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Thread started 27 Jan 2015 (Tuesday) 01:19
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Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD, reviewed by mannetti21

TOGGLE RATINGS BETWEEN ALL AND mannetti21 (showing now: mannetti21)
Overall Rating9
Overall Image Quality9.5
Value for Money10
Bokeh8.5
Sharpness9.5
Contrast9
Focusing9
Must Have8
Suitability to Intended Use10
Got What I Expected10
Ownership Status: "own"

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List all reviews of Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 
mannetti21
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Connecticut
Post has been last edited over 2 years ago by mannetti21. 13 edits done in total.
Jan 27, 2015 01:19 |  #1


---------------

Throughout this review, I intend to make comparisons between the Tamron 24-70 and the Canon 24-70mkII
as I know many people (myself included), debate long and hard between the purchase of these lenses.

---------------


A bit of background:
I've owned this lens for about 2 years now and have used it exclusively on the 5D3. To give you an idea of how much it gets used in comparison to my other lenses, take into consideration these numbers from my lightroom catalog; I currently have 2663 images in my catalog and 952 of those images (35%) were captured through the Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD. The next closest lens is my 70-200II with 424 images (16%) . That comparison alone is strong testament to how well this lens has performed. I find myself grabbing this lens quite often for those times that I don't have any one specific objective. Going to a fair/festival? Family party? Wedding? Hike? Day at the park? Winery? Yup...this is the one lens that almost always makes the trip. Three reasons for this; versatility of the focal range, sharpness, and IS. This lens does everything quite well.

Sharpness:
It is extremely difficult to find anything negative to say about the images coming from this lens. Sharpness, even wide open @ f/2.8, is never a factor in my decision to use the aperture. Is the Canon 24-70mkII sharper? At 70mm, yes. At 24mm, no. (This was compared between my copy of the Tamron and a friends copy of the Canon) Are both lens beyond sharp enough for large prints or heavy crops? I would say, absolutely yes. There comes a point when one has to ask the question how sharp is sharp enough. I'm extremely picky and admit to pixel peeping, but I'm quite satisfied. Corner sharpness is comparable between the two, but Canon does have the edge. If you are looking at corner sharpness @ f/2.8, I would say "Who cares?". Personally, I've never needed sharp corners in an image that I intentionally shot wide open (not to say that it can't happen). If you are looking at corner sharpness @ f/5.6 - f/8, then the differences between the two lens is negligible IMO. Point here being, if you are planning to shoot landscapes and absolutely need razor sharp corners, then my opinion is that neither of these lenses will get the job done. See below for full size and 100% crops taken at 24mm.

Bokeh:
There are many people that regard the bokeh of this Tamron as a major negative point, citing "onion" bokeh as the problem. The characteristics of bokeh are multi-factorial and vary based on the setup of each individual shot. I have yet to take a shot and notice this "onion bokeh" without actually looking for it. For all practical purposes, it has not been an issue for me, not even once. See below for full-size and 100% crop images taken @ f/2.8.

AF Accuracy and Speed:
This is the Achille's heel of this lens. I have had the opportunity to use the Canon 24-70mkII side by side with this lens and I was able to appreciate a practical difference. The Canon is a bit more "snappy" when locking focus and overall a bit more accurate under certain circumstances. The Tamron does not perform poorly in this area, and actually quite the opposite. However, the Canon just performs slightly better. It's difficult to quantify how much better, but after using the two lens, my gut tells that the Tamron is about 80% as fast as the Canon when focusing from MFD to infinity, 99% as accurate in good lighting, and 80% as accurate in poor lighting. I have been able to overlook this shortcoming due to the fact that during important, difficult low-light situations, I'm reaching for a fast prime, not a 2.8 zoom.

Image Stabilization:
This one is easy. Tamron has it and Canon doesn't. Do you need IS in this focal range? That's for you to decide, but personally, it has helped me get shots that I wouldn't have been able to capture without the stabilization. I don't recall how many stops of stabilization Tamron claims, but I can get about 3-stops in real life situations. For handheld shots, that's about 1/10sec shutter speeds at 70mm and almost a full 1sec exposure at 24mm.

Build quality:
Both lenses are built like tanks. The first thing I noticed when picking up the Tamron was the weight of the lens. It was heavy, it felt solid, and there was nothing that seemed as though it could easily break. The same goes for the Canon. The switches for AF/MF, VC On/Off, and Zoom Barrel lock can be "difficult" to locate and operate blindly. The switches could have been slightly larger with more tactile surface area. (I'm nit-picking here). Both lenses are weather sealed. Canon has the typical 1yr warranty. Tamron has a 6 year warranty. That is a huge plus IMO and proof that the company believes in the quality of their product.

Current Cost (1/27/15):
Tamron $1300 new
Canon $2000 new

Value:

IMO, the winner in this category is quite obvious. The Tamron is the better value lens.

Overall Performance and Image Quality:
Canon is superior.

However, the grey area begins to creep into the frame...
For the pro-shooter who uses photography as a primary source of income, and/or is using the lens for weddings and can't afford to miss a key shot, Canon comes out on top by a slim margin. (Slim because as mentioned above, Tamron suffers in low-light but most photogs are using their primes for these situations). For just about everybody else, I believe the IS (VC) of the Tamron at least evens the playing field between the two lenses, and may even elevate it to the top spot (and not just because of the cost difference).


Summary:
Photography is my primary hobby and also a source of supplemental income. For these reasons, I would have a hard time justifying an additional $700 for what I would consider better AF and a marginal improvement in sharpness. In doing so, I would also have to justify paying $700 to lose image stabilization and a 6 year warranty. Still, the cost was NOT the reason I decided to purchase the Tamron 24-70...it was the IS (VC). A highly effective stabilization system coupled to the high ISO capability of modern sensors allow for great performance in a variety of shooting situations.

When I first received this lens, I literally tried to convince myself not to like it. Deep down, I was hoping to find reason to return the lens and order the new Canon 24-70. It took me a solid 3-4months to completely lose the lust, but I believe it's finally gone. The Tamron has been more than good enough for my purposes, even with knowing that the Canon outperforms the Tamron in AF speed and accuracy. I don't know that I will sell this lens any time soon, and certainly not until Canon releases a 24-70 f/2.8 with IS. If you are on the fence, try the Tamron first.


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mannetti21
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Jan 27, 2015 18:03 |  #2

Sharpness and bokeh:

f/2.8 Full image SOOC, converted from RAW to JPEG with default output sharpening

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mannetti21
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Post has been edited over 2 years ago by mannetti21.
Jan 27, 2015 18:08 |  #3

Edge and Corner sharpness

24mm, f/5.6 - full image with +34 sharpness added in Lightroom

IMAGE: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7428/9499780200_bea7ff0bf5_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/ftsR​FN] (external link)Boston Architecture - Skyscraper (external link) by Mannetti Photo (external link), on Flickr

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CJCMarquez
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Jan 31, 2015 14:04 |  #4

Great review. I agree with you thus far since getting the Tammy. Hasn't left my camera much since the purchase.


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elitejp
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Joined Mar 2008
Jan 31, 2015 21:17 |  #5

I've always recommend people actualy rent this lens before buying the canon v2. There is such little difference between.the two that i cant justify needing or wanting more. But if you read after some threads you even have people recommending the canon v1 over the tamron, thats just pure brand loyalty. When i tested out these lenses i had the money to get either, so i.picked up the tam and the 135L for the same price.


6D; canon 85mm 1.8, Tamron 24-70mm VC, Canon 135L Canon 70-200L is ii

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mannetti21
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Feb 01, 2015 12:18 |  #6

elitejp wrote in post #17409333external link
i.picked up the tam and the 135L for the same price.

Exactly what I did. I actually just sold my 135L, but like I mentioned above, I really don't see myself selling this Tamron for any replacement 24-70 that is currently on the market.


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titi_67207
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Strasbourg, France
Post has been last edited over 2 years ago by titi_67207. 2 edits done in total.
Feb 02, 2015 03:23 |  #7

I've recently bought this Tamron 24-70mm (second hand), and I'm impressed too by the image quality and the stabilization. Last week I had one holiday week on the french riviera and at night had a good ratio of keepers at 1/4s, @35mm. Chromatic aberrations very well controlled too.

Titi


Canon 5D MkII + Sony A7 + 24x36 & 6x6 B&W film cameras .
CV 15 4.5 III | TS-E 24L II | FE 28 2 | (50+85) 1.4 | 135 2 | 70-200 4.0L | a collection of old Zuikos + FD + Adaptall + AI-s + M42

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drogos
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CHICAGO
Feb 05, 2015 17:14 |  #8

great review. For nearly half the price of Canon's equivalent it's absolutely stunning with vibration reduction as a nice add on. Zoom ring is in the wrong place, it has to be turned in the wrong direction, it's not smooth and throw is way too long. That's it, no more complains. After quick AF calibration, it's spot on at any distance and any focal length and it's a nice surprise to be able to shoot at 1/10 handheld no problem. Hood is compact so it will stay on all the time and won't create issues in the bag. Love it so far. It's not officially a macro but minimal focusing distance is crazy short ...I would say 8 inches tops. Overall great buy.


Lukasz Drogowski
Chicago Wedding Photographerexternal link
canon MARK III / 5D II / 5d / 24-70L, 50 1.4, 85 1.2 M2, 70-200 2.8 IS, Sigma 20mm 1.8 / 580ex / 580exII / 600ex

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phantelope
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NorCal
Feb 05, 2015 17:42 |  #9

Tammy is my main lens and I have no regrets. I do enjoy the other lenses I bought for the difference though, some fun toys like fisheye and ultra wide (Rokinon)


40D, 5D3, a bunch of lenses and other things :cool:

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masberg24
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Joined Jun 2011
Mar 01, 2015 21:00 |  #10

Anyone able to test this and the canon 24-70 II together? I heard there just as good; just wanted to get some reviews on here


Instagram; Samsrhee

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drogos
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Mar 01, 2015 21:02 as a reply to masberg24's post |  #11

not really, search on youtube. Canon still has much faster AF, it's slow even compared to 17-40


Lukasz Drogowski
Chicago Wedding Photographerexternal link
canon MARK III / 5D II / 5d / 24-70L, 50 1.4, 85 1.2 M2, 70-200 2.8 IS, Sigma 20mm 1.8 / 580ex / 580exII / 600ex

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iwo
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Joined Jan 2014
Frisco, TX
Mar 03, 2015 13:40 |  #12

Thanks for the review. Photography is my hobby even though I make money from it.
I currently use the canon EF 24-105 f4 IS lens on my canon 6D. I will be looking to get a f2.8 lens at the 24-70mm focal length. My choices are between used canon EF 24-70 f2.8 ver.1 and Tamron (used). I have not used a non-IS lens before and so can't tell if the IS/VC provided by this lens makes it a better buy. I have seen both of these lenses (used) listed in the $800 range.
I do shoot in-door events at nights. Any advice from from anybody who has used both lenses?




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mannetti21
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Mar 03, 2015 15:50 |  #13

iwo wrote in post #17458809external link
Thanks for the review. Photography is my hobby even though I make money from it.
I currently use the canon EF 24-105 f4 IS lens on my canon 6D. I will be looking to get a f2.8 lens at the 24-70mm focal length. My choices are between used canon EF 24-70 f2.8 ver.1 and Tamron (used). I have not used a non-IS lens before and so can't tell if the IS/VC provided by this lens makes it a better buy. I have seen both of these lenses (used) listed in the $800 range.
I do shoot in-door events at nights. Any advice from from anybody who has used both lenses?

Canon version 1 vs Tamron is an easy decision in terms of performance. Whether or not you will NEED or miss that extra performance is another story.


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RubberBiscuitz
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30 posts
Joined Jul 2010
Mar 07, 2015 09:49 |  #14

Thanks for the reviews everybody. I was up in the air between the tamron and canon(ver1) since they have a used canon at my local photo shop, but for the same price as a tamron(new). After my tokina 11-16 sells on ebay, I'm definitely picking up the tamron and will be using it as my daily.


70D Gripped | Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC | Canon 55-250 IS | Nifty50 | Rokinon 8mm Fisheye | Canon 430EX II

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Giantklr
Hatchling
6 posts
Joined Jul 2014
Apr 08, 2015 18:58 |  #15

Because of this review, out of the many i read, i decided to purchase this lens, Thank you.




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Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD, reviewed by mannetti21
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