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

reviewer#11520 date: Dec-3-2013
sharpness: 4
color: 5
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:Sony 55-200/4-5.6 DT SAM
Tamron 70-300/4-5.6 USD
price paid:700 USD (new)
positive:- constant f/2.8 aperture
- less than half the price of the Sony & Sigma variants
- focus ring doesn't rotate during AF
- fully internal operation - zoom & focus - so length doesn't change
- large, deep hood for flare prevention
- lightweight for a 70-200/2.8
- 6 year warranty
negative:- more plastic than the sony/sigma variants
- screw driven focus
- AF clutch adds an additional step when changing from AF to MF
- questionable focus accuracy
comment:Build quality is excellent. Plastic exterior, but no squeaks, creaks, or strange noises. Fully internal operation, metal internals, metal tripod mount, thick, ribbed hood, and a 6 year warranty.

Image quality is great, only pixel peeping will reveal the differences between the Tamron, Sony, and Sigma variants. This lens does have a softer area around 135mm, and is sharpest stopped down to f/4.

Focus accuracy on my copy is a little suspect. There have been multiple times where the camera has confirmed focus, and then looking at the images in post reveals a completely OOF frame. The clutch system to engage the focus ring for MF adds an extra step which changing to MF. The new $1500 version of this lens fixes that by adding USD.

Overall, shooters who aren't making a living off of their work or don't want to shell out for the more expensive Sony, Sigma, or the Mk II Tamron flavors will find a great lens in this one.

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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