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Tamron 17-50 2.8 and D300 issues

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Jaytron, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. Jaytron


    Mar 22, 2009
    San Jose, CA
    Hey, I was looking into getting this lens when I picked up a D300 but I've heard that the new version (AF-S version) of the lens has some "problems" with the D300. Can anybody confirm or deny this claim?
  2. I have one and have no problems with it and the D300. Example below.

  3. Wileec

    Wileec Guest

    I've had this lens for my D300 and haven't seen any issue. Here is a shot from the park next to the one shown in post #2.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  4. jaikdee


    Feb 25, 2008
    Kingman, AZ
    Flygirl and Wileec, those are beautiful pictures and I have one similar to #2 but quickly snapped off from the car. I'll never go back to the Tetons/Yellowstone without being in control of the vehicle! Back to the lens. I have this lens with a D300 and have been very disappointed with it. Almost all of the pictures have been soft and I haven't been able to correct it. Maybe I should sent it to Tamron to see if there is a problem. Your pictures show the lens does work very well.
  5. Preston


    May 2, 2005
    Reno, NV
    I haven't heard of any problems with that lens. Not any more than any other lens.
  6. OCIR


    Mar 24, 2009
    Not so much on what body it is mounted but more on the lens itself. I ended up selling my Tamron due to slow and low af, very soft at 2.8, back focusing and a little bit of nasty flare issues on my D90. Then again, I might have gotten a bad copy. Just in case you get one and have issues, just be prepared to send it to Tamron to fix it.
  7. Jaytron


    Mar 22, 2009
    San Jose, CA
    flygirl1, Wileec, do you have the screw driven or the version with the internal motor?
  8. shealyn


    Jan 14, 2009
    I have this lens and have had nothing but trouble with it :(  Too bad, because when it does work it works well......
  9. nyannyan


    Mar 24, 2009
    Took one back due to front focusing.
    Took the next back due to erratic, unreliable focusing.
    (Both with the infernal motor.)
  10. jpfigueiredo


    Oct 3, 2008

    Seriously now, are all those problems specifically when used with the D300/D90?

    I ask because the motorised version is not as bad as people make it, I can tell you that. At least on a D200, it will focus fast enough for 99% of the occasions. Also, the noise when focusing that many people complain doesn't bother me at all, or does it make anyone look at me when in public places.

    Oh, and did I tell you that it's sharp...?
  11. Wileec

    Wileec Guest

    Based on the info on the Tamron site, the current version of this lens, which is what I have (bought new over a year ago) doesn't have an internal motor. Perhaps older versions of the lens do, but not the current one.

    Also, an exam of the mounting area on the lens reveals the focusing screw.

    Also, having a lot of experience researching this kind of stuff, you have to understand that the vast majority of people that have good to great experiences with any lens - will never be heard from. It's not uncommon to get a disproportionate negative to positive when there are legitimate issues. In this instance, it sounds like an older version of the lens may have had some issues, which is why the change in design by Tamron (with internal motor to without).
  12. Jaytron


    Mar 22, 2009
    San Jose, CA
    I think it was the other way around. The version 2 has an internal motor (the one for sale on BH) I've heard the version 2 has more problems than the first.
  13. Wileec

    Wileec Guest

    I'm not here to argue, but Tamron doesn't list the current model as having an internal motor (they use their little BIM icon to designate that). Finally, the lens I'm holding in my hands clearly has a slot for the screw drive of my camera to use; if I spin a small screwdriver in it, I observe the focus ring rotating. I've had no issues with my sample in the year and a half or so. I have lenses with motors, typically the focus is faster than with this lens and they are heavier. I have no reason to think the lens I have has an internal motor and it matches the exact description of the lens on Tamron's site.

    One conflicting observation. The written description on the B&H website states it has an internal motor. Since neither the main link from Tamron (given above) corroborates that and neither does the sales brochure for the lens (PDF), I'm inclined to believe that the B&H info is from the earlier lens and they haven't updated it.

    Bottom line, I can find no reason to think the current lens has an internal motor.
  14. Jaytron


    Mar 22, 2009
    San Jose, CA
    Thanks for your input. I'll probably contact BH before I order it, if I decide to, just to be sure.

    I'd like to try and get my hands on a screw driven one because I've heard those are less problematic. :) 
  15. Wileec

    Wileec Guest

    I would add that since most lenses with an internal motor are considered premium to those without, due to the typically faster and often quieter focusing - if it was there, I'm sure it's a feature that would be called attention to. Nikon and Sigma certainly do, for two examples. The fact that Tamron doesn't for this lens, suggests that it probably doesn't have that.

    Point two - It seems in the latest Tamron catalog (PDF) that they have dropped the BIM icon they used for designating when a lens has a built-in motor. So, either they aren't producing any with that, or perhaps some/all with the SP icon have a built-in motor. Their SP suggest Super Performance, but their general description isn't clear, in detail, what that really means.

    If I was considering their lens and I wasn't sure, I'd contact them, not B&H. As good as B&H tends to be, I've generally found I get more accurate lens/camera info from the manufacturer.
  16. jpfigueiredo


    Oct 3, 2008
    Have you seen the specifications page? They clearly mention "BIM" for Nikon mount.

    EDIT: Sorry, I just noticed that there's no way to link directly to "Specifications". You have to change to that tab yourself.
  17. Wileec

    Wileec Guest

    Interesting - they don't include that in any of the written descriptions, nor in the row of icons on the primary page. Guess a call to Tamron is the only way to determine it for sure.

    Like I said - on mine, it has the slot for the screw drive. The two Nikon lenses I own with AF-S don't have that slot, while the 50mm f/1.8 does. And the 50mm f/1.8 definitely does not have a built in motor.
  18. nyannyan


    Mar 24, 2009
    In my case, I was on topic and the problem lenses were on a d300.

    (There's probably a considerable amount of sampler variation.)
  19. MikeG76


    Jun 11, 2008
    Middletown, NY
    I don't think they sell the screw drive one anymore. The one that I have has the built in motor and I purchased it from B&H during the fall of last year. The focus can be annoying, but I've found it no different than any other lens on my D50 when it comes to how reliable the focus is. I'm sure its all QC issues at the factory.

    I would imagine the screw drive has faster focus however. This one takes a couple of seconds sometimes to focus, which can be annoying at times.
  20. It's quite clear from the specifications page that the current version for Nikon has the built-in-motor. "Nikon with Built-In Motor - Available"

    It's also obvious from a logical perspective why the current model has a BIM -- they want to make sure they sell the lens to the D40/D40x/D60/D3000/D5000 audience.

    I was among the first to receive the Nikon-mount with the BIM early last year. I had ordered the 17-50 with screw drive from B&H, hoping to get one of the remaining ones. Unfortunately B&H substituted the higher-priced BIM version and that's what I received.

    I say unfortunately because I dislike the BIM. I find it slower-focusing than the screw-drive version though that is also somewhat dependent on the body you use it with. It has that annoying "chimping" to fine-tune final focus. Then again, if what you shoot is mostly stationary, then it's not as big a deal.

    The sample I received as defective -- clear softness at 17mm. I returned it, my second bad Tamron in a row.

    If you get a good copy, it's an excellent lens. Just make sure you buy it from a dealer with a good return policy.
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