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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.

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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.

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BUILD 

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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.

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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.

Specifications
Tamron 17-35mm f/2.8-4 Di OSD
Image Stabilization:-
lenses/ groups:15/10
length x diameter:91x83mm
filter size:77
Weight:459
Lens hood:+

IMAGE QUALITY

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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.

 

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Bokeh

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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.

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ConclusiON

Use the Len Comparison or look in our list of reviewed lenses tocompare this lens with other lenses.

WYSIWYG score: This table shows the performance of this lens if you save the files in the camera as jpg, with all available in-camera lens corrections applied. This score gives you for this lens/test camera combination: "What you see is what you get".


Focal Length
mm @ FF
Total score
Resolution
lat. C.A.
Vignetting
Distortion
AF accur.
AF speed

17
17
8.3
8.7
9.3
6.0
5.6
21
21
8.1
8.4
9.6
6.0
5.6
24
24
8.6
8.3
9.7
6.0
8.8
28
28
8.3
8.4
9.7
6.9
6.5
35
35
8.3
8.4
9.7
8.0
6.0
Overall
Overall
8.0
8.3
9.6
6.0
5.7

Pure RAW score: This table shows the performance of this lens if the file is stored in the camera in RAW format. This score approaches the intrinsic quality of the combination of lens and test camera. If you use lens correction profiles in Photoshop or Lightroom to convert RAW files, then the RAW scores for distortion, vignetting and chromatic aberration are even better.


Focal Length
mm @ FF
Total score
Resolution
lat. C.A.
Vignetting
Distortion
AF accur.
AF speed

17
17
8.5
8.7
9.4
8.7
5.5
21
21
8.7
8.5
9.6
8.9
7.0
24
24
8.8
8.7
9.5
8.9
7.3
28
28
8.5
8.6
9.3
9.0
6.2
35
35
8.5
8.6
9.9
9.2
6.0
Overall
Overall
8.5
8.6
9.5
8.9
6.2

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.

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Ivo Freriks
Author: Ivo Freriks
With Camera Review Stuff I hope to make a modest contribution to the pleasure that you get from photography. By testing cameras and lenses in the same way, evluating the results and weighing up the pros and cons, I hope to help you find the right camera or lens.

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