Nikon 17-35 Vs Tamron 17-35: Ultimate Lens Showdown

The Nikon 17-35mm and Tamron 17-35mm are both wide-angle zoom lenses, yet they differ in brand reputation and optical performance. Photographers choose between them based on budget, image quality, and lens features.

Selecting the right wide-angle lens can transform your photography, particularly in landscapes, architecture, and interior spaces. The Nikon 17-35mm f/2. 8D IF-ED is a professional-grade lens renowned for its build quality and exceptional optics, favored by Nikon shooters for its reliability and performance.

On the flip side, the Tamron 17-35mm f/2. 8-4 DI OSD appeals to those seeking a more cost-effective solution without compromising on versatility and decent image quality. As you compare these two lenses, consider factors like sharpness, distortion control, autofocus speed and accuracy, as well as the overall value for your specific needs and budget constraints. Both lenses offer the chance to explore a broad field of view, yet your choice will ultimately hinge on personal preference and the importance of brand loyalty or budget considerations in your photography toolkit.

Introduction To The Contenders

Camera enthusiasts face a tough choice when deciding between wide-angle zoom lenses for their gear. Nikon and Tamron offer lenses that tempt both amateur and professional photographers alike with their 17-35mm focal range options. Perfect for landscapes, architecture, and travel, these lenses promise quality and versatility.

The Nikon 17-35mm and the Tamron 17-35mm are both acclaimed in the photography circle. They provide wide views for a variety of settings. Let’s explore the key features that set each lens apart.

Key Features Of Nikon 17-35mm

Nikon’s 17-35mm lens is favored by many for its robust build and optical quality. Here’s what stands out:

  • Constant f/2.8 aperture: Allows for consistent exposure across the entire zoom range.
  • Durable construction: Designed to withstand harsh outdoor conditions.
  • Superior optics: Utilizes low dispersion glass to minimize chromatic aberration.
  • Silent Wave Motor: Enables fast and quiet autofocus.

Key Features Of Tamron 17-35mm

Tamron’s 17-35mm version offers a balance of performance and value. It’s packed with features:

  • Variable aperture f/2.8-4: Provides flexibility in various lighting conditions.
  • Compact and lightweight design: Ideal for travel and hand-held shooting.
  • Moisture-Resistant Construction: Protects from the elements.
  • Quiet autofocus: With Tamron’s Optimized Silent Drive (OSD) motor.
Nikon 17-35 Vs Tamron 17-35: Ultimate Lens Showdown


Optical Performance Compared

When it comes to lens selection, optical performance stands as a top priority for photographers. The Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8D ED-IF Autofocus Lens and the Tamron SP 17-35mm f/2.8-4 DI OSD compete closely in this arena. Both offer wide-angle capabilities, but the real question is: how do they stack up in terms of image quality and optics? We dive deep into the heart of these lenses to see which might be the best fit for your photographic needs.

Sharpness Across The Focal Range

Sharp images are essential, and each lens brings its strengths to the table. Let’s compare their performance at various focal lengths:

  • 17mm: Wide open, the Nikon may exhibit superior center sharpness, but the Tamron catches up quickly when stopped down.
  • 24mm: Midrange sees both lenses perform admirably with the Nikon maintaining a slight edge.
  • 35mm: At the telephoto end, sharpness is a key factor; the Tamron shows significant improvement and rivals the Nikon.

Edge sharpness paints a similar picture, with the Nikon lens leading at larger apertures but the Tamron displaying consistency throughout its range.

Distortion And Aberration Handling

Distortion and chromatic aberration can affect image fidelity. These two lenses handle such challenges differently.

Nikon 17-35mm Tamron 17-35mm
Barrel Distortion Noticeable at 17mm Well-controlled at 17mm
Pincushion Distortion Appears by 35mm Minimal towards 35mm
Chromatic Aberration Some presence throughout Lower occurrence overall

The Tamron lens exhibits a commendable job controlling distortion and aberrations, especially at wider angles. The Nikon lens, while showing some aberrations, is constructed with elements designed to reduce them, offering a trade-off for its edge sharpness advantages.

Build Quality And Design

In the world of ultra-wide zoom lenses, build quality and design play a pivotal role. Canon users take note: today’s spotlight shines on the Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8D ED-IF Autofocus Lens versus the Tamron SP 17-35mm F/2.8-4 Di OSD. These lenses promise to empower your photography. Let us dive deep into their build quality and design features.

Material And Durability

Both lenses boast sturdy construction, but with notable differences. The Nikon 17-35mm features rugged metal parts. It ensures long-term durability. The Tamron 17-35mm, while durable, uses more polycarbonate materials. It strikes a balance between durability and weight savings.

  • Nikon’s Lens – Solid metal mount, weather-sealed
  • Tamron’s Lens – Robust polycarbonate, moisture-resistant

Ergonomics And Handling

The ergonomics of a lens influence its usability. The Nikon 17-35mm prides itself on excellent balance and grip. Photographers will find it comfortable during prolonged shoots. In contrast, the Tamron 17-35mm is lighter and more compact. This makes it ideal for travel and handheld photography.

  • Nikon’s Lens – Heavier build, suited for professional use
  • Tamron’s Lens – Lightweight, easy-to-manage for all users
Lens Weight Length
Nikon 17-35mm 745g 106mm
Tamron 17-35mm 460g 90mm

Both the Nikon and the Tamron lenses have their unique attributes. Your choice might hinge on weight, build, or how a lens feels in your hand. Each lens delivers quality, but the nuances in design and material make all the difference. Choose wisely to enhance your photography experience.

Autofocus And Stabilization

Choosing between Nikon 17-35mm and Tamron 17-35mm lenses involves checking their autofocus and stabilization features. Both features are vital for sharp images, especially in dynamic conditions. Speedy and precise autofocus along with effective image stabilization can greatly enhance your photography experience. Let’s compare these aspects for both lenses.

Speed And Accuracy Of Autofocus

The autofocus system in a lens can make or break your shot. Fast autofocus locks onto subjects quickly. Accurate autofocus ensures sharpness where it matters. We examine how Nikon and Tamron perform on these fronts.

  • Nikon 17-35mm: Known for its reliability. It operates with Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor (SWM). Offers fast and quiet focusing.
  • Tamron 17-35mm: Comes with its Optimized Silent Drive (OSD). It competes closely with Nikon’s speed. Yet, some users notice a slight delay in locking focus compared to Nikon.

Effectiveness Of Image Stabilization

Image stabilization helps to reduce blur in photos. It lets you shoot at slower shutter speeds without a tripod. It is a game-changer in low-light situations.

Lens Stabilization Tag Performance
Nikon 17-35mm No stabilization Depends on camera’s in-body stabilization
Tamron 17-35mm Vibration Compensation (VC) Stabilizes images across various conditions

Nikon 17-35mm lens lacks built-in stabilization. Thus, users must rely on camera body features to reduce shake. In contrast, Tamron 17-35mm has Vibration Compensation (VC). This feature minimizes the effects of hand movements. VC is valuable for handheld shooting in dim settings.

Versatility And Usability

When exploring the world through a lens, versatility and usability often tip the scales. The Nikon 17-35mm and Tamron 17-35mm lenses both promise wide-angle excellence. Yet, their performance and compatibility set them apart. Understand their strengths in varied settings and with different cameras to make an informed decision.

Performance In Different Photography Scenarios

Wide-angle lenses breathe life into photography, capturing expansive landscapes and intricate interiors. It’s essential to consider how each lens fares across diverse scenarios:

  • Landscape Photography: Both lenses offer a broad view, essential for dramatic sceneries. The Nikon has a slight edge with its constant aperture aiding in consistent exposure.
  • Architectural Shots: Sharpness is key. The Tamron delivers exceptional clarity, especially at the edges, which is crucial for detailed structures.
  • Low Light Conditions: The Nikon performs well in dim settings, thanks to its wide aperture. It’s your ally during dawn, dusk, or indoors.
  • Action Photography: Quick autofocus is a must. Here, Nikon’s swift and accurate response shines, capturing every thrilling moment.
  • Travel Photography: Tamron’s lightweight design is perfect for on-the-go shooting, making it a traveler’s favorite.

Compatibility With Camera Bodies

Compatibility ensures your lens and camera communicate flawlessly. Look at what these lenses offer:

Lens Compatible Bodies Mount Type
Nikon 17-35mm Nikon DSLRs (Full-frame and APS-C) F-Mount
Tamron 17-35mm Canon and Nikon DSLRs (Full-frame and APS-C) EF-Mount and F-Mount

The Nikon lens excels with native bodies, ensuring top-notch performance and no need for adapters. The Tamron’s versatility appeals to users of both Nikon and Canon systems, offering an adaptable solution. Whichever lens you choose, align it with your camera brand for seamless operation.

Value For Money

Finding a balance between quality and cost is key when buying a lens. The Nikon 17-35mm and Tamron 17-35mm both offer wide angles. Yet, they come at various price points. This section digs into which provides the best bang for your buck.

Price Comparison

Both lenses cater to photographers who need a versatile wide-angle zoom. The Nikon is a premium choice. The Tamron is kinder to your wallet. Let’s explore the numbers:

Lens Model Retail Price (Approx.)
Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8 $1,750
Tamron 17-35mm f/2.8-4 $599

At first glance, the price difference is significant.

Long-term Investment Analysis

Price is just the start. Consider the lifespan and performance of the lens.

  • Nikon’s robust build can withstand years of use.
  • Tamron offers a 6-year warranty, assuring a good service span.

Lenses are about more than just now. Think of future savings.

The Nikon might save you money on repairs. Expect consistent quality over time.

The Tamron costs less upfront. Yet, you may want to upgrade sooner.

Determine which lens aligns with your long-term photography goals and budget. This will ensure your purchase is a smart investment.

User Feedback And Professional Reviews

Choosing between Nikon 17-35 and Tamron 17-35 lenses is challenging. Both offer unique benefits. We dive into what users and experts have to say. Real feedback and professional reviews shed light on which lens might be the perfect fit for your photography needs.

Common Praises And Complaints

User feedback is vital in comparing these two lenses. Let’s explore the common themes from various photography communities.

  • Sharpness across the frame is often praised, especially at certain focal lengths and apertures.
  • Build quality remarks are generally favorable, noting durability in both models.
  • Autofocus speed gets attention, with users discussing how each lens performs in action scenarios.
  • Weight and handling are topics of interest, where user preferences vary based on their shooting style.

On the complaint side, some users mention:

  • Chromatic aberration in high-contrast scenarios.
  • Vignetting at wide apertures is a concern for a cluster of users.
  • Price point is a discussion for those balancing cost and quality.

Expert Opinions On Performance

Professional reviewers give these lenses a thorough examination. They consider every aspect under various conditions.

Nikon 17-35 Tamron 17-35
Image Quality High marks for sharpness and color rendition Praised for its sharpness at midrange apertures
Autofocus Fast and reliable in most situations Adequate, though sometimes slower in low light
Build Quality Solid construction, weather-sealed Good but slightly inferior to Nikon
Value More expensive but justifies with performance More affordable, offering great value for money

Reviewers often conclude these lenses to be robust performers. The Nikon 17-35 shines in image quality. The Tamron 17-35 is commended for its value.

Nikon 17-35 Vs Tamron 17-35: Ultimate Lens Showdown


Final Thoughts: Choosing The Right Lens

When it’s time to pick between the Nikon 17-35mm and the Tamron 17-35mm, the decision can be tough. Both lenses offer great features. But the right choice fits your personal needs. Let’s weigh in on how to select the lens that best suits your photography journey.

Personal Preferences And Shooting Style

Think about what feels right in your hands. Do you favor the solid build of the Nikon 17-35mm? Or are you drawn to the Tamron 17-35mm for its lightness?

  • Nikon 17-35mm: Durable, professional vibe
  • Tamron 17-35mm: Compact, travel-friendly design

Consider your shooting style. Landscapes, cityscapes, or indoors, the lens must match your vision. Do you need the weather-sealing of the Nikon for outdoor shoots? Or will the versatile aperture of the Tamron serve you better in varied lighting?

The Verdict Based On Needs And Budget

Finally, your needs and budget are crucial: deciding factors.

Lens Key Strengths
Nikon 17-35mm Build quality, reliability, professional use
Tamron 17-35mm Cost-efficiency, lightweight, versatility

Align your choice with your budget and what you want to achieve in your photography. The Nikon may lead if durability and a trusted name are priorities. But for a balance between cost and performance, the Tamron could tip the scales.

Nikon 17-35 Vs Tamron 17-35: Ultimate Lens Showdown


Frequently Asked Questions Of Nikon 17-35 Vs Tamron 17-35

Which Is Sharper: Nikon 17-35 Or Tamron 17-35?

The Nikon 17-35 generally provides superior sharpness, especially at wider apertures. Both lenses perform well but Nikon edges out with its optical quality. Corner sharpness is more pronounced in the Nikon lens across various apertures.

Can Tamron 17-35 Match Nikon’s Build Quality?

While the Tamron 17-35mm offers a robust build, the Nikon 17-35mm lens features a more durable construction typical of pro-level Nikon lenses. Nikon’s version tends to be better sealed against dust and moisture, making it a more reliable choice for harsh conditions.

How Does Image Stabilization Compare In Both Lenses?

The Tamron 17-35 comes with image stabilization (IS) known as Vibration Compensation (VC), which the Nikon 17-35 lacks. VC can be particularly useful in low-light situations or when shooting without a tripod, giving Tamron an advantage in handheld shooting conditions.

Are There Significant Price Differences Between The Two?

Yes, the Tamron 17-35 is generally priced lower than the Nikon 17-35. The difference in cost can be substantial, with Tamron offering a more budget-friendly option for photographers looking for a wide-angle lens without compromising too much on quality.


Deciding between the Nikon 17-35 and the Tamron 17-35 is all about priorities. If unbeatable optical quality and brand assurance are key, Nikon stands tall. For budget-conscious photographers who still crave performance, Tamron offers an impressive alternative. Whichever you choose, capturing wide, stunning landscapes awaits you.

Your next photo adventure just got more exciting.

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