Tamron SP 70-200mm F2.8 Di USD A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 12   
reviewer#38866 date: May-21-2017
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 70-210mm f4
Sony 35mm f1.8
Sony 50mm f1.8
Sony 16-50mm f2.8
Tokina 11-16mm f2.8
Minolta 100mm f2.8
price paid:1000
positive:Sharp
Solid
Fast
negative:None really. It's heavy, but then it would be.
comment:I'm very happy I bought this lens. I got it new on the gray market for $1000. I was nervous about buying it without a warranty, but I've used it heavily for a year now with no problems. It performs very well on my Sony a-77 ii, especially after performing the microadjustments. It really pays to learn the ins and outs of the focusing system on the Sony a-77 ii with this camera. It is extremely sharp at the short end and very sharp throughout its range, especially when stopped down a bit. However, I've gotten pleasing results even wide open at 200mm. All in all, I am very pleased with this lens. It outperforms my beercan in every way except in perhaps color rendition. I consider it very solidly built, but then I don't have the Sony version to compare it to.
reviewer#36826 date: Apr-11-2017
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-300 G
Minolta 75-300
price paid:1100€ (new)
positive:Sharp
Great accurate AF
negative:Would prefer a metal body
comment:This is one of my favourite lenses, if not the favourite. Love the bokeh, love how sharp it is - 90% of all shots are wide open even in broad daylight . My go to lens for portraits when I can use 2.8 and 200mm. If I need to be closer to the subject or need a wider aperture, I'll use the Minolta 85 1.4.
I would only change it for the Sony 70-200 to get the wide AF coverage of the A99 II.
reviewer#36825 date: Apr-11-2017
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-300 G
Minolta 75-300
price paid:1100€ (new)
positive:Sharp
Great accurate AF
negative:Would prefer a metal body
comment:This is one of my favourite lenses, if not the favourite. Love the bokeh, love how sharp it is - 90% of all shots are wide open even in broad daylight . My go to lens for portraits when I can use 2.8 and 200mm. If I need to be closer to the subject or need a wider aperture, I'll use the Minolta 85 1.4.
I would only change it for the Sony 70-200 to get the wide AF coverage of the A99 II.
reviewer#30692 date: Sep-30-2016
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 3.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Sony 2.8/70-200 G SSM
Minolta AF 80-200 F2.8 G
price paid:1100 USD
positive:Decent build quality with dust and moisture protection, fast and silent focus motor.
Pretty sharp at the centre wide-open. Corners - stopped down.
Very well corrected CA.
Nice out-of-focus rendering.

negative:Focus accuracy on long distances.
Lack of edge sharpness.
Focus breathing.
Has no focus hold or range limit controls.
Heavy and big.
comment:Pretty nice lens as professional tool.
For my cameras AF is not so accurate but fast.
Good alternative to good-old 80-200 for those who need closer focus and silent operation.
reviewer#30691 date: Sep-30-2016
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 3.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Sony 2.8/70-200 G SSM
Minolta AF 80-200 F2.8 G
price paid:1100 USD
positive:Decent build quality with dust and moisture protection, fast and silent focus motor.
Pretty sharp at the centre wide-open. Corners - stopped down.
Very well corrected CA.
Nice out-of-focus rendering.

negative:Focus accuracy on long distances.
Lack of edge sharpness.
Focus breathing.
Has no focus hold or range limit controls.
Heavy and big.
comment:Pretty nice lens as professional tool.
For my cameras AF is not so accurate but fast.
Good alternative to good-old 80-200 for those who need closer focus and silent operation.
reviewer#12077 date: Jan-3-2015
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 17-70 "C"
Tamron 18-200
Tamron 70-300 USD
Tamron 16-300 USD
Sony 35mm f1.8
Tamron 90mm f2.8 Macro
price paid:1400 USD
positive:Extremely high build quality
Sharp throughout it's range
Focus speed and accuracy excellent on my A77ii
Weather sealed
Internal focusing and zooming so there is no external movement or change in length when zooming or focusing.
negative:Heavy
Bit expensive at $1400
comment:This is a professional quality lens that I use for sports indoors. Sharp wide open. Focuses fast even in the poorly lit middle school Gyms I've used it in. Highly recommended
I've owned this lens for 6 months
I don't trust the one previous somewhat negative review. I suspect he never owned this lens and just wants to Knock the rating down from his more expensive G lenses. The other more positive reviews are more representative of it's quality.
reviewer#11828 date: May-15-2014
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-200G I
price paid:1333.00
positive:Sharp
Pretty fast focus speed
Silent
Min distortion
Good colour
Good build quality
negative:So far none really, maybe would have been nice to have a lens case/bag like the Sony included.
comment:I bought this lens because I didn't want to spend $2285 on the Sony. The Tamron doesn't have focus hold or zoom limit buttons, but I didn't miss them at all. The lens is sharp, as sharp as the Sony and focuses as quick as the Sony under the same light conditions. No problems with colour, flare or distortion and the lens has a nice bokeh. Considering the price difference, there is actually nothing I can drastically fault with the Tamron. It's not as solid as the Sony, but very well built and does the job well. A great alternative and one I highly recommend
reviewer#11765 date: Apr-14-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta AF 70-210 F/4, aka "Beercan"
Sigma 24-70mm F/2.8 IF EX DG HSM
Tokina 11-16mm F/2.8 AT-X 116 Pro DX
price paid:1499 USD (New)
positive:The lens is very well built with a solid heft. No creaks or flexing. While it is not a mostly metal construction like the Sony, its build quality does not negatively impact confidence in its durability. Its moisture resistant construction is also a plus.

Acceptably sharp wide open through most of its focal length. 135mm seems to be its sweet spot with excellent sharpness wide open. The rest of the focal length is either pleasingly sharp wide open or requires just 1/3 stop down to F/3.2 to improve the image quality dramatically. It is definitely sharper than my Minolta 70-210mm F/4 "Beercan" at all apertures. It easily matches, if not exceeds, the sharpness and resolution of all my other zooms that I currently own (which are all F/2.8 too).

Bokeh is pleasing to the eye.

AF is fast, quiet, and quick to lock on with little to no hunting. Hunting only occurred when there were a lot of high contrast lines in front of and behind the subject (such as branches surrounding a bird). Note that these situations would trip up my other lenses too. Great for both video and photos.

I have been happy with the colors and contrast it produces and have not run into any issues with flare/ghosting. Of course, I always use the lens hood.

I like that the lens doesn't change length for both zoom and focus.

6 Year warranty.
negative:The focus and zoom rings being flipped is taking some getting used to. It is the opposite compared to all my other lenses. I prefer the zoom ring being closer to the body.

At 200mm shot at F/2.8, it can be a little soft with some hazing going on if shooting in strong light. But from F/3.2 and up it sharpens up dramatically and the hazing goes away. Shooting at F/2.8 in lower light situations this is not as noticeable and produces acceptable pictures.

Black body gets warm when sitting in the sun for extended periods. I see now why Sony paints their top end telephoto lenses white.

Heavy. It's both a pro and con.

With the lens and hood being so big (it dwarfs my "Beercan"), I am having a challenge fitting everything in my bag. Some clever rearranging resolved the issue, but I have to keep the lens hood in a separate compartment since it won't stow away attached to the lens. Despite my bag being capable of holding 6 lens and more, I might need a bigger bag if I want more flexibility in how I want to store my gear.
comment:I have owned this lens since mid-February 2014.

So far I have been happy with this lens and the results it produces, even more so after dialing in the MFA. I used my LensAlign Mk II along with FocusTune version 3 software to find the best setting. Majority of the focal range tested best at -2, with the remaining focal range testing best at around -3. With the results showing such little difference in image quality between the -2 and -3, I decided to stick with the -2 since majority of the focal range tested best at that setting. The consistency is better than my Sigma 24-70mm, which wants a +1 at 24mm, a +2 at 35mm and 50mm, and a +9 at 70mm.

For those not willing to shell out double the price of the Tamron to get a Sony 70-200 G2, I'd strongly recommend you take a look at the Tamron. It is certainly a heavy lens that will give your arm a workout, but the images you can get with it I feel makes it a strong contender against the Sony version.

As another reviewer mentioned, I am not so sure why one reviewer gave it such low marks. Maybe they got a bad copy, had unrealistic expectations, or were already so set on the Sony model that they felt nothing else could match it. These reviews are people's personal opinions, of course, just like mine.

While I am sure the Sony is better built and takes great pics, I had to ask myself is it $1500 better? To me it didn't seem to be. $500-$600 better, that would be a tougher sell, but not $1500.

The Sony model might be built like a tank, but the Tamron is still solidly built and feels capable enough to handle most, if not all, the duties the Sony can do. As for image quality, the examples I have seen from the Sony are good but didn't seem to be $1500 better. If anything, the Tamron images looked just as good and, in some cases, better.

I will say the Sony certainly has the advantage of being white (cooler to the touch when working out in the sun), supports Sony teleconverters if you have them, and natively supports the AF-D on the A99 for those that use it. I don't own an A99 so I can't tell you if the Tamron will work with it or not, I know some 3rd party lenses do work. Whether this will be limited to just the A99 or will be the case with future cameras is unknown.

I think the lens is more than capable enough for professional work and should be able to handle the abuse. Unless you are worried about accidents, the standard 6 year warranty that comes with the lens should be plenty for most people.
reviewer#11704 date: Feb-25-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 24-70 Zeiss
Sony 70-400G
Sony 135 Zeiss
price paid:1500
positive:Fits my need for size and weight.
Fast AF
Pretty sharp at f2.8 at all focal lengths
negative:Not as sharp as my more expensive lenses?
comment:Opinions stated in reviews are always based on the user's expectations. Here were my needs and expectations for a 70-200 lens. Something reasonably sharp at f2.8 that would be similar to my Zeiss lenses. Fast AF to capture my kids and wife in action during their races and sports. Smaller and lighter than my 70-400G to give me more reach than my 24-70 on travel, but still fit in my sling bag.

Overall, I am happy with the sharpness and color of the lens. I didn't expect it to be at the same level of my Zeiss lenses, but I do find it similar to my 70-400G at similar settings. I sold a 70-300G to buy the Tamron, and I feel the image quality of the Tamron is better at the similar focal lengths. The f2.8 capability is also a plus and worth the increase in size over the 70-300G for my needs.

Build quality is good for a Tamron and for the price, and while the lens is less robust than the Zeiss lenses, I have no concerns with traveling with it. I also appreciate the size and weight being less than the 70-200G or the 70-400G.

The AF is very fast and seems faster on my a850 than the 70-400G or the 24-70CZ. In addition to being fast, I have found the AF to be just as accurate as my other lenses.

I chose this lens over the 70-200G after a lot of research and handling both lenses. Size and weight were a concern, and I don't feel I lost much, if any, image quality over the G for the types of things I shoot. Also, a 70-200 is not a lens I use a lot. For me, it made more sense to save $500 from the Sony lens and put that towards another lens I use more often.

Lastly, I did not consider the Sigma offering for a few reasons. Reviews I read of the Sigma were not as good, and in the past, I have not been happy with Sigma zoom lenses I have bought and rented. Overall, I'm very happy with this lenses in the 6 months I've owned it.
reviewer#11635 date: Jan-25-2014
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 70 210 SP
Canon 70 200 F2.8 L
Minolta 28 135 F4/4.5
Minolta 50 F2.8 Macro
Sigma 400 F5.6 APO Macro
Tamron 200 500 F5.6/6.3
Tamron 17 50 F2.8
price paid:$1499
positive:I am an ex Canon guy who traded all my Canon gear, Mark II, L lenses, etc after I used the Sony a65 and saw the superior control over dynamic range in situations where raw or post processing HDR wasn't always the optimal choice. I ended up with an A65 and A99.
I was lucky enough to find some great bargains on used minolta and tamron lenses. Among them was a Tamron 70 210 which was really sharp and highly rated here however the CA was poor compared to the Canon L (non stabilized) I was used to.
After looking at the DXO Labs reviews for the newest Tamron 70 200 I decided to buy it. I am really glad I did. It easily outperforms the Canon as well as the Tamron 70 210. It better - it's expensive although less than the alternatives from other camera manufacturers.
I have no idea why another reviewer had major issues with this lens. It is incredibly sharp with only a slight softness at 70mm f2.8 but even in that case it's a relative thing to 200mm where it shines. He might have had a bad copy which I have read does occur. This lens certainly rates higher than the 4.6 and 4.7 's of its predecessors.
negative:From what I have read there has been some quality control issues with this lens so getting a good copy is important.
I did have an issue with using a Tamron 2X with this lens in AF mode, however my Tamron 1.4x works fine. I did try a Promaster 2x DG with the lens and it works fine, In fact it is actually really sharp. Also tried putting the the Tamron and the Promaster 2x converters on at the the same time in manual mode. That was an even bigger surprise. That combo was way better than it had any right to be. very usable images at 800 mm f 11 on full frame and 1200 mm f 11 on cropped. Had my local pro dealer check this out. Bettered the canon L equivalents with Canon's 2x converters.
comment:This is a real pro quality lens. It's expensive but far less than What Canon, Nikon or Sony offer with similar performance.
reviewer#11510 date: Nov-28-2013
sharpness: 4
color: 3
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:SAL70200G
SAL70200G2
SAL70300G
SAL70400G
price paid:$1699.99
positive:Its cheap. If your not a semi-pro/professional or avid out doors type this is the lens to buy. It could be used for weddings and other less demanding applications. Buy warranty.

Its overall IQ was OK for the price. Its AF was also decent for the price.
negative:I simply wouldn't buy the Tamron USD, because I would constantly be worried about its reliability.

Its drip proof, and not weather sealed I wouldn't recommend it outdoors for prolonged periods of time. Exposure to the elements would easily kill this lens.

It wasn't sturdy enough to take seriously, and it really felt like a knock off rather than a professional product.

I didn't care for the colours, and the IQ wasn't anything to write home about. It wasn't even as good as the original SAL70200G.

In the end I choose to saving another two months in order to buy the SAL70200G2.
comment:I wouldn't recommend this lens if you are a semi-pro/professional.

If money is tight I would recommend buying a SAL70200G, or financing the SAL70200G2
reviewer#11297 date: Aug-8-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 70-300 USD
Sony 50 1.4
Sony 35 1.8
Minolta 24 2.8
Tamron 60 f2 macro
Minolta 28-105 (latest version)
Minolta 28-85 (Latest version)
Minolta 35-70 F4
Minolta 35-105 Old and new.
price paid:1299 euro
positive:Fast AF
Sharp wide open up to 135
Flare is well controled
Distortion is minimal
In my opinion very nice Bokeh
negative:Just a bit soft @200 wide open
Mannnn its heavy. (but i like it!)
comment:Were to begin..

I bought this lens about a week ago and i love it.
It did not need any micro adjustment and it is absolutly sharp wide open up to 135mm. @ 200mm its a bit softer but stil much beter then any of the other zoom lenses i own. I wil be using it mostly as portret lens. Stopping it down to f3.2 makes it nice and sharp again.
I like the bokeh very much.

The USD autofocus is just like the USD on the 70-300 but it seems to be a bit faster. I have no experience with SSM or HSM.

Zoom and focus ring have a nice feel to it. But the focus ring has a bit of play (realy small, but its there). The lens in general feels solid, but comparing it to Sony, Nikon, and Canon lenses its just beneath that. (build 4)
Tripod mount turns smoothly

The lens is a bit front heavy, i need to use the VG on the A580 to make it balance better, image quality is great on the A580.
Using it on the A99 its stil a bit front heavy but nothing to complain about. Using the A99 with VG and 5600D its one heavy monster. Just under 3 kilo's

Please forgive my splelling and grammer as English is not me native language.

Update 09-08-2013, just forgot to mention, you get a free copy of Silkypix Developer Studio 4.0 for Tamron when buying this lens.
reviews found: 12   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 12
  • sharpness: 4.67
  • color: 4.50
  • build: 4.33
  • distortion: 4.58
  • flare control: 4.58
  • overall: 4.53

to add your review
you need to login

Dyxum.com - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania