LensTip.com

Lens review

Tamron 70-210 mm f/4 Di VC USD

7 June 2018
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality and image stabilization

The following chart presents a comparison between the Tamron tested here and its optically stabilized rivals. As you can notice the group is quite uniform when it comes to physical dimensions and weight. The Tamron sticks out with two features, though: the widest focal range and the shortest minimum focusing distance. These two are important assets.

In the photo below the Tamron 70–210 mm f/4 Di VC USD is positioned next to another model of that producer, the Tamron 100–400 mm f/4.5–6.3 Di VC USD.

Tamron 70-210 mm f/4 Di VC USD - Build quality and image stabilization

The tested lens starts with a metal mount which surrounds contacts and a nice, black inner tube, properly matted and ribbed. Inside that tube you find a rear element, 28 mm in diameter. Glancing inside it is difficult to spot any electronic parts.

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Tamron 70-210 mm f/4 Di VC USD - Build quality and image stabilization

A rubber gasket joined with a silver, metal ring which doesn’t move is the first part of the proper barrel. That ring turns into a smooth, black casing with a while marker, making an attachment to a camera easier.

The next part is a huge, immobile ring with several important features. Firstly you see the company’s logo, on its left is a focusing mechanism mode switch (AF/MF) and a stabilization unit switch (VC ON/OFF). Further on there are inscriptions: “DESIGNED IN JAPAN” and, in smaller case, “MADE IN VIETNAM” and then the filter diameter (67 mm).

Tamron 70-210 mm f/4 Di VC USD - Build quality and image stabilization

Next you find a manual focus ring, 28 mm wide, completely covered by rubber ribbing which is very pleasing to the touch. Running through the whole distance range needs a turn through an angle of 190 degrees. The ring moves smoothly and is properly damped.

Then you see a window with a distance scale expressed in feet and meters. On the right there are given basic parameters of the lens.

Tamron 70-210 mm f/4 Di VC USD - Build quality and image stabilization

A zoom ring, 39 mm wide, is the next part of the lens. Most of its surface is covered by rubber ribs and below you see focal length marks at 70, 100, 135 and 210 mm. The ring moves smoothly but it could have been more damped. Still we find its performance within the standards so it would be difficult to complain.

Tamron 70-210 mm f/4 Di VC USD - Build quality and image stabilization

The front element is 58 mm in diameter, surrounded by a non-rotating filter thread, 67 mm in diameter, and a hood mount. The front element system doesn’t move so the lens’s dimensions remain the same either during focusing or zooming. It also means you deal here with a completely sealed and tightly closed construction.

Tamron 70-210 mm f/4 Di VC USD - Build quality and image stabilization

When it comes to optical construction the lens consists of 20 elements positioned in 14 groups. Three elements were made of low dispersion LD glass. Inside there is also a round aperture with nine diaphragm blades which can be closed down to a value of f/32.

The lens is Tap-in Console compatible so, after attaching it to a computer through an USB link, you can update the software. It allows you also to personalize different functions like the AF system precision of the VC stabilization unit performance. This model of the lens can cooperate with 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters produced by Tamron.

Buyers get both caps, and a hood in the box. Optionally, you can also buy a tripod mount ring for the lens.

Tamron 70-210 mm f/4 Di VC USD - Build quality and image stabilization


Optical stabilization

The producers declare that their Vibration Reduction unit is as effective as 4 stops of shutter speed. In order to check that claim we set the lens at 210 mm and took several dozen photos with exposure times ranging from 1/320 to 1/3 of a second and the stabilization switched on and off. For every set of photos we determined a percentage of out-of-focus shots; then we presented it in a form of a graph of exposure time which was expressed in EV (with 0 EV being an equivalent of 1/250 of a second).

Tamron 70-210 mm f/4 Di VC USD - Build quality and image stabilization


As you see, the maximum distance between both curves reaches 3.8-3.9 EV and so we assess the efficiency of the Tamron’s 70-210 mm VC stabilization unit. It is a very good result, within the margin of error in full accordance with the declaration of the producer. In this category the tested lens should be praised.