What I call a “review” on my blog, always consists of a series of posts, sometimes with big gaps. I try to lump it all together, but some things you simply learn with time. And sometimes, when I thought everything that could possibly be said has been said, a new interesting fact creeps up. This is such a case.
Remember my Tamron 17-50/2.8 VC? I bought it on November 6, and I used it with great pleasure through all that dark winter nights. It had only one major problem: Sometimes it would not focus. You had to turn the camera off/on and then everything was OK. It didn’t happen too often and I learned to live with it, though it cost me some images.
Then, sometime in spring, I dropped the camera bag, and although that has happened before, in this case the Tamron literally broke. Through a gap near the lens mount you could see the electronics inside. With little hope I sent it in, but after three weeks or so I got it back, repaired or replaced on warranty, and, lo and behold, the focus error was gone. They either had updated the firmware or it was simply a new lens.
So far the good part that you may know if you follow my blog. Now the bad part: There’s a new flaw 🙂
The new problem is, that the first image after I turn on the camera is frequently overexposed. It is always the first and only the first image. It does not happen all the time, in fact it does not happen most of the time, but it is annoying. It has cost me images.
At the moment the solution is very simple. I set the camera to high-speed continuous mode and instead of making one image, I simply make two. Does not cost a thing, could be a problem only with very rapidly moving subjects.
Regardless of these quirks and its unreliability I still like this lens, especially as long as the newly announced stabilized Sigma 17-50/2.8 is not available. I still recommend it to anybody who takes pictures like I do: still subjects, some street photography (but that’s already borderline). For a wedding shooter or a journalist it would definitely be impossible.
Why I still like and use it? Well, there’s no alternative. Stabilization in that range is incredibly valuable (I’ve explained it in earlier posts of this review series), the ability to focus near matches my style so well, and general image quality is superb. As long as the Sigma is not available, there is no alternative on the market. Certainly the Nikon 16-85 VR is none. It is much too slow and it does not focus near enough. Maybe the Sigma will be a match, but until then I have no choice.
The Song of the Day is “Como La Lluvia En El Cristal” from the 1996 Roxette album “Baladas En Español”. Basically it’s their hit album “Crash! Boom! Bang!” in Spanish. Absolutely great, I love it. Hear the song on YouTube.