I guess you knew it after you read the last post. Some questions can’t be decided theoretically, you simply have to act. I did, and now I have a Tamron SP AF 17-50mm 2.8 XR Di II VC LD Asp IF.
Impressive name, huh? Well, I’m just as impressed with the actual lens. I have titled this post “Toys”, but in reality this is no toy at all. I had always thought of Tamron as a cheap, low quality brand of lightweight, plasticky lenses, but this beast is big, heavy, and it feels entirely solid.
The Image of the Day was of course not made with the Tamron. I took it in the morning with the Sigma 70/2.8, but the other two were made with the Tamron. Today was a gloomy, dark day. I took the playground image at noon, just after I had left the shop. It’s the original JPEG as it came from the camera. The image was taken at 50mm, f6.3, ISO 200 and 1/8s. Yes, that’s right, 1/8s! Just look at the pink lady between the bush and the tree. She was not running 🙂
One thing is for sure, I can’t hold 1/8s at that focal length all of the time. I suppose the rate will be at or even below 50%, but that is no slouch either. At 17mm I would never have a problem at that speed. I think that’s quite impressive and just what I need in winter nights.
Why the decision for this lens and not for the Nikon 16-85 VR? Well, as I said yesterday, I really would have needed such a mid-range zoom in Udine, or in general, I need it when I am on a trip. On such occasions I invariably see things that I don’t have the chance to return to the next day. I have to take the image on the spot, or else I won’t take it at all. That means either compromising (like I did in Udine) or constantly changing lenses.
That alone does not explain my decision, but analyzing Udine, I realized that it had been not by chance that I had settled with the Sigma 28/1.8 and not with the equally available Nikon 50/1.8 or 70-300 VR. Both would have been perfectly possible, but on such trips, especially in cities, I tend to go rather wide than long. 28 was a compromise and I never wanted it to be longer, in doubt I would have liked it to be wider.
I wouldn’t have minded the bigger focal range of the Nikon, but the range of the Tamron seems to be what I need by far the most. On the other hand, while both lenses are stabilized, the Tamron is a whole lot faster. Not so much at 17mm, but at 50mm it’s two full stops.
So much for rationalizing my decision. The second image with the Tammy was made on the moving escalator. It’s been taken at 1/15s, the shutter speed that I have settled with as a lower limit before I let Auto ISO kick in. It was taken at f2.8, ISO 800, and I have used PTLens to correct the distortions, used Topaz Detail to add some local contrast to the in-focus areas, Noise Ninja to control the noise that Topaz Detail had left, added a silver toning, a levels adjustment, cropped the image slightly from both sides, and finally I added some noise 🙂