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Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 Di LD Macro

Sharpness 
 9.6
Aberrations 
 9.0
Bokeh 
 9.2
Autofocus 
 8.0
Handling 
 8.3
Value 
 9.7
Reviews Views Date of last review
75 208,307 Wed September 20, 2017
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
96% of reviewers $662.27 9.28
Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 Di LD Macro
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Description:
Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 Di LD zoom

Filter Size 77mm
f/Stop Range 2.8-32
Minimum Focus Distance 3.1' (0.95 m)
Magnification 1:3.1
Angle of View 34-12░ (in 35mm format)
Groups/Elements 13/18
Tripod Collar Yes (removable)
Length 7.6" (194mm)
Maximum Diameter 3.5" (90mm)
Weight 2.5 lbs (1.15kg)
Buy Lens: Buy the Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 Di LD Macro
In-Depth Review: Read our Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 Di LD Macro in-depth review!
Price: $769
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New Member

Registered: March, 2016
Posts: 5
Lens Review Date: September 20, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: ALL except...
Cons: weight and size, not wr?
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K3II   

An incredible lens, with excellent optical quality, its sharp at f2.8, incredible at f3.5. It works perfectly with the Kenko Pz-Af x1.5 teleconverter although at 2.8 (4 with the teleconverter) it loses a little sharpnes and contrast (something even interesting for portrait). At F3.2 very well and to 3.5 excellent again. When using this combo the camera does not recognize the duplicator so for her we are using the 70-200 without the teleconverter and this is triggered in that the stabilizer does not work so well but I have been able to make sharp photos at speeds slightly above 1 / 100. Focusing sometimes it takes a little but only when the x1.4 is on.
May not be the best example (iso 500) but you can get an idea of the potential of this combo. K3II with the teleconverter at f2.8 (f4) ISO 500, 100% crop. and original. UNPROCESED RAW.

Pentax 60-250 f4...?
Pentax 70-200 2.8...?
Pentax x1.4 teleconverter...?

Tamron 70-200 2.8 600$
Kenko PzAf x1.4 150$
   
New Member

Registered: November, 2016
Posts: 10
Lens Review Date: February 16, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp at 2.8 all length focal, fast AF
Cons: Heavy, noise AF, silly AF/MF switch
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-5 IIs   

This is my first 70-200 2.8 lens. This lens is sharp at 2.8 and ultimate sharp from 4 to 5.6 all length focal. Auto focus with screw is faster than my old DA*50-135.
2 thing i dont like this lens is super heavy and af/mf switch...
   
New Member

Registered: March, 2015
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: November 5, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $560.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Price, sharpness
Cons: sound is on a loud side, but nothing you can not live with
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-1, K-3   

I had this lens for almost 2 years now on my k-3 and just couple months ago upgraded to the K-1
heaps of sharpness and quality gains on k-1 compared to k-3, however k-3 was no slacker either.
just recently it started to act up, focusing motor seemed to not work properly. even in the manual mode I could feel the weight on it.
I had the feeling that somethings were scraping on the inside against each other.
So, long story short I risked and took the lens apart!
This was probably very stupid to do, but judging by the outcome, I could not be happier !
WORKS LIKE NEW !
here is the disassembly process if you're interested: https://goo.gl/fW0Im6
ofcourse pentax 70-200 f/2.8 is a better lens that this (which is just a refresh from tamron)
but for the price, you really can't beat what you're getting
however if you need weather resistance and better focusing speeds, definitely go with pentax variant
   
Senior Member

Registered: November, 2009
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 209
Lens Review Date: October 19, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $599.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast, sharp, price
Cons: Collar, AF/MF clutch
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-3II   

Tamron has produced a remarkable lens. For action sports, outdoor portraits or close wildlife photography this lens is an amazing value. Fast f/2.8 constant aperture gives sharp images even wide open. Stopping down only a 1/3 f-stop produces superbly clean edge to edge images.

This lens has everything I need and nothing I don't. It is a simple and robust design. The barrel is solid, well fitted and feels great in hand. The focusing and zoom rings are lightly dampened with no play. The front element and overall lens length does not change during zoom or focus which makes the balance consistent during use.

The tried and true screw drive auto focusing may be a bit slower and noisier versus newer hypersonic (HSM, SDM) type systems. But those systems are prone to failure and screw drive always works. On my Pentax K-3 focusing is fast at all distances even in low light.

The tripod collar is solid and spins smoothly. There are no detents to identify rotation by feel so you must line up marks on the barrel.

The hood fits well and nicely reverses for storage. The hood lacks a filter access door so polarizer users may be frustrated.

Compared to the Pentax alternative makes this purchase a no brainer. The Pentax is 3 times the price. It offers weather sealing, a more complex optical design and perhaps marginal improvements in autofocusing speed. Thankfully Pentax is dropping the infamous "SDM" in favor of the "DC" motors. Overall I am hard pressed to find a reason to buy the Pentax.

The Tamron lens is made in Japan.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2015
Location: South West UK
Posts: 670

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 22, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $420.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: IQ
Cons: Silly AF Clutch
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3II   

Wow.
Fantastic value. Extremely good lens, optically.
I use this lens a lot for dog photography, it's perfect for long range action candids and narrow DoF portraits while being able to stand back, out of their 'zone of interest'. Also fantastic for head and shoulders portraits, but you'd need to be in the next county for a full length shot. Also useful for garden birds and not-too-distant, not-too-speedy, sports work.
AF is fairly fast and accurate on my K-3II although it was a little disappointing on my old K-50. It is screwdrive, so is a bit noisy compared to a DC/SDM type...not that bad though.
Enough has already been said about the AF clutch switch - just silly, but you do get used to it and you're not likely to be switching that often to be too much of a problem.
All in all, for the price you are hard pushed to fault this lens.
   
New Member

Registered: April, 2016
Posts: 18

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 17, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $420.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, minimum focus distance, AF performance, cost
Cons: clunky manual-focusing, slightly soft at 200/2.8
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 4    Value: 8    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-3   

I bought this lens because I wasn't getting as much reach out of my 50-135/2.8 as I had hoped for. I looked at the legacy Pentax FA 80-200, the Sigma 70-200, and the Tamron 70-200, and, overall, I think I made the right decision for my use. WARNING: This review contains Canon L-series comparisons.

The Pentax-mount Tammy is probably the most economical 70-200/2.8 you'll find, as it doesn't have IS or an in-lens AF motor -- it's also a design that's been on the market for a while now, so there's a ton of them floating around used.

It has a solid construction blending metal and plastic where appropriate, and I feel like it's going to be able to handle as much of a beating as those funny-looking white lenses with the red ring.

Speaking of that, I sort of got spoiled shooting for my school newspaper, where I had 24/7 access to L-glass -- specifically 70-200/2.8s, 300/2.8s, 400/2.8s. That was several years ago, and since then, I've missed having long, fast glass that "just works" at all apertures and focal lengths. The Tamron 70-200 definitely fits in that category, with respect to optical performance. This lens is tack-sharp in the center, even wide-open, at all focal lengths except toward the extreme of the 200mm mark.

People mention the 200/2.8 center softness of the lens, but I think it's more of a contrast issue than a softness issue. Pushing up local and global contrast adjustments in images off of this lens make the frame look fairly snappy at 200/2.8. Stopping down just a hair -- say f/3.5 -- really cleans up the center softness/contrast issue, and at f/4, the entire frame's sharpness is completely usable across all zoom lengths. I don't think there's much room to improve sharpness after that, but at f/5.6-f/8, I noticed the contrast of the images really deepens considerably.

The bokeh is... well, different. You know the buttery-smooth bokeh from those classic Pentax long primes? Yeah, you're not going to get that with this lens (or any other 70-200/2.8 I've worked with). Specular highlights are crispy. Low-contrast areas are velvety and smooth. With this lens, if you want your background to look like butter, you have to be really careful about point light sources. Having said that, under controlled lighting, you'll get bokeh comparable to a Pentax prime.

It relies on screw-drive AF, and on my K-3, the autofocus of the lens performs as fast as -- maybe even faster than -- my 50-135/2.8's SDM autofocus. End-to-end focus travel is super snappy, with just a bit of hunting in lower-light conditions.

The manual focus on this lens is essentially unusable to me. You're not going to tap the focus ring to clean up a bad AF hit, since there's no quick-shift focus on this lens. To go from AF to MF, you need to turn the dial on your camera body to MF, and you have to click the focus ring back to engage it. I suppose you can leave the focus ring engaged, saving a step when you need to manually-focus, but this will probably reduce AF speed -- not to mention, the focus ring will spin around while the AF system is running. Very silly indeed, but again, this lens is quite a bit cheaper than the Sigma/Pentax versions, and offers incredible optical quality.

Speaking of focus, the Tamron has a bit of focus-breathing that reduces its 200mm focal length down a bit when focused at extremely close subjects. The Canon 70-200/2.8 is famous for having the opposite problem. This means the effective FOV may be quite a bit wider than you're expecting when shooting close subjects.

In the class of 70-200/2.8 zooms, the Tammy is not particularly heavy nor lightweight. It feels about as heavy as the Canon L-series one. I have absolutely no problems hand-holding it, but I *do* notice that when I pick up my Pentax 50-135/2.8 after shooting with the Tammy all day, I feel like I'm holding one of those tiny Limited primes. Do not underestimate the weight of this thing if you're used to shooting with short primes.

Last but not least, this lens deserves praise for its close-focus abilities. When mounted on a crop-body, this lens is essentially a 1:2 macro lens, which -- at 200/2.8 -- is super useful for killing noisy backgrounds and respecting the personal space of whatever tiny things you'd like to photograph (wasps? scary spiders?).
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2012
Location: Stockholm
Posts: 368

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 9, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $800.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very sharp, Internal zoom, nice bokeh
Cons: Auto-/Manual focus switching, heavy
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3 and K-5II   

Excellent value for the money. The lens really surpriced me beeing very sharp wide open and excellent from 3.5 on. It has screw drive auto focus and therefor works best on the K-3. AF is quite fast with just a bit of hunting occasionally but no more than any of the other lenses I own.
Unfortunately you can't fine tune focus if you have auto focus activated. In order to use manual focus it has to be set on booth camera and lens wich renders it practically useless for fine tuning. Over all it's a great lens

Some examples:

170 mm f 2.8



200 mm f 3.5
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2008
Location: NJ, USA
Posts: 319

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 14, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $550.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp wide open.
Cons: handling with tripod col.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K3 and K5   

This is a great lens for concert and event shooting. It has a great range and is fast at a constant f2.8 Since it is very sharp, I do not hesitate to shoot wide open...

Event shoot is very demanding. I shoot my daughters marching band in daylight and under night lighting. Under lighting I need to shoot wide open and need to push out to 200mm quite often. The lens never fails to deliver on IQ. Given the action of a marching band, and my need to move from subject to subject, I put a lot of demand on the AF system. In most cases I hit but there are some misses.
It is a noisy AF system, but for the price it is fine.

I want to go back to IQ. The IQ wide open is impressive, and It seems to meet the demands of the k3 with 24Mpixels without an AA.
I find little CA and post processing for CA, or other aberrations, is not necessary. I find the IQ on par with the DA 50-135.

The price is great as well.
   
New Member

Registered: September, 2015
Posts: 14

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 9, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very sharp, nice bokeh, less CR than other lenses I have
Cons: Manual focus clutch, loud fucusing, rear lens cap, low contrast/softer at 200/f2.8, tripod mount
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-r and K-5 II   

INTRO:
Before this lens I used Pentax DAL 50-200 mm f4-5.6 with my K-r. Size and weight change is huge with this Tamron 70-200. Holding that weight steady is something I must get used to. My first shots at 200 mm in low light was disappointment. If I can get steady shot with plastic lens at 1/15 I can't at 1/60 with this Tamron. But truth is K-r have poor stabilisation which sometimes hurt more than help. True when recording handheld video with this Tamron, I get better result if stabilisation is off (not so with plastic Pentax lenses).

IMAGE QUALITY:
Lens gives very sharp image, if focused right. Bokeh is nice, but can be nervous a little if subject is close to some tree. I love the image by all aspects from 70-135 mm at any aperture. But over 135 it become soft when fully open with weaker contrast and blured edges on contrasty elements. On target like newspaper, Pentax plastic lens would be sharper, more contrasty. But than if Tamron is stopped down to same f5.6, it is much sharper than Pentax lens. This softness is only visible if tree with thin branches is pictured at f2.8 against bright sky. But on human face, it makes nice and soft skin. So not as bad as it seems at first sight.

AUTO FOCUSING:
Lound, but not louder than other Pentax lenses that I have. This lens hunt focus a little, but again not worse than DAL 50-200. Focusing is just about the same in every aspect as DAL 50-200. It seems as "kit lens" performance with PRO level of image quality and build quality somewhere in between. Lens have accurate focus with my K-r - no correction needed. Outdoor with decent light gives high ratio of succesfull focused images. But if subject moves randomly (my kids...) Tamron + K-r can have some troubles focusing right.

Somehow my copy does not focus in live view either: Tested on Kr and K-5 II.

MANUAL FOCUSING:
It is very hard due to only 90 degrees of ring turning. At 200mm only slight touch of ring change focus vastly. Ring is very sensitive. It can be done though but with great amount of "hunting". My wife get bored and kids impatient until I "catch" manual focus, and redo shots many time. I would not want to focus manual on wedding with this Tamron (as with my other plastic KIT lenses).

Tamron + Pentax K-r VERDICT:
This basic and old camera have it's own focusing limitation so Tamron 70-200 can't improve much over kit DAL 50-200 in sufficent light. I can't see much benefit over KIT lens, regarding handling and even image quality if light is ok. Real benefit is wider aperture, thus greater bokeh, which gives that "professional look" to wedding photos. What is worth is when light is not sufficent, Tamron can focus in less light and overall gives better results with more successfull shots. Especially coupled with external flash gives great results and focuses right. I would bought and keep this lens even with K-r camera only and would use it when payed project would arise. For capturing my kids I'll keep small plastic lenses one on my K-r.

I must mention that Pentax K-r have bad pedigree of front focusing under yellow, low light. Tamron can not solve this.

HANDLING - the bad:
I just started to hate three things of this lens straight from testing it in the store:

1) manual focusing clutch - it's impossible and useless.
2) lens tripod mount - gets in the way
3) Rear lens cap - it's impossible

manual focus clutch:
First camera must be on MF, than focusing ring must be pulled back. It makes loud smack sound and just like unsynchronized gearbox in the car it doesnt engage if gears are not aligned. So several atempts with slight turning the ring is needed. Pointless to say you move focus by that. But disengaging is even louder with sound as one would crack thick plastic slat.

SOLUTION to overcome impossible manual clutch:
a) I can leave it on manual all the time*, since all my plastic KIT lenses have fixed manual ring, and I'm used they rotate during AF. So it works as other lenses. I'm mostly holding this Tamron by having palm under zoom ring, but for doing that my second annoyance (tripod mount) must be removed.
b) I can have quickshift with any lense without switching camera to MF. I just press lens release button on camera (thanks to this forum) with my righthand ring finger. AF screw dissengages. Than I do my manual focus and I release the button again.

*Some says that leaving focus ring always in manual position can make unnecessary stress to AF motor. Indeed focus gear inertia of this Tamron lens is much higher than on any Pentax plastic lens. While K-5 II's autofocusing works OK, I rarely manual focus and focus ring is now rather dissengaged.

lens tripod mount
The tripod mount foot is far too close to the lens that would make holding in between possible. I see other lenses have much bigger foot with larger distance away from lens. If Pentax K-5 II have battery grip mounted it will not stand on mount and will tip on the lens. Not good. Same reason prevents holding the lens by the foot. Canon and Nikon have better solution, not to mention new FF Pentax 70-200. Even worse is the big screw at the side pointing upwards. Removing the ring saves me 175 g of weight and makes better grip handheld. When shooting with tripod, It's ok.

rear lens cap:
For unknown reason Tamron decided that their rear lens cap must be taken very seriously when attaching. So each time I want to put cap back on lens rear, I must find white dot on lens and marking on the cap and carefully align them together. As cap only fits in exact ONE position - with 1mm tolerance. Original Pentax cap costed far less than my nerves (8 EUR).

HANDLING - the good:
In body focus motor is strong, so focusing is not slow and I can live with it. With K-r focusing speed and accuracy is not the best. But with K-5 II there is little to none problems. It gives nearly 100% accurately focused shots, both in good or low light, regardless of color. It only struggles a bit with moving target - let say my kids playing football, and they are running toward me. But we know this already - Pentax never was sport champion, and this Tamron can't fix that.

Regarding AF speed, I must mention my Sigma 18-35 f1.8. While almost silent, the focus speed is only negligible better than plastic Pentax KIT lense DAL 18-55. Than Tamron's AF speed is same as speed of KIT DAL 50-200. So it must be camera not lense(s).

The Tamron 70-200 is front heavy. Centre of gravity is where fucus ring begins. That means holding it straight will cause fatigue with small camera like K-r. But With K-5 II with battrey grip, it works much better.

Zoom ring is sticky and with too little damping. It is on par with Pentax kit lenses. It gets job done, but I do not like it for video, because zooming is jumpy. Focus ring is smooth, but only marginally stiffer than kit lenses. And when engaged in manual focus it grinds like some gear would scrub on housing.

Front cap is good. It is easy to remove or replace the cap even if lens hood is attached - which is huge. You can place it blindly and it will stick to the lense. I wish the rear one would be more like it.

Lens bag is very good and practical. It's similar but more basic design as "thinktank" lens pouches. But instead of having attachment for the belt, it have rather short brace for carriing as handbag. I do prefer belt attachment though. So as was with Sigma's pouch I didn't save here neither. Being included or not, I must buy proper thirdparty pouch.

With Pentax K-5 II:
Great companions. Almost perfect focusing in any condition, great IQ, fast focusing, almost good tracking of moving targets (sorry Pentax: New K-3 II is allegedly good, but excelent is none Pentax yet).

FINAL VERDICT:
I bought this lens much because of reading this forum. So many thanks to all contributors. I hope my review would help someone too. I love this lens after some testing with various sotuations on my K-r and K-5 II. I'm confident to work on some live event with this lens, like commemoration, celebration, anniversary, wedding. Even for predictable sports. If I managed to work before with my K-r and DAL 50-200, than armed with Tamron 70-200 f2.8 on K-5 II, will do even better. At F4 is sharp at any lenght. Up to 135mm is very sharp already at f2.8, and regardless of camera it returns more sucessfull shots than cheaper plastic lens. I do not plan to sell it in near future, since there is no viable alternative.
   
New Member

Registered: May, 2014
Posts: 1

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 13, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $729.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: focal length, solid build
Cons: heavy, difficult holding steady (see below)
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Penatx K-3   

OK. First thing, don't go solely on my review above as I've only used it twice. I'm really hoping to get answers from other users but had to fill out the whole review section.

I've seen the photos posted and they are stellar. I can not seem to replicate that sharpness and clarity. Would be awesome to get tips from other users of the lens. I have noticed that it is difficult to hold steady but am wondering if there is more to it than that, since K-3 has built-in stabilizer.

I'm very concerned as I'm getting ready to shoot a wedding in a few weeks, my first one, and even though it is very low key, I still want to give it my best and get the best quality photos to the couple.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2009
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 1,076

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 19, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $560.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Superb IQ (even at f2.8), nice bokeh, high value for money
Cons: No AF in K-5 Liveview (K-1 ok), manual focus
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5, K-1   

This is great value for money lens. It has some really nice glass in it and I have found the build quality to be good (but don't expect Limited series quality).

I have only had the lens out for 4 sessions so far (will post an update later). I find that although it out performs my other glass in the 70-200 focal range (exception: DA70), it is fairly large and you need to be on a photographic mission (as opposed to casual photography). That said its a joy to have when you need it.

I find phase detect AF perfectly fine. Its fast enough for most uses and accuracy has been very good for me. However my copy won't focus in Liveview at all. Although not a show stopper at all for me.
The one thing that, I wish was better (and stops the lens being a 10) is the manual focus. No so much the clutch mechanism but more importantly I find it manual focus too sensitive / touchy. In fact with a good quality 2x adapter on for photos of the moon, I find it nearly impossible to get optimum focus. This is the only reason I made handling a 7 (otherwise handling is good).

Update: Now I have a K-1 and I am finding that this Tammy likes the K-1 more than the K-5. Comparative to K-5, shallower depth of field is available and autofocus in LV now works! Will post some more K-1 samples soon. Also handling is somewhat better balanced on K-1 so have upgraded my rating there.

Here are some initial samples.
1. f2.8:2. f4:3. K1 - F2.8:
   
Pentaxian

Registered: April, 2011
Location: San JosÚ, Costa Rica
Posts: 662

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 11, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $650.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: IQ, fast, sharp
Cons: heavy, not wr
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K3   

So far this is my favorite lens for portraits, sharp, good AF, great bokeh... and the price.. the price is amazing for the images and IQ that this lense can bring. Cant wait to use this with a FF camera and see the potential. Pentax 70-200 f2.8 will have to be awsome in order to beat this lens, specially if it comes kind of expensive because for the price and image quality, this Tamron is great.




   
New Member

Registered: September, 2013
Posts: 3

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 4, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great sharpness and bokeh, short focus ring throw, precise and rather quick AF, quiet internal mecahnics
Cons: Rather soft at f/2.8|200mm, front-heavy,
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 6    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K3   

This lens has a great and quite predictable margin of absolute sharpness, at least for the 24mpix pixel-to-pixel resolution (from f/2.8 at 70-120 and from f/3.5 at 120-200).
The bokeh is simple and not disturbing, yet rather bright.

The focusing ring throw is quite short - circa 75 degrees, that favors fast AF, but it's still no problem for precise manual focusing due to the enormous focising ring diameter. The AF is quite snappy, it's the first out of 8 lenses I used on Pentax that can give reliable results with tracking AF.
The double-move AF switching can be an unpleasant feature, but I got used to it before, with Tamron 90 macro lens. And even with active clutch, the K3 focuses at exactly the same speed, though a little bit noisier.

I was quite surprized with the quietness of the aperture drive as other Tamron lens I use (17-50/2.8 and 90/2.8 macro) have a very loud aperture drive, much louder than the K3 shutter sound.

The tripod collar is centered at the exact equilibrium spot with K3 (no battery grip) on, so the tripod ball-heads are really pleasant to use in this combunation. Though, the lens itself is not well balanced (compared to a couple of Canons 70-200 and Sigma 70-200 I've used for a while) - it's front-heavy and long handheld shooting leads a significant left arm fatigue.

The only mechanical flaw I've found is a "nervous" zoom ring - it needs very little effot to move (that's good for me as I prefer to zoom using only little and ring fingers while other three control focus), but it moves in a "shaky" pattern, not smooth enough, so it's defenitely not for videography.
   
Senior Moderator
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: August, 2009
Location: The British Isles
Posts: 2,247

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 24, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: IQ, bokeh
Cons: weight, stiffness
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-5   

I bought this lens based on the reviews here as a zoom to use for macro with extension tubes. It hasn't disappointed; I'm happy with what it puts out from f/2.8 upwards and for someone like me who has never had a decent modern lens in this focal length it's a real treat. It isn't small, it isn't light, but I didn't expect either with a f/2.8 zoom. For manual macro the focusing and zoom rings aren't as buttery smooth or sensitive as I'd like but that's my only quibble.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: September, 2011
Location: Vaasa
Posts: 642

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 21, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $429.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: 2.8 all round
Cons: None.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-30   

I bought this lens(used) for shooting portraits. A friend of mine is a wedding videographer and wanted me to join him as photographer.

I think I am in love with this lens. Its sharp wide open. I now understand why this lens is used by professionals.

Even though its heavy as most have said, I find out that I am able to handle it quite easily.
Add Review of Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 Di LD Macro Buy the Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 Di LD Macro



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