Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD Review

December 7, 2012 | Mark Goldstein |


The Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD is an excellent telephoto zoom lens, with the new optical construction offering great image quality and lovely smooth bokeh, and the built-in image stabilisation system greatly increasing its versatility in low-light. The auto-focus system is reliably fast, accurate and quiet too, and Tamron's optic is noticeably smaller and more compact than the Canon and Nikon equivalents.

Image quality is generally excellent at the 70mm, 100mm and 135mm focal lengths, with fantastic sharpness virtually throughout the aperture range. Chromatic aberrations are very well controlled 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, and a lack of critical sharpness at the 200mm focal length until you stop down to f/8.

The SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD is one of the few Tamron lenses that's officially actually more expensive than the Canon and Nikon alternatives, with Sigma currently offering the cheapest fast telephoto lens with built-in image stabilisation. So while we do really like the new Tamron offering, as with their new 90mm macro that we recently reviewed, you might want to wait until street prices have settled down before purchasing.

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 5
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 4.5
Value for money 3.5