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

reviews found: 87    << 1 2 3
reviewer#5881 date: Aug-21-2009
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:Sigma 70-300
price paid:500
positive:solid build, SHARP!, fast AF, not sigma color, price!
negative:None
comment:
missing
reviewer#5733 date: Jul-20-2009
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:Sigma 70-200 f2.8 HSM
price paid:700€ (new)
positive:
missing
negative:
missing
comment:Interested in a fast tele, with Sony/Minolta out of budget, the alternative was the Sigma HSM. The rating and considerations here don't take in account those Sony/Min lens.

I've been using the Sigma HSM Nikon version for a while for weddings, and I have to admit that, though the HSM *is* fast, the accuracy of the AF was not perfect, and the "hunting" chances, especially indoor in the church, were quite high. The lens owner also reported that the Sigma at 200mm was not great at all. So I decided to go for the Tamron, even though a bit scared about the AF performance I read about.

Well let me say first that I'm really happy for the choice I've made.

I've used this lens in the last wedding (with a700), shooting about 6/700 pictures, and the hunting occurred really a few times in all the day, and always outdoor. The AF is always accurate and spot on... I really can't understand where all those critics about the AF system came from: sure it's slower than HSM/SSM (unfair comparison), and if it hunts, it takes 2/3 seconds to focus. But it rarely hunts, so I can't see the point.

Sharpness is really really remarkable in the entire range, even wide open. From this point of view, the lens is exceptional to me and I have nothing to report (5).

The build could be better, Sigma EX feels "stronger", but the lens doesn't feel plastic at all. Not too heavy for the class. Lighter than Sigma, and after a full day, this matter (hence the 5).

Colors are similar to other Sigma, a bit desaturated when compared with Minolta/Sony, but nothing that cannot be easily adjusted in PP (hence the 4).

No sign of flare (even if not deeply tested), and distortion is not applicable to this zoom (5)

The pouch it comes with is a bit useless since it cannot be attached to the waistband.

In my opinion, highly recommended. And more, it makes me reconsider Tamron brand.
reviewer#5700 date: Jul-15-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 3
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:Minolta 85 f1.4 G D
CZ 24-70 f2.8 SSM
KM 28-75 f2.8 D
Minolta 80-200 f2.8 G HS Apo
Minolta 75-300
Minolta 35-70 f3.5-4.5
Sony 18-70 DT kit
Minolta 28-70 f2.8 G
price paid:$1100 AUD (new)
positive:price
image quality (regardless of price - it is truly excellent)
close focussing distance
weight (compared to others in this range)
almost matches the "genuine" for optical quality and colour at all ranges
negative:focussing speed and hunting
focussing accuracy
manual focus switching (dual action)
no focus hold button
some dust sucking (mild)
comment:This is actually a really great lens and in most cases it really shines. Works very well on both the a700 and a900 (the a900 helps a bit more with its focussing) with excellent IQ to match the genuine lenses. Overall the images are slightly colder in colour rendition but still very sharp. The 80-200 f2.8 would be about 10-20% better overall as a package but that still makes this a fantastic lens. It is in our kit as a back-up and also for the closer min focus range. Very difficult to shoot action shots (focus issues) but great for portraits (however the focus is definitely worse in low light). You need to take much more care with focussing to get a sharp image and if the focus point is small it can really struggle....however good technique and patience can overcome this. The best of the non genuine zooms in this range. Some slight dust issues (it gets the odd bit inside the front element) but this is not a problem for the typical portrait type shots this lens would be used for with wider apertures. Definitely sharper at 70mm f2.8 than the Minolta 28-70 f2.8 G at 70mm to give an idea and hard to see a difference between sharpness with the Minolta 80-200 f2.8 G.
reviewer#5648 date: Jul-5-2009
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:Beercan
Min 100-300
price paid:A$1100
positive:Super sharp at all focal lengths
Great bokeh
Fantastic having 2.8 through the whole range
negative:Slightly soft at 2.8 but sharpens up very nicely at f4
Focus can sometimes hunt and not the fastest focusing lens in my collection
comment:This is my new favourite lens. Whilst its big and attracts a few stares and the occasional comment, the quality of the shots from this lens are well worth it. It has made me realise how 'soft' my other lenses are at these focal lengths and its fantastic being able to take great shots indoors. Its a super portrait lens.

The focus can be slow and it sometimes hunts before locking on but with a bit of practice this can be managed.

It is rather large and heavy compared to my other lenses but I have no problem at all handholding it and carrying it around whilst out for the day.

I would highly recommend this lens to anyone looking for a lens in this focal range but doesn't want to spend twice as much on sony glass.
reviewer#5568 date: Jun-21-2009
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:Sigma 135-400 APO
price paid:Ł450 new
positive:Comparatively cheep for fast zoom in this range
negative:Big! But that's to be expected
comment:This lens is VERY sharp, visibly sharper at 2.8 than Sigma 135-400 at f8. Focus is quick and accurate. Zoom is smooth and light one finger operation

I gave the build 4 because there's a lot of plastic in the body which may affect it's lifespan. It presents no probs at the mo and obviosly reduces weight considerably!

I got mine at Ł450 though prices have risen and you'd be lucky to get one below Ł600
reviewer#5560 date: Jun-20-2009
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 used to own this lens
compared to:cz 24-70, cz 16-80, cz af85 f1.4, 70-300G, minolta 28-105rs, tamron af 180 macro.
price paid:€659 new
positive:Sharpnes, collors, weight.
Bokeh.
negative:A bit of plastic feeling.
Slow af.
comment:I love this lens, i tried the sigma 70-200 but it has serious problems with dust inside.
Brought the sigma back and tried the tamron.
The sharpness from both are good, and the collor also.
But the tamron is not so heavy and a bit shorter.
The Bokeh of this lens is perfect!
The af isnt fast but this is the fastest mf lens in the world!!

I droped my bag and the lens broke in to 2 pieces!
reviewer#5533 date: Jun-15-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
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:Sony 50mm f1.4, Sigma 10-20mm EX, Sigma 17-70 macro, Sony 18-70mm (kit lens), Sony 75-300mm
price paid:$945 AUD (new)
positive:Excellent image quality even at f2.8. Nice build quality. Value for money
negative:Not much. Auto focus is slow on A200. Heavy (but comparable to other lenses in this category)
comment:Have only had this for a few days but here are my initial thoughts after around 100 shots.

Very impressive image quality even at f2.8. Very sharp, nice colours and contrast (although sometimes a little neutral - just a matter of taste really and easily altered PP). Used it yesterday at a christening and it performed almost as well as my 50mm f1.4 prime. As I get more used to its characteristics I only expect it to get better.

I find the build quality to be very good and the manual focus is a dream to use. Although this is somewhat necessary due to the very slow AF - my only real gripe about this lens. It is a heavy lens as are all in this range so it may not be the best choice as a hiking or travel companion.

I would highly recommend this to anyone.
reviewer#5511 date: Jun-9-2009
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:Sony 16-105
Beer Can
Sigma 28-300
Minolta 75-300
Sigma 170-500
price paid:$1000 Aust
positive:Sharpness & Contrasty IQ
Ease of use with very wide zoom and focus rings.
Removable tripod collar.
negative:AF just a tad slow for sports
comment:One of the few lenses I have purchased new and It spends more time on A700 than any of the other glass I have. Auto focus can be slow on the faster moving smaller objects, on larger targets it performs quite satisfactory. The width of the zoom and focus rings (nearly 2") makes it a joy to use in manual mode, which is the mode I use this lens in the most. All in all a joy to use.
reviewer#5430 date: May-21-2009
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:Canon 70-200 f4 USM
Beercan
price paid:600 EURO
positive:sharp
accurate AF
IQ
coating
negative:No SSM
weight (:->)
comment:I owned a Canon 70-200 to to do sports photography but this lens is even better. The AF is not as fast as the AF from the Canon lens, but it is accurate fast enough and 2.8 instead of 4.0.

I think I do not need the Sony 70-200 ssm anymore, apart from ssm it cannot be a better lens.

I do not think it is bad buildt, 4 for the build rating is to less. My copy - I feel - is build like a tank so I gave a 5 for the build rating.

Compared to the beercan it has better coating, no CA's and as a tack sharper.

It is my best buy since I bought the Minolta 100 macro (D).

reviewer#5408 date: May-19-2009
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta 70-210 f3.5
Tamron 18-250
Sony 70-300G
price paid:699 USD new
positive:Very sharp
f2.8
Tripod foot
negative:Heavy
Quality control
Hunts in low light
Rather noisy focusing
Expensive 77mm filters
comment:The first thing you will probably notice is the size of this lens. While about average for a lens in this range, it is still heavy.

The first copy I got had focusing problems. Would chatter back and forth endlessly when zoomed in. Had to zoom out to make it stop. Exchanged it for another copy which doesn't have that problem. This lens could use a focus limiter. I found that it would often hunt, even in bright sunlight. For moving subjects, you need to keep it focused in the general area of the subject.

Sharpness is a mixed bag. Sometimes great, sometimes spotty. Got some great shots of surfers and seals one day and then couldn't get a decent shot of birds on pond the next day. I became disenchanted because I couldn't count on getting the shot. My good copy was soft at f2.8, getting really sharp by f5.6.

In the end, I sold it and got a Sony 70-300G that I love. Smaller, lighter weight, just as sharp, longer focal length. I was willing to sacrifice the f-stops to get a lens that I would ultimately use more often. I shoot outside using f8 most of the time, anyway. I have a much more useful 28-75 f2.8 for indoor work.
reviewer#4955 date: Mar-3-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:Minolta 80-200/2.8 APO HS
price paid:650 €
positive:sharp from 3.5 onwards
Minimum focus distance
price
negative:some kind of ghosting at 2.8
no focus limiter
no focus hold button
AF accuracy
comment:I tested this lens for 1,5 weeks, but sent it back because of severe focus-errors. At about half of the shots taken the lens couldn't focus correctly (I also tested this with a tripod, so user error/vibration can't be the sole reason for this behaviour)

When the lens focussed correctly however, the result was very pleasing. Very sharp from 3.5 onwards and nice colours. At f2.8 I noticed some kind of ghosting which led to unsharp and low-contrast pictures.

Compared to the Minolta 80-200/2.8 HS the only advantage of the Tamron is the shorter minimum focus distance. AF speed and accuracy is much better with the Minolta. At 3.5 these lenses have about the same sharpness, but with the difference that the Minolta is also sharp at 2.8 without these strange ghostings. Colour rendition and bokeh are also better with the Minolta, but that's more a personal taste
reviewer#4949 date: Mar-2-2009
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:Only the 55-200 from Tamron, but thats unfair:-)
price paid:5500 DKK
positive:Sharp from 2,8
Easy to zoom with
pretty good manual focus ring
Easy to handle
Focus is very accurate on A700
Focus is fast on A700
It's a steal
negative:The rings could be smoother, but matters only little.
No limiter.

comment:I'm new to this kind of lenses and haven't tryed others. I'm impressed with the sports capabilities, During a 60 minute handball match it only hunts twice or so - if you get to know it off course. I bet it's even better with an SSM lens, but I like that this (compared to the Sigma) goes to 200mm when shooting across the "field".

I miss the limiter; the reason for the build character, as the lens itself is very well build. Best in my collection.

Colors are very good I think, but the 100mm Sony is a little better.

examples from a match: http://www.pufoto.dk/skjern_thy
reviewer#4834 date: Feb-11-2009
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 17-50, 50mm 1.7...I haven't owned any lens in this range before
price paid:619 USD (new)
positive:Good color and sharpness
nothing moves- IF and the zoom range is all inside
AF/MF function on the lens
negative:AF hunted inside at times
comment:I really like this lens. I love the overall build. The AF/MF function makes it so that nothing rotates on the outside for focusing. Nothing extends when zooming, it's all inside! The picture inside with CF lighting was very good in color and sharpness. At times it would hunt when taking pictures (inside, compact flourescent lights no natural light coming through windows) of darker objects. I have no other lenses in this range to compare it to as this is the first I've had in this range. It has a nice solid feel (it's 225g lighter than my Tamron 200-500). I like the removable tripod colar as well as the soft padded case it came with (though I probably won't ever use the case). I also like the petal hood. Overall, I am very happy with this lens!
reviewer#4632 date: Jan-5-2009
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:* Minolta 70-210 f/4 (Beercan)
* Sigma 50-500
* Tamron 17-50
price paid:$699 USD (new)
positive:* Excellent value.
* Incredible IQ across all focal lengths and apertures.
* Big, deep lens hood.
* Pretty good MF ability.
* Tripod collar is removable while lens is attached to the camera body.
negative:* Body isn't made entirely out of metal.
* No SSM focusing.
* AF/MF switchover, while better than some, is not as good as Minolta's clutch system.
* Focus ring spins if you AF with the body and the lens is set to manual mode.
comment:The budget-oriented competitor to the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 has arrived.

* BUILD QUALITY AND FEEL*

The adage of "you get what you pay for" rings true, at least in the case of this lens. The body is, unfortunately not made entirely of metal. Only the lens mount to the area before the zoom ring is metal. The rest of the body is polycarbonate, most likely the same stuff used in the 17-50 and other SP series lenses. It feels fine enough in the hand, but a partial plastic body is probably one of the sacrifices made in the name of cost.

The lens hood is large and reverses for easy storage. Made from the same plastic as the 17-50's hood, with the same ribbing on the inside to avoid reflections. It is kind of tough to unlock it when mounted, but this is something that will probably go away in time.

The tripod collar is removable when the lens is attached to the body, a very useful feature. Unfortunately it lacks a lens strap post. The lens turns smoothly from portrait to landscape when the collar is loosened thanks to its teflon coating.

As always Tamron's lens caps (at least, the front ones) are excellent and are probably the equal of the Sony/Minolta center pinch caps. The rear cap is the same generic Tamron cap and does not open up the iris when attached. The lens uses 77mm filter threads, standard for this type of lens.

Interestingly enough, the a-mount version has a square baffle on the lens mount. The Pentax version has it too. But not the Canon/Nikon ones. I wonder if it affects anything.

The lens includes a soft case, as most lenses in this price range do.

* FOCUS AND ZOOM FEEL*

Zooming feels all right. Not as smooth as the beercan, unfortunately. It does have a little resistance to it, which I'm not sure is due to the lens being new or inherent to the design. Overall, zooming is OK and feels fine, really. Not too different from the 17-50.

Focusing is a different story. Before performance, I'll talk handling. In AF mode, the focus ring on the lens will not move. This is much like the Bigma, in that it uses some kind of clutch mechanism that activates manual focus by pulling the ring towards the camera body. However, it differs from the Bigma's implementation in actual use. You can have the lens set to MF mode when the body is set to AF (unlike the bigma) - the focus ring will then turn during AF, much like old Minolta lenses or the 17-50. The Bigma would not let you AF when the lens was set to MF - the camera motor would simply spin and not focus the lens. Tamron's implementation of MF in this lens is OK, but it's not as good as Minolta's D-series clutch method, where the focus ring simply won't move unless you move it, no matter what mode you are in. This at least lets you use DMF or the af/mf button.

Manual focus action feels good, but not great. This lens could really use a supersonic motor design.

Autofocus performance is good. It takes 8.5 turns on the AF screw to go from minimum to infinity. In a dimly lit concert hall, it focused surely on the a700. It's not a speed demon of a lens, but certainly faster than any other telephoto lens of mine. The sound is similar to the 17-50. They probably use similar focus train parts in each. Again, a "get what you pay for" situation, but when all other 70-200 options on the market except yours have SSM focusing... Tamron needs to get their act in gear. None of their lenses have SSM motors and this needs to change.

I have not noticed any backfocus/front focus issues on my a700. Your mileage may vary. If you have issues of that nature, either 1. buy an a900 or a future body with lens correction or 2. send it to Tamron for Service.

The focus action is internal, meaning no rotating front element. Polarizer use is good, except a window on the hood like the Sony 70-200 to adjust the polarizer would have been very useful instead of having to stick my finger in there to adjust it.

* IMAGE QUALITY *

This lens has exceeded all of my expectations as far as IQ goes. I knew it would be good, but it's definitely a top notch optic. It's been sharp all the way through. There seems to be some minor chromatic aberrations at the corners at f/2.8 near the long end, but these go away quickly as you stop down and can be corrected for fairly easily in Lightroom. They're nothing like the beercan's.

Flare doesn't seem to be much of an issue in my usage. The giant lens shade helps, of course. I've seen flare failures online and I believe these are more edge cases designed to make the lens fail. In either case it performs much better than the beercan.

VIgnetting doesn't seem to be much of an issue on APS-C. There might be a slight amount wide open.

The lens does report focus distance info to the body and seems to work well with ADI flash.

The minimum focus distance (.95m) and magnification factor (.32) both beat out the Sony in spec terms, but I have not really tried macro-ish shots with it. Of course, the Sony used to be the class leader in these stats until recently, I'm sure a redesigned G will beat it.

Background blur performance... it's good. However, objects in front of the focus plane will demonstrate some longitudinal chromatic aberration. This is par for the course for these telezoom lenses, though, and it doesn't look objectionable unless you're specifically looking for it in certain conditions (e.g. white pieces of paper with stuff written on them). Unfortunately, those scenarios do happen more than we would think they do. The aperture appears to be circular when examining it through the lens.

* VERDICT *

Overall, a solid value of a lens. It gets the job done and delivers where it counts - image quality. This is a great lens for a well-heeled amateur or freelancer who wants the performance of a higher end f/2.8 but can't afford the other options on the market.
reviewer#4509 date: Dec-9-2008
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
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:Tokina AT-X Pro 80-200mm f/2.8
Minolta 28-135mm
Beercan
Sigma 50mm f/2.8 macro
MinO 100-300mm APO
price paid:625
positive:SHARP all the way through the range (and at all apertures)
No CA @ f/3.2
Build quality is astounding
Price
Focus speed
negative:WEIGHT/SIZE
Hood is overkill
Not AS sharp at 200mm f/2.8
comment:An astounding piece of kit. Rivals my old Tokina AT-X pro for build quality. As sharp as you can imagine @ f/4 on A900 (as sharp as my 50mm macro). Focus isn't super-duper fast, but is very responsive and most of all ACCURATE.

I cannot emphasize the sheer weight and size of this thing. Blows away the big beercan and Minolta 100-400mm APO.

An astounding value when you consider it is terrific on FF and only costs around $625 (street price). It compares well with the 28-135mm Minolta, which is SAYING something.

Per pound, it is the best lens value available.

reviewer#4451 date: Nov-29-2008
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 AF70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2
Minolta AF 100-300 F4.5-5.6 APO
price paid:699 USD (new)
positive:Very high center and corner resolution even at wide apertures
Very good color reproduction and contrast
Relative low price for the given optical performance
negative:Slow focusing speed
comment:My copy has on the Sony DSLR-A300 a center resolution of 2000 to 2300 LPH and corner resolution is typically between 1900 to 2200 LPH, measured for apertures from f2.8 up to f8. One exception from this is the 200mm focal length, where corner resolution is between 1800 to 1900 LPH. Those values are quite impressive, particularly the very high corner resolution. Such little fall-off of corner resolution as compared to the very high center resultion shows the optical excellence of this lens. I use the lens from its lowest aperture of f2.8 up to f11 at all focal lengths.

Slight chromatic aberration is noticeable in the corners at the two focal length extremes of 70mm and 200mm, but is almost unnoticeable at other focal lengths and disappears towards the center. I did not notice any distortion, vignetting or flare that is worth mentioning. Color and contrast are natural and quite attractive. Out-of-focus blur is, for my taste, very nice. Build-quality is acceptable for amateur-use. Focusing can be very slow, if the lens has to travel a long distance to find the focus, but has typically been very accurate. If you do sports photography, you need to pre-focus the lens to be ready in time.

To increase the maximum focal length to 280mm, I use the Kenko 1.4x Teleplus Pro 300 teleconverter. Center resolution drops by about 200 to 300 LPH in the center and 300 to 400 LPH at the corners. Given the already high resolution of the lens without teleconverter, you still get photos of quite acceptable quality when using this teleconverter. Chromatic aberration appears to me very slightly increased in the corners, when directly comparing images. I do not notice deterioration of color, contrast, distortion or vignetting. Please note, that the actual aperture values are reduced by 1.4x, but the camera does not show this reduction on the display. For instance, if the camera shows an aperture of f2.8, you actually have an aperture of f4.0 when using the teleconverter. Exposure times are increased correspondingly.

Overall the lens is absolutelly usable through its entire focal length, even at its highest aperture. The optical performance is just outstanding. Combined with the Kenko 1.4x Teleplus Pro 300 teleconverter, you can see a slight drop in image quality, which is expected, but the images are still very good and clearly outperform such lenses than the Tamron AF70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2 or the Minolta AF 100-300 F4.5-5.6 APO, who cover this range without teleconverter.
reviewer#4438 date: Nov-27-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
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:- minolta 70-210 f4 beercan
- minolta 100-300 APO
price paid:900 CDN
positive:- Good IQ
- Accurate focusing
- Feels solid
negative:- Focus sometimes hunt in low light
- a little heavy
- attracts attention due to size
comment:images are a little soft at f2.8 but is still very usable. bokeh is quite nice. stopped down to f4 its very sharp, but then if you have a really good copy of beercan, it could be similar. much less CA on the tamron for sure. if you don't need the fast f2.8, just get a beercan! as it will be much lighter and compact compared to this. plus with this lens, you will be getting some attention, which might not be good sometimes...
reviewer#4425 date: Nov-22-2008
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:Beercan 70-210mm f4
Tamron 17-50mm f2.8
price paid:Ł509 (new)
positive:IQ
Build
Focussing accuracy
Low CA
negative:Weight and bulk
Slow AF when it hunts
comment:I bought this lens as a Beercan replacement because the CA on my Beercan was just too much to ignore.

The Tamron is a truly great performer and very much in keeping with the terrific 17-50mm f2.8 At the extreme, 200mm f2.8, there is perceivable softness and a small amount of CA (but nowhere near the levels of the Beercan), however, at all other apertures this lens is razor sharp and exhibits negligible or no CA.

Focussing accuracy is spot on (no BF or FF) and seems to be reliable, contrary to some reviews. Focussing speed is reasonably fast except, as others have pointed out, on the occassions when it hunts - still slightly faster than the Beercan in this respect though.

I have no issue with the build quality which seems to be of a high standard. The base section is all metal and the middle and upper sections are high grade plastic. Both rings seem tight and operate smoothly. I'm not that keen on the manual clutch mechanism, but this seems to be a Tamron "feature".

The only dowside of this lens, compared to the Beercan, is its sheer weight and bulk. Other lenses may have to be sacrificed when hicking, since it takes up a good deal of rucksack real estate.
reviewer#4357 date: Nov-11-2008
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:Sigma 134-400 f4.5-5.6
Minolta 70-300 f4.5-5.6
Minolta 135 f2.8
price paid:499Ł
positive:Fast and accurate AF
Sharp in all A-range
negative:Feels cheap - But still solid
A bit noisy AF
comment:
missing
reviewer#4324 date: Nov-4-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
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:Many lenses, although haven't compared to f/2.8 tele zoom
price paid:639 EUR
positive:Image Quality
Sharpness
Bokeh, Color
Build
Front does not rotate on focus
Length does not extend
negative:AF not the best (Missing SSM)
Missing focus delimiter
comment:Image quality is superb !
Very usable from f/2.8, and gets razor sharp when stopping down a bit

The build is very good, it does not feel cheap.

The only negative is that it can be a bit slow in low light, if it misses focus it does take some time to find it again.

I have however used it for sports e.g. handball without problems.

It is very similar to Tamrons 17-50mm/2.8 in terms of image quality.

When the light is there, it is actually pretty fast.
At shorter distances it also is a bit slow
Tendency to hunt.
I use it mainly for landscape, portrait & street photography and it is great
reviewer#4323 date: Nov-3-2008
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:Minolta 200mm F2.8 HS
Minolta 135mm F2.8
Minolta 100mm F2.0
price paid:€ 660
positive:Nice color and right level of contrast
Great bokeh
Sharp
Nice build
Worth every cent
negative:AF needs time to lock
comment:I already ordered the Sony 70-200mm F2.8, but then delivery got delayed more and more. This made me think whether I wanted to take such an expensive lens on travel and mountain hiking. So I switched to the Tammy.

And I'm happy after two mountain trips. The lens is perfectly usable from F2.8 on, whereby my copy is weakest at the low end, not by sharpness but contrast (can be compensated by PP). At 135mm..200mm it can compete with my Minolta 200mm F2.8 HS. AF is precise on both the A700 and KM 7D (what a relief).

The lens is very versatile and can be used for portraits ("right contrast"), flowers, macros (beautiful color and bokeh), and landscape. Flare becomes visible when the (evening) sun is part of the composition.

If benefits much from the central AF sensor on the Sony A700, but also works at the KM 7D. Once AF has locked the A700 / lens combo tracks nicely even children. But when you loose the subject then it takes quite some hunting.

Concerning weight, well I prepare my muscles for FF.
reviewer#4214 date: Oct-11-2008
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:Sony DT 18-70 kit lens
Tamron SP AF 90 F2,8 macro
Tamron AF 28-300 F3,5 -6,3 XR DI
price paid:1000 USD (in Norway)
positive:Sharp
Good macro
Nice bokeh
Build quality
F 2,8
negative:weight
AF sometimes hunting
comment:Lovely lens, a little heavy, and Af sometimes hunting
reviewer#4175 date: Oct-2-2008
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:Beercan
sigma 70-210mm f/2.8
price paid:699USD
positive:Image Quality
Build
speed
price
negative:none
comment:It's definitely worth the buck. It makes me think that the Sony 70-200 is very much overpriced.
It is very heavy and well built. Image quality is excellent and it has macro capability!

Thanks Tamron for this awesome product, it's worth the 9 month wait!

reviewer#4147 date: Sep-29-2008
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:minolta 100-300 apo
Minolta 70-210 f.4 "Beercan"
price paid:700 € (new)
positive:Sharp, sharp and so sharp !!! Excellent build quality,
optical performance, absolutely beautiful and silky bokeh.
negative:low focusing in low light
comment:This lens is really the sharpest I ever had, even at f2.8, as sharp as the Zeiss 16-80 !!! Creamy bokeh.
AF is really accurate, no BF or FF, it focuses perfectly. It produces very cool and nice colors. Focus seems to be reasonably fast, a little more fast than the Beercan. AF-C is not for sport, but the optical quality is here !!!
reviewer#4098 date: Sep-15-2008
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:- Minolta 70-210/4
- Tokina 80-400/4.5-5.6
- Sigma 24-70/2.8
price paid:699 new
positive:- Extremely sharp
- Relatively light
- f2.8
- Constant physical length
- Good macro/close focus
- Good hood, little flare
negative:- AF hunts sometimes
- Rings are loose
comment:This is the first 70-200/2.8 lens I've used, but so far I've been thrilled with its output. The lens is sharp wide open throughout the zoom range, though there's a tiny bit of CA at 200mm/2.8. At f4 the lens is razor sharp everywhere with insignificant CA. Colors, bokeh, contrast are all excellent; this lens delivers great image quality and is far better than other telephoto lenses I've used.

I'm somewhat uncertain on the autofocus speed on this lens, I have to do more tests. Thus far, tracking squirrels and objects in bright light is entirely possible, and the AF is responsive. Even tracking bees on flowers for macro shots works reliably, which I was surprised at (continuous mode on an a700). The lens takes a while to focus from close to infinity (though is a bit faster infinity to close), thus when the lens hunts (which happens sometimes even in bright light), it takes a while to lock on, but once it locks on, focusing is snappy.

For comparison to other lenses, It focuses significantly faster than a beercan does, but not as fast as shorter lenses like the Sigma 24-70 I use. Also it's focusing is quieter than my other lenses, though not silent like a piezo ring-motor is.

Another complaint is that the zoom and focus rings are a bit loose, they're not well-damped and turn a bit too easily, in my opinion. Also the lens isn't parfocal, and I'd wish for something better than the MF clutch mechanism.

But for the price point, you certainly get your money's worth, especially in the image quality department and low light shooting.
reviewer#4097 date: Sep-15-2008
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:Beercan
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp
Price
AF speed / accuracy
Build quality
Package
negative:Weight

comment:I'm not a PRO so I've choosed this lens because I think it has a good price/quality.

reviewer#4088 date: Sep-12-2008
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:Beercan
100-300 apo
SAL 18-250
price paid:699 USD
positive:Sharp (useable at 2.8, quite sharp at f4)
Cost
Accurate Focusing
negative:Size (but comes with the territory for 2.8 tele zoom)
AF speed only so-so
comment:Really an excellent lens, and an even greater value (it ships with a nice padded case, and the hood, and of course comes with a 6 year warranty). The technical tests on dpreview show that it holds up quite well to it's more expensive competition from an optical standpoint. I was not disappointed at all with the image quality of this lens.

I found AF speed to be adequate for youth sports, although it's not blazingly fast. I did also own the Minolta 80-200 HS G in the past - no doubt that lens is faster to AF, but the Tamron was not bad either. It will hunt a bit in low light, especially when going from close to far focus, but AF accuracy was very good.

Ultimately, I returned it though as I'm more comfortable with a smaller, more compact lens, and rarely need f2.8 in this range. But if you need a 2.8 tele zoom, this one is an excellent value, and will not disappoint optically.

General Samples here:
http://keithinsp.smugmug.com/gallery/5875960_4RRf2#365066554_rfFNF

Sports Samples here (1st 30 or so pictures in gallery):
http://keithinsp.smugmug.com/gallery/5900648_SLyzE#366924067_Xbfhg
reviews found: 87    << 1 2 3

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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