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View Full Version : Tamron 17-50 vs 17-55 IS comparison/testing



michaelb
03-20-2007, 02:34 PM
Don Schap is going to love this one!!!

I hope this hasn't already been posted here.

Intersesting comparison at The Digital Picture....Click on the link below. The images shown are from the 17-55; if you roll over the image it becomes the Tamron 17-50 image. Overall, the Tamron looks to edge out the 17-55 here.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=398&Camera=396&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0&LensComp=400&CameraComp=396&FLI=0&API=0

zmikers
03-20-2007, 07:20 PM
That is very interesting and an interesting website as well, thanks for sharing!

DonSchap
03-20-2007, 09:21 PM
It's this kind of thing that makes it all worthwhile.

Thanks, Mike! :D

99allturbo
03-21-2007, 05:02 AM
Actually, looks like the initial image is of the Canon and when you roll the mouse over, it's the Tamron image. Either way, nice comparison. I was planning on getting the Tamron and this is even further proof I am getting a very decent lens. Thanks for the link.

Nickcanada
03-21-2007, 05:56 AM
Try the sigma 18-50 comparison with the 17-55!! it gets similar results! maybe they had a bad copy of the 17-55mm !?

cdifoto
03-21-2007, 06:06 AM
I wonder how the Tamron's IS compares to that of the Canon.

coldrain
03-21-2007, 06:33 AM
Don't put too much importance in that website, they always seem to come up with very weird results.

But I'd trust any other source of information before I would put any relevance to the-digital-picture.com.

http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/canon_1755_28/index.htm

The Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 USM IS is not a perfect lens but it lives quite well up to the very high expectations of the user base. The resolution figures are among the very best seen so far for an APS-C standard zoom lens. The center resolution is nothing short of outstanding and the even borders can keep a very good to even excellent quality level. The distortion characteristic is quite typical for a zoom lens in this range (pronounced barrel distortions @ 17mm, moderate pincushion distortions @ 55mm) whereas CAs are unusually moderate. Unfortunately vignetting is a weak spot of the lens peaking around 1EV at f/2.8 throughout the range. It's not a show stopper but a little annoying nonetheless. The build quality of the lens is pretty good but in relation to the price tag of the lens Canon should have used a little less plastic - finally even the much cheaper EF 70-200mm f/4 USM L features a magnesium-alloy shell. Probably a marketing decision to keep professionals away from APS-C DSLRs. All-in-all the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 USM IS is clearly a level up from the other Canon standard zooms - a highly desirable lens though the pricing may rise a few question marks.

This does not match what that website shows.

User experiences with the Canon 17-55 IS:
http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/showproduct.php?product=303&sort=7&cat=27&page=2

User experiences with the Tamron 17-50:
http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/showproduct.php?product=308&sort=7&cat=43&page=1

cdifoto
03-21-2007, 06:47 AM
It is the most unreliable website you can find for lens evaluation. They come up with the weirdest results, do not ask me why, since I do not know.

But I'd trust any other source of information before I would put any relevance to the-digital-picture.com.

So you know it's unreliable, yet you cannot come up with a reason why? How Coldrain of you. :)

jamison55
03-21-2007, 07:08 AM
Cool comparison, but that only tells a small part of the story - the optical part. I have a Super Takumar 50 f1.8 that I bought for $30 that produces images that are as sharp/contrasty/creamy bokeh as my $1000 Canon 35 f1.4...but guess which one I take to weddings!

(In case I made it hard to guess, let me give you a clue - the one with fast, ACCURATE, USM autofocus).

Almost all of the Tamron and Sigma lenses I have owned have been excellent optically, but they fell short when it came to the AF Speed/Accuracy compared to OEM lenses.

cdifoto
03-21-2007, 07:12 AM
Cool comparison, but that only tells a small part of the story - the optical part. I have a Super Takumar 50 f1.8 that I bought for $30 that produces images that are as sharp/contrasty/creamy bokeh as my $1000 Canon 35 f1.4...but guess which one I take to weddings!

(In case I made it hard to guess, let me give you a clue - the one with fast, ACCURATE, USM autofocus).

Almost all of the Tamron and Sigma lenses I have owned have been excellent optically, but they ell short when it came to the AF Speed/Accuracy compared to OEM lenses.

Good point. Bet yer butt I won't be using my 15 bladed Meyer at any weddings, despite the perfect bokeh. And forget sports too!

It's not just a 3rd party thing either. If something OEM doesn't do what I need it to do, it will be promptly sold off or won't be purchased in the first place.

coldrain
03-21-2007, 07:20 AM
So you know it's unreliable, yet you cannot come up with a reason why? How Coldrain of you. :)
Of course I do not know why, am I involved with that website?
Just go play around there a bit with lenses you yourself know well, and lenses you know to be well performing. You will soon come to the same conclusion, and yet I am sure you will not know the "why" then either....

cdifoto
03-21-2007, 07:41 AM
Of course I do not know why, am I involved with that website?
Just go play around there a bit with lenses you yourself know well, and lenses you know to be well performing. You will soon come to the same conclusion, and yet I am sure you will not know the "why" then either....

Hah I'm just ribbin' you a little. I don't put much stock in that site either. But I do know why. It's because they're testing uber extreme edges on a very high contrast test chart. It's good for testing but it really doesn't give any kind of big picture.

Of course even the site owner/tester admits there is something wonky about the 17-55 test:


For the most part, I find the results to be very indicative of the image quality of the lens being tested and the comparisons work very well - the results are even better than I had hoped for. However, there are a few lens with results that I'm not totally satisfied with. The Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens (http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-S-17-55mm-f-2.8-IS-USM-Lens-Review.aspx) and Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens (http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-24-105mm-f-4-L-IS-USM-Lens-Review.aspx) do not seem to like the close subject distances - they under-performed in the comparison tool. And the cheap Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens (http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-S-18-55mm-f-3.5-5.6-Lens-Review.aspx) performed better the wider focal lengths at the relatively short distance than I would expect to see from this lens - it over-performed in the comparison tool.

Ray Schnoor
03-21-2007, 07:42 AM
So you know it's unreliable, yet you cannot come up with a reason why? How Coldrain of you. :)
Although I do agree that some of the results on that site just seem plain wrong, Coldrain certainly did give you the reason why. "It doesn't agree with his opinion.":D

edit: (in bold) I guess that it doesn't agree with my opinion then, either. Obviously another good reason why it is unreliable.:D

Ray.

michaelb
03-21-2007, 08:09 AM
Although I do agree that some of the results on that site just seem plain wrong, Coldrain certainly did give you the reason why. "It doesn't agree with his opinion.":D

edit: (in bold) I guess that it doesn't agree with my opinion then, either. Obviously another good reason why it is unreliable.:D

Ray.

I think the fact of the matter is that most of us proabably expect expensive Canon glass to be superior to lenses costing much less, but this isn't always the case. I posted some testing on here recently were my kit lens wide open was as good optically, in terms of center resolution, as my 50mm 1.8 and my 10-22.

cdifoto
03-21-2007, 08:14 AM
I think the fact of the matter is that most of us proabably expect expensive Canon glass to be superior to lenses costing much less, but this isn't always the case. I posted some testing on here recently were my kit lens wide open was as good optically, in terms of center resolution, as my 50mm 1.8 and my 10-22.

True to a point. My kit lens was ok at the center too. But everywhere else was mush unless I stopped down to f/8...and I rarely have that luxury.

Good enough for web display and snapshot sized prints though.

DonSchap
03-21-2007, 09:47 AM
Why not just push the factual data aside and live on opinion.

You can just go ahead and THINK your shots with the Canon look great and we will all buy into it, ok? The heck with the facts. Of course, then again, YMMV.

TAMRON glass ... shoot with disdain.

Note to Jeff: No photographers were hurt during this discussion.

coldrain
03-21-2007, 10:05 AM
Don Schap is going to love this one!!!

I hope this hasn't already been posted here.

Intersesting comparison at The Digital Picture....Click on the link below. The images shown are frome the Tamron 17-50; if you roll over the image it becomes the 17-55 image. Overall, the Tamron looks to edge out the 17-55 here.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=398&Camera=396&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0&LensComp=400&CameraComp=396&FLI=0&API=0
As a side note...

It seems that the images shown are from the Canon 17-55, when you roll over the image the Tamron 17-50 samples get shown. Not the other way around.

michaelb
03-21-2007, 10:15 AM
As a side note...

It seems that the images shown are from the Canon 17-55, when you roll over the image the Tamron 17-50 samples get shown. Not the other way around.

Your absolutely right; I wrote it backwards. I just fixed my original post - thanks.

Nickcanada
03-21-2007, 10:25 AM
Why not just push the factual data aside and live on opinion.

You can just go ahead and THINK your shots with the Canon look great and we will all buy into it, ok? The heck with the facts. Of course, then again, YMMV.

TAMRON glass ... shoot with disdain.

Note to Jeff: No photographers were hurt during this discussion.



FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!

DonSchap
03-21-2007, 12:14 PM
FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!

Oh, you're just hopin', aren't ya? LOL

Nah ... you guys shoot your money your way ... me, I scrimp and try to get as good a shot. Just watch ... VC is a comin' ... and let the games begin. :D

Who has more fun with glass than we do? Geez, I gotta getta life ...

Rhys
03-21-2007, 12:21 PM
Cool comparison, but that only tells a small part of the story - the optical part. I have a Super Takumar 50 f1.8 that I bought for $30 that produces images that are as sharp/contrasty/creamy bokeh as my $1000 Canon 35 f1.4...but guess which one I take to weddings!

(In case I made it hard to guess, let me give you a clue - the one with fast, ACCURATE, USM autofocus).

Almost all of the Tamron and Sigma lenses I have owned have been excellent optically, but they fell short when it came to the AF Speed/Accuracy compared to OEM lenses.

How do you find AF speed/accuracy varies with the same lens but on different bodies?

I'm puzzled a little as to one lens being better at AF than another as the mechanism for guaging focus is inside the camera and the camera solely turns the focussing motor.

DonSchap
03-21-2007, 12:49 PM
How do you find AF speed/accuracy varies with the same lens but on different bodies?

I'm puzzled a little as to one lens being better at AF than another as the mechanism for guaging focus is inside the camera and the camera solely turns the focussing motor.


Well, you may find that on the Nikon bodies, but Canon has the servo-motor in the lens. So each lens is at it own fault for focusing speed. I've got a TAMRON AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD that clocks no where near the speed of the Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM. Each lens (Canon-mount) is master of its own fate ... although I believe that the EOS 1-series throws a bit more voltage and current that the moves for snappier response. (I'm having this tested at the camera shop, today - so bear with me on this.)


This is post 1900 ... OMG ... almost a hero! LOL Gotta love the boards, eh?

DonSchap
03-22-2007, 09:14 PM
Each lens (Canon-mount) is master of its own fate ... although I believe that the EOS 1-series throws a bit more voltage and current that the moves for snappier response. (I'm having this tested at the camera shop, today - so bear with me on this.)

Well, the results came in and the EOS 30D focuses at the same speed as the EOS 1 system, using the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM. I figure that's a pretty good standard lens to try something like this with.

Anyway ... moving on! :rolleyes:

coldrain
03-23-2007, 03:08 AM
The spped at good light and contrast conditions is the same, Don. But when contrast gets to be lower, you will start to see a difference in AF lock spped between cameras.

And for fun, just compare on the same site the Sigma 18-50 old version at 18mm f2,8 and the tamron 17-50 f2.8, Don:D

boog
03-23-2007, 05:38 AM
Don, look at your own gear list. I don't want to hear anything about scrimping:D .

DonSchap
03-24-2007, 06:46 AM
Don, look at your own gear list. I don't want to hear anything about scrimping:D .

Admittedly, we all have our limits. The idea is to maximize impact without breaking the bank. Right now, I'm not going to get rich off of my photography. It's not what put bread on my table. When that does become the case, the investment probably would go up ... and at this point ... substantially.

I'm currently pretty content with the results I'm getting at the "hobby level." The improvements would be minor, other than going full frame. I've got the low light issue solved ... I can do portraits with a relative certainty they will turn out ... and for what I do concerning landscape ... it'll do. Sure, I've got a selection of glass to play with and that's good. It doesn't all go to the party with me, but at least I can pick and choose my "brushes", for variety sake.

There are some minor changes I do have planned, in the near future, because I have noted some limitations, but they are mere "tweaks" compared to the next level.

The TAMRON SP AF17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) is a fantastic lens for the money. I contest that you will not find a better lens for less, unless it is by accident. For me, jumping in and putting up the extra coin for the Canon EF 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM is simply going over the same ground for no real reason. One day I may by this TAMRON with the SONY-mount and do a side-by-side, to see if the SONY's internal IS can get it steady to 1/6 sec. That's where the fun begins.

Good luck in all your shooting trials.

coldrain
03-24-2007, 09:39 AM
The TAMRON SP AF17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) is a fantastic lens for the money. I contest that you will not find a better lens for less, unless it is by accident.
I do not know why on one hand you seem to love the USM/IS on that 70-200 of yours, yet you frown upon the IS /USM of the EF-S 17-55.

It is not hard to run into a Sigma 18-50 EX DC Macro by "accident"...

Don, you earlier "replied", to criticism of that site and how not relevant it is to determining how good a lens is with :

Why not just push the factual data aside and live on opinion.

So... this is how the OLD version of the Sigma (the 18-50 EX DC Macro has imporved optics) compares to that Tamron on that very same site...
Do not push this "factual data aside" now :D
The Sigma offers a "macro mode", is cheaper, and offers better optics?

DonSchap
03-24-2007, 11:49 AM
I do not know why on one hand you seem to love the USM/IS on that 70-200 of yours, yet you frown upon the IS /USM of the EF-S 17-55.

It is not hard to run into a Sigma 18-50 EX DC Macro by "accident"...

Don, you earlier "replied", to criticism of that site and how not relevant it is to determining how good a lens is with :


So... this is how the OLD version of the Sigma (the 18-50 EX DC Macro has imporved optics) compares to that Tamron on that very same site...
Do not push this "factual data aside" now :D
The Sigma offers a "macro mode", is cheaper, and offers better optics?

Look, I don't know how many times I've stated this, but again, for the record, I purchased the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM because TAMRON had not released theirs and it still will not be available for general consumption until October 2007.

IS in a long focal length is a highly desirable trait, especially the f/2.8-version ... to totally maximize the low-light capability of such a tool. I advise anyone planning to buy one to get this feature on it, but then again ... budgetary issues may arise. It's not cheap nor does it look like it will EVER be.

My plan is to add the TAMRON SP AF70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO when it become available to my SONY A100 collection. Obviously, there is no Canon-conversion that goes that way and the SONY (Minolta) SAL-70200G - 70-200mm F/2.8 G-series is far too pricey to make it worth the coin.

But YOU know this, so why ask? I, personally, feel that IS is a luxury on the 17-55mm f/2.8 (~$995). I know I don't feel I would ever get the $600 worth of added expense out of that lens anywhere near what I do with the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L. The TAMRON 17-50mm f/2.8 has been a terrific lens, well-recognized by Camera reviewers both foreign and domestic for what it can do and I would say well worth the $449 I paid for it.

On the SONY ... you don't even need IS in the lens, so the point is moot. Every lens you buy, gets it. Heck, even SIGMA had to re-release their version to catch up to the TAMRON. It's a game they play. TAMRON did the same kind of thing with the delay of SP AF70-200mm f/2.8 release, and its minimum focus distance of 0.95m. One specification better than someone else's (actually, ahead of them all, at this point in time).

SONY's new release in the Fall should really knock some lights out when it comes. I may just retire the my entire Canon-suite in preference to the SONY Pro-model, if it meets expectations.

So, yeah IS is a nice additon ... but only if it comes FREE in the body ... otherwise ... it seems like money poorly spent in the short lenses ... if your paws don't shake.

For what it's worth ... that's the way I see it ... I suppose because my pockets are not stuffed with extra cash. A small compromise, in the right direction, in my estimation. :)

coldrain
03-25-2007, 04:50 AM
But what about the Sigma 18-50 f2.8 EX DC Macro being cheaper, and seamingly better, and offering a more close focussing?

Does that maybe not challenge your contest?