Tamron SP 17mm

The Tamron SP 17mm

Back in the spring I brought a second hand Tamron SP 17mm. Originally I wanted it to use on a 16mm movie camera, and it served it’s purpose well enough. Then I thought why not simply change the mount and try it on the Pentax ME Super? So that’s what I did.

There are two versions of this lens, an earlier version with built in filters, mainly used for B/W film photography, this is the slightly newer version without the filters. To a degree that’s a shame as filters attach to to lens hood rather than the lens and it’s a massive 82mm! It’s unlikely I’ll be investing in a yellow or orange in that size. I understand that the optics apart from the filters are the same for both lenses.

The angle of view is 104 degrees, and has 12 elements in 10 groups, not unusual for such a wide lens. As you can see from the image above, aperture is f3.5 – f22. What you can’t see is that minimum focus is down to 25cm! Good for getting foreground interest in some wide scenes, I hope.

Note no filter thread!
The hood with the 82mm filter thread!

So in went a roll of Fuji C200, and off I went on a short walk. In the back garden a few spring flowers were out so I tried getting close in and seeing what the background did.

Not much more than the 25cm minimum.

For close focus, seems to hold a decent amount of back detail, a slight bit of flare, but you can see from the shadow that I was almost into the light.

Slightly soft at the edges wide open.

More the type of shot I have in mind for this lens, and with the light more to the side, seems to have lost any flare. Enough back focus to see what the subject is but with some separation.

A distance shot – everything seem in focus.

The last shot on the roll, I shut the aperture down to f11 and the edges seem to have sharpened up. I hope to try a few interiors next. We have quite a few small country churches around here, and although they are always low light, I can use a longer exposure. These first few results have encouraged me to give it a try!

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