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Tamron 17-35mm F2.8-4 OSD (A037) Review

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There have been quite a lot of excessive finish wide-angle zooms and primes launched over the previous Four-5 years, however only a few in an necessary demographic – the reasonably priced finish of the complete body spectrum.  Tamron is trying to handle that with their new 17-35mm F2.8-4 Di OSD lens.  It sports activities a properly weather-sealed physique of their mid-grade design together with a strong optical efficiency.  The 17-35mm (A037 is Tamron’s code for the lens, so I’ll check with it as that principally on this evaluation) sports activities a pleasant measurement and weight as nicely, and will undoubtedly be of curiosity for these with a full-frame digital camera which are both on a finances or on the lookout for a extra compact zoom with a wider most aperture than most.   I reviewed it alongside the brand new Tamron 15-30mm f2.eight VC G2 and found that there have been a number of viewers and readers that have been very on this lens as a price range various to a number of the first get together zoom lenses.  They favored the worth, measurement, and weight of the lens, however needed to know if it lived as much as its potential. That’s what we’re right here to find collectively on this evaluate, so let’s leap in and discover out!

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I might advocate that you simply watch this video to get a hands-on, interactive take a look at the construct and design of the lens.

The A037 receives what has turn out to be Tamron’s normal design for its mid-grade zoom lenses – just like the construct on the 70-210mm F4 and the 100-400mm F4.5-6.three VC zooms.  There’s a comparable look to the G2 zooms and SP primes, however the mid-grade zooms substitute engineered plastics for the metallic alloys of the G2 zooms.  This helps contribute to the lighter weight of those lenses, nevertheless it does end in a much less premium really feel to them.  

On an encouraging observe, although, this lens has not solely a rear gasket for moisture resistance, but in addition has each inner seals together with a fluorine coating on the entrance aspect, which provides as much as a reasonably strong climate sealing.  I feel that is notably essential for vast angle lenses that may typically be used outdoor.

The 17-35 OSD weights in at 459 grams (about 1 pound), which is barely lighter than the Canon 17-40mm F4L (500g) or the Canon 16-35mm f/4L IS (615g).  Nikon’s 16-35mm F/4G VR lens weighs in at a heftier 680g.  It’s necessary to keep in mind that whereas the Tamron sports activities a barely smaller zoom vary than any of those, it additionally has a bigger most aperture at most focal lengths.  On the large the utmost aperture of F2.eight allows twice as a lot mild on the most aperture of F4 on the opposite lenses.  

The A037 can also be probably the most compact lens of the group.  It’s three.29″ (83.6mm) in diameter and three.65″ (92.5mm) in size.  It employs a standard 77mm entrance filter thread (all 4 of those broad angle zooms share that filter measurement).

One space that the Tamron loses is with regards to most magnification/copy.  Minimal focus distance is 11″ (27.94mm), which is definitely a hair higher than the opposite lenses), however the magnification is Zero.20x, a bit behind the Zero.23-Zero.25x figures the opposite lenses provide you with respectively.  Once I see that, it makes me assume that there’s a little focus respiration happening at shut focus distances, and that the lens behaves as one with a shorter focal size at shut focus.  This can be a pretty unimportant metric on a large angle lens like this, nevertheless.  The Zero.20x determine is beneficial sufficient to provide you some artistic choices for framing like these:

The lens isn’t internally zooming; it extends a small quantity (Four-5mm) when on the 17mm place, although it additionally extends a small bit (perhaps 3mm) when at 35mm.  The absolutely retracted place is about 26mm.  The quantity of extension is definitely very small, however you’ll word a “dipping” out and in as you undergo the zoom vary.  This makes “zoom creep” primarily a non-issue, as a result of the lens neither extends a lot nor zooms in a linear path.  There isn’t any “zoom lock” on the lens, neither is one wanted.  The picture under exhibits the utmost extension at 17mm – not a lot, to make certain.

The zoom ring is closest to the digital camera and operates easily.  It ought to be famous that each rings rotate within the “Nikon” moderately than the “Canon” course.  I’ll contact extra on the conduct of the main target ring within the OSD part under.  There’s a single change situated at concerning the 10 o’clock place that switches between AF and MF.

All in all this lens will get the job carried out with the construct.  It’s not a pro-grade construct, however neither is there something truly fallacious with it, both.  It comes with an included, petal-shaped lens hood.  What it doesn’t include is Tamron’s VC, or vibration compensation, a choice that, frankly, stunned me.

Tamron has debuted yet one more new focus motor on the A037.  This one known as Optimized Silent Drive (OSD).  This focus motor has each some strengths and weaknesses.  Whereas not utterly silent (you possibly can hear a faint scratching noise as the weather transfer when you pay attention intently), it’s quiet and fast in operation.  I discovered autofocus assured on my Canon 5D Mark IV check physique, shortly locking onto the topic with out pulsing.  All focus occurs internally with none exterior modifications in size or rotation (no points with round polarizers). There’s not likely an entire lot to criticize when it comes to the autofocus itself, although there are a number of different points.

The primary is that OSD (surprisingly) doesn’t supply full time guide override.  There’s numerous drag on the main target ring for those who attempt to use it with AF engaged, which is a transparent signal that you’d be preventing towards the clutch mechanism of the autofocus motor to attempt to use it that means.  For those who flip the AF change to the MF place, the main target ring goes to the other excessive, with virtually no resistance in any respect.  It doesn’t actually damped in any respect, and, whereas it strikes extraordinarily simply, there isn’t sufficient friction on it to make it notably helpful for precision guide focus.  A Zeiss guide focus ring this isn’t!

There additionally isn’t any sort of distance window on the lens.  Once I first noticed this, I surmised that this was some sort of stepping motor, however that isn’t truly the case.  With a stepping motor, enter on the main target ring with the lens disconnected or the digital camera powered off does nothing to maneuver the weather, however that clearly isn’t the case right here.  I’m left to conclude that the shortage of a distance window is extra of a design aspect, and really possible a price saving one. 

I primarily consider this focus motor as being a wealthy man’s model of the older, cheaper micro motors.  It lacks the subtle guide focus override of the higher USD (UltraSonic Drive) motors, and the guide focus ring lacks primarily any type of constructive tactile suggestions, however it additionally focuses shortly and quietly.  It isn’t buzzy or coarse like these older motors.  The “optimized” a part of the identify might discuss with the conduct in Stay View mode or video Servo AF, the place the motor appears to make pretty clean transitions with out pulsing or “nervousness”.  It really works properly in Reside View, although focus velocity is clearly slower and extra “optimized” for gradual, clean transitions somewhat than the abrupt ones that work higher for conventional focus.  

There’s numerous constructive issues about this focus motor, however neither am I deceived into considering that it’s a premium focus system.  It might be extra sensible for contemporary images than the older USM motor of, say, the Canon EF 17-40mm F/4L, nevertheless, regardless of that lens’ capacity to do full time guide override.

Sure, I did use the Tamron 17-35mm F2.8-4 OSD lens by way of adapter on each the brand-new Canon EOS R mirrorless system together with my Sony a7R3 (by way of the Sigma MC-11 mount converter).  It ought to be famous that the lens was neither developed for both system nor has Tamron labored at particularly testing and creating for these platforms with the A037, however I used to be pleasantly stunned in each instances.  On the EOS R the lens primarily carried out in addition to it did on the 5D Mark IV.  Autofocus was fast, correct, and picture high quality was wonderful.  I additionally discovered that continuous AF in video seize was surprisingly good.  Transitions have been clean, and the lens was not “jittery” or pulsing throughout steady AF.  I did notice with main focus modifications that there was some clearly audible focus noises, although smaller modifications are primarily silent.  The focal size works fairly nicely for video work on the EOS R, and the sunshine weight of the lens itself makes it a pure pairing there for stills, too.  You’ll be able to see some video footage from the mixture within the video evaluate, and right here’s a couple of EOS R/EF Adapter/A037 pattern pictures:

I primarily anticipated this (no less than for stills) on the EOS R, however I used to be extra stunned with the a7R3/MC-11 mixture with each new Tamron lenses, the place the efficiency was usually wonderful for stills images.  As a rule, I don’t discover that any lenses outdoors of some Sigma ART collection lens do excellent in AF-C mode throughout video with the MC-11, so I didn’t actually concentrate on that.  However for stills images I used to be pleasantly stunned, because the lens didn’t actually give me any hiccups in both AF-S or AF-C modes.  Whereas I didn’t use it extensively on that platform, I did attempt the combo for a hike, and I had no observable points.

So, whereas this focus motor doesn’t really feel like a premium focus system, it will get the job accomplished with little to complain about…until you might want to do guide focus.

One of the simplest ways to get a way of the conduct of this lens is by watching this detailed picture high quality breakdown video.  It’s going to take you in nearer and is a greater medium for sharing that info.

In my evaluations, I break picture high quality down underneath two important headings:  Decision and Rendering.  Underneath decision I cope with issues like sharpness, distinction, and present the vignette/distortion traits of the lens.  However I acknowledge that there’s extra to picture high quality than simply how “sharp” a lens is, so I additionally break down the rendering, together with the colour rendition, bokeh high quality, coma efficiency, flare resistance, and skill to regulate chromatic aberrations.

A037 Decision

The excellent news is that this can be a very sharp lens throughout the focal vary, and that sharpness is essentially accessible at wider apertures.  There primarily two optical shortcomings with the A037:  a reasonably heavy vignette (not fairly as dangerous because the Canon EF 16-35mm F2.8L III, however undoubtedly worse than the Tamron 15-30mm F2.eight G2) and a pronounced barrel distortion at 17mm particularly.  You possibly can see each on show right here, but in addition the truth that the usual profile in Lightroom does an efficient job of correcting for each:

There are two potential issues to be careful for regardless of this.  The primary is that in case you are a JPEG shooter, this Tamron lens is just not suitable with aberration correction on Canon or Nikon our bodies, which signifies that the digital camera won’t clear up the distortion or vignette in digital camera for JPEGs like it is going to for first social gathering (Canon or Nikon) lenses.  The second potential difficulty is with correcting vignette at excessive ISO values.  There’s a danger of introducing noise into the picture because of lifting corners considerably.  A main instance will probably be when capturing astrophotography, one thing the lens is in any other case fairly good at.  The comparability under exhibits how that making use of the Lightroom profile on an ISO 6400 night time sky picture undoubtedly introduces some damaging noise the place it has corrected for the vignette:

To be truthful, nevertheless, I do assume the profile overcorrects the vignette on this case, so I might advocate manually backing the vignette correction slider again a bit and permitting for a extra pure wanting outcome like this (I’ve the Lightroom vignette slider at 68, should you’re ).

At 17mm and F2.eight the lens delivers a really sharp middle with good sharpness extending to in all places save the acute edges/corners.  The heavy vignette considerably obscures the sting sharpness, however it’s undoubtedly there:

I additionally noticed good proof of centering, with each edges wanting roughly comparable.

Stopping right down to F4 exhibits that now even the acute corners are sharp, one thing you’re undoubtedly NOT going to see with the Canon 17-40mm at F4.  Listed here are each excessive higher corners, which additionally exhibits the great centering efficiency of the lens:

Stopping right down to F5.6 or F8 produces extremely detailed panorama photographs, although some vignette persists via F5.6.  Actual world photographs look nice, although:

At 20mm there’s nonetheless some barrel distortion, although it’s decreased by the much less excessive focal size.  Vignette continues to be a problem, nevertheless.  Decision (notably on the sides) is noticeably improved, nevertheless, with close to peak efficiency out there at F2.eight:

I’m additionally delighted by the truth that the lens continues to be F2.eight.  Some variable aperture zooms maintain their bigger aperture values very briefly.  The 17-35mm doesn’t hit F4 as the utmost aperture till round 31mm, which is a pleasant change of tempo.  F3.2 arrives round 21mm and F3.5 at roughly 25mm.

Stopping the lens right down to F5.6 reduces vignette (although not utterly), however should you look previous that you could see that the sides are primarily as sharp at F2.eight and they’re at F5.6, which is to say wonderful:

As anticipated, actual world 20mm outcomes look sensible:

At 24mm the distortion is gone however the vignette stays.  What can also be true is that sharpness profile throughout the body is nearly completely constant.  The lens is lethal sharp at 24mm F3.2 and compares favorably right here with all of the costlier zooms.

You’ll be able to squeeze a bit extra sharpness out it whenever you cease right down to panorama apertures, although what you’ll principally see is a raise of the vignette that permits the textures to seem crisper.

As anticipated, actual world photographs look nice contemplating the optical efficiency at 24mm:

On the finish of the focal vary (35mm), the utmost aperture is simply F4, however sharpness stays robust.  There’s a very delicate quantity of pincushion distortion, however sufficient to make an actual world impression.  Vignette can also be much less pronounced.  There’s little distinction between middle and edge sharpness; each are wonderful:

At panorama apertures like F5.6 you’ve nice sharpness throughout the body, as the sting crop from this panorama picture exhibits:

It’s not troublesome to supply beautiful panorama photographs with this lens.  Right here’s one which I did just a little processing on:

A037 Rendering

We’ve primarily already detailed the shortcomings of the A037.  The lens delivers very good colour.  Maybe not the acute excellence of some Zeiss lenses, however definitely very good:

The lens does present a bit little bit of ghosting with the solar at sure positions within the body, however distinction holds up and I by no means discovered the lens’ flare debilitating to the seize of photographs.

A 17-35mm variable aperture lens is hardly going to be a world champ for producing bokeh, however neither did I see something off-putting concerning the defocused areas that I might produce.  Bokeh seems to be fairly respectable:

The Tamron 15-30mm F2.eight G2 does endure from some lateral chromatic aberrations, however I noticed no chromatic aberrations of both the lateral or longitudinal varieties in any of my exams.  You’ll be able to see no lateral CA in these naked branches towards a shiny sky:

One other power of the lens is a particularly low incidence of coma.  Comatic aberrations trigger a deformation of distant vibrant factors of sunshine (like stars), inflicting them to elongate, develop “wings”, or turn out to be soccer formed.  The A037 truly does an distinctive job with this and exhibits as low of ranges of coma as I’ve seen.  As I discussed beforehand, the vignette of the lens is a legal responsibility for the lens in capturing the night time sky, however coma is certainly not!  Right here’s a “nightscape” together with some crops to point out the crisp middle of body star factors together with excessive higher nook factors that also look excellent.

That is one distinctive benefit over the F4 lenses, as having twice the sunshine transmission at 17mm makes this a way more fascinating choice for astrophotography.

All in all, this lens is basically strong optically.  I want it had much less vignette, however that’s the compromise of constructing a extra compact lens.  I share a couple of extra random photographs under, and you may catch much more by visiting the picture gallery right here.

The Tamron 17-35mm F2.8-4 Di OSD is a lens that originally left me questioning, “why?” once I was despatched the announcement of its improvement.  Tamron has been placing their VC (Vibration Compensation) in virtually each new lens launch, and I used to be stunned that they might launch this lens with out it.  I used to be additionally stunned that this wasn’t a lens for mirrorless, as Tamron had each full body and APS-C coated with their 15-30mm F2.eight VC G2 and 10-24mm VC lenses – each of which have been very nicely acquired.  A lens with out VC made for Sony FE, for instance, is sensible (just like the 28-75mm F2.eight RXD lens), as does the compact nature of this lens (and I do hope that Tamron develops one thing comparable for Sony the place it may be much more compact and could possibly be supported with lens correction profiles in-camera).

However as I considered it additional, this lens started to make extra sense.  I started to view it extra as a competitor to the lenses I’ve talked about on this assessment, and understand that many full body photographers have few high quality choices at this worth level.  The Canon 17-40mm F/4L is each previous and optically outdated at this level, and the 16-35mm F/Four choices from Canon and Nikon are significantly costlier.  The A037 involves market at a $599 USD MSRP and has the smallest, lightest construct whereas additionally giving a wider most aperture over a lot of the focal vary.  Sooner or later occasional gross sales will virtually definitely convey that worth nearer to $500, which is a real discount for the optical efficiency of this lens.  I don’t love the main target motor, although it will get the job carried out, and I don’t love the vignette of the A037, however that’s hardly distinctive to this lens.  I do love the decision, low coma and chromatic aberrations, and good shade rendition.  You get a variety of the efficiency of the 15-30 G2 in a a lot much less excessive package deal.  Don’t get me fallacious – the 15-30 G2 is the superior lens, however not everybody wants its extra excessive strengths and bulk.  In case you are on the lookout for a reasonably priced, excessive performing vast angle zoom on your Canon or Nikon DSLR, this lens is properly value a glance.  It additionally works nicely on the Canon EOS R and (after firmware replace) Nikon Z our bodies by way of their respective adapters.

Execs:

  • Very robust sharpness throughout focal vary and picture body
  • Very low ranges of coma
  • Bigger most aperture at most focal lengths than competing zooms
  • Chromatic aberrations nicely managed
  • Good colour rendition and distinction
  • Good shopper grade construct with thorough climate sealing
  • Lighter weight and extra compact than competing lenses
  • Wonderful worth

Cons:

  • Heavy vignette
  • Some robust barrel distortion at 17mm
  • No full time guide override and lifeless guide focus 
  • No VC

Gear Used:

Buy the Tamron 17-35mm OSD @ B&H Photograph | Amazon |  Amazon Canada | Amplis Foto (Canada – Use Code AMPLIS52018DA for five% off) | Amazon UK | Amazon Germany | Ebay
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV (5D4): B&H Photograph | Amazon.com | Amazon Canada  | Amazon UK
Sony a7R III Digital camera: B&H Photograph | Amazon | Amazon.ca | Amazon UK  | Ebay
Peak Design Slide Lite:  Peak Design Retailer | B&H Photograph | Amazon | Amazon Canada | Amazon UK
Sony a6500: B&H Photograph | Amazon | Amazon.ca | Amazon UK | Ebay
Peak Design Leash Strap:  Peak Design Retailer | B&H Photograph | Amazon | Amazon Canada  | Amazon UK
BenQ SW271 4K Photograph Modifying Monitor – B&H Photograph  | Amazon | Amazon.ca | Amazon UK
Adobe Photoshop Artistic Cloud 1-Yr Subscription
Alien Pores and skin Publicity X2 (Use Code “dustinabbott” to get 10% something and all the things)

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