Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8 Non-VC Review

Perfect Renders welcomes to its camera equipment family the Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 Non-VC lens for Canon! After using the Canon 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens for so long on both of my cameras, I felt the urgent need to upgrade mainly due to our videos being either too dark or too grainy with high ISO when indoors.

I bought mine at Henry’s Camera at Hidalgo St., Quiapo, Manila for P13,500 PHP along with an Enovation 67mm UV lens filter for 500 PHP. I wasn’t planning on buying the UV lens filter at first, but I underestimated the marketing skills of the saleslady- after suggesting me to buy the filter, she pointed to my old lens and said “Look, it’s full of fingerprints. You don’t want that on your new lens.” and then bam! Checkmate.

There are two versions of this lens- the Non-VC, which I got, and the VC version. The latter costs 17,500 PHP (4,000 PHP more expensive) and comes with the VC feature which stands for ‘Vibration Compensation.’ This means the lens reduces the blur caused by camera shake on your photos but it also comes with the price of softer-looking photos. Upon reading countless reviews online, the verdict was to go with the Non-VC.

Why not buy the Canon 17-55mm F2.8? Well, for starters, it friggin’ costs 38,500 PHP! That’s almost thrice the price I paid for. And in terms of comparison, it’s already canon that the Canon (hehe) only beats the Tamron with faster and quieter auto-focusing as well as better build quality. Sharpness and image quality are at par. If I have such cash at hand, I’d rather buy the Tamron and use the rest with other equipment essential to the business.

There’s also the Sigma 17-50mm F2.8, but 24,700 PHP is still pretty expensive for me.

Now we go to the main event! Let’s compare the Tamron with my old Canon lens with the ff. test shots:

Note: Click on the images for high-resolution viewing!

1.) C 18mm vs T 17mm (F3.5 1/4 ISO 400)

We see here the 1mm difference between the two, with the Tamron having a bit wider coverage.

2.) C 18mm F3.5 vs T 17mm F2.8 (1/10 ISO 400)

The Canon’s widest aperture vs the Tamron. The latter’s F2.8 adds more leeway in darker environments.

3.) C 35mm vs T 35mm (F4.5 0″3 ISO 400)

Same setting in everything. Somehow the Tamron views the black subject more vividly.

4.) C 18mm vs T 17mm (F16 2″5 ISO 400)

Both at F16, the Tamron has somewhat sharper quality on both subjects. Zoom in to see.

5.) C 55mm vs T 50mm (F5.6 1″6 ISO 100)

Canon’s better zoom with the 55mm vs. Tamron’s 50mm.

6.) C 55mm F5.6 vs T 50mm F2.8 (1/4 ISO 100)

This is where Tamron beats the crap out of the Canon lens- at 55mm, Canon’s aperture can only be widest at F5.6 while the Tamron can maintain it’s F2.8 even at 50mm, thus bringing in more light.

So overall, is it a good buy? Definitely! I can’t wait to try this out on my upcoming projects. ;)

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TAGS: 17-50mm, 2.8, 550d, 650d, af, canon, comparison, diII, ld aspherical, lens, , , tamron, test, xr


  1. sam says:

    Nice review — M now thinking whether or not to still buy the tamron 17-50. The difference is actually seen only on the 5omm area. Is it really worth? or I should just buy another lense which is outside the reach of the 18-55 kit lense.. please i want to get your opinion. Thanks

    • Chad says:

      Hi, Sam!

      It depends on your need. For a mid-zoom lens with a price of 13.5k vs. Canon’s version costing 38k, the Tamron is a very good alternative as they aren’t much different in terms of picture quality- just that the Canon has a more sturdy body, and has a fast and silent auto-focusing. If you’re on a budget and need money to buy other stuff, go with the Tamron.

      If you are looking for 50mm above, you can try the other lenses? Like the Sigma or Canon’s 18-200mm? But their widest aperture is only f3.5. Anyway, that’s on a whole different topic already. I hope this helps!

      • Sam says:

        Hi chad I actually need a lense that will be used for indoor party’s and events, or maybe some landscape photography. My kit lens can do it but i am looking for a cheap but better lense if it is actually available. I ve read about the Tamron 17-50 2.8 but with your comparative side by side review, it seems to me now that the difference is not much. I would like to ask, do you actually find this true to all your shots especially on night events or situations using the tamron 17-50 2.8. Thanks Chad.


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