Sunday, February 07, 2010

Nikkor 17-55mm f2.8 vs Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 VC

Today I went to Nikon Center at Time Square Kuala Lumpur with my friend, then met up with my uncle and cousin there.

The purpose I went to Nikon Center was to test out the new D3s and some of my dream lenses. I brought together with my Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 VC to compare with the legendary Nikkor 17-55mm f2.8 to see the differences between these two famous lenses for DX format DSLR.

I was just tested out at 17mm focal length with f2.8 only, but for the conclusion let's look at below...

Nikkor 17-55mm f2.8 at 17mm focal length

Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 VC at 17mm focal length

From the above 2 samples, we can see the Tamron is slightly wider than Nikkor at 17mm focal length.

Let's see more closely with crops factor to 800 x 531.

Nikkor 17-55mm f2.8

Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 VC

Nikkor 17-55mm f2.8

Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 VC

Nikkor 17-55mm f2.8

Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 VC

Nikkor 17-55mm f2.8

Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 VC

Nikkor 17-55mm f2.8

Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 VC

I'm surprised with the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 VC is sharper and colour is more vibrant than Nikkor 17-55mm f2.8! All pictures above were shoot in RAW format then direct converted to JPEG and resized only.

Now I can forget about Nikkor 17-55mm f2.8 DX. The Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 VC only lack of focus speed which I don't really particular on it. What I can say is Tamron did a great job on this lens with VC, it's far cheaper yet picture quality is slightly better and slightly wider at 17mm focal length.

Nikkor vs Tamron


Andrew N said...

and you've just made the back-order list of 17-50VC even longer......

Netster said...

Hello Kenny :)

Great review!!! I think its just me... I have always afraid of using third party products.

1. Im afraid it will not be compatible when I upgrade new body in the future.

2. There's still a tiny bit in the corner of my head telling me to buy original product brand because they do better job in keeping their own product standard.

from your review, the above 2 reasons proven to be wrong but I am still can not convince myself to buy third party lens.

what do you think?

Anyway, I'm using Canon 400D body + L lens F4/70-200mm + kit lens + Yay! my new 1.8F/50mm

I don't dare to invest a lot on all these because its just freaking expensive. bad hobby ahahhahaha

again, great review~!!!

Btw, thank you so much for following me with Google Friend Connect.

you're awesome! love your gear :)

Kenny Ng said...

Don't be so surprise, many 3rd party lenses REALLY better than original product. Be wise user, don't spend too much on original product just because of the BRAND.

Do more research and review from websites, you'll see it.

オテモヤン said...


Bengbeng said...

i bought a Tamron 18-200 18 months ago at a fraction of the price of a genuine Nikon. i have no regrets.In fact I have stopped using my Nikon lens supplied with my camera. Nikon Dx40

Anonymous said...

Just sharing my thought.Comparing both shots by Nikon and Tamron,i noticed both pix are kinda blur..mind asking did u used a tripod when u shoot at 1/50s?
I doubt one can produce a tack sharp pix at that speed.
I ve used 17-55 2.8 before and i can safely say the pix u shot is more likely to be human error rather than claiming te Nikon lens was optically inferior over Tamron !!No offence, im a fan of Tamron also but i feel kinda unfair doin A-B comparison when the shot taken wasnt even properly setup!
Anyway,just my 2 cents..peace!!

Kenny Ng said...

As mentioned, it just a very BRIEF comparison! Myself is a Nikon fan for more than 16 years and why shall I condemn Nikon? And it's been proved that several 3rd party lenses are better than the original manufacturers/brand.

lechua said...

hi kenny, which camera r u using with ur Tamron 17-50mm... i'd really like one to use for event photography.. however heard about the sound and slow to focus and the focusing problems esp with d90. wud u recommend it still with a d90?

lechua said...

okay just saw that u're a d90 user too... been reading about quite a few problems d90 folks encounter... u encountered any?

Kenny Ng said...

Nope, focusing just slower abit, but overall to me is fine.

lechua said...

any recommendations on good places offering a good price in kl? or even 2nd hand? sorry when u mentioned slow.. how much slower is it - > 1 second? just wondering if it makes u miss important moments? coz i'd like to use it to also capture children/people in action sometimes.

Kenny Ng said...

in KL? Try YL Camera or Photo Selangor. I seldom buy camera stuffs in KL. Most of my gears bought in Penang.

It's faster than non VC version, even I tested on non VC, I still can accept the focus speed, if you still doubt then go for original la.

Anonymous said...

No offence, I think the blur is due to hand shake on Nikon, while Tammy having VC. That's the edge Tammy has over Nikon.
if set on tripod to take away possible human error and try again, the result might be different in terms of sharpness and IQ.
Go Canon, 17-55 has IS while Nikon don't have VR :P peace...

Anonymous said...

If you want to compare both lenses. compare them on equal grounds. Did you switch off VC first?

Just like other people who've suggested, want to compare, compare it in a controlled environment.

sometimes people do experience handshake even when they shoot at 1/50, what about your breathing technique? So many external factors.

ilyas said...

hey kenny!nice review.but i see that there were also a non VC type that are sold.can u state the diffs between them?thank you!:D

dimzPhoto said...

Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
thank you :)

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