The Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 VC Lens Is My New Favorite Lens For Video

When we first set out to create Fstoppers and learn the ways of DSLR video, the first thing we learned was we had to stabilize our cameras. Handholding a DSLR produces horrible footage because 1) the rolling shutter effect, 2) DSLR cameras don't output enough data (at the moment) to render fluid movement, and 3) DSLRs aren't designed well for hand holding in the first place. Using a tripod is the tried and true method of getting stable and professional looking video footage but what should you do to get great hand held footage without adding a ton of weight or contraptions to your small camera?

The answer is to buy a lens that has in-camera stabilization. I own both the Nikon 24-70 and Nikon 17-55 so why in the world would I choose to shoot video with the Tamron 17-50? Because it has VC (vibration compensation) which helps me keep my video nice and smooth. Unfortunately the Nikon and Canon flagship zoom lenses do not yet have IS or VR in them in the 17-50 range. Since part of what makes DSLR video look so amazing is the 24fps and the f2.8 look, you are going to want a lens that can shoot wide open while still giving you a lot of options framing wise. The Tamron 17-50 2.8 VC is the best lens I've found for DSLR video. In the video below I will explain exactly why the Tamron lens is the goto lens for hand held footage during our Fstoppers Originals. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below.

Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 VC lens review for video from FStoppers on Vimeo.

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9 Comments

Great info about the D300s using VR/VC/OS while shooting video. Great informative website. thumbs up!

Lee Morris's picture

Thanks for the love Darryl, more videos on the way soon.

Is that only a feature in the D300s or in the d90 as well?

Lee Morris's picture

I am pretty sure it is all Nikon and Canon cameras but please try it before you buy it on the D90 just in case

Lee, Excellent information and example in the video, I do photos and video in Nikon d300s and I guess this is the lens, Nikon 17-55mm is really expensive. Thanks.

Lee Morris's picture

Thanks Alberto,

I will say, after using this lens for a while now I actually refuse to use it for stills. It is the softest lens I have ever used. With video you can't tell so it is still my favorite lens for that because of the VC

Lee, thanks for the answer, I will think about it, I need save for get a nikon. Thanks a lot.

Hey Lee I have a question. My friend recently bought this lens and he says in order for the VC to work during video, he has to hold the shutter button half way depressed. I can't imagine why that would be necessary. Is this true with yours?

Patrick Hall's picture

no, once the camera goes into live view, the VC starts up immediately.  You can tell by turning VC off on the lens while in Live View.  You will see the stabilization turn off