Tamron SP AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO
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The 70-200mm f/2.8 lens is very popular, thanks to its speed and versatility, but is the Tamron SP AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO worth spending your money on?
Photo answers review
Photo answers rating
The Tamron SP AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO is available in four mount options – Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony – making it the budget option for almost every DSLR. This lens uses 18 elements in 13 groups, which helps it to be light. It also has a short minimum focus distance of 95cm. The biggest downside is the lack of image stabilisation, but this is an advanced feature and its absence is clearly a reflection of the competitive price-tag.
This Tamron lens features a sleek design with a wide and easy to turn focus ring at the front of the lens. When manually focusing, resistance is light so it’s easy to turn. The switch between manual and autofocus is a push/pull mechanism on the focus ring. It works well and is easy to switch between the two settings, but this type of control always lacks the sophistication of a switch. You can’t autofocus and then switch to manual as the movement always knocks the subject back out of focus. This isn’t a deal breaker for many, but those who use this technique often will find it frustrating.
At 70mm there’s a small amount of barrel distortion, and an equally small amount of chromatic aberration. Once you zoom into 200mm you’ll find a very small amount of pincushion distortion, and chromatic aberration increases, remaining consistent throughout the aperture range.
PA verdict: At £599 the Tamron is very affordable, so if you’re on a tight budget this will be the easiest route into owning a 70-200mm lens. Under test chart conditions it wasn’t the sharpest, but in the field produced acceptable results. It did occasionally struggle to find focus, but always managed to find the subject on the second attempt. Lack of image stabilisation is a shame, but at this price you can’t really complain.
Mount availability: Canon, Nikon, Pentax & Sony
Image stabilisation: No
Max. aperture: f/2.8
Min. aperture: f/32
Minimum focus distance: 95cm
Construction: 18 elements in 13 groups
Diaphragm blades: 9
Filter thread: 77mm
As featured in the September 2012 issue of Practical Photography, for a back issue please contact 0844 848 8872 or click here.
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