Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F2.8 Di LD IF Macro A-mount lens review by Tricky01

reviewer#8794 date: Mar-16-2011
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Sigma 70-200 II HSM
Sony 70-200 SSM
price paid:410 GBP (SH: as new)
negative:Focus hunting
Focus speed
Manual focus 'clutch'
comment:It's a great lens in the comforts of your own home when testing. You'll get it, have a play at home and be blown away. You'll go out in good middle-of-the-day light and again be very impressed. But then try and use it at a late afternoon / evening event and you will miss so many shots for the hunting AF.

AF speed is actually not that bad on the A700 and again you'll be impressed at home when testing - when you have plenty of time to compose your shot and the subject isn't moving. The problem is in the real world uses you'll find it just hunts and you'll miss shots.

I tested both this and the Sigma HSM II at the same time and decided on the Tamron. I then used the Tamron at my mother's 60th and was disappointed enough to sell this and swap back to the Sigma. It isn't as tack sharp as the tamron but the HSM is very good (as good if not slightly better than the Sony) and better to get an acceptably sharp shot than none at all.

At £410 I did get a bargain (expect to pay £450 - £500 for as new second hand) but I would recommemd spending a little more and going for the sigma. If you can afford it, the Sony has the best of both worlds (focus and IQ), but it's at least twice as much and for me it was one to upgrade to from the tam/sig equivilent.

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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