Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC Lens

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Key Features

  • 17-50mm focal length
  • 25.5-75mm equivalent focal length on APS-C cameras, 27.2-80mm equivalent focal length on Canon APS-C cameras
  • F2.8 constant maximum aperture; F32 minimum
  • Micromotor-type AF motor without full-time manual focusing
  • Image stabilization, vibration compensation
  • 72mm filters
  • 0.29m/11.42" minimum focus
  • Available in Canon EF, Nikon F (DX) mounts

Product Description

The Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II VC LD Aspherical (IF) is a standard zoom lens for Canon and Nikon APS-C cameras, offering a constant aperture of F2.8 and covering an effective focal length range of 26-75mm. Tri-axial VC (Vibration Compensation) image stabilization allows you to shoot at slower shutter speeds than would otherwise be possible by combating image blur resulting from camera shake. Optical construction includes XR (Extra Refractive Index) and LD (Low Dispersion) glass elements in an optical formula employing 19 elements in 14 groups.


Principal specifications
Lens type Zoom lens
Max Format size APS-C / DX
Focal length 17–50 mm
Image stabilisation Yes (vibration compensation)
Lens mount Canon EF, Nikon F (DX)
Maximum aperture F2.8
Minimum aperture F32.0
Aperture ring No
Number of diaphragm blades 7
Aperture notes circular aperture
Elements 19
Groups 14
Minimum focus 0.29 m (11.42)
Maximum magnification 0.21×
Autofocus Yes
Motor type Micromotor
Full time manual Unknown
Focus method Internal
Distance scale Yes
DoF scale Yes
Weight 570 g (1.26 lb)
Diameter 80 mm (3.13)
Length 95 mm (3.72)
Colour Black
Zoom method Rotary (extending)
Zoom lock Yes
Filter thread 72 mm
Hood supplied Yes
Hood product code flower shaped hood
Tripod collar No


User Reviews

4.125 out of 5 stars
  • Alexandru Stavrica, Apr 14, 2012 GMT:

    This Tamron is netter than mush lenses on optic, an image quality. Problems: Cunstruction is not very solid like Sigma !

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  • mikedidi, Apr 11, 2012 GMT:
    Great all around Lens

    I have had this lens for over 6 months and have taken a couple of thousand photo's. I like the feel it offers on my Canon 60D. It is very sharp and spot on. F/4 is the best for me, and I have used this lens in all locales. Indoor w/low light, outdoors in sporting events, at the zoo, landscape etc. When I just want to go out to look for opportunity's for a photo, this is on the camera. The build feels solid and durable, the AF is a little noisy, but then again I don't mind. and it is cheaper ...

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  • pluis, Apr 2, 2011 GMT:

    I've had this lens for almost a year now for my Nikon D90. This is my go-to lens for traveling, and wider studio work. The bad: at 17mm, the corners could be better and there's quite severe barrel distortion (but it's perfectly correctable in Lightroom, for instance). Across the zoom range, f/2.8 is slightly less usable due to softness, although it's still there if you really need it. The neutral: build quality is decent. It's all plastic, except for the lens mount, and definitely wouldn't ...

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  • Parry Johnson, Apr 26, 2014 GMT:
    As good as a proprietary lens for less

    When I bought this lens about three years ago for my Nikon DX cameras, I had already used and loved the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 non-VC. In fact, that other lens was just as sharp as the Nikkor 17-50 f2.8 and about 1/3 the price when I bought it in 2006. I had expected similar results from the VC version, and I wasn't "really" disappointed. No, it's not quite as sharp, but in normal shooting situations, you can't tell the difference. It's a bit bulkier (67 vs 62mm filter thread, for example), so ...

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Questions & Answers


Canon kit lens upgrade? $400/$500 max!

Hi, I'm looking to put down the EF-S 18-55mm soon. The IQ, focal range, focus, and maximum aperture isn't working for me. It's not bad though, from 18mm to 55mm. It's just the aperture, most of all. I'm looking for a cheap lens upgrade (sorry no L glass like the 24-105, 24-70, 17-40. I would buy it, but I'm looking for something cheap for now!). Looking for a good walkaround lens, that gives me landscape and standard telephoto portraiture/low light photos.  I'm really looking for: 1. Aperture: A constant aperture of at least f/2.8 would be perfect. 2. Autofocus: Just a lens that isn't manual. 3. IQ: Reasonably better than the kit. 4. Focal range: Need an ultra wide zoom or wide zoom. Somewhere around 17/18/24mm - 40/50/70/75mm. I've been looking at the Sigma and Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 VC/nonVC, which go around $300ish (nonVC) to $500 (VC), which is the maximum cost for me. Does the non-VC really matter though? This lens will be my main workhorse - especially for low light, event, ...

droberto asked
1 year ago


The problem is you want to improve to pro features like constant f/2.8 yet you want to budget it more closely to your kit lens. If the kit lens wasn't made in huge quantities for kit use, it would probably exceed $300 in price. It's not that bad of a lens if you get the IS version. Now, you're wanting to move very little in price yet gain a lot of high end quality items. The right lens for you, in my opinion, would be the kit 18-135 STM, not the older model. It reviews superbly and will give you additional range. You don't get the f/2.8 aperture, but no big deal. You're not paying for it. Another killer lens but more expensive is Canon's 15-85. This is also a great and very sharp kit lens replacement. Again, it's variable aperture. If you're insistant on the constant aperture f/2.8 and a serious notch above the kit lens, you'll have to save the money and/or buy used. There are some compromises out there though. Tamron's excellent non-VC 17-50 f/2.8 comes to mind. It's not the ... Continue Reading

Guidenet answered
1 year ago

I have the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 non-VC.  I used to use it for indoor events and when I wanted the best possible optical quality. Now I sometimes use an M4/3 camera and two fast primes instead because of the smaller size. The VC version of the Tamron 17-50 wasn't available when I got mine but, according to Photozone, it isn't quite as good optically as the non-VC so I didn't upgrade.  The OS version of the Sigma also wasn't available but I believe that the OS version of the Sigma is a very good lens. IMHO there is no competition optically for the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 non-VC at anything like the same price.  You need to go to the Canon 17-55 f2.8IS for slightly better optical quality, better build quality and IS. Continue Reading

Chris R-UK answered
1 year ago

The lack of VC is not a big deal so long as you keep up the shutterspeed.  Most think that the non-vc is better by a small amount. For portraits the longer 28-75 f/2.8 is better.  50mm f2.8 is not going to give you much subject isolation.   Problem is that 28mm is not going to be very wide as an event lens. Perhaps make a long term plan to seperate these two functions and instead of looking for a jack-of-all-trades you select one of you current goals and solve for that and then make do for the other while you save up? Maybe consider used?   a used Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 can be had fairly cheaply. Continue Reading

Bjorn_L answered
1 year ago


Lens upgrade needed?

Hello all, I have a Canon 550D (T2i) with the two basic kit lenses (18-55 and 55-250) for the past two years. Before that I shot with an Olympus E520 for 2 years. Just to tell you that I'm not completely "new". Let me also NOT say - "I want a lens upgrade". Mainly because I don't have boat loads of money. That being said, I want to ask if you think "I need an upgrade". I mostly do travel landscape (and architecture) photography. Some street photography. Some in-house creative photography with household light bulbs. (you can see my photostream here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/calvinkid86/). While I feel like I've improved in the the past years, I still get the feeling that there is a lack of crispness in my landscape photos (the ones that I'm most concerned with). I am comparing with high end photos from some sites like National Geographic where the image really captures your eye. Even if the landscape is similar. There are many reasons for this. 1. Lighting: High end ...

6 months ago


Are you shooting raw or jpeg? I think you could get some more out from those with some pp, if you have raw files. Those photos you see in magazines are rarely straight out of camera but sometimes heavily processed. Your 18-55 should produce sharp photos, just use tripod and disable IS if you are on solid ground. Upgrading lens might not bring major difference in image quality, your kit will take you far when shooting landscapes. Those lenses you suggested will give some benefit indoors or low light but the above situations are not so difficult for lens. Continue Reading

janzu77 answered
6 months ago

I am not really answering your question of focus and don't take what I'm saying with too much seriousness because I am new but one thing I noticed was that all your photos were at 18mm focal length. I'm wondering if you would do better with a fix focal length or one of smaller variance? Maybe the EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM or EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM would be a good addition. Continue Reading

ColinJennings answered
6 months ago

Nice Flickr gallery. I have a hunch that you might get more out of working on your processing and editing before you spend more on a lens (though the red fringing on the left of the second one is a bit of a worry). Or to put it another way, I'd like for you to be sure that you can't get the results you want from your current lenses before you replace them. If you're willing to put a raw file or two on the web somewhere and post a link, it would be interesting to see whether we could get images out of them that you would be happy with. When it comes to lenses I wonder if you might get more out of something like the EF-S 10-22 for the kind of thing you do. Continue Reading

WilbaW answered
6 months ago


Canon 50 1.8 + Canon 18-135 or Tamron 17-50 + Tamron 70-300 vc for a Canon 60D

Hello.  Currently have a Canon 60D, got it kit with 18-135.  Have recently added the tamron 70-300vc for tele.  Appreciate your thoughts on adding either the Canon 50 f/1.8 and retain the 18-135 + 70-300 + Canon 580 flash, or sell the 18-135 skip the nifty-fifty and get the tamron 17-50 f/2.8 to combo with the tamron 70-300 vc + Canon 580 flash. Am just an amateur/hobbyist, most pictures are of family and trips (indoor and outdoor equally), a few wildlife once in awhile, and indoor events right now entirely with flash. Pretty well know that getting primes means ++$$$ unfortunately budget is an issue. Appreciate your opinions.

bigdaddycool asked
1 year ago


It is difficult to give advice on this kind of decision because there are so many alternatives and considerations - I could probably name 5 or 6 other lenses that you could consider.  Since you have the focal range from 18-300mm covered, staying with what you have is certainly an alternative. I am inclined to say that if you need to ask the question, you shouldn't buy any new lens until you have identified what lens you ​need ​ and can make the decision for yourself.  I would also say that if you are in photography for the long term you should try to delay buying new lenses until you can afford a top quality lens that will last you for a long time. So, to start off, what do you need to be able to do that you can't do with your existing lenses? Continue Reading

Chris R-UK answered
1 year ago

Thanks Chris.... Like I've said am a newbie but think I'll be taking on the hobby seriously.  Am trying to better my set, so the larger fixed aperture of tamron 17-50 f/2.8 which has been getting good reviews seems better for some low-light no-flash shoots which the 18-135 may not be able to do.  Don't get me wrong, the 18-135 + flash delivers me great shots but being able to take some without flash is a plus.  I am the camera guy at work, so office events (meetings, functions, seminars, parties) sees me carrying my stuff most of the time. Would be better to be discreet without flash for some candid photos.  There are instances that I use the 70-300 indoors too (with flash unless light permits).  How does the tamron 17-50vc + 50 1.8 to combo with the 70-300vc + flash sound? Again thanks !!  Continue Reading

bigdaddycool answered
1 year ago

it depends, f2.8 is good for some situations but many low light non-flash shots require an f1.4 or f1.8 lens.  Also, it's better to bounce the light from a flash from a ceiling or wall for better "DOF" (depth of field) in corporate or party event situations where there are groups of people Continue Reading

beagle1 answered
1 year ago


Tamron USA, Inc. Six-Year Limited Warranty (Six-Year Limited Warranty Valid in USA Only)

Only Tamron lenses imported officially by Tamron USA, Inc. and distributed by authorized Tamron USA, Inc. dealers carry a Six-Year Limited USA warranty.
DPReview GearShop is an authorized Tamron dealer in the United States.

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