Do you entertain yourself by reading lens reviews and spend hours on eBay looking for the ultimate lens? Do you have the desire to own every lens ever made? Does your camera bag weigh more than you do? Then you may be a good candidate to read this article.
|Tamron® SP AF17-50mm F/2.8 Lens on a Nikon D300s|
Collecting lenses can be like collecting used Boeing 747 airplanes. Lenses are just plain expensive! Yet life is best when our camera bags are heavy with glass. We may not need them today, but they're there when we do.
With lens buying habits that approach national debt levels, it's a good idea to save money, as long as quality isn't compromised. Nikkors® have been my choice for most of my photographic life—and will continue to be. Recently, though, aftermarket lens manufacturers have released some very desirable lenses that cost significantly less. Less is better when it comes to cost!
|Tamron® SP AF17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di-II VC LD Aspherical (IF) Lens|
One of my favorites is the Tamron® SP AF17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di-II VC LD Aspherical (IF). Although the name is longer than the lens itself, it performs—in certain ways—even better than some of my beloved Nikkors. The Tamron "SP" designation marks their best lenses, with resulting excellence in glass and build quality. The Tamron costs about $650 USD. A comparable Nikon-brand lens, such as the AF-S Nikkor 17-55mm F2.8 can cost over twice as much. Of course, the Nikkor lens has a stronger metal build, and you pay for that. The Tamron lens barrel is made of "high-impact" polycarbonate, so it can be lighter yet still maintain excellent strength for daily use.
Let me tell you about my experiences with this lens.
Not long after the newest version of the lens was released, I was given an opportunity by Nikonians.org and Tamron to use one for a few weeks. For most of December 2009, this lens was on my Nikon D300s. I used it as the "portrait" lens while shooting a wedding's formal groups shots, and as a "save my buns" lens, when shooting the reception lit by white Christmas tree lights. Do you know how hard it is for a camera to focus on people dancing by candlelight? The Tamron's wide F2.8 constant aperture was a big help.