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Lens review

Tamron SP 70-200 mm f/2.8 Di VC USD

8 July 2013
Szymon Starczewski

11. Summary

Pros:
  • good build quality,
  • excellent image quality in the frame centre,
  • very good image quality on the edge of the APS-C/DX sensor,
  • image quality on the edge of full frame better than in the case of its competitors,
  • good control of chromatic aberration,
  • slight distortion – the lowest in this class of equipment,
  • almost invisible coma,
  • low vignetting on the edge of the APS-C/DX sensor,
  • good image stabilization,
  • silent and efficient autofocus,
  • five-year warranty.

Cons:

  • high vignetting on full frame,
  • work against bright light should have been better.

I am very pleased that Tamron finally decided to launch a new stabilized 70-200 mm f/2.8 lens. Why? The reason is simple – now our choice is bigger. Firstly we deal here with a very well done construction which can provide sharp images at practically all combinations of apertures and focal lengths (of course apart from f/22 and f/32 where diffraction makes itself felt) across the frame. Secondly, the lens is perhaps a bit worse than the more expensive rivals in the frame centre but it defeats them on the edge. Those who care more about the edges now have a choice. The difference in price is important too - compared to the Canon or the Nikkor you can save about 3000 PLN, a sum not to be despised, if you decide to buy a Tamron.

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A bit cheaper Sigma can be a strong rival of the Tamron. It is difficult to say whether that lens is better, because results in particular categories are very similar and when they are not, neither of the lenses gain a clear advantage, being alternately stronger and weaker. The summary assessment of their optical and mechanical properties is very much the same. It is, once again, a piece of good news for the customers. If you have a choice between two lenses much cheaper than their brand-name equivalents which are, at the same time, optically very good, you should only rejoice.