Monday of last week saw us receive our first shipment of Tamron lenses.
For those who don’t know me, I am primarily a sports and head shot photographer and I’ve used various versions of 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 lenses for Canon bodies in my time. When I finally had to get my own I opted to get the Tamron G2 version.
Tamron hasn’t always been taken seriously by professional photographers, as their bodies tend to be made to a more consumer grade than those made by the likes of Canon and Nikon. But when Tamron introduced the 70-200mm G2 in 2017 they proved that they were a company who could be taken seriously.
The Tamron SP 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 Di VC USD G2 (as it’s officially called) launched to much fanfare because it did something that seems impossible – it gave the photography world the same image quality as Canon and Nikon’s 70-200mm offerings, while only be a fraction of the cost. So where was the catch?
There is a catch, of course. Several minor catches actually. There filter threading is plastic, not metal, there’s no lens profiles for in-body distortion correction and, well that’s about it.
Even at 2.8 this lens is sharp all the way out to the corners, it’s not any heavier than the competition, and the image quality is amazing.
When Tamron launched their first generation 150-600mm it was initially praised for offering an affordable superzoom option for wildlife photographers. But the original lens wasn’t without it’s issues: the sealing on the lens meant dust was an issue and multiple reports of the AF stopping working.
The SP 150-600mm ƒ/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 improves upon the original by including weather sealing, better quality control on the auto focus system, sharper at both ends of the focal range.
Tamron’s 28-75mm ƒ/2.8 Di III RXD was the first third party autofocus zoom for Sony’s E mount system and was, for the longest time, the best selling lens on several of large online retailers. Why?
Because it offers a great focal range, and a fast aperture at a reasonable price. It is a true general purpose lens, great for landscapes and headshots, street photography and detail work.
The 24mm ƒ/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 and 35mm ƒ/2.8 Di III OSD M 1:2 from Tamron both for Sony E mount are actual strokes of genius. Many photographers might over look them for “only” being ƒ/2.8 and not being ƒ/1.8 or ƒ/1.4.
But by choosing to stick to ƒ/2.8 the lenses can be smaller and lighter which reduces the manufacturing costs. In addition, the increased depth of field you get from shooting at 2.8 makes it much more likely you’ll get your subject in focus, compared to shooting at 1.4.