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View Full Version : Tokina AF 16-50mm f/2.8 vs. Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 vs. 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM



anco85
08-31-2010, 05:38 AM
Just for interest sake, which one would take your vote based purely on IQ?

Do they compare to Nikons version and how do they compare to the 18-55 kitty?

K1W1
08-31-2010, 06:00 AM
J
Do they compare to Nikons version and how do they compare to the 18-55 kitty?


They are all f2.8 to start with. That's going to make a huge difference in usefulness compared to the kit lens.
My gut feeling would go to the Tokina they seem to do well with lenses in that range but that's just based on accumulated reading and comments not specific research so I'll wait to see what others think.

Edit:
I just had a read through the three reviews on Photozone and it seems that all have issues but the Sigma ranks third with a tight race between the Tokina and Tamron. Depending on your perspective and prejudices I think that you could call it either way between then.

anco85
08-31-2010, 06:44 AM
That's good to hear, thanks K1w1.

I should probably check some pics on flickr

DiamondSCattleCo
08-31-2010, 12:48 PM
Anco, I can't comment on either the Tokina or Sigma offerings, but my Tamron 28-75 f2.8 totally blows away my 18-55 kit lens for IQ and usefullness. I know its not the 17-50 you were talking about, but it seems to be as well regarded as the 17-50. Its also a full frame lens (I believe), so if you ever find yourself updating your body...

Rod

student
08-31-2010, 01:00 PM
I had exactly the same decision to make about half a year before. I ended up going vacation than buying the lens (students can easily resist NAS by just not having any money :) for both vacation and photography).
At this point my decision would have been the Tamron - either the 17-50 or the 28-75
(Note I do not own any of the lenses you asked about- so dont rely on me too much ;) )

ANP !!!
08-31-2010, 01:45 PM
Anco, I can't comment on either the Tokina or Sigma offerings, but my Tamron 28-75 f2.8 totally blows away my 18-55 kit lens for IQ and usefullness. I know its not the 17-50 you were talking about, but it seems to be as well regarded as the 17-50. Its also a full frame lens (I believe), so if you ever find yourself updating your body...

Rod

Tamron 17-50 2.8 has been talked about good all around, It will prove a significant upgrade over the kit lens.

I dont think its a full frame lens, although it would mount on a FF but will cause severe vignette and IQ issues.
http://photo.net/equipment/tamron/17-50vc/

Tokina 16-50 2.8 seem to have a better control over barrel distortion and the built quality is somewhat higher then the other two. It also makes nicer bokeh, especially compared to the Sigma whose bokehs are not that great.

teko
08-31-2010, 02:19 PM
I too have been considering the Tamron. It just received a small price drop recently, and if you don't mind the non-VC (IS/VR) version, it's even cheaper.

r3g
08-31-2010, 02:30 PM
I've got the Tamm 17-50 and its been rockin since day one. The optics are worlds better than the kitlens. The ONLY downside is the auto focus is a bit on the loud side as far as lenses go but unless your trying to photography sleeping babies at the lenses minimum focus distance it shouldn't be an issue. Tones of pictures with it on my flickr.

jcon
08-31-2010, 10:43 PM
Is price an issue? If not look into the Nikon 17-55 2.8 You wont find a better lens in that range!

anco85
09-01-2010, 01:59 AM
I'd like to keep it under U$550 TBH jcon, but thanks for the suggestion.

Thanks for all the info guys, I'll do some more reading and see what my heart says, apart from the Sigma, they all seem about the same IQ wise.

The 28-75 also seems worth a gander

kjmdrumz3
09-01-2010, 02:05 AM
Is price an issue? If not look into the Nikon 17-55 2.8 You wont find a better lens in that range!
J- I'm going to go out on a limb and say yes, price is an issue. Most people don't look at third party options unless price is at least somewhat of a factor.

OP- Personally I don't think I'd buy 3rd party. And that's not to say that they are terrible, or that I have alot of money. Believe me, neither of those is the case. But you don't (usually) hear complaints from people about Nikon glass, other than price. But you usually ALWAYS hear one negative thing about at least one characteristic of third party glass. I'd rather save a little longer and pay a few hundred bucks more for the best. If I am looking for another (read: cheaper) option, I look at older, "outdated" Nikon glass. Take my 80-200 for example. Excellent optics, but no VR. I saved $600 over the 70-200 VR II and bought a $35 Manfrotto monopod. Done-sies!

K1W1
09-01-2010, 02:21 AM
Photozone
Only one review site but well regarded and I'm not sure I'd call it a clear cut win for the Nikkor when cost is taken into account. Obviously the Nikkor does have the benefit of I assume much better value retention but that also needs to be compared to the initial investment and intended use.

Nikkor 17-77 AF-S f2.8 (http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikkor-aps-c-lens-tests/231-nikkor-af-s-17-55mm-f28-g-if-ed-dx-review--test-report?start=1)
The Nikkor AF-S 17-55mm f/2.8G IF-ED DX is a professional grade lens and it certainly shows up regarding its exceptionally high build quality as well as very fast AF speed. Optically it is, without doubt, a very good lens but it has a few issues. The center performance is nothing short of stellar but the borders are a little worse than desirable at 24mm @ f/2.8 and at 55mm (for such a lens). The level of CAs, distortions as well as vignetting is quite typical for a lens in this class but then thing aren't substantially better either. So all-in-all there may be a few question marks regarding the price/performance ratio of this lens. It simply lacks the greatness suggested by its price tag.

Tamron AT 17-50 f2.8 (http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikkor-aps-c-lens-tests/290-tamron-af-17-50mm-f28-sp-xr-di-ii-ld-aspherical-if-nikon-test-report--review?start=2)
The Tamron AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF] is a very serious performer capable to deliver some of the best MTF50 figures to date in this lens class. Vignetting and distortions are about average for a lens in this class. CAs are very high at 17mm and 24mm. Mechanically the lens isn't top notch but it compares very well here to other third party lenses. AF accuracy could be a little better on the Nikon D200. Thanks to the very moderate price tag the lens is highly attractive and definitely worth a deeper look when shopping for a quality standard zoom lens for your APS-C DSLR and it's also a very interesting alternative to the genuine Nikkor standard zooms.

Tokina AF 16-50 f2.8 (http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikkor-aps-c-lens-tests/274-tokina-af-16-50mm-f28-at-x-pro-dx-nikon-lens-test-report--review?start=2)
The Tokina AF 16-50mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro DX is a long awaited lens but does it really live up to the high expectations ? Well, partially. Despite a slight centering defect the resolution characteristic is pretty impressive with a generally excellent center performance and very good borders and extreme corners from f/4 onwards. At f/2.8 the border resolution is slightly reduced. The bokeh (out-of-focus blur) is smooth and buttery at 50mm @ f/2.8. Vignetting is well controlled except at 16mm f/2.8 - the competition has more problems in this category. The lens shows fairly heavy barrel distortions at 16mm but only marginal distortions at longer focal lengths. The primary weakness of the lens are very heavy CAs at 16mm and 24mm at large aperture settings - this is rather typical for Tokina lenses. A positive thing that we got used to is the very high build quality of Tokina AT-X lenses and the 16-50mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro DX does also qualify here although the duo-cam zoom extension system may not be everybody's darling. The AF performance of the lens is very good both in terms of speed and accuracy.

Sigma AF 18-50 f2.8 (http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikkor-aps-c-lens-tests/315-sigma-af-18-50mm-f28-dc-ex-macro-review--lab-test-report?start=1)
Generally the Sigma AF 18-50mm f/2.8 DC EX macro delivered a solid performance but without being any better than the competition. The resolution results are generally very fine except at 18mm where the extreme border performance leaves something to be desired below f/5.6. Distortions as well as CAs are about in line with the rest of the gang. Typical for most dedicated APS-C lenses the vignetting could be a little better at wide-open aperture. The build quality and handling of the Sigma is fine. The Sigma offers lots of bangs for your bucks but the comparable Tamron AF 17-50mm f/2.8 SP seems to be a better alternative.

anco85
09-01-2010, 03:30 AM
Thanks K1W1, that was a great post and just what i was looking for.

Looks like the Tammy goes up a notch

*KT*
09-01-2010, 04:20 PM
Thom has a review of the Tamron 17-50, http://www.bythom.com/1750lens.htm as well as one for the Nikon 17-55 http://www.bythom.com/1755lens.htm

He doesn't review the other two, but he does say within the Tamron review "Wither the Sigma 18-50mm? I haven't used it enough to review it, but I have used it enough to know that it doesn't beat the Tamron. Wither the Tokina 16-50mm? Again, I haven't used it enough to review. It's a larger and heavier lens."

Myboostedgst
09-01-2010, 09:28 PM
How does the Nikon 16-85 compare to these lenses? It is obviously a little slower at f3.5, but I have never heard of a bad thing about the 16-85.

K1W1
09-01-2010, 09:48 PM
How does the Nikon 16-85 compare to these lenses? It is obviously a little slower at f3.5, but I have never heard of a bad thing about the 16-85.

I doubt that it would being the same league the lack of constant f2.8 would be a huge creature difference to start with.
I like mine it's a great lens and people like Thom Hogan say that they are amongst the best Nikon consumer lenses but it's still a variable aperture lens.
They are prone to a bit of lens flare if you are not careful but that's really my only criticism.

anco85
09-02-2010, 01:01 AM
I need the constant 2.8, so that's def not a lens I want.

I'm just struggling to decide between the Tamron 28-75 and Tamron 18-50

I use the wide end more, but the extra 25mm on the 28-75 also seems like fun. I'm torn

DiamondSCattleCo
09-02-2010, 07:44 AM
I had the same debate with myself a couple months back and decided to go with a dedicated wide angle lens (undecided which yet) and run with the 28-75 as a walkaround lens. For the type of photography I usually do, it was the best decision I think I could have made. My 17-55 doesn't even get looked at anymore, and I haven't missed the wide end at all.

Rod

anco85
09-02-2010, 08:12 AM
I've decided to go the other way actually.

I should be ordering the following if the Dungeon Master says yes(She also handles the budget in the house)

Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM Autofocus Zoom Lens For Nikon Cameras
Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II VC LD Aspherical (IF) Lens
Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro Lens for Nikon AF Cameras

I see the price difference is so bad between the Tammy 17-50 and Nikkor 17-55 2.8, so I might just try grab that.

I want a new body first though(don't we all)

K1W1
09-02-2010, 02:46 PM
I
Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro Lens for Nikon AF Cameras



Did you look at the Tamron 90mm macro?
That seems to be the accepted third party standard in that lens range.

Rooz
09-02-2010, 03:16 PM
I've decided to go the other way actually.

I should be ordering the following if the Dungeon Master says yes(She also handles the budget in the house)

Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM Autofocus Zoom Lens For Nikon Cameras
Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II VC LD Aspherical (IF) Lens
Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro Lens for Nikon AF Cameras

I see the price difference is so bad between the Tammy 17-50 and Nikkor 17-55 2.8, so I might just try grab that.

I want a new body first though(don't we all)

i would definately be looking at the tokina or a used nikkor 12-24 over the sigma. no question about it. the sigma runs a distant 3rd to the nikkor and the 2 tokinas in this UWA category.

Myboostedgst
09-02-2010, 03:26 PM
A guy on my automotive forums uses a Sigma 10-20 on his D90 and loves it. The few pictures I have seen look great with it. Seeing as though the price of the Nikon is almost twice as much new, what kind of depreciation are we talking about? I thought Nikon lenses held their value quite well?

r3g
09-02-2010, 06:09 PM
A Nikon lens will definitely hold its value better than a third party lens.

r3g
09-02-2010, 06:13 PM
I want a new body first though(don't we all)


May I ask why? If your profile is correct and you own a D80 you'll get awesome results when using any of the 3 lenses your considering. Better glass trumps a new body unless your body is broken.

kjmdrumz3
09-02-2010, 09:53 PM
Better glass trumps a new body unless your body is broken.

Or you are trying to take low-light shots sans flash on a D40x. In that case, a D700 may be warranted ;)

r3g
09-02-2010, 10:06 PM
HEY HEY HEY dont you dare sass the D40! :cool::D

K1W1
09-02-2010, 11:28 PM
May I ask why? If your profile is correct and you own a D80 you'll get awesome results when using any of the 3 lenses your considering. Better glass trumps a new body unless your body is broken.


Reggie,

You have missed some of the story. This thread (http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=47990) may help with the background.

anco85
09-03-2010, 01:16 AM
Yeah, I can feel the D80 is well past its sell by date, I've been lucky the last few weeks. It seems to be okay for now(apart from developing hot spots after a 10 clicks) but there are days where it just refuses to power on or take pictures.

As for the UWA, I've heard many good things about the Sigma, but it never hurts to look at different manufacturers.

Regarding the macro, that lens isn't priority now, so I'll look at that when I get to it.

Thanks again for all the advice guys, appreciate it

VTEC_EATER
09-03-2010, 08:05 AM
HEY HEY HEY dont you dare sass the D40! :cool::D

He said D40x, not D40. The x is crap, the 40 is good.

kjmdrumz3
09-03-2010, 10:41 AM
He said D40x, not D40. The x is crap, the 40 is good.

HEY HEY HEY don't you dare sass the D40x! :D