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

reviewer#8259 date: Nov-16-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 5
overall: 4.4
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:CZ24-70
CZ135 1.8
Tamron 70-300
price paid:600 USD used
positive:good value
sharp-good color rendition



overall good IQ-sharp, good color rendition, nice bokeh
a good value for a 2.8 fixed aperture zoom.


negative:noticeable barrel distortion @ 70 and pincushion @ 200.
lens defocuses when switching from AF to manual..
comment:first off, I don't normally shoot long lenses much so I was looking for the best IQ for the buck. I think I got that part right... This lens is sharp, with nice color and good bokeh. It is light(er) than the CZ lenses and balances well on MY A850 body. The build quality is mostly polycarbonate or some such, but doesn't feel cheap .
HOWEVER... it does have some warts also. The autofocus is speedy when making small adjustments, but hunts noisily when making big adjustments. A switch from manual to AF or AF to manual will completely defocus the lens, so if you are getting frustrated with the camera hunting for focus, prepare to be enraged when you switch to manual (a two handed affair since both the switch on the body and clutch on the lens must be thrown over) and your viewfinder becomes an amorphous blur. I wouldn't try shooting fast moving action with this lens. And did i mention the geometric distortion? no pixel peeping needed here- plainly visible in the viewfinder is barrel distortion at 70 and pincushion at 200.
I use DXO to post process so that is not a deal breaker for me, but disappointing nonetheless. so there you have it- a bright fixed 2.8 zoom with very good to excellent IQ- a bit clumsy to use with obvious but manageable geometric distortion

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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