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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 01 Jan 2014 (Wednesday) 10:56
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Image Quality: Tamron 70-200 vs Canon 135L

 
samefly
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Jan 01, 2014 10:56 |  #1

Let me start off by saying I know they are two completely different lenses. I just got a 5d iii and finally trying to get good glass. At the moment, due to budget, it's one of the other for the time being. My question is: which has the better image quality (color, contrast, sharpness, pop, etc)?

I've seen quite a bit of fanboy type of opinions (ones completely not based on reality), people saying "well why don't you just get the [Insert completely not relevant/asked about lens]", or other off topic comments. I'm not trying to be a d$#k but that kind of stuff seems to happen a lot on any forum.

The choice between the two for me is totally about image quality (not budget, features, use, or brand). I've searched for images on both lenses but since they're all taken by different photographers with significantly different skill levels it's been hard to judge. Ask the data charts and what not aren't my bag. I'm really about the actual final product. If the Tamron has the same quality then it's worth the extra money.

Has anyone shot with both or seen comparable images from the two? Can't rent at the moment so any help you all can give is greatly appreciated.


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Charlie
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Jan 01, 2014 11:05 |  #2

If you can handle the weight/size, tamron. if not, 135L.

by most accounts the 70-200vc is as good as the mk2. the 135 forces you to shoot a certain way, and you generally get better shots because of it, but lose out a lot of flexibility.

typical prime vs zoom debate. Absolutely LOVE the 135, but don't think it's better than the 70-200.


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EOS5DC
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Jan 01, 2014 11:49 |  #3
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I had the 135L. It is really good at f/2, along with razor-thin DOF and fantastic bokeh. For what I do, I was always at f/4 to f/5.6 anyway. To me, it was too much money tied up in a very specific-use lens. I sold it (and an 85 1.8 & 200 2.8L) and got a 70-200 2.8 OS. No regrets.

Shooting raw and post-processing should easily handle color/saturation differences between different high-quality lenses.


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Talley
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Jan 01, 2014 11:59 |  #4

My thought is this.

135F2 @ 2.8 vs Tamron 70-200 VC @ 135mm 2.8 are going to produce very similiar results. The 135 has an 8 blade aperture ring while the Tamron has a 9 blade. This wouldn't matter much if you were shooting wide open but the Tamron wide open compared to the 135 could produce slightly blurrier backgrounds. Sharpness on both should be pretty much equal. You get the benefit with the Canon of F2 so this could help more in shutter intensive applications where you need as much as possible. Weight is a big deal. The Tamron weighs much more than the Canon prime.

I think it's pretty redundant however when the time comes I will own the 135 in conjunction with my 70-200. For low light indoor dance/sports the F2 is invaluable.

My other experience with the best Canon glass vs. both my Tamrons is the Tamrons produce a warmer color with slightly less micro contrast producing colors that are not as "Bold" if you will as the canon. The colors are great but the blacks and reds are blacker and redder on the Canon. In Lightroom it takes a boost in contrast by +10 and a drop in blacks by -10 for the Tamrons to match the canon.


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BrickR
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Jan 01, 2014 11:59 |  #5

The biggest advantage of the Tamron is that it is much more versatile.


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DC ­ Fan
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Jan 01, 2014 11:59 |  #6

samefly wrote in post #16569173 (external link)
Let me start off by saying I know they are two completely different lenses. I just got a 5d iii and finally trying to get good glass. At the moment, due to budget, it's one of the other for the time being. My question is: which has the better image quality (color, contrast, sharpness, pop, etc)?

I've seen quite a bit of fanboy type of opinions (ones completely not based on reality), people saying "well why don't you just get the [Insert completely not relevant/asked about lens]", or other off topic comments. I'm not trying to be a d$#k but that kind of stuff seems to happen a lot on any forum.

The choice between the two for me is totally about image quality (not budget, features, use, or brand). I've searched for images on both lenses but since they're all taken by different photographers with significantly different skill levels it's been hard to judge. Ask the data charts and what not aren't my bag. I'm really about the actual final product. If the Tamron has the same quality then it's worth the extra money.

Has anyone shot with both or seen comparable images from the two? Can't rent at the moment so any help you all can give is greatly appreciated.

Of course, there are two Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses available.
There's an older non-stabilized lens which is called the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) (external link). That older lens sells for half the price of the newer lens, which is called the Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD (external link).

Now, if you're interested in the older and less expensive Tamron lens, here are examples from that unit.

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The older non stabilized Tamron lens generates very good images, but it's saddled with a slow and sometimes inaccurate autofocus response. The older lens is worth a purchase if you need to limit the money you spend. though.



  
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Thorrulz
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Jan 01, 2014 12:40 |  #7

Rent and shoot both for a week and see for yourself which you like more. That seems to be your best option before deciding. There's to much differnce between these two lens for any of us to give you much else that will be helpful in making a decision.


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samefly
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Jan 01, 2014 13:18 as a reply to  @ Thorrulz's post |  #8

Thanks for the replies. Also thanks for mentioning auto focus speed because that's pretty important. As far as which Tamron, I'm looking into the newer one with VC. If all other variables where equal (proper exposure etc) I'm really wondering which produces the most "wow". I know the glass doesn't make the photographer but it definitely enhances.

Zooms are definitely more versatile but I know the power of prime as well (sold all my crop lenses and pretty much just own primes at the moment). If the IQ is equal then without a doubt I'm going Tamron. I really just want the best image quality possible from a new lens, even if that means "moving my feet".

Talley wrote in post #16569309 (external link)
My thought is this.

135F2 @ 2.8 vs Tamron 70-200 VC @ 135mm 2.8 are going to produce very similiar results. The 135 has an 8 blade aperture ring while the Tamron has a 9 blade. This wouldn't matter much if you were shooting wide open but the Tamron wide open compared to the 135 could produce slightly blurrier backgrounds. Sharpness on both should be pretty much equal.

definitely did not know that


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Charlie
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Jan 01, 2014 13:38 |  #9

samefly wrote in post #16569496 (external link)
Thanks for the replies. Also thanks for mentioning auto focus speed because that's pretty important. As far as which Tamron, I'm looking into the newer one with VC. If all other variables where equal (proper exposure etc) I'm really wondering which produces the most "wow". I know the glass doesn't make the photographer but it definitely enhances.

Zooms are definitely more versatile but I know the power of prime as well (sold all my crop lenses and pretty much just own primes at the moment). If the IQ is equal then without a doubt I'm going Tamron. I really just want the best image quality possible from a new lens, even if that means "moving my feet".


definitely did not know that

it's really hard to create blurrier backgrounds from the 70-200. You'de need quite a bit more working space, while the 135L you're good to go all the time (yet still needs quite a bit working space).

VC/IS is incredibly handy for this type of lens, dont underestimate it!

To me, it comes down to "Are you comfortable carrying such a big lens?" if yes, get the tamron. The 1 stop of light is *nearly* negated by stabilization, bokeh @ 135 is not.


Sony A7iii/A9 - FE 24/1.4 - SY 24/2.8 - FE 35/2.8 - FE 50/1.8 - FE 85/1.8 - F 600/5.6 - CZ 100-300 - Tamron 17-28/2.8 - 28-75/2.8 - 28-200 RXD
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EOS5DC
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Jan 01, 2014 14:01 |  #10
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Charlie wrote in post #16569542 (external link)
it's really hard to create blurrier backgrounds from the 70-200. You'de need quite a bit more working space, while the 135L you're good to go all the time (yet still needs quite a bit working space).

VC/IS is incredibly handy for this type of lens, dont underestimate it!

To me, it comes down to "Are you comfortable carrying such a big lens?" if yes, get the tamron. The 1 stop of light is *nearly* negated by stabilization, bokeh @ 135 is not.

Stabilization and wider aperture are for two different purposes. One does not necessarily negate the other. Sometimes, both are needed.


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Jan 01, 2014 14:52 |  #11

samefly wrote in post #16569496 (external link)
Also thanks for mentioning auto focus speed because that's pretty important.

I shoot sports with the 135L. AF is great. I've tried 3rd party lenses in the past (Sigma, Tamron) but found that AF was just not as accurate as Canon was.

All the other IQ attributes are meaningless if the pic is out of focus. For my money it is Canon all the way.


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hennie
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Jan 01, 2014 17:14 |  #12

I have got both, but shoot a 7D so slightly different user experience.

IQ-Wise:
My personal experience is that, in contradiction with the common opinion, I get sharper pictures and more keepers with the Tamron than with my 135L when shooting handhold at moderate shutter speeds (1/125 -> 1/250). When I use a monopod or can shoot at faster shutter speeds I am really hard pressed to see a difference in IQ or keeper rate. This is when shooting portraits and pets indoors. (have not yet used the tamron on other occasions)

I have no intention to part from my 135L because it is such a nice light and fast lens, and the 2.0 aperture has saved the day quite some times. It is also less intimidating.




  
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samefly
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Jan 01, 2014 17:22 |  #13

hennie wrote in post #16569976 (external link)
I have got both, but shoot a 7D so slightly different user experience.

IQ-Wise:
My personal experience is that, in contradiction with the common opinion, I get sharper pictures and more keepers with the Tamron than with my 135L when shooting handhold at moderate shutter speeds (1/125 -> 1/250).

If you have time, can you post some image comparisons?


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kin2son
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Jan 01, 2014 17:40 |  #14
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OP I just had a look at your flickr page, and imo you are much better with the zoom.

IQ difference means nothing if the lens doesn't suit your shooting style.


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hennie
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Jan 01, 2014 17:41 as a reply to  @ samefly's post |  #15

Two samples, both taken under comparable light:
Stabilisation for me is the main differentiator.
Tammy first, 135L second Exif present.


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Image Quality: Tamron 70-200 vs Canon 135L
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