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Looking for 17-50ish DX lens

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Transmit, Aug 12, 2009.

  1. I sold my 17-55mm lens to fund a D700 purchase, but now I'm looking for a cheaper alternative for my backup D90 since I love the versatility of the 17-55 range and f2.8 aperture. I'm looking at either the Tamron 17-50 or Sigma 18-50. Any advice on which is better or more likely to approximate the Nikon 17-55 without the size/weight/cost?

  2. It is universally regarded that the Tamron 17-50/2.8 is the best budget alternative to the Nikkor 17-55, with IQ regarded virtually the same as the Nikkor.

    Take a look at Thom Hogan's review:

  3. pogiboipinoi


    Apr 11, 2009
    I have the Sigma and enjoy it very much. Sharp images and quick AF. I bit hefty but you get over it.
  4. NateS


    Oct 11, 2007
    Get the Sigma 18-50 f2.8 HSM. It is a toss up between which of the two is sharper.....though I still think the Tamron is sharper. Photozone.de made a comment in their review of the tamron that it has one of the highest resolution's they have ever tested from a lens (i.e. sharpness) and is even very sharp wide open which most lenses can't do.

    However, the Sigma HSM version is supposed to be just as good (some argue better). The Tamron has some compatability issues with some D90's. Myself and a few other people that I found searching google....have issues with the autofocus quitting sporadically and requiring you to dismount/remount the lens to get it back. This is a near impossible issue to fix as well since it only happens with this lens and a D90 combo...so there's no way to figure out which is at fault for warranty service.

    If you were shooting anything besides a D90 I'd say to get the Tamron....since you are shooting a D90, I'd say get the Sigma.
  5. adaml


    Feb 21, 2006
    Have you considered the Nikon 16-85mm VR? It's half the price of the 17-55, is a great lens in its own right, has VR, is a perfect match for the D90, and best of all, its a Nikon.
  6. NateS


    Oct 11, 2007
    While it does gain VR and a little bit of range, that lens is nowhere near as sharp as the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 (or Sigma). Still an option, but there's much better out there in that range for less money and better IQ in my opinion.


    Jun 4, 2008
    I've never heard or read of anyone claiming the Tamron is that much sharper than the 16-85. Can you elaborate?
  8. I say go find a copy of a used 17-50 Tamron w/out the built-in motor for ~300 dollars.
  9. NateS


    Oct 11, 2007
    Yeah, my mistake...I was thinking of a different lens. They are actually pretty equal in sharpness. I'd still prefer the Tamron due to the smaller DOF of f2.8 while still retaining it's sharpness, but the 16-85 would make a good walk around lens...especially outdoors.
  10. kanzlr


    Jun 18, 2007
    I preferred the Sigma over the Tamron, and I had both.
    somehow prefered its rendering.
  11. NateS


    Oct 11, 2007
    Good to hear....I've been seriously considering selling my Tamron and picking up a used Sigma HSM version due to the compatability issues I've been having. However, I got a stupidly sharp copy of the Tamron and am scared to make that switch and end up with a lesser sharp copy of the Sigma.

    I also really love the tones and colors I get with the Tamron...haven't tried the Sigma to compare though.
  12. I have the sigma 18-50 and i use it for all of my event shoots alongside my 70-200. Its as sharp as my 35 1.8 and 70-200 and focuses just as quickly. I have owned that lens for over a year, if it wasnt sharp enough I would have sold it a long time ago.

    +1 for the sigma
  13. Philwaters


    Mar 28, 2008
    Any sample pics? I'm thinking about something to replace my 18-200VR which I'm just not happy with most of the time.
    The siggy 18-50 sounds interesting, but would leave a slight hole before the 70-300 - would that be a problem?
  14. This is not only an issue with the 17-55, my Tamron 28-75 does this too.

    It does it on both of my bodies.
  15. Weston


    Dec 29, 2008
    Springfield, OR
    I also have the Sigma and love it. I think it is actually quite small for a 2.8 lens. It should seem small compared to the 17-55.
  16. SP77


    Jun 4, 2007
    Rockville, MD
    There's also the Tokina 16-50, although I think it's as heavy as the Nikon 17-55 is. Between the Sigma and Tamron I think it's a wash. The Tamron is better/worse in some areas and the Sigma is too. Same with Tokina. Want it all at once you've got to buy the Nikon.

    Personally I'd go edward's route. Just use your existing 18-70dx lens and then add a 35/1.8 to your kit, or throw your 50/1.8 in your pocket if you might need something faster than the kit lens.
  17. Not if you don't mind walking 2 steps forward or 2 steps backwards. The small gap will just make it clear which lens you should choose for any particular subject.
  18. Sigma 18-50 2.8 HSM EX


  19. NateS


    Oct 11, 2007
    Wait....so your 28-75 does the same as my 17-50....and it does it on both your D70s and D40? If that's the case, I'm gonna start bugging Tamron and try and send it in for warranty since I've only had it 6 months...wonder how their customer service is....
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