General Purpose
                        • Indoors/Low Light
                        • Landscape/Scenery

                        Comments about Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical [IF] Autofocus Lens for Pentax Digital Cameras:

                        I use the lens for indoor existing light photography of my kids. I was torn between this lens and a more inexpensive fast prime. I find it to be plenty fast, and I'm really glad I have the versatility of the zoom.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this review

                        (8 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        3.0

                        Great lens, but may not really be f/2.8

                        By Edgar_in_Indy

                        from Indianapolis

                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Good contrast and color
                        • Nice heft
                        • Sharp
                        • Well built

                        Cons

                        • Aperture too small

                        Best Uses

                        • General Purpose

                        Comments about Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical [IF] Autofocus Lens for Pentax Digital Cameras:

                        I already owned the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8, but I wanted to supplement my kit with a wider angle zoom. I found that the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 took very sharp pictures with great contrast and color, even wide open.

                        However, I noticed that when compared to my 28-75mm, the 17-50mm was producing darker pictures at identical exposure settings. In my in-studio high-key portrait photography, my subject would be dark and my white background would not longer be properly blown out (overexposed) when I replaced the 28-75mm with the 17-50mm but kept the settings the same.

                        I also compared my Pentax 18-55mm lens, and found that it produced identical exposure to the 28-75mm, but the 17-50mm was darker than both. After further evaluation under controlled conditions, I found that the 17-50mm performs more like f/3.3 wide open. The problem become worse as aperture decreased. Wide open it was about half a stop underexposing, and at f/10 it was a full stop.

                        I think that the aperture is being set too small, resulting in a lens that is not as fast (bright) as it should be. I returned it, since I do a lot of available-light and indoor photography, and I need an f/2.8 lens to perform like an f/2.8 lens.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this review

                         
                        5.0

                        Great lens!

                        By lmd91343

                        from Los Angeles, CA

                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Consistent Output
                        • Easily Interchangeable
                        • Lightweight
                        • Long Warranty
                        • No lens creep

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Everyday
                          • Landscape/Scenery
                          • Low Light
                          • people
                          • Travel

                          Comments about Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical [IF] Autofocus Lens for Pentax Digital Cameras:

                          I am an advanced amateur who uses the lens for travel, portraiture, landscape, and candid people shots.

                          I use this lens as my "walk-around" lens. It has replaced my kit lens.

                          It has good flare resistance for a zoom of this range, but not as good as I would like.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this review

                           
                          4.0

                          Sharp lens

                          By Joe

                          from Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

                          About Me Photo Enthusiast

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Contrast
                          • Sharp at all focal length

                          Cons

                          • Heavy

                          Best Uses

                          • General Purpose
                          • Landscape/Scenery

                          Comments about Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical [IF] Autofocus Lens for Pentax Digital Cameras:

                          I've purchased this product as a replacement for a normal range kit lens and it is more than satisfactory. It's quite sharp - DXO shows a maximum lpm of 51, which is excellent. This non-VC version for Pentax and Sony sensor-based image stabilization seems sharper than the newer VC version in many different tests. I found that macro range sharpness was also more than adequate. Contrast seems very good as well. I also considered Sigma's new 17-50mm lens, which may be somewhat sharper, but the extra bulk and weight dissuaded me.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

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                          (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          3.0

                          Quirky Compromise Lens

                          By Proud Pentax Papa

                          from Raleigh, NC

                          About Me Photo Enthusiast

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Consistent Output
                          • Nice Bokeh
                          • Price
                          • Sharp at all focal length

                          Cons

                          • Build Quality
                          • Flash exposure issues
                          • Slow Focus

                          Best Uses

                          • Indoors/Low Light
                          • Night Photography
                          • Portraits
                          • Weddings/Events

                          Comments about Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical [IF] Autofocus Lens for Pentax Digital Cameras:

                          First things first, let's get the good out of the way. It's razor sharp, even wide open. If that's all that matters to you in a lens, stop, do not pass Go! and buy this lens. Bokeh is pleasing for its price range as well.

                          OK, now onto the quirkiness. AF is tempermental, that is to say, sometimes it is responsive, other times less so. I would say AF speed is average at best. Although I don't have any BF or FF issues. And yes, it's noisy, but that's to be expected.

                          What's really odd is exposure consistency. It underexposes consistently .3 EV without flash, .7 at 17mm with flash, and 1.3 EV at 50mm with flash. The good news is that this is totally consistent. It's just annoying.

                          Build is acceptable, but nothing to write home about. Manual AF is not steller, but it works just fine.

                          Upshot: it's a compromise lens. Great price, great optics, weird performance, average build. As long as you know what you're getting yourself into, I recommend it.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

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