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10-09-2013, 08:53 AM   #1
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Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro Zoom Lens

Hi guys,

I've been looking for a lens in the 70-200 range, and wanted to get the Tamron AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD IF Macro Lens.

But, while browsing amazon, I found a listing for the Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro Zoom Lens. It is less than 200 bucks (compared to 800 for the better lens), so it is obviously very appealing price-wise. But has anyone used these two lenses? How large is the difference in image quality for them? (Note that I will use it predominantly for 720p video if the lower resolution of intended use makes a difference).


Last edited by torontoem4o; 10-09-2013 at 09:10 AM.
10-09-2013, 09:44 AM   #2
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Two very different animals. The expensive Tamron is much more expensive than the cheap Tamron for a reason: constant f2.8. The cheaper lens is much slower.

Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 Di LD Macro Lens Reviews - Tamron Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database
Tamron 70-300mm F4-5.6 AF Di LD Macro Lens Reviews - Tamron Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database
10-09-2013, 09:54 AM   #3
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At 70mm, the 70-200 F2.8 is quite a bit sharper than the 70-300 at F4. At F4, the 70-200 F2.8 is one of the sharpest lenses I know.
At 135mm, the 70-200 F2.8 is still sharper than the 70-300, which is at F5 by now.
At 200mm, the 70-200 F2.8 is about equal in sharpness as the 70-300 in the center, but the corners are still sharper. The 70-300 is still at F5. Stopping the 70-200 to F4 vs the 70-300 F5 is a very visible amount of sharpness difference.

Suffice it to say, the Tamron 70-200 F2.8 is one of the sharpest pro zooms out there - it lacks in quite a few other areas (slow AF, no silent AF, a dust magnet, etc), but sharpness is outstanding. The 70-300 on the other hand, is an average consumer zoom, and is slower (aperture) while being less sharp.

For video, the 70-300 may show weakness with high contrast (sunlight vs shadow) areas, and will be less useful when the lights go dim.
10-09-2013, 10:05 AM   #4
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There is also the Tamron 70-300mm F4-5.6 AF LD (no DI coating) flavor of this lens which I have (and purchased for $70 used) and it's my only telephoto lens beyond 135mm. It's plenty of lens for me for when I want to go telephoto. I've taken many images with it over the years that I am very happy with but have never tried to use it for video. My version is prone to PF as I am sure the DI version is too, so I really try to make sure I am using it in the right light.. So if you're shooting in contrasty situations the PF monster could be factor... If you could find it used for cheap (as I would wager is still possible) it might be worth your effort to try it out before a larger monetary investment. (I didn't see JinDesu's very competent post before I posted.. I still say it's all relative and depends on your purposes and the 70-300 is sharp enough for mine..)

(If you want me to take some video with it and my k-5, let me know and I'd be happy to do so)

An image made a few days ago with it (racked out at F8):

Racked out in macro mode, handheld at F5.6 the other day:

And a shot taken with it 5 years ago in China (70mm at F4)

Last edited by todd; 10-09-2013 at 11:12 AM. Reason: pictures added
10-09-2013, 11:59 AM   #5
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For me, the 70-300 was good on my K-10 but the purple fringing was too pronounced on the K-5. That's high contrast situations like tree branches against a bright sky. Otherwise, I found it accurate and quick to focus. It's a bit soft past 180mm or so, but nice below.

So, if you're in a pretty well lit but not high contrast situation and not zoomed all the way out all the time, it might suit your needs. You can usually get one used for $100 or less.
10-09-2013, 12:33 PM   #6
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If manual focus is the game with video you might find the Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 80-200/2.8 (30A) an ideal solution. Same sharp optics and around $300.

Tamron SP Adaptall-2 80-200mm F/2.8 LD Model 30A

Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 80-200mm f2.8 LD BBAR MC (30A)


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