Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD Review

September 6, 2012 | Mark Goldstein |


At around 30% cheaper than the price of the Canon and Nikon alternatives, the Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD is an affordable alternative to the OEM offerings, plus it offers the added benefit of an effective image stabilisation system. Tamron's lens doesn't have quite the same build-quality as the Big Two, but the USM focusing is fast and quiet, the construction is shower-proof and most importantly the image quality is excellent.

The Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD's build quality is reassuringly good, and although quite big and bulky, it makes an ideal partner to a full-frame camera like the Canon EOS 5D Mark III that we tested it with. Image quality is generally excellent, with fantastic center sharpness throughout the zoom and aperture range. Chromatic aberrations are very well controlled, geometric distortion at 24mm is quite obvious but to be expected for an ultrawide lens, and flare is only ever an issue when shooting directly into the sun. The only real optical issues are obvious corner shading at the maximum aperture, something that every full-frame shooter has to put up with especially when using wide angles, and a general lack of edge sharpness wide-open at f/2.8 and stopped-down at f/16 and f/22.

If you don't mind the lack of of a big-brand name and value the effective image stabilisation, then we can heartily recommend the Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD as an attractively priced, excellent quality standard zoom lens for full-frame DSLR owners.

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 4.5
Value for money 5