Tamron 17-35mm F/2.8-4 Di OSD review

Type of lens, examples of photographs from it, and the review itself especially for Radozhiva, prepared Ernie.

Tamron 17-35mm F/2.8-4 Di OSD

Tamron 17-35mm F/2.8-4 Di OSD

In this review, we will look at the Tamron 17-35mm F/2.8-4 Di OSD wide-angle lens – Model A037 (hereinafter referred to as Tamron 17-35mm). This lens is the heir and successor of the model A05, considered here.

Please note that the Tamron 17-35mm lens is available in different mounts. This review shows the Nikon F mount version. There is also a Canon EF version.

Tamron 17-35mm F/2.8-4 Di OSD

Tamron 17-35mm F/2.8-4 Di OSD

In short

Tamron 17-35mm is a wide-angle, autofocus, full-frame lens designed for SLR cameras.

The lens is conceptually reminiscent of its predecessor (model A05): focal lengths, apertures, sizes, filter threads and overall design speak volumes about this. But optically the lens is noticeably superior to both its predecessor (model A05) and many of Nikon’s native wide-angle lenses.

Tamron 17-35mm F/2.8-4 Di OSD

Tamron 17-35mm F/2.8-4 Di OSD

Main technical characteristics of Tamron 17-35mm

Mounts: Nikon F, Canon EF
Focal length: 17mm – 35mm
Maximum aperture: f/2.8 – f/4
Minimum aperture: f/16 – f/22
Diagonal viewing angle (full frame): 103 deg
Filter diameter: 77mm
Stabilization system: No
Minimum focusing distance: 28 cm
Built-in autofocus drive: OSD (Optimized Silent Drive)
Aperture: 7 rounded blades
Optical design: 15 elements in 10 groups
Weight: 460 g
Length: 92.5 mm
Equipment: Hood, lens caps

Assembly

The lens is made in Vietnam. Assembled soundly, without backlash or gaps. The mount is metal, the lens body is high-quality plastic. The front lens has a fluorine coating that protects the lens from dirt, grease and moisture. Moisture-resistant rubber seals are provided to allow filming in bad weather conditions.
The controls generally resemble its predecessor (A05), with the only difference being that the new model has an AF/MF autofocus switch, and also lacks an aperture ring and its guide - the lens has an electromagnetic aperture.

Tamron 17-35mm F/2.8-4 Di OSD

Tamron 17-35mm F/2.8-4 Di OSD

Focusing

The lens contains a built-in OSD (Optimized Silent Drive) autofocus drive, which means autofocus will work on all Nikon cameras. Autofocus, in my opinion, is average in speed, but very quiet. And it's tenacious and precise. In my case there is neither front nor back focus.
The focus ring rotates approximately 70 degrees. It rotates in the same way as its predecessor - easily, without any viscosity or resistance. Focusing is internal (which cannot be said about zooming - the front lens tube extends approximately 5mm, the rear lens extends to the full 20mm). The front lens does not rotate.

Image quality

In general, the lens is very contrasty and has a pleasant, dense color rendition, unlike its predecessor (A05), which in some situations turns the skin tone into ashy tones.

Sharpness

The lens shows good sharpness even from an open aperture. Of course, distant objects like tree branches at 17mm in the corners of the frame are far from ideal. But already at 5.6 angles are acceptable for a classic landscape. And at focal lengths from 20mm to 35mm, the detail is even higher. The center of the frame is flawless across the entire range of apertures and focal lengths.
Overall, the Tamron 17-35mm is significantly superior to its predecessor (A05). It has much higher detail in the center of the frame and especially in the periphery. It doesn't stretch the edges of the frame and shows low coma and astigmatism.

Distortion

Distortion is only present at the wide end. But it is not particularly critical and has a simple form.

Vignetting

Vignetting is noticeable, especially at the wide end, but not dramatic. The plus is that when screwing a modern polarizer on a Tamron 17-35mm, I did not notice much darkening of the corners of the frame at 17mm, unlike the same predecessor (A05), on which the corners with a polarizer were noticeably darker.

Aberration

In my opinion, the lens does very well with aberrations. Chromatic distortion is barely noticeable only upon close inspection.

Flares

Catching flare is not so easy, and here the Tamron 17-35mm does great.

Boke

It's not very good: loose and dirty. It is difficult to expect artistic color and blur zone from ultra-wide.

Photo examples

All photos are converted from RAW without any adjustments to sharpness, color or distortion. Only manipulations with brightness and contrast. Pictures were taken on Nikon D600 using a K&F Concept Nano-K CPL polarizing filter.

The original images can be watch and / or download here.

My experience

Tamron 17-35mm pleasantly surprised me with its optical qualities. The lens has no significant flaws. In my opinion, this is the best option for a SLR system, surpassing both native Nikkors and third-party lenses in its price category. Optically, only bulky monsters are better, without a thread for the much-needed polarizer and at an equally bulky price.

You will find more reviews from readers of Radozhiva here.

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Comments: 5, on the topic: Review of Tamron 17-35mm F/2.8-4 Di OSD

  • wj

    I had one of these on my farm, used it on a Nikon D600. I compared it directly with the Nikon 20mm f/2.8D, and even when pressed to f/8 it was inferior to the Tamron in sharpness at an open aperture.
    The only weak point of this lens is the mediocre quality of bokeh at 35mm when shooting full-length portraits. However, for the width this is not the most critical parameter.
    Well, the focusing ring rotating during autofocus was also annoying.

    • Eugene

      I had 20 2.8
      The very weak corners are cloudy, and the very edges are dark, which is why I sold it. But the sharpness in the center was super even at 2.8. So don’t tell me here, 20 2.8 is wonderful in terms of sharpness, but pushing it to 4.5-5 was not practical for me, that’s why I sold it. My main width is tokina 16-28 and this is a top in everything except the weight, it’s hard to wear.

  • TSerg

    I had a chance to get used to Tamron once. The lens is generally decent, quite sharp. Comparing the sharpness of the photo to the lower Canon zoom 17-40 f/4 L. One thing that was wrong was the wrapping of the sharpness adjustment ring during automatic focusing. Celapsus on the side of the vibrator.

  • Oleksandr

    This lens, although re-flashed, works perfectly in tandem with the Nikon Z5 via the Nikon FTZ adapter.

  • 阿叶

    There are no examples in contrast at different angles, if possible, please add.
    I remember when I wanted to take it in the control zone, it was rather weak.
    ps 20d 2.8 is a good sharp contrast lens, there is some blur in the corners depending on the copy, in mine it’s ok, with it open it’s not a razor but not ugly either, tightening it a little is generally good.

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