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Here at WPPI, Tamron made an announcement, a big and exciting announcement. Yes, my friends, it’s the new top of the line 70-200mm f/2.8 telephoto zoom lens from Tamron. Nikon recently released their 70-200mm f/2.8; However, whopping $2,799 price tag made many photographers to turn away. Tamron priced their new 70-200mm at reasonable and affordable price tag of $1,299. Will Tamron provide similar performance compared to Nikon’s at half of its price? Lets take a look.

Tech Spec:

  • Focal Length: 70-200mm
  • Max. Aperture: f/2.8
  • Min. Aperture: f/22
  • # of Aperture Blades: 9 Circular Diaphragm
  • Optical Construction: 23 Elements in 17 Groups
  • Min. Distance: 37.4 inches or 0.95 meters
  • Max. Magnification Ratio: 1:6.1
  • Filter Size: 77mm
  • Length: 193.8mm (Canon), 191.3mm (Nikon)
  • Weight with Tripod Collar: 1,500g (Canon), 1,485g (Nikon)
  • Accessories: Lens Hood, Caps, Case, Detachable Tripod Collar
  • Compatible with both Canon & Nikon

Autofocus

Autofocus was quick and accurate, pretty close to Canon’s and Nikon’s, and definitely faster than any Tamron lenses we’ve seen so far.

Weather Sealing & Durability

It’s mainly made out of metal and feels really good in your hand. They also describe this lens as moisture proof and dust resistant. Special sealants are use on every joint and seam.

Performance

Before we start, please advise this test was NOT done in the lab environment. Test was done on WPPI show floor, which I think it is better testing because real world performance is more important!

Equipments Used:

  • Nikon D750
  • Nikon AF 80-200mm f/2.8D ED 
  • Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2

All images are shot at following settings:

  • 1/250 @ f/2.8 @ ISO 800
  • No Profile Correction
  • Chromatic Aberration Correction: Yes
  • LR Noise Reduction: 25 Luminance @ 50 Detail
 Nikon @ 80mm
Nikon @ 80mm
 Tamron @ 70mm
Tamron @ 70mm

Both Tamron and Nikon showed promising performance at its shortest focal length. I personally think Tamron has a slight edge for sharpness. On 1:1 view, I see more detail and texture on the skin. Kudos to Tamron!

 Nikon @ 105mm
Nikon @ 105mm
 Tamron @ 105mm
Tamron @ 105mm

Again, even at 105mm, I see more details and texture on the skin on Tamron 70-200mm. I know it wasn’t the best environment to do testing. We were at higher ISO, used pre-installed fluorescent light from like 25-30 feet high ceiling, distance from the subject was different, and posing is different. However, if we look closely, I shot farther away from the subject using Tamron. This proves, even at longer distance, Tamron managed to capture more details than Nikon.

Overall, I think this is one of the best 70-200mm lens I have ever encountered, considering price. Up to 5 stops of Vibration Reduction, great optical performance, and fast autofocusing. What can you ask for more?

Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 is available for preorder at Amazon, B&H, and Adorama. Adorama marked estimated shipping date on Feb 26th, 2017, so I expect both B&H and Amazon to ship on the same date.

Thank you for visiting my blog, and as always, I will see you in the next one!

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