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Thread: Help Me Choose - Tamron 17-50/2.8 Non VC or Nikon 17-55/2.8...

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    Member Remorhaz's Avatar
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    Help Me Choose - Tamron 17-50/2.8 Non VC or Nikon 17-55/2.8...

    I'm currently looking for a fast short zoom for my Nikon D90 camera.

    I'm essentially looking for something to replace using my slow 18-200mm lens when shooting things like:
    - indoors low light photography (e.g. school events)
    - general walkaround use (especially when photographing the kids, candid portraits, etc) - maybe the lens to leave on the camera when I don't have a specific photographic thing in mind
    - sea/landscapes (I'd probably invest in something like a 0.9ND and 0.9GND which I could use with this lens - I also just ordered some step-up rings (e.g. 62-72, 67-77, 72-77, etc) so I'd probably be able to standardise on 77mm fixed filters in future? (BTW I have a 72mm Hoya HD CPL already). My current UWA - the Sigma 8-16mm whilst being uber wide has a very bulbous front element, built in non removable petal hood and no front thread so kinda precludes filters - I'm however wondering if handholding a 100x150 lee GND filter in front would work or not - anyone know if this is feasible?)

    I tend to like using shallow depth of field a lot when shooting people, etc (which is partially why I so love my 50/1.4 - but using that lens indoors can get pretty restrictive and even for group shots of children outdoors it can require me to go back a very long way). I also want to use something sharper than my 18-200 (not hard I know!).

    So here is the rub...
    - I could get the Nikon 17-55/2.8 (77mm thread 755g) for about AUD$2000 for Aus stock or probably as low as AUD$1350 grey market delivered or even about AUD$900-$1000 used if I can find one.
    - or I could get the Tamron 17-50/2.8 Non VC (67mm thread 434g) brand new for AUD$340 grey market delivered which is about a third of the used Nikon or a quarter of the new Nikon
    - Note: whilst the Sigma 17-50/2.8 is an option - even grey it would be $650 delivered and thus almost twice the price of the Tamron

    Obviously the Nikon is arguably better - better build, possibly better IQ, faster and more reliable focusing (esp in low light)?, slightly longer - but it is at least 3 times better!??

    So at the moment I'm leaning towards the Tamron (I have the Tamron 90mm macro and am very happy the lens - sharpness and IQ is great - getting that lens is the reason I branched out into further lenses after my 18-200 (which until I got the Tamron 90mm I was fully happy with until I had something better IQ wise to compare with - unfortunately ).

  2. #2
    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Sounds like you have talked yourself into the Tamron already.

    It has a very good reputation, produces the images and is easy on the pocket.

    Go for it.

    I am very good at spending other peoples money.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    hi there. I have used/owned both and all I can say is buy the nikon. The tamron is cheaper and lighter but the nikon is definitely, hands down better. Thats my experience anyway. Others opinions may differ. It just depends on whether you want a lens that will give a better result....or not..
    Graeme
    "May the good Lord look down and smile upon your face"......Norman Gunston___________________________________________________
    Nikon: D7000, D80, 12-24 f4, 17-55 f2.8, 18-135, 70-300VR, 35f2, SB 400, SB 600, TC-201 2x converter. Tamron: 90 macro 2.8 Kenko ext. tubes. Photoshop CS2.


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    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Remorhaz View Post
    I'm currently looking for a fast short zoom for my Nikon D90 camera.

    Obviously the Nikon is arguably better - better build, possibly better IQ, faster and more reliable focusing (esp in low light)?, slightly longer - but it is at least 3 times better!??


    This statement always makes me wonder. How do you quantify 3x better (or not) based on the price?

    The quality or performance of many things in life is not linked directly to the cost or the saving. Is the Nikon lens 3x as sharp? or does it resolve 3x as much? No.

    Is it worth 3x the Tamron price? That depends upon whether it resolves more, has better contrast/colour and whether is is a fast and sharp, how usable is it in terms of weight, longevity, dust or moisture sealed or will it lock focus in low light compared to the Tamron and, how important these factors are to you.

    Now with all being equal except IQ, and say the Nikon has better IQ but only slightly at all focal lengths for argument sake, is having the better IQ important to you? If you only view the images at 1024px on the longest side on a monitor, then I would say the slightly better IQ is probably not worth the price, but if you print large or view on say 30"+ monitors at 2560px+ then the difference and visual appeal can be significant. Is that important to you?

    Would you be happy having lower quality images to view/print and/or a lesser built lens knowing you saved some $$, however for that extra $$ it is possible to get better images and a better built lens?
    Only you can decide.....


    Me? I want the best possible opportunity to get the best images I am capable of making, so I buy what is proven and tested despite the fact I could often save some $$ if I were prepared to compromise the quality or performance of my gear in pursuit of a few $$.

    I think with most camera gear, the old saying you get what you pay for rings fairly true.

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    Wayne has pretty well covered everything. The decision for the final purchase is now left to you.

    I have Canon equipment and I went for the Canon 17-55 f2.8 IS USM lens.

    It was a tough choice as the Tamron's price is very good indeed but one thing I hate about Tamron is that it zooms in the opposite direction to Canon and whilst most probably don't find this a big deal I hate it (I have a Tamron 28-75 so know it from using this lens). For you the Tamron zooms the same as a Nikon lens (nice).

    One requirement for me was that it must have an Image Stabilizer. I know it doesn't freeze action but I love it for low light images. I understand the Nikon does not have VR on the 71-55 so you might want to decide if that is a requirement for you before dropping the funds on one.

    Cheers

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    I have the Tamron lens in a Canon mount. It takes a bit of time to get used to the "reverse" zoom ring but for the money I am happy with the results.
    With the money I saved I was able to buy a Manfrotto tripod, head and a Canon nifty fifty 1.8.

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    Account Closed reaction's Avatar
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    get the nikon, but then it's 3-4x the price, so get the tamron!!
    sorry...
    what about get the tamron, see if nikon does a v2?

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    Member Sclarke's Avatar
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    I have a Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 lens (non VC) on my D90. Have had it for a while and taken some great shots with it, including indoor sports shots. I've been very happy with it. I certainly believe that the Nikon would be a better quality lens but I couldn't justify the price difference when purchasing my lens originally. My new lens is a Nikon 18-200, yet to have a run, but excited about testing it out.

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