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01-30-2011, 08:21 AM   #1
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Photozone Reviews Tamron 70-200 2.8 HOT! HOT! HOT!

Whatever nagging little temptation there was to dabble with the DA*50-135 is now gone!

Tamron AF 70-200mm f/2.8 SP Di LD [IF] macro - APS-C Review / Lab Test

01-30-2011, 09:48 AM   #2
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I've got a copy of this lens for testing purposes, and am definitely heading out to shoot with it now!

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01-30-2011, 12:03 PM   #3
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Nice, certainly a "value king" as Klaus puts it. I wonder how long it takes before Tamron re-releases it with their new USD AF system, that's pretty much the only con in this review. Of course, how long it takes before it becomes available in Pentax mount is another question
01-31-2011, 05:53 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I've got a copy of this lens for testing purposes, and am definitely heading out to shoot with it now!
How did it go? Got any sample shots? If MTF numbers mean anything, it should be sharper than the sharpest DA* lens..........or any Pentax lens for that matter.

01-31-2011, 07:38 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by EricT Quote
Nice, certainly a "value king" as Klaus puts it. I wonder how long it takes before Tamron re-releases it with their new USD AF system
That might fix the random focus issues in their geared motor design as well, but the main negative is they'll then drop the PKA mount support like they have w/ the newest lenses
01-31-2011, 08:03 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by JHD Quote
How did it go? Got any sample shots? If MTF numbers mean anything, it should be sharper than the sharpest DA* lens..........or any Pentax lens for that matter.
In this case, the MTF numbers don't necessarily mean that. Klaus is very specific in pointing out that results are not comparable across systems.
01-31-2011, 08:22 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by gnaztee Quote
In this case, the MTF numbers don't necessarily mean that. Klaus is very specific in pointing out that results are not comparable across systems.
True, the MTF numbers between systems (even withing a system if a different body was used) can't really be compared.

That said, the Tamron 70-200 is a very sharp lens which performs very well wide open. I own the Tamron, and the two most comparable DA* lenses (50-135 and 60-250) and while I haven't got around to any direct testing, it wouldn't surprise me that the Tamron was the sharpest of the group.

They're all fantastic lenses, each with their strengths. The DA*50-135 is the best built and smallest of the three but the AF isn't very quick. The DA*60-250 has the best range and has faster AF, but obviously is a stop slower than the other two lenses. The Tamron is excellent optically, but the build isn't quite as good as the DA* lenses (though not bad overall) and the AF is slow, especially if it misses the first time and has to cycle though the range.
01-31-2011, 01:35 PM   #8
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After a bit of toying around with the lens, it looks like the IQ is superb, but the handling (AF clutch, tripod mount) is worse than the the FA* and a LOT worse than the sigma version. The thing that annoys me most is that the focusing ring rotates during AF, and that it doesn't disconnect the focusing axle when set to MF, so that you have to also switch your camera over to MF mode before being able to focus.


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01-31-2011, 01:39 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
After a bit of toying around with the lens, it looks like the IQ is superb, but the handling (AF clutch, tripod mount) is worse than the the FA* and a LOT worse than the sigma version. The thing that annoys me most is that the focusing ring rotates during AF, and that it doesn't disconnect the focusing axle when set to MF, so that you have to also switch your camera over to MF mode before being able to focus.
I agree, the handling is disappointing compared to the DA* lenses (and the newer Sigma from what I understand). But the IQ is outstanding, so it's a bit easier to forgive those shortcomings, especially for the price.

Regarding the focus ring, if you push the focus ring forward (to AF mode), it shouldn't rotate when you focus. When you pull it back (to MF mode), you do still need to switch the body to MF, which is somewhat of a pain.
01-31-2011, 01:44 PM   #10
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I owned this lens a while back and it's indeed quite stellar in terms of IQ. Not much else to say, really.

I've been pondering selling my Nikon 70-200VRI and picking one up in that mount.
01-31-2011, 01:50 PM   #11
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This review reiterates the value and excellent performance of this fine telezoom.
Whatever disadvantages there are could be considered relatively less important compared with IQ.
Adam, you're right (except in AF the focusing ring doesn't spin with my copy), and even the build quality is less convincing than its rivals; I'm not disappointed by the tripod mount though - seems to be quite sturdy and steady. But if you're not one for using the lens in MF much, and don't take it out in austere conditions, then this lens is as good as you can get, and the cheapest in price in its class.

Last edited by Ash; 01-31-2011 at 01:56 PM.
01-31-2011, 02:08 PM   #12
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I also thought this lens had amazing IQ, but couldn't get over the fact that you had to switch between MF and AF on the body, when there's that big ol' MF/AF clutch on the lens!

The lens didn't really hunt that much unless it was a really complicated scene (and then it's hard to figure out who's fault it is) but it really took the fun out of using it for me when it missed focus and had to cycle through--very loudly, I might add!
01-31-2011, 07:30 PM   #13
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A lens is first and foremost about IQ. In that regard I bet this lens has the edge... and then some... over the DA* 50-135 and 60-250! That it is $150 less than the 50-135 and $500 less than the DA* 60-250 makes it all the more compelling, and even more so when you consider it's backed up with a 6 year of warranty vs. Pentax 1 year! Best of all Tamron doesn't come with any SDM liabilities or baggage.
01-31-2011, 07:40 PM   #14
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Not being able to switch from AF to MF on the fly is a minor issue. If you want to MF, just MF! Don't blame your handicap on the lens!
01-31-2011, 07:58 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by JHD Quote
A lens is first and foremost about IQ. In that regard I bet this lens has the edge... and then some... over the DA* 50-135 and 60-250! That it is $150 less than the 50-135 and $500 less than the DA* 60-250 makes it all the more compelling, and even more so when you consider it's backed up with a 6 year of warranty vs. Pentax 1 year! Best of all Tamron doesn't come with any SDM liabilities or baggage.
It does however have the famous sticky aperture issue.
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