26 January 2021

Tamron SP 17-50mm F2.8 A16N II ~ Short Review!

Am I the first in the world (consumer) to review this lens?! πŸ˜€


Tamron scheduled to release this lens to the market on 17th March 2008, but my supplier has managed to get the stock for me today! I ordered some quantity from them, the first generation (A16N), but was surprised to see there is a mixed of A16N and A16N II in the delivery. πŸ™‚

As usual, I checked and tested every unit of Tamron SP 17-50mm F2.8 lens for my customers. This is important as my experience is that there is poor Quality Control from Tamron in this lens…the early batch (Assembled in China), but nowadays the reject rate is very low (Made in Japan version).

Since I have both the A16N and A16N II in hands, so I have the privilege to test both side by side.

First Impression

Built quality is similar in both. Weight seems similar as well, can’t feel any difference in hand.


When mounting the A16N II onto my D200, it is silky smooth. Yes, it is very hard to describe, but once you tried it, you will agree with me. When mounting the A16N, you will have the feeling of metal scratching each other. However, the A16N II is like butter smooth when mounting. Good. πŸ™‚


There is a slight changes in the rear part of the lens. Some physical extension of marking on the 17mm focal length and you can now see more pins on the rear circuits and no screwdriver catch.

Made in Japan


Yes, both lenses are made in Japan. Great! On all the stock that I received this round, they are perfect. Sharp focus, clean and clear. πŸ™‚

AF MF Switch

Besides made in Japan, you can also see a AF MF switch on the new A16N II version. You can have the camera body in AF all the time, and changing the AF MF on the lens will allow you to focus manually or automatically.

Auto Focus

I guess this is where most are interested in.

Auto focus of Tamron A16N II is slow. Yes, you heard me right. AF is much slower than A16N. From minimum focusing distance to infinity, it takes twice the time of the A16N. Yes, you can spot and feel the difference clearly.

However, though focus slower, the A16N II is much quieter than the A16N. Again, focusing is smooth. Though slow but very smooth. On the A16N, you will hear higher pitch focusing sound, but the A16N II is damper sound and quieter in focusing. Good in quiet environment, eg. Cinema or theater, though might still not be as quiet as AFS or USM lens.

Yes, I did compare the A16N II with A16E (Canon mount). A16E is still faster, similar speed to the A16N. However, Canon mount version is always noisier in focusing. In fact, very very noisy and high pitch sound. The A16N (Nikon) is still acceptable, the Canon version is considered as annoying. So the A16N II is considered as SWEET now. πŸ™‚

Image Quality / Sharpness?

I always regards Tamron A16 17-50mm F2.8 lens as the best value for money wide angle fixed aperture zoom lens that you can get in the market. In fact, I am using one of it myself on my Nikon D200. This lens has been in such a high demand that it is often out of stock from time to time in Japan. I have sold many copies to my customers in Malaysia.

This lens is sharp. Very sharp indeed! Here’s an example of a shot I just took (A16N II):

(Original file of 0.99MB, unedited except putting ShaShinKi.com logo on it. Exif intact, shot at f2.8)


Bokeh is nice and focus is spot on and sharp in the center. The lens design is same as the A16N, so you can browse many other photos in my blog that are taken with this lens.


Will I recommend this lens? Yes. The A16N II has some improvements over the A16N and the only drawback is the slower in focusing. The added AF MF switch is nice, making manual focusing switching easier. Damped focusing sound is a welcome improvement, though with the sacrifice of faster AF.

Do you have a choice? My understanding is that Tamron will discontinued the A16N version. No reason for Tamron to keep two almost identical lens for Nikon mount in the market, no production effective. So, if you want faster AF of the A16N and don’t need the built in motor for Nikon D40/D40X/D60, then you will have to act fast and grab the stock of A16N in the market!

Regardless of which version (A16N or A16N II), both are still highly recommended lens. I am keeping mine (A16N). πŸ™‚

Where to Buy?

You can order the lens at ShaShinKi.com (fully tested and checked!):


92 thoughts on “Tamron SP 17-50mm F2.8 A16N II ~ Short Review!

  1. I have read your review with interest and the obvious
    point is the the apparent slowness of the AF compared to the earlier version. How would you compare this say to the 18-55mm kit lens that comes with the D40? It would be great if you could post a short video clip of the AF in action say compared to the previous version within your blog [in
    the same way http://www.cameralabs.com do]. Thanks.

  2. Dear Jim,

    Thank your for your feedback, but I do not have the 18-55mm kit lens to test together with the Tamron lens, so I can’t compare the speed.

    Sorry, I don’t have the skill to do a video capture of the AF speed of the lens.

    My opinion is that the slow AF should not be a big concern. The pros (quieter, smoother, AF MF switch) are more than the con (slow AF). πŸ™‚


  3. With the 17-50 (as well as with the 28-75mm version) non-motorized lens I had a lot of instances where focus was not accurate. It was very fast but my feeling was that this also made it hard for the camera to focus precisely. The same camera with the much slower focusing Nikon 35-70 would nail the focus with much better chance of getting it right. I hope the new “slower” focus might actually result in better accuracy. Can you comment on this? thanks!

  4. Hi Kocho,

    I have tested over hundred units of Tamron SP 17-50mm lens, in various mounts (Nikon, Canon, Sony) since it first launched.

    Let’s talk a little bit about the history of Tamron SP 17-50mm lens. Tamron first produced the lens in Japan, the shift the assembly to China. So initial batch is made in Japan, later batch is Assembled in China. All the Tamron SP 17-50mm lens that I bought is in Japan. I must have complaint and rejected enough lens to get attention from Tamron. They later shift their production plant of the 17-50mm lens back to Japan. However, I heard that the production plant in China is still producing this lens. So there are now two origins of Tamron 17-50mm lens, but for Japan market, they sell the Made in Japan version.

    My experience is that the initial production and Assembled in China production are having bad Quality Control. I have many copies that are not focusing well. One out of Five has problem with back or front focus. The Assembled in China version often will have dirt or big speck of dust inside.

    For the current Made in Japan version, the stock that I received are of good quality. I can’t remember the last time I rejected the lens (must be more than few months ago), and my test shows that all copies that I received are sharp and focus accurately.

    Tamron SP 28-75mm lens is similar to the Tamron SP 17-50mm. I have returned and rejected many units as well. When you got a good copy, then it is very very sharp wide open. For a lemon, it is all soft even stopped down to F5.6.

    My advice for those who are getting either lenses, test in shop and use a clear target and consistence method to test the lens. If you have another f2.8 lens with you, test it and compare the photos side by side with the 17-50mm lens or 28-75mm lens in shop. πŸ™‚

  5. Thanks for the feedback! One more question on the 17-50 II – does the focus ring rotate during focusing? I expect it would but I hope it won’t -;)

  6. Have you experienced the cam/lens not being able to AF after taking a few shots? I’ve experienced this a number of time already. No AF action when the shutter button is depressed. After turning on the camera off/on, it will AF again.

    Great mini review btw πŸ™‚

  7. dear kk,
    im a d40 user, great to hear that tammy can autofucus with my cam now.
    same question as jim, any chance to compare it with 18-55 ed2 kit len in term of sharpness.

  8. hi James,

    Sorry, I do not have 18-55mm II lens to test or compare. The Tamron 16N II is a F2.8 lens, so it is a very different lens from the 18-55mm II lens.

  9. dear kk,
    thanks for the fast respond,
    need your expert advice
    i currenly own d40
    kit lens
    55mm macro2.8
    sigma 30mm.
    i know the the the diffrent of the 17-5omm and kits len in term of aperture.

    for my walk around lens should i consider?
    17-50mm tammy,
    or invest in sigma 10-20mm?
    many thanks

  10. hello KK,

    is there any difference in terms of battery consumption between the built-in motor and non built-in version?

  11. Hi KK, Thanks for the valuable info.. Aside from the difference in speed and noise level.. Is there any difference in focus accuracy between the two models?

    Cheers.. Mike

  12. Hi Mike,

    I actually “feel” that the new version (A16N II) gives better accuracy in focusing than the old version. Maybe it is due to the slow focusing and result in more accurate focusing, or just my “wrong” feeling… πŸ˜›

  13. KKK…

    How slow is slow? Twice the time to focus compared to previous version is a big difference leh…

    The AF speed compared to a Nikon lens macam mana? E.g. compared to Nikon 18-70mm or 50/1.8 (well, those are the lenses I have). If it’s too darn slow, then I’ll might hunt for the old version in the 2nd market.

  14. Hello.

    We all need to know exactly how is the diference in speed and accurate between the two versions.

    Somebody knows if the built in motor is the same of the new tamron 70-200 2,8?.

    In other words: which of them buy??

  15. I’m in the same boat as Rob as noted above. I purchased the lens but then returned it because it would intermittently not focus at all when switched to autofocus. I’m wondering how common is this problem?

  16. I am using the Nikon D200. In case anyone is wondering, yes, the lens is the new version of the 17-50 with the internal motor. Also, yes I eliminated all the typical user errors I could think of – made sure I was on single servo, had a fresh battery, made sure I focused on something with contrast . . . As soon as I switched the lens to my 18-200 I had no problems.

  17. Hi Colleen,

    Try clean the electronic contacts of your lens and your camera with a pencil eraser, see if the problem is due to lost communications between the lens and the camera or not.

  18. Oh, I forgot to say that I tried that too. I didn’t really think it would help because 1) The lens was new out of the box so should be spotlessley clean, and 2) I haven’t had any problems with any of my other three lenses. I tried it anyways because I was desperate for something to work, but no luck.

  19. Hi Colleen,

    I’m using a D80. Is your AF Assist Light turned on? I usually have mine off. When I turned it on to auto, I’ve never experienced the non-focusing issue again. I do find the motor “whirring” irritating. Do try the suggestion I mentioned above and let us know of the results. Good luck with your lens.

  20. Hi Rob,

    Thanks for the comment. Do you think that the reason the lens would not focus with the AF Assist Light turned off was because you were truly attempting to focus on a very dark subject? IF I point my 18-200 at what I would consider a pretty poorly lit subject, at 50 mm and f5 it still manages to focus, albeit a bit slowly. It seems strange that you would have to always have the AF Assist Light on for the lens to work. I do have mine set to OFF, and I prefer it that way so I wouldn’t want a lens that required it to be ON. Some of my test shots when it wouldn’t focus were outside on a sunny day.

    Unfortunately I cannot try any other fixes as I have already sent the lens back for refund. I am still curious to solve this problem though because it will be a factor in whether or not I re-order the lens.

  21. Hi Colleen,

    I assume you are using 50mm F1.8 or F1.4 lens, both are very bright lens regardless of your aperture setting. When you do autofocusing, the lens is always opened at its widest aperture (f1.8 or f1.4), this gives more light to your camera hence is able to focus well even at low light condition.

    I have sold many units of the Tamron SP 17-50mm F2.8 Nikon mount version (A16N II) to my customers, have not heard of the focus lock up issue. In fact, in my tests (I tested every unit), I have not experience focus lock up issue as well. Hence I would suspect what you experience could be a low contrast subject or dim light problem.

  22. In the example I gave above “If I point my 18-200 . . . at 50mm and f5 . . . it still manages to focus . . .” I meant that I zoomed my 18-200mm lens out to 50mm and set the aperture to f5. The maximum aperture of the 18-200 is 3.5 at 18mm and 4.8 at 50mm (and whether that 4.8 only applies to 50mm when the shutter is actually released or during autofocusing, at best the maximum aperture is only 3.5 while the maximum aperture of the Tamron 17-50 is 2.8). Hence I don’t believe that what I was experienceing was a low contrast subject or dim light problem. There are two big factors which argue against this. One, when the autofocus on the Tamron would lock up, it didn’t matter what I tried to focus on. As I stated above, one occasion was a bright sunny day and when the autofocus would not work I tried pointing the camera in every direction, at every kind of subject, near and far, but no autofocus. And two, when I couldn’t get the Tamron to autofocus, I switched lenses to my 18-200 and I was able to focus on any of the subjects that I just had not been able to with the Tamron.

    I have used my 18-200 since returning the Tamron, taking I would guess about 150 photos and have had not one single occasion of no autofocusing. Also I did a couple tests with the 18-200, pointing it at a smooth dark grey uniform surface (the front of my printer) in dim light, and the 18-200 lens’ autofocus still makes one attempt to focus. It seems to zoom out and then in – and then gives up. When the Tamron didn’t focus, it didn’t do anything at all. No sound, no lens movement, no lighting up of the selected focus area. It seemed like maybe the camera and lens were not communicating. That was why I decided to try cleaning the contacts, but then that didn’t help and the problem persisted. I will add that when I mounted the 17-50 to the D200 it was a very, very snug fit. Seemed much tight than any of my other lenses. Don’t know if that matters one way or another.

    The good news here is that you have tested over 100 of these lenses in various mounts and have had no problems with them. So even if I did get the rare “bad copy” of this lens, chances are when I get another one everything will be fine.

    Thanks for trying to problem-solve this situation with me.

  23. Dear KhoKing,
    May I know which company in Malaysia actually covers the warranty for the Tamron SP 17-50mm (A16N II) that’s sold on Shashinki.com?

  24. Hi Foong,

    Our Tamron lenses are directly from Tamron Japan, with Tamron Japan warranty, not valid with the distributor in Malaysia. Hence, the warranty is covered under ShaShaShinKi.com in Malaysia only. When warranty is needed, customer just need to send the lens to our Perak store, we will then send to Tamron Japan at our own cost and get it serviced under Tamron Japan.


  25. Hi Colleen,

    It would be interesting to see who else has the similar focus lock up problem as yours.

    The new Tamron SP 17-50mm A16N II version has built in motor, which is a new design from Tamron. If there is problem in design, I am sure Tamron will make a public announcement soon. Need more cases like yours to appear before Tamron will take notice of it.

  26. Let’s hope my copy of that lens was more of a fluke than a trend. I would sure like to see Tamron with great quality control and reliability.

  27. I have just bought one tamron 17-50 (new version). And i experienced the same focus lock up problem and besides the camera is blocked, no response at all!!! Oh my God!!!, my body camera is nikon d50.
    I returned the lens…

  28. Hi Colleen,
    I was indoors when I tried the AUTO AF ON thingy but i wouldn’t say that I was trying to focus on a dark object. It just seemed to work on the Tammy so I just keep it on when the lens is mounted. It gets kinda frustrating whenever it would jam on me. I bought the lens from an importer straight from Japan and as mentioned above, it will have to be checked and repaired in Japan that can take quite a while. The lens I got is very sharp, no front/back focus issues so I guess its not a bad compromise.

    Did you have yours replaced?

  29. Hi Rob,

    No I have not replaced the Tamron. I got a bad feeling from the experience and so started to investigate other options.

    As I was rethinking things I got interested in the Sigma 24-60 which seems like a really nice range, especially when paired with a 12-24 wide angle zoom. I haven’t moved on that yet though because again, while I’ve read some people have got super-sharp perfectly working copies of the lens, others have had problems – particularly severe lens flare shooting into the sun. I’m afraid to get back into the murky waters of 3rd party lens quality control. Seems a bit of a crap-shoot.

    Good luck with your copy. I guess with time you will figure out if it is worth your while (and the time without the lens) to send it off and have it checked/repaired.

  30. Hi Colleen,
    Yup, will have to have the lens checked eventually. I’m looking for other options as well for my walk around lens. I’ve sold off my kit lens a long time ago and settled in on prime lenses – 20mm, 50mm and 85mm Nikkors. The range, review, 2.8 aperture, and convenience of a zoom made me decide to get one.

    Goodluck with the Sigma. I’ve read good reviews about it. In case you do get one, I sincerely hope its a great copy.



  31. I have just bought the new Tamron 17-50 (Nikon mount with motor). The size and weight of the lens is great for travelling. I used this lens on my Nikon D40 and D200. The optics is beautiful and sharp (it’s better than my Nikon 18-70, 18-200VR and comparable to my 50mm F1.8). Downside, focusing is slower than Nikon lenses and the motor emits an unpleasant whinning sound that’s quite annoying. At almost 1/3 the cost of the Nikon 17-55mm f2.8, the Tamron is a bargain. Highly recommended.
    BTW, I do not have any focusing problem with this lens.



  32. ohh my god!!

    Mayday!! mayday!!

    My second copy of this new version lens is blocked again. For the sencond time, the lens is blocked, not operative in my nikon D50!!

    ItΒ΄s stand by with no response.

  33. The one I got which actually warranty by Futoromic(Sorry Khoking, did hesitate to get from Shashinki as I fear of having the trouble to have the lens delivered to your place at Perak inspite that it cost less) also at times doesn’t want to auto-focus . Sometimes it even says that “CPU Lens” not detected on my LCD screen:O. This is the first time encountered when using my D40 and I’m sure is definitely not the fault of my D40 body.

  34. i’m using D40 body and recently i’ve experience focus lock few times and my LCD shows F/0. after i switch it off, it goes back in operation again. not really sure what actually happen. kinda frustrated also.

  35. Hi Colleen.
    Can you imagine that i have the similar prob like u do.
    But it is a Nikkor. Yesss…. A 55-200 VR can’t autofocus.
    So it is certainly seems like nobody is perfect. Nothing is perfect. Only God is perfect. hehehe…
    Tough luck on me. But I got it returned and repaired. Now it’s ok.

  36. Hi KKK.
    I’ve read your statement that u send this lens directly to Tamron Japan within warranty period. But how about after the warranty period the lens go wrong? What can I do?

  37. Hello Hakim,
    Sorry to hear that you had problems with the Nikkor, but glad you got it working right now. Yes I agree, any lens manufacturer can put out a bad copy. In fact I did end up buying the Sigma 24-60 lens as I mentioned in a post above, and like you said – tough luck on me – because it has problems with being very soft at wider apertures! I did quite a bit of testing and compared it to my Nikon 18-200 and it definitely has focus issues so I am preparing to send it back to Sigma. Got an awesome deal on it though and expect Sigma will make it right.

    I find it interesting that with the Tamron 17-50 we have only seen posts about problems with the Nikon mount version. I guess time will tell if Tamron did a better job or is more easily compatible with the Canon mount.

  38. Poor Colleen.
    Seems like u have had super tough luck. I guess maybe your D200 just love Nikkor . Hehehe…

  39. Ive experienced the lens-body communication problem also. Have a D80 and Tamron 17-50 with motor Made in Japan. My D80 is practically new(2mos only), so iI would agree with Colleen that the contacts being dirty should be ruled out.
    Experienced it more than 10 times on the first week! It will just stop responding with the half shutter press after maybe 20 shots of good shots, when it stops responding, an F– ERROR shows on my top LCD, it will just respond again after turning the camera off then on. When Ive read the manual and after consulting some co-photographers I learned that F– ERROR means that the Camera Body’s CPU do not detect that a lens is actually attached(communication problem). I believe that this problem is due to the contacts of the Tamron being somewhat defective or mis aligned with the body or some CPU communication problems between the two. I returned the lens to my dealer and asked for a replacement. The replacement was flawless for a couple of days, but again the F– ERROR happened! Turned the camera off/on, worked again. Good thing is that since then, the F– ERROR problem didnt occur again.
    My hint is, what helped solved the problem I guess is that I always remove the Tamron from the D80 every after use(due to it wont stand balanced inside my drybox beacause my D80 has a battgrip). I guess after removing and mounting the tamron several times, it somewhat had a better fit or whatever with my D80… Important thing is the ERROR on this sharp copy of mine only occured once…well I hope not anymore in the future!
    Ok, Ive read quite a number of problems online with this F– ERROR on lenses, even on Nikkors! Most of the solution suggested is to reset the camera and to dismount/remount the lens, also to try cleaning the contacts. Also, I never experienced the F–ERROR on my Nikkors, only with the Tamrons.

  40. Hi Manila Pinoy,

    I have the same thought as yours that the error should be some misalignment of the lens contacts with the camera body contacts. Try turn the lens left and right a bit, it should solve the problem.

  41. Just like to share my experience after reading some post on focusing issue with A16NII. I bought mine from local BestBuy and pair it with D300. I am on the 3rd copy now. The 1st one wouldn’t focus accurately in consistent way at wide open especially at 17mm (seems like the motor didn’t move because the previous object it was focused on was still in focus in the foreground even though I pointed it to another object in the background). However, I found a work-around. The 1st copy also had focus lockup as Colleen described. I had to turn the camera off and back on to somehow reset it. Cleaned the CPU contacts on lens and camera body didn’t help. The 2nd copy also had these 2 problems, plus occassionally the aperature would read zero with little triangle in front as described in D300 user manual p. 389, meaning no lens attached. I would get a black picture if I released the shutter when this happened. This again can be solved by turning it off and on. I’m on my 3rd copy because I thought 3rd time was a charm, but I was wrong. As Colleen described, I also tried my other Nikkor lenses and they all had no problems. BTW, these 3 copies were all made in Japan, and according to BestBuy the 3rd copy was the most recent batch they received at that time (~ 2 weeks ago). This made me wonder if these problems are really arising from QC or it’s just a matter of time or just could be compatibility with certain camera models. I’m keeping it because of its value and it could be very sharp as long as AF works well. It’s just very annoying and that I don’t have high confidence anymore without reviewing every picture I take on LCD. Thanks.

  42. Hi Robert,

    50mm lens is a simple design, hence focusing is much faster.

    As for 18-70mm lens, as it has AFS motor, so is faster as well.

  43. Hello Kho,

    Finally a good Malaysian camera shop! One of my friends is Malaysian and travels from the UK to Malaysia twice a year… now I know where to ask her to stop by and purchase some equipment for me πŸ™‚

    I wanted to ask how you’d recommend testing this lens to make sure it is a quality copy. I need to buy one in the next two weeks and have read enough horror stories of bad quality versions that I want to verify mine is OK. Apart from looking for a model made in Japan, what testing would you recommend, that can be done in a camera shop? Or even at home.

    God bless,

  44. I have the newer version with the motor-drive on it. After using it for 2 months, this lens is a hit and miss. Therefore it is a love and hate relationship. When it hit, the picture is as sharp as the Nikon 17-55mm but it does miss or not focus properly from time to time. From all the comments above, this seems to be the norm for this lens.


  45. Hello Mr Koh

    I bot the D90 with the kit len, can you advise is it wise to get this A16, or I should go for other lens? Thanks!

  46. Hi Albert,

    If you are going to dispose your kit lens, then this Tamron SP 17-50mm lens is a very good replacement for you.

    If you are keeping the kit lens, then I would suggest you get the Tokina AT-X 11-16mm f2.8 lens or Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 lens.

  47. hi.. i using D60 with 18-55mm VR and 55-200mm VR lens. i looking for a new lens. do you recomment me to buy tis 17-50mm lens .?

  48. Hi Gilbert,

    If you are looking for a lens to replace your 18-55mm VR, then yes.

    If you are looking for ANOTHER lens to add to your current system, then I would suggest you to consider Tokina ATX 11-16mm or 12-24mm or 10-17mm fisheye.

  49. HI KhoKing,

    Tks for the advise. I just see Nikor Lens 16-85MM VR. i compare with the Tokina AT-X 12-24mm. wat is yr opinion .? tks for the advise..

  50. Hi,

    Just to contribute, I got the tamron 17-50mm new batch just 2 weeks ago. for the first week, no focus lock problem. 2nd week, i had some focus lock problems too… 3 times in a day to be exact, but the problem goes away when i turn off the camera and turn it back on.

    I’m waiting if to see how does the situation goes, if it really gets bad, i’ll have no choice but to go back to the shop. But I’m happy with the lens… only sad thing is the focus lock up once in a blue moon.

  51. kkk, wei long time no buy things from u.. hehe is time again.. ha.. i am hunting for this lens.. wow price increase? how come? n besides the front / back focusing problem u will check for this lens.. how about the overall sharpness of the lens? i heard many ppl complaint that some of the lens r not sharp.. n some are soft at corners.. will u check on the sharpness of the lens, overall sharpness, centre and corners??

  52. Hi Sim,

    Thanks for dropping by.:)

    I do not do sharpness test, as it involves too much work and need proper equipment and calibration for resolution chart analysis. I can only do simple center focus accuracy test.

  53. kkk,
    Does first version A16N have focus lock issue and focus accuracy? Any optical improvement from A16NII over the A16N?

  54. Dear Danny,

    First version has back / front focus issue, but can be tested and verified easily.

    I am using the first version myself, sometimes it locked on my D200 as well, but that is quite rare case. The reason is because of mis-contact between the lens and the camera. Try unmount and remount it, make sure it mounts tight.

  55. Hi! I’m seriously considering buying a 17-55mm f2.8 lens. currently using Nikon D60 with Nikkor 18-200 and Sigma 30mm f1.4. Need a lens for some indoor shooting e.g wedding. Any other recommendation other than this lens?

  56. Hi Danny,

    I think your Nikkor 18-200mm is a very good and flexible lens for wedding and outdoor shooting, so not really need another focal length in between.

    May I suggest Tokina ATX PRO 116 11-16mm F2.8 or Tokina ATX PRO 124 12-24mm f/4 lens.

    Thank you.

  57. Hi KhoKing,

    No review on Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5? I still consider which one to get for my D80 :S Tamron 17-50mm or Sigma 17-70mm or you may suggest to me other?

    I’m more outdoor person and hope you may suggest a suitable lens for me πŸ˜€


  58. Dear Darren,

    I have used the Sigma 17-70mm lens briefly during the film days, and I must say that it is a very sharp and high contrast lens. However, it is not a fixed aperture lens, at 70mm at F4.5, for me it is too slow.

    I would opt for the Tamron if I have to choose between the two.

  59. Hi KhoKing,

    Thank you for your comment and I just found our Tokina also have this 17-50mm F2.8. But wonder Shashinki not selling this.

    I’m now still considering which to get for 17-50mm within Tokina and Tamron. Any suggestion?


  60. Hi KK,

    I have the version 1 of this sweet lens, mounted on a D200, this is a cheap but superb setup. Since I am planning to get a D40 for my son, I’m thinking of disposing the version 1 to get the version 2.

    If you’re on my shoes, would you do the same thing? A fellow photographer is willing to straight swap his version 2 to my version 1 lens. Will that be a good move or I’ll miss the AF of version 1 once mounted on the D200?


  61. Hi KK,

    Thanks for the reply. The D80 seems to be a bit heavy and big for him (his only 8 years old). Also, the price of a 2nd hand D80 here in the Philippines is still a bit high compared to 2nd hand D40. But come to think of it, it seems like a good move. Will take your advice on the lens swap, will try and think of if first.


  62. I have this Tamron lens too. Bought from Buydig about 6 months ago. No focus lock up problem for the first 5 months (I only shoot about 500-1000 shots in the first 5 months). Then starting from last month, it start to lock up. Most of the time, turn the camera off and then back on will solve the problem. But it has reached a point that it will lock up again within 5-50 shots. That’s almost unusable. I will call Tamron support and see what do they say

  63. Hi KK,
    !’m using D40 + kit lens & 50mm F1.8 currently, plan to upgrade to D90 but don’t know when can get it (no budget now), during this period, I’m looking the F2.8 lens can fit to my D40 and also future D90 with workable fine. is this tamron 17-50 can meet my target, what I know this lens (with motor) got focusing issue in D90. How about compare to sigma or Tokina with same cover range & F2.8. Please advise

  64. Hi kk,

    I have a D60 with a kit lens ,and plan to upgrade my lens. How do you think of tamron 17-50 mm f2.8 and Nikkor 18-200 lens? As i know nikkor lens is quite expensive, is there any other brand which is the same feature with nikkor 18-200mm?
    Looking for your prompted reply..


  65. Hi Jace,

    Tamron 17-50mm lens is a very good lens, but the version for Nikon is a bit slow in autofocusing, which I don’t like.

    Recently I tested Sigma 18-250mm with OS, which I think is a great lens.


    Or you can also consider Tamron 18-250mm lens.


  66. HI kk,

    Thanks for your information. I think i will go for the tamron 18-250mm due to the price is in my budget. Anyway, i’m still practicing with my photography skill, i’m a bit confuse whether large aperture and the shutter speed, may you give me a clear picture of that?

  67. I just bought this lens (not from shanshiki) a week ago to go with my new A700 body… n it screw up my friend’s wedding photography. I have encounter numerous of backfocusing photos (always the object behind the subject is sharp)… & d bride is OOF!

    Many Samples uploaded here:

    I have done a lot of test n setting after since… & it still disappoints me on the focusing accuracy. Perhaps Im putting too much expectation on the lens performance at F2.8, since i hv been addicted to my 50mm F1.4 prime for its sharpness n focusing accuracy even at wide open.

    I told my seller about this & he seems to accept the fact that this lens does has BAD focusing performance… & blame it on my A700 inability to focus in dark. surely im not too happy.

    Then i surf the net for d problem n come across this review
    & just realise so many copies of this lens has problem. It is very professional of you to personally test each of this lens to make sure ur customers get the good copy n they r HAPPY. I wish I have come across this review earlier.

    I will need to talk to the seller & see if i can get a refund if he has not intention to help me…(service/change etc) even at the cost of losing my money.

    If this goes smoothly. I will wish to order from you & I hope this round i can b a proud owner of this lens..(not a frustrating one)…

    btw. my copy now is “assembled in china” i hv to admit im a bit skeptical bout it now. πŸ™

  68. Dear KK,

    The new version of Tamron 17-50mm with VC is on the market. In your opinion, does the VC really improve the sharpness of the image compare to non-VC? Does the one VC improve the focusing speed?


  69. dear KhoKing. I am using D300 with Nikkors AF-D lens, 24-50, 28-70, 70-210, 105 micro and one DX 18-200. I would like to buy Tamron 17-50mm from Japan of your collection. I like to shoot wide and 50mm (now using Nikkors manual 50mm 1.4). Please advise. tq

  70. Dear KKK.
    Thank you for quick response. I am also planing to buy one of these super wide for its value buy without compromising its optical performance:
    Nikkors AF-G 12-24mm F4
    Tamron SP 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 Di-II LD IF
    Tokina ATX PRO 116 11-16mm F2.8
    Tokina ATX PRO 124 12-24mm f/4 lens
    Sigma EX DC HSM 10-20 F3.5
    Prices are not an issue. Really need your expert advice.

  71. alas, i found it rather malu to just point out that sometimes it’s not the lens at all. Its the failure of the photographer to adjust the dioptric adjustment for the camera (especially if you are a newbie, has vision problem and wears glasses) and blame it on back focusing..

  72. thats precisely what i meant why it happen. AF of course no problem. But do it on manual, its another story! ha ha ha

  73. Hi KK,

    I used D5000 and which len as below suit for me?what different for the lens :
    Tamron SP AF 17-50MM F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF] A16NII (Nikon F Mount with built in motor)
    Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR DI-II VC (Vibration Compensation) LD Aspherical (IF)

    Is that mean 1) dont have vibration control ? 2) dont have build in motor that support for my D5000?

  74. Both can run on your D5000. Only the A16N can’t. I suggest U take the one with the VC. Helps U a lot.

  75. Great review, Doc. Tamron SP 17-50mm F2.8 lens is an excellent lens. This lens too sharp for me :). Bought one from Futuromic having focusing problem. So, I agree the lens need double checking like what you did QC yourself. I found 3 major problem of this lens. First, the hook are too tight frequently giving problem to focusing gears. Second, the gears are all plastic not like Tamron older model make from metal. Third, Tamron lens fix into diaper categorizes in term of service and repair parts compare to Nikon and Sigma. Do you sell A16 lens gears?

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