Review: Tamron 17-35mm

For the SLR cameras from Nikon and Canon, Tamron has released a new wide-angle zoom with variable aperture: the Tamron 17-35 mm f/2.8-4.0 DI OSD. The lens is compact and lightweight. This makes it an ideal lens, for example, for travel and landscape photography.

โ€‹Click on the product for specifications, prices and test results.

Wide, light and bright: Tamron 17-35mm f/2.8-4.0 DI OSD

Tamron already has a beautiful wide-angle zoom in the form of the 15-30 mm f/2.8. That lens has a larger field of view and high brightness over the entire range. But the 15-30mm cannot easily be used with filters and is also a lot bigger than the new Tamron 17-35mm f/2.8-4.0 DI OSD. With a length of 9 inches in Nikon mount and a weight of only 460 grams, the 17-35 mm f/2.8-4 is compact and light. And yet the brightness at 17mm is a very nice f/2.8. It’s quite clever of Tamron that they have managed to make this lens lighter than other wide-angle zooms that only get f/4 over the entire range.

BUILD

004 Tamron17 35 037 1200

The Tamron 17-35 mm f/2.8-4.0 DI OSD is an amply equipped lens. The modern design of the new Tamron lenses is sleek and tasteful, with a silver ring around the mount. The two wide rings, for zooming and focusing, can be easily distinguished from each other and have a ribbed pattern that gives good grip. There is a switch on the lens for changing between autofocus and manual focusing. The filter size is a very common 77mm, so you can easily use the Tamron 17-35mm f/2.8-4.0 DI OSD with polarization and ND filters. The optical design consists of 15 elements in 10 groups. Two elements are aspherical and four are made of Low Dispersion glass. The front lens has a fluorine coating that is water- and oil-repellent. As a result, moisture, dirt and grease hardly stick to the lens, and it is easy to keep clean. The Tamron BBAR (Broad-Band Anti Reflection) coating, in combination with the optical design, is supposed to ensure that reflections and loss of contrast in backlight shots are kept to a minimum. The OSD (Optimized Silent Drive) autofocus is not only quiet, but also fast. The aperture consists of only 7 blades, but these are specially shaped so that the opening remains round, even after stopping down two stops. The Tamron 17-35 mm f/2.8-4.0 DI OSD is also weatherproof, thanks to seals around the mount and inside the lens.

001 Tamron17 35 037 1200

And of course, the Tamron 17-35 mm f/2.8-4.0 DI OSD is compatible with the Tamron Tap-In Console. That lets you easily install firmware updates and adjust the operation of the lens to your personal wishes.

IMAGE QUALITY

The Tamron 17-35 mm f/2.8-4.0 DI OSD has a completely new optical design, and that is reflected in the performance. It is namely pretty high. The sharpness in the center is excellent at all zoom settings. At the widest zoom position, 17mm, the corners lag slightly behind at full aperture. Stopping down to f/5.6 ensures that the corners become good at 17mm. At the slightly longer zoom positions, the quality is more even and the gradient towards the corners is noticeably smaller, even at very short distances. That is a very good result. At full aperture, you clearly see some vignetting, but it is easy to correct in post-processing. At the widest zoom position, at 17mm, the distortion is also pretty hefty. You can correct that distortion in the post-processing. The contrast of the Tamron 17-35 mm f/2.8-4.0 DI OSD is good, and the lens is pretty insensitive to the sun. Only if you have the sun just out of frame and the light hits your front lens can you suffer from considerable flare and loss of contrast. Use the lens hood as much as possible and, if necessary, screen the lens off with your hand or adjust the composition a little if that happens. The lens has surprisingly few problems with color defects and longitudinal chromatic aberration.

Bokeh

003 Tamron17 35 037 1200
The Tamron 17-35 mm f/2.8-4.0 DI OSD has only seven aperture blades but still manages to produce round bokeh balls. The inside of these balls is a bit restless, but for a wide-angle zoom, this is a very nice result.

TRY-OUT SERVICe

The importer of Tamron in the Benelux, Transcontinenta, offers the ability to experience the lens through the Transcontinenta Probeerservice (Try-Out Service). Through this service, it is possible to get 100% reimbursement within 14 days after the end of the trial period if the lens is purchased at one of the selected dealers. For more information, visit www.probeerservice.nl.

ConclusiON

PROS

  • Lightweight
  • Compact dimensions
  • Bright at the shortest focal length
  • Good image quality
  • Fast autofocus
  • Insensitive to backlighting

CONS

  • Corner sharpness at full aperture of 17mm slightly lower
  • Distortion at 17mm rather hefty when uncorrected

It’s quite clever of Tamron that they have managed to make this lens lighter than other wide-angle zooms that only get f/4 over the entire range.

The Tamron 17-35 mm f/2.8-4.0 DI OSD is a great wide-angle zoom with many qualities. You can use it without problems in wind and weather. It is bright, light and compact, and the image quality is high. The autofocus is fast and reliable, and the lens can be used with filters. The price is also attractive.

Close Menu