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Is the Nikon 17-55 2.8 Twice as good as the Tamron 17-50 2.8?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by fdevyatkin, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. The Tammy is around $400 and the Nikon about $1000.
    Please post pics to support your opinion.
    I think I need one of them.
  2. Connahhh


    Oct 27, 2007
    Good thread, Fred. This is a question I've been wondering. Subscribed.
  3. I have no experience with the Tamron, so I can't comment on it.

    I think the 17-55/2.8 excels on "people" pics. Here are two examples:

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  4. nineohtoo


    Jan 17, 2008
    SF Bay Area
    Better bokeh imo. Same for the Canon counterparts. Great sharpness, good colors though bokeh is more distracting in the 3rd party 2.8 zooms to me.
  5. My 2 cents...I owned both.

    The Tamron positives:
    is nice and light
    the price makes it a bargain
    It is really just as sharp as the Nikon

    The Tamron negatives
    It has the tenancy to over expose. Sometimes by a whole stop!
    The above problem is worse with a flash. Compensate and it is fine.
    The color is a little cool.
    The fact that it is a Tamron bothers some folks. (not sure why...)

    Nikon +'s
    Color is exactly the same as the Nikon 70-200 (So if you switch a lot, like I do, this is a big one)
    No exposure problem.
    Build quality is well...Nikon pro grade.
    Bokeh is much better
    Has the same 77mm filter size as the 70-200

    Nikon -'s
    um....that is all I can think of!
  6. I see where this thread is going. Those with the Nikon 17-55 are going to swear it's worth the cost over the Tamron. Those of us who "compromised" for the cheaper, lighter Tamron are going to say it holds its own.

    But I'll play along anyway. All images taken with a D80 and Tamron 17-50 f/2.8.

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  7. I would add as a positive that the 67mm threads of the tamron are the same as the nikon 70-300 VR.
  8. kiwi


    Jan 1, 2008
    Auckland, NZ
    I have not even touched either of these lenses, but, the question whether any lens is twice as better because it's twice the cost is spurious.

    Many photographers will be happy to pay twice the cost of a Nikon over a 3rd party to get just a 5% improvement
  9. I ain't used the 17-55 Nikkor but it must be more than twiced as good, it cost more than twiced as much. Anyway, I have the 17-50 Tamron, it's an older screw drive and I just make the best of it. I sent mine in to Tamron for calibration and it was returned to me with no issues. I have no desire to trade up to the Nikon.

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  10. i just picked up a copy of the Tamron 17-50 and i love it. i have only used it once but it was on my camera for over 8hrs of shooting and it did great.

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  11. Wow Jim T!
    Those portraits are awesome!
  12. Beautiful images Mr Graceful!
  13. Really nice RB!
  14. Great car shot Brad!
    Someone mentioned that the color on the Tammy tends toward cool, and this is, but obviously, if you wanted it warmer you could PP.
  15. SeeNoEvil


    Jul 1, 2008
    Bay Area
    As with many others, I wondered about paying the price for the 17-55 considering it's a DX lens...but just as with many others, I have no complaints....

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    (the only PP done was resizing)
  16. Don't forget that Nikkors generally have better resale value (although this won't matter to some).
  17. The value of any lens is not just in the quality of the pictures it helps you take, but also in how well it retains its value over time (resale potential), how well it performs in the field and how it holds up over time. One persons Nikon may be another's Tamron. And there are a myriad of social-psychological factors at play too!

    You like what you do because of what it does for you!
  18. The resale value factor in this comparison may be misleading, however.

    If we use B&H's prices:

    - Nikon 17-55 = $1,200
    - Tamron 17-50 = $420

    Let's say the Nikon holds 75% of its value, so resale is $900 -- this is charitable since on this forum there have been 17-55's listed for $850-$875.

    Let's say the Tamron only holds 55% of its value -- and it probably holds more than that. But let's favor the Nikon and say the Tamron resale is $231.

    - Nikon: $1,200 - $900 = $300 "usage fee" (what you've put into it)

    - Tamron: $420 - $231 = $189 "usage fee," minus whatever you make if you invest the $780 saved upon initial purchase

    So the resale value of the Nikon, in this case, doesn't really help it.

    Another consideration for resale -- it's quite possible the 17-55 will lose its value more significantly than some other Nikon pro lenses. As FX becomes more affordable (e.g. the D700) the market for a $1,200 17-55 grows smaller and smaller. The Tamron does well as it appeals to smaller budgets.


    P.S. resale isn't a big factor to me as lenses really aren't investments except for some very rare cases. Even with the Tamron's cost advantage, I'm very happy with my 17-55. Though I was fortunate to purchase my new U.S. model for just $809, which made the price difference much more tolerable.
  19. Cope


    Apr 5, 2007
    Houston, Texas
    Yes, and many of those are simply fan boys.

    If you can afford the Nikon easily, and that's what you want, then it is a no-brainer. Many cannot justify the much higher cost, and go for a perfectly suitable Tamron or Sigma substitute.
  20. That's why I sold mine early and bought the 17-35.
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