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Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 Di LD Macro Review RSS Feed

Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 Di LD Macro

Reviews Views Date of last review
85 293,897 Fri May 14, 2021
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
96% of reviewers $647.23 9.28
Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 Di LD Macro


The Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro Lens is a telephoto zoom lens with a large maximum aperture of F2.8 throughout the zoom range. It focuses down to just 3.1' (0.95 m) throughout its entire zoom range, with a maximum macro magnification ratio of 1:3.1 at  the 200mm. end.

Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F2.8 Di LD [IF] Macro
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Automatic, 9 blades
18 elements, 13 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
AF (screwdrive)
Min. Focus
95 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
77 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 22-8 ° / 18.5-6 °
Full frame: 34-12 ° / 29-10 °
Lens Cap
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Tripod Mount
Diam x Length
89.5x194 mm (3.5x7.6 in.)
1150 g (40.6 oz.)
Production Years
2008 to 2018
USD current price
Engraved Name
Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F2.8 Di LD [IF] Macro
Product Code
User reviews
In-depth review

Price History:

Add Review of Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 Di LD Macro
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Ascending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 85
Veteran Member

Registered: December, 2007
Posts: 8,237

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 20, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $699.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very sharp, colors and contrast, no CA to speak of
Cons: AF is not the speediest, huge

This lens is exceptional, especially considering the price. IQ is equivalent to the wonderful Tamron 28-75 f/2.8, and nearly as good as the Pentax DA* 50-135 f/2.8.

The sharpness at f/3.5 or higher is great, with very good results even at f/2.8. The colors and contrast are outstanding.

It renders OOF areas wonderfully at f/4 and below - a very pleasing bokeh. The
1:3 macro is more than acceptable, especially for a zoom of this range.

It is very long & heavy, but that's to be expected for an f/2.8 long zoom.

The AF speed is acceptable, better than the Tamron 70-300, bt slower than any non-macro prime.

Overall, a very, very good zoom, super fun to own.
Veteran Member

Registered: May, 2008
Location: Region 5
Posts: 2,539
Lens Review Date: January 3, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $699.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness, Bokeh, Macro Ratio, Weight, Price
Cons: Lacks HSM/SDM

This lens is a stellar performer. I find it quite sharp with great color and contrast. Performance is good wide open with some improvement in sharpness and contrast by stopping down a half stop or so. If the light dictates though I don't hesitate to use f/2.8 and expect good results.

The lens is long, but carries very nicely and is easily hand holdable, and very well balanced when mounted on a tripod using the collar.

AF is relatively fast on my K20D and locks focus better than my DA* lenses (16-50 and 50-135), but when it misses focus, there's a fairly long cycle to come back for another try due to the close focus available and the lack of a focus range limiter. This lens is internal focus and internal zoom and feels very well built. Manual focusing is very smooth though a little sensitive - it takes fine movements to dial in, but the action feels just like the Tamron 90mm Macro.

Zoom action is very smooth - almost effortless, and the lens shows no tendency to zoom creep.

The only improvement I could ask for would be to give this lens a HSM type focus motor which would be quiet and allow quick-shift style manual focus override.

I'll sum up this way... If I had to choose between this and the DA*50-135, the DA* would go bye-bye.

Registered: March, 2007
Location: chicago burbs
Posts: 3,381
Lens Review Date: March 19, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $699.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, color/contrast, price, macro
Cons: AF hunts a bit, clutzy af/mf switching

This lens is very sharp and offers excellent color and contrast rendition and very good bokeh. The close focus/macro ability is a plus and it is hand holdable. The autofocus is decent, but not near that of HSM in the 'other' brand. Very good construction and an excellent value for the $.

HSM and a one touch af/mf switch would be welcome improvements.

Update: The above was written when I owned the K20D. The autofocus with this lens and the K7 is faster and locks on quicker and more accurately. Hunting is no longer an issue.
Inactive Account

Registered: May, 2008
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 38
Lens Review Date: March 20, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $630.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: F2.8, Solid build quality, Fantastic IQ, "Massive" enough to scare other photog..
Cons: AF hunt, noisy AF, Slow AF

I bought this lens on December 08 and felt really ecstatic with the design and the build quality. It's a solid lens with massive lens hood. The IQ is fantastic and sharp enough at F2.8.

The negative point of this tele-zoom lens is that the slow and noisy AF. I found it really hard to get a sharp picture of the tennis player when I attended the Aussie Open 09 even the match was in a direct sunlight condition. The noise of the AF hunt somehow can disturb other people..

If you're looking for a tele-zoom lens not to hunt birds or sports, this lens is the answer.

Overall, I give 8 for this lens. I'd rather give 10 if only HSM system is built in this lens.
Veteran Member

Registered: October, 2008
Location: Istanbul
Posts: 466

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 5, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $679.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very Sharp, Good Contrast, Good Colors
Cons: AF a bit loud.

I took this lens from B+H. Its very sharp and I would tell that its better than DA* 50-135. I like its extra mm.
Inactive Account

Registered: June, 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 57
Lens Review Date: July 14, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 


I have just ordered this lens and have much i have seen online using this lens give a more 3D affect with portraits than any other lens....I think it is the outstanding bokeh that gives that SPECIAL 3D affect....I can't wait to get mine...I will post review soon.
Veteran Member

Registered: February, 2008
Location: Sparkle City, South Cackalacky
Posts: 689
Lens Review Date: July 23, 2009 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $649.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Great Optics, Great Price
Cons: Build Quality

I had bought this lens and was real excited to take it out and use it. I got that chance a few days later and was really let down. While the optics are beyond great, the build quality (or possibly a design flaw) leave a lot to be desire. The aperture linkage would get stuck wide open. It would require a dismount of the lens and a flick of the finger on the aperture linkage to get it unstuck. In about 45 minutes of shooting - this happened at least 8 times! After doing a search I noticed that I wasn't the only one... Please be aware that this is a common problem with this lens in the K mount. The lens does come with a 6 year warranty, but the average turn around time for the fix was 2 months. Just a heads up. When Tamron finally fixes this issue, it will be a great lens for me to own again.
Inactive Account

Registered: March, 2007
Location: Nove Zamky, Slovakia
Posts: 7,181
Lens Review Date: July 23, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: IQ, built quality, colours
Cons: slow-ish/noisy AF, "teething problems"

I give this lens 9 with reservations.
let's elaborate.
The lens is big and heavy (though no bigger nor heavier than other 70-200/2.8 counterparts). It feels good, solid build quality. Tripod collar has good desing, I like the fact that with lens on tripod/monopod it's very easy to flip camera beween portrait and landscape mode without having to be afraid it'll slip out of the collar. This is possible thanks to screw fixing the collar.
Opticaly this lens is superb. Sharp, sharp, sharp. Precise AF, and very good bokeh, colour rendition and contrast.
It came with soft bag, which easily took the lens with K100D attached (even camera in the bag), in which cas you could just have the camera strap around the shoulder with both lens + camera in protective pouch.
So what are my reservations?
#1 AF could be bit faster, and less noisy. This lens is nearly as loud as my Sigma 105 macro (which is nearly as dentist drill just spinning slowly). Focus limiter would be great too. The lens focuses down to just under 1m to achieve 1:3 magnification. But if used as tele (presumably the primary objective) it slows the lens down. My copy had consistent focus.
#2 teething problems. Far too many users accross many brands are reporting all sorts of problems. Starting with inaccurate/inconsistent focus, decentering defects and sticky apreture lever. My lens fell victim to the last one. After about month the lever got stuck 3 times within 15 min taking maybe 20 shots. That was it. I simply wasn't willing to run the risk...
Still if you get a good copy, it's absolutely fantastic lens. With good range for APS-C for both portraits, and nature and the close focus is good too.
I hope Tamron will sort the issues out, because this lens has wonderfull potential.
in one word:
Inactive Account

Registered: June, 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 57
Lens Review Date: July 24, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: image quality, bokeh, AF accuracy
Cons: none yet

Only had this a few days so far but all is good.
Bokeh is outstanding in my opinion.
Af may be a bit slow but its accurate.
I like to manually focus alot anyway.
I havent had a big lense before so i am still getting used to the wieght of it.The sigma is heavier!!
I like the look and feel of this lense.
The package is great with its big padded pouch that actually firs the camera as well which is pretty cool.
The close focusing under a meter is wonderful and it is retraining me to manually focus VERY accurately.
A monopod is essential for me until i get used to the wieght but thats ok.
People look at the size and assume i am with the press so they think a news worthy story is happening in the nieghborhood hehehehe.
Do yourself a favour and try it out.
LOVE THE BOKEH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Community Manager

Registered: March, 2007
Location: Toowoomba, Queensland
Posts: 23,737
Lens Review Date: August 7, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $679.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: decent build, sharp above f/3.5, smooth bokeh, great colour contrast
Cons: soft & hazy at f/2.8 at close focus ("macro" range)

I held high expectations for this lens and was impressed by its solid feel and quality.

Real life tests wide open ranged from acceptable (mainly due to contrast and hazy softness in bright images at close focus) to very good depending on the subject and lighting conditions. Others have described this phenomenon with their copies and that it may not necessarily be a QC issue. This was really my only gripe with the lens, though I have made it produce sharp and brilliant images at f/2.8 in indoor/low-light settings.

In comparison, my stellar FA 100/2.8 macro outperforms the Tamron 70-200 wide open but the Tamron 70-200 produces significantly better results at all FLs and comparable apertures than those from my DA 55-300 and a previously tested copy of the Sigma 70-200 II HSM.

AF is no slower than the DA 55-300, and in fact, even with the Tamron 1.4x TC, the AF performs just as fast with less noise (from the AF motor) than that of the DA 55-300.

Overall, I give this lens an 8.5 given the sharpness issues wide open...

Two brand-new copies I received from B&H both suffered from an aperture lever stuck wide open. This kind of problem seems to be common with the lens. I only recommend it with a good warranty plan in anticipation of this and similar QC issues with the lens, but cannot discount that it really is an optically brilliant lens.

I believe it is significantly better in colour and sharpness than its Sigma counterpart.
Veteran Member

Registered: October, 2008
Location: Saint-Petersburg, Russia
Posts: 410
Lens Review Date: August 31, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $700.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp wide-open, tack sharp F4.0 and above, bang for buck
Cons: Focusing could be faster.

Great lens, sharp from wide-open. Smooth bokeh. Total winner in terms of value for money.

Would recommend to a friend.
Site Supporter

Registered: August, 2007
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 395
Lens Review Date: October 28, 2009 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 3 

Pros: ???
Cons: Build Quality

Bought this lens used from this forum. Lens visually seemed to be in great condition. I did not use it much at first, but later when I did I ran into the issue with the aperture sticking. Given I was not the original ownwer, no warranty. I am having it repaired at $225.00, and will have a 90 day warranty.

Bottom line: I definitely would not purchase this lens used!
Veteran Member

Registered: October, 2008
Location: Azores Islands, Portugal
Posts: 2,236
Lens Review Date: November 2, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp with great colors and contrast. No CA
Cons: Noisy AF (as all screw driven lens), big lens

About the lens it has a wonderfull IQ and a very pleasing bokeh.
Is not "very" expensive specially for f2.8 and brings the extra 1:3 macro.

Colour and contrast are outsdanding.
The AF speed is fast buf of course a bit noisy since it's screw driven.
Lens is FF capable and not only APS-C.

The only down point for me is the weight, normal for this kind of lens zoom (f2.8) but I would really like it was possible to have this kind of lens a bit ligther.

A very, very, very good zoom to have

Edit: had to change score to 10. It's really a great great lens.
Veteran Member

Registered: November, 2008
Location: The Untied States
Posts: 1,881
Lens Review Date: December 22, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $750.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: IQ is unbeatable -- period; Great Warranty service when bought new
Cons: Hefty (moreso than comparable lenses); Somewhat slow AF; Hunts a little; Aperture sticking problem (easily fixable)

There are a fair share of negative reviews here that are based solely on the sticking aperture lever problem that plagues this line of lenses. Yes, this is a real problem for the Pentax model of this lens. It happened to my lens that I bought new. However, to base an entire review on that one fault is incredibly unfair. If I could rate this lens a 30 to make up for them, I easily would.

As I said, I bought this lens brand new, and in doing so it came with the unmatched Tamron 6 year warranty. My lens had the sticking lever problem, like most if not all Pentax copies do, and wouldn't stop down at all. However, I sent it into Tamron and in less than a week they had received it, repaired it, and already shipped it back out. Fantastic service all around. I even included a $100 filter that I left on the lens to protect it, and they didn't pilfer it! Really, talk about professional service.

So, they completely fixed the lens. They replaced the aperture lever assembly, and now there are no problems whatsoever with the lens. And of course, it cost nothing to do with the Warranty in effect. Not even a cost for return shipping, and I bet if I complained enough they'd problem reimburse my $15 shipping to them as well So with the only problem that this lens has totally fixed, there's nothing major to fault.

The image quality of this lens is unbeatable. I have never seen a zoom lens perform this well, not even Pentax brand or Canon-L glass. The resolution is so high with this lens that there is literally no visible quality loss with a decent teleconverter. The contrast, sharpness, saturation, temperature, all of it. Perfect. The only optical fault I can see is some slight spherical aberration which leads to softened corners/sides of the frame when wide-open, and some slightly unappealing bokeh in some situations. In the vast majority of situations, though, the bokeh is gorgeous and soft frame edges are not noticeable.

There are some problems though. I used a Sigma 70-200/2.8 EX HSM for Pentax before, and it is no contest for AF speed. This lens is like an old man trying to run a marathon in comparison. It is *just* fast enough to be used for fast-moving sports action, with a little patience. No, it's not "slow" like you might think, but when you pay this much for a lens like this, for a lens that basically screams "use me to shoot sports and fast subjects!", the speed will be disappointing. It also hunts quite a bit, and gets confused about which direction it wants to move in, in order to get in focus when completely out of focus. But, I would much rather have the stunning macro range this lens offers (it effectively replaced my expensive macro lenses) than a lens that instantly focuses on its subject because it so confined to such a small area. That is a decision you'll have to make for yourself. The hunting could be fixed though -- but I don't think it's bad enough to even give this just a 9/10.

The lens is also a bit heavier than even comparable AF models, and a bit bulkier. But when you're using a type of lens where all of them are bulky and heavy, it's hard to be dissatisfied with one that is just a little heavier/bulkier. It is a little noisy, too.

I got this lens to be the end-all, be-all in terms of usefulness and image quality, and it does not disappoint at all. It really is as good as they say, possibly better. The only problems are non-IQ related, such as the (fixable) sticking aperture problem, and the comparably slow AF speed (the Sigma HSM really is fast). Neither effect me personally like a lens with poor image quality would, and I feel many other photographers would be in the same boat. A+ Tamron! Just make one with the same glass that focuses faster
Inactive Account

Registered: May, 2008
Location: Westminster, MA
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: April 17, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $700.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Color/sharpness, bokeh, macro, cost
Cons: AF hunts in low light, AF/manual ring,

I love the optics of this lens - sharp even open, pleasing bokeh. Just very clean. The lens helps make great portraits. This is a great lens, especially for the money.

The build quality is solid, but be warned - if you are used to using the 4-5.6 50-200 kit lens or equivalent, this lens is a monster. It isn't as heavy as the Canon 70-200 2.8 but it feels easily as large.

Autofocus can hunt if there is a lack of contrast - light against light or dark against dark. Additionally, it will not keep up with fast moving objects coming towards or away from you. Life. Preplan your shots. The AF/Manual selection ring is a minor peeve - I constantly select/deselect AF when I support the lens. It isn't really an issue unless I'm in manual focus mode.

I have not run into the aperture sticking issue. Hopefully I won't.

Over all, I give this lens a 9.4999 - the stupid AF ring takes it out of the 9.5+ category. Bottom line - great lens at a good price.
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