Lens review

Tamron SP AF 70-200 mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO

29 July 2009
Arkadiusz Olech

4. Image resolution

The Tamron, which was tested on the RAW files from a Canon 20D, can be compared easily with two 70-200 mm f/2.8 L series lenses and the first version of the Sigma 70 –200 mm f/2.8 (which, practically, is the same as the second version), also tested on the same body (20D). Both Canons showed quite even performance at all focal lengths, with the slight advantage of the 70-135 mm range, where the lens reached or even crossed the level of 40 lpmm. At 200 mm it was a bit worse, especially at wide aperture, where both Ls barely crossed the 30 lpmm level. The Sigma, on the other hand, differed widely in the 200 mm and the range of 70-135 mm performance.

Tamron SP AF 70-200 mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO - Image resolution

Looking at the chart above we see clearly that the Tamron shows its more expensive competitors their place in the row. The maximum aperture is sharp at all focal lengths and even at 200 mm it reaches the level of 35 lpmm. On stopping down slightly, the results become even better – they cross the 40 lpmm level. The even results, presented by the lens, deserve our praise – the 200 mm focal length doesn’t stand out from the shorter range behaviour.

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What’s more, from all the 70-200 mm f/2.8 class lenses, it’s the Tamron which cooperates the best with a converter (of course as long as the image resolution is concerned). It’s even more impressing as we used a Sigma converter; Sigma should be ashamed that the Tamron with a Sigma TC works a lot better than Sigma lenses.

Tamron SP AF 70-200 mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO - Image resolution

The situation is alike for the frame edge – very good. At wide aperture the Tamron behaves a bit better than the two Ls, because for both focal length range ends it crosses the 30 lpmm level, and the Ls have failed to do that. Then, the Tamron fares almost identically as both Canons.

This chapter can be summed up by a round of ovation for Tamron. This company once again proved that it can manufacture fabulous optical instruments. It is also an example that modern constructions can have a significant edge over the older ones. Both L lenses have been designed some time ago to work with an analog camera, so, although they are noticeably more expensive, when the optics is concerned they stand out in a negative sense from the cheaper but newer Tamron.

Tamron SP AF 70-200 mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO - Image resolution