Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F2.8 Di LD IF Macro A-mount lens review by robberly12

reviewer#10762 date: Dec-7-2012
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:Tamron 70-300 USD
Sony 70-400G
Sigma 18-250 HSM
price paid:700 USD (new)
positive:Great IQ
Relatively light
Fast/Quiet focusing (on A580)
Build generally good
Bargain price
negative:Questionable AF accuracy
Using AF/MF clutch is tricky
comment:The Tamron SP AF 70-200 F2.8 is a high quality, affordable lens. It offers the image quality of the equivalent Sony & Sigma lenses at a fraction of their prices, and is also significantly lighter and easier to handle.

The main drawback of the lens is its auto-focusing ability. While I don't find its AF at all noisy & slow (as some other reviewers have), its accuracy is somewhat of an issue. While generally accurate, it has just enough focus misses to reduce my confidence. Switching to MF, in those cases, is somewhat difficult because of Tamron's use of a focus clutch. On the Sony mount version of the lens, both the body MF switch and clutch must be disengaged to enable MF. This can slow down camera handling, and disengaging the clutch can throw off the just-determined AF setting.

Build is very good, and is a great compromise between durability and weight. The only reason I downgraded it to a 4 was because of the use of the focus clutch.

It works well with my Kenko Teleplus 1.4x DGX teleconverter. Autofocus works well, and the exif data is correctly reported. Because of the extra torque required by Tamron's internal focus screw-drive system, manual focus with the Kenko TC is a little stiff and mechanical feeling. Image quality, though, is excellent.

Due to its constant F2.8 maximum aperture rating, the Tamron SP AF 70-200 is a great low-light lens with excellent sharpness across the zoom range. Even allowing for the AF issues mentioned above, it's a high quality lens at a bargain price!

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 87
  • sharpness: 4.78
  • color: 4.74
  • build: 4.29
  • distortion: 4.82
  • flare control: 4.80
  • overall: 4.69
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