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Author Topic: Review: Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 VC USD  (Read 22419 times)

TWI by Dustin Abbott

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Re: Review: Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 VC USD
« Reply #45 on: August 19, 2013, 09:24:20 AM »
Thanks for sharing your nice web page.ergrege

My pleasure!
6D x 2 | EOS-M w/22mm f/2 + 18-55 STM + EF Adapter| Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 | Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 VC | 35mm f/2 IS | 40mm f/2.8 | 100L | 135L | 70-300L -----OLD SCHOOL----- SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5, Super Takumar 35mm f/3.5, SMC Takumar 55mm f/1.8, Helios 44-2 and 44-4, Super Takumar 150mm f/4

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Re: Review: Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 VC USD
« Reply #45 on: August 19, 2013, 09:24:20 AM »

TWI by Dustin Abbott

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Re: Review: Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 VC USD
« Reply #46 on: August 19, 2013, 09:25:24 AM »
Shot our championship softball team a few days ago.  I'm very impressed of what this lens does.  Sharpness is on par with my 24-70 Mk II, and the VC is bang on brilliant (as folks over here would say :) ).  The VC also does automatic panning, so no need to switch levers and such.  Here are some sample shots from the day.

Nice shots!  How well does the AF work for sports?  Can you compare it with the Canon Mk I and Mk II at all?  I have the Mk I and am looking to upgrade, and I find the Tamron tempting, but pretty much shoot sports exclusively.  Thanks!

You might want to check out the video links that I posted earlier in the thread.  They definitely address AF speed.
6D x 2 | EOS-M w/22mm f/2 + 18-55 STM + EF Adapter| Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 | Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 VC | 35mm f/2 IS | 40mm f/2.8 | 100L | 135L | 70-300L -----OLD SCHOOL----- SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5, Super Takumar 35mm f/3.5, SMC Takumar 55mm f/1.8, Helios 44-2 and 44-4, Super Takumar 150mm f/4

thepancakeman

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Re: Review: Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 VC USD
« Reply #47 on: August 19, 2013, 09:53:52 AM »
Shot our championship softball team a few days ago.  I'm very impressed of what this lens does.  Sharpness is on par with my 24-70 Mk II, and the VC is bang on brilliant (as folks over here would say :) ).  The VC also does automatic panning, so no need to switch levers and such.  Here are some sample shots from the day.

Nice shots!  How well does the AF work for sports?  Can you compare it with the Canon Mk I and Mk II at all?  I have the Mk I and am looking to upgrade, and I find the Tamron tempting, but pretty much shoot sports exclusively.  Thanks!

You might want to check out the video links that I posted earlier in the thread.  They definitely address AF speed.

Haha!  Thanks--I'll do that.  I didn't have the opportunity to do that last time thru, but I'll give 'em a look.  Thanks!

TWI by Dustin Abbott

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Re: Review: Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 VC USD
« Reply #48 on: August 19, 2013, 11:31:45 AM »
Shot our championship softball team a few days ago.  I'm very impressed of what this lens does.  Sharpness is on par with my 24-70 Mk II, and the VC is bang on brilliant (as folks over here would say :) ).  The VC also does automatic panning, so no need to switch levers and such.  Here are some sample shots from the day.

Nice shots!  How well does the AF work for sports?  Can you compare it with the Canon Mk I and Mk II at all?  I have the Mk I and am looking to upgrade, and I find the Tamron tempting, but pretty much shoot sports exclusively.  Thanks!

You might want to check out the video links that I posted earlier in the thread.  They definitely address AF speed.

Haha!  Thanks--I'll do that.  I didn't have the opportunity to do that last time thru, but I'll give 'em a look.  Thanks!

Just out of curiosity:  what is the primary body that you will use the lens on?  With a good AF system (5DIII or better) I don't think you will have any kind of issue.  My 6D bodies aren't the best for sports work, so I don't really feel qualified to make that judgment call.  Matt Granger (that Nikon Guy) seems to find the AF basically on par with the Canon MKII, so, in other words, excellent!
6D x 2 | EOS-M w/22mm f/2 + 18-55 STM + EF Adapter| Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 | Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 VC | 35mm f/2 IS | 40mm f/2.8 | 100L | 135L | 70-300L -----OLD SCHOOL----- SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5, Super Takumar 35mm f/3.5, SMC Takumar 55mm f/1.8, Helios 44-2 and 44-4, Super Takumar 150mm f/4

BoneDoc

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Re: Review: Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 VC USD
« Reply #49 on: August 19, 2013, 03:43:24 PM »
Ok, got my Mk II this afternoon and started playing with it.  Other than the notable weight difference, it's rather hard to distinguish between the two.  I have to keep reminding myself which lens I'm working with in order to keep a mental note of the difference.  chimping at the LCD, the results appear similar also under my (rudimentary) test conditions.  Shot all these in RAW, and I'll try to upload it later tonight / early tomorrow.

It's entirely possible that better photographers would notice the difference immediately, but I think unless you're paying very close attention, it's quite similar :).

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Re: Review: Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 VC USD
« Reply #50 on: August 21, 2013, 03:32:15 PM »
As you may imagine, shooting your kids / wife makes it difficult to get super consistent setting.  However, IMHO, this is useful, as most of us do not live in this idealized setting where we have infinite amount of time to tinker with every aspect of our shots.

This is SOOC posted straight from Aperture's Raw files.  Can you tell which is which?  This will be full size 20MP images.  Click on the images themselves to see which one is made by which lens.


IMG_1641 by BoneDC, on Flickr


IMG_1637 by BoneDC, on Flickr


TWI by Dustin Abbott

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Re: Review: Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 VC USD
« Reply #51 on: August 21, 2013, 04:29:54 PM »
I think the most telling piece of evidence will be which lens you keep and which one you return, Joshua.  Be sure to let us know!
6D x 2 | EOS-M w/22mm f/2 + 18-55 STM + EF Adapter| Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 | Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 VC | 35mm f/2 IS | 40mm f/2.8 | 100L | 135L | 70-300L -----OLD SCHOOL----- SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5, Super Takumar 35mm f/3.5, SMC Takumar 55mm f/1.8, Helios 44-2 and 44-4, Super Takumar 150mm f/4

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Re: Review: Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 VC USD
« Reply #51 on: August 21, 2013, 04:29:54 PM »

BoneDoc

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Re: Review: Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 VC USD
« Reply #52 on: August 21, 2013, 06:59:17 PM »
lol... too much pressure :).

The closest analogy I can come up with is like driving a Honda vs driving a Mercedes.  Both will get you there.  The speed and ride quality might even be similar.  But there's something a little extra with the Merc.  There's a feeling of luxury to it.  Other than the obvious color difference in the lens (great marketing move by Canon btw), it's hard to quantify.

Here's what I gather so far:
- The MkII focuses just a tick faster.  It's barely noticeable, and for most of us should not affect how our picture should turn out.  The difference, subjectively is between "one one t" and "one one tho"  ... if you're counting "one one thousand"
- IQ is nearly / practically identical.  If you shoot test charts and have your camera in an 8 pound tripod all the time, then you might see a difference.  But for me, hand held, trying to hit moving subjects (somewhat), the variance I induce into the system is bigger than the shot to shot difference between the two.  Also the variance that the camera will induce (in Av mode where I mostly live), is bigger than the variance between the lens.
- Though just lighter by a few ounces, it's perceptibly different, so much so that the canon feels quite a bit heavier than the Tamron.  At first it almost seem "unbearable", especially when you're holding it with one hand all the time.  However, as I hold the MkII longer, the difference seem to fade.  You do feel the slightly bigger heft
- The TStop (MkII at 3.6, and Tamron at 3.3) feels identical in real world condition.  What do I mean by this?  Pictures in similar / identical condition shot with identical setting (iso, aperture, and shutter speed), will look equally bright.  I thought that the Tamron would carry a bit of an advantage, but not so.  Maybe the vignetting made it all move even. 
- The vignetting FWIW is not at noticable to me, but maybe it's because I tend to like that look, and often add vignetting in PP anyway.
- Sharpness is identical (again, within real world condition).  I don't go off measuring corners (which Tamron is supposed to be slightly better at).  Around the center, Canon is supposed to be better, but I have found the difference to be negligible or imperceptible.  I like to shoot people, and I can resolve every single skin pore already on a 1/2 body shot with either lens, so I don't think my wife, or anyone would want anymore detail than that.  I can count every single eyelash also (as long as neither myself, or my subjects induce motion... and in many respect, even if we do that, I can still count eyelashes, just not as clear :)).
- If you often shoot with the hood in the reversed position, good luck trying to zoom with the Tamron.  The hood blocks most of the zoom ring, making is a real pain.  However, that aside, holding the lens toward the end probably makes it feel more stable, and could contribute to the fact that the Tamron feels lighter.  With the tripod colar on, zooming with the MkII is a real pain as well since your finger is blocked by the zoom ring.  You almost have to turn it upside down completely to keep it from blocking you.  But you can easily zoom with the hood in the reversed position.

Here's where I think Canon has the "Luxury" aspect covered:
- The zoom ring has a slightly heftier feel to it... a little more solid.  Also when you hit the end of the zoom rage, it has a more solid "tick" instead of the more plasticky "tack" that I get on the Tamron.
- The extra heft does translate into a more solid-feeling package.  It's akin to car buyers, talking about a solid "thud" when they close the door (hardly a measure of performance and reliability), but adds a certain touch of luxury to it.
- The IS / VC, while equivalent in their effectiveness, feels more luxurious with the Canon.  It comes on notably faster.  You would have IS on and ready the moment focus is acquired.  On the Tamron, it may lag, especially in bright condition and when the focusing distance is near (when AF is near instant).  In addition, while the Tamron makes  a circkety sound, the Canon makes a more satisfying  high-pitch grit to it.  Both are about as quiet though, so I don't want people to get the wrong idea about it.  The Canon stays on longer after you let go of the shutter button.  The Tamron comes off probably within 1/2 sec or so.  Again, this gives a feel of luxury on the Canon, though in the end, it's no more / less effective.
- The finish is a touch better, since the Canon is slightly less plasticky.  Don't get me wrong, the Tamron, also feels very good and very highly made.  This difference is probably more akin to Infinity (Nisan's luxury line for our international friends) vs. a Mercedes / other German luxury car.  From the silver label in front of the red line, to the off-white finish, the Canon exudes Luxury.  Now this might be a moot point for those of us who regularly beat our equipment since all that is just a ding away from not making a difference.


In the end, here's where I struggle with the decision.
- While $1,400 (1,500 minus 100 rebate right now), is at least 800 cheaper than the 2,200 (or actually 2,500 right now without the rebate) for the Canon, it's not exactly cheap either.  There's someting about the 1,500 mark that is a mental block for me.  While I feel blessed, and make enough, I work for the military, so my salary is roughly 1/3 of what my civilian colleagues make.  So, while I can afford either, it's not a decision I take lightly.

- I've learned over time that you're better off buying the best, because you'll eventually would want that as your skill progress.  I'm probably a self-described mid/advanced amateur.  There are lots I need to learn, but I've got a good grasp of the basics.  Will I notice the difference more as I get better?  Maybe, though it shouldn't be a crippling issue.  The Canon is definitely the better product, but now not so much because of the IQ alone.  It's more about the "intangibles" that makes the difference.  Is it $800 better?  That's a personal decision.  It's $10,000 worth the difference between the new Honda Accord vs The Merc C Class / BMW 3 Series?

- The jury is still out on the reliablity / durability / weather seal-ability (if that's even a word :p) of the Tamron.   More recently, they've upped their game.  So in some ways, it's almost like a Hyunday comparison.  They have a new Luxury car series (like the Genesis), but (at least to someone who do not follow automotive as closely like myself), they don't have the track record yet.  If I know that they're as good as Honda / Toyota is in the automotive world, I would pick the Tamron for sure.... but I don't know.  They do carry a 6 year warranty, but do they nickel / dime you to death with that warranty?  Are their customer service as good as the Apple Store?

« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 07:17:10 AM by BoneDoc »

BoneDoc

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Re: Review: Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 VC USD
« Reply #53 on: August 21, 2013, 07:19:07 PM »
To continue :) ...

Part of the dilemma of being early adopters is that we are the guinea pigs :).  Some have a riskier penchant for that.  I'm more of the tried and true, though I will have to pay the difference.  With time, this will sort itself out, as people would find out how good / reliable / durable / tough / weatherproof the Tamron really is.  The Canon is well proven I think, and time will only tell.

I am currently stationed in England.  While traveling around England, or most of Europe, I would feel fine, there are certain countries (like Italy / Spain / farther out around Turkey / middle east), where I would like to travel to.  A White (albeit mostly brownish off-white) lens would surely make me a bigger target.  However, in the past 2 days, I'm not sure how big of a deal that is.  Simply put, when you're carrying a full-frame camera with a 3 pound lens, you ARE a target, even though they can't see the brand of your camera and lens.  I would think any thief worth their salt would know the difference between the dinky, smaller DSLR vs the full frame (albeit a "budget" full frame) I carry.  I can cover all the marking with a gaff, but I'm not convinced it would make a difference.

What I also didn't realize is that a camera / lens combo of this size can appear quite intimidating to people.  I've found that some of my work colleagues seem to be a tad intimidated by the sheer size of the lens, whether it's WHITE or BLACK :).  So, I'm not convinced that having a black lens will make it better either.  This is especially true with the hood on, since it makes the combo look like a bazooka.



As for resale value, the MkII holds its value well.  However, it's been unchallenged in the IQ dept until now.  Now that 3rd party manufacturers are churning out great products, will Canon have to lower the price of its L glass to compete?  If they do, then that's a moot point.  However, I realize that even with the proliferation of knock offs, Louis Vuitton is still able to sell well.  So Canon might be able to continue with that.  I think trying to predict this is about as futile as trying to game the market / stocks.



BoneDoc

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Re: Review: Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 VC USD
« Reply #54 on: August 21, 2013, 07:35:24 PM »
One more note, related to the sense of Luxury, and please keep in mind that this has NOTHING to do with IQ or the overall function of the lens. :)

Tamron completely, massively missed the boat when it comes to the packaging of this lens.  This lens was packaged with regular plastic, protected only by cardboard protector.  While I realize that this is more "earth friendly", it totally makes it feel cheap.  Compare this with the canon, which include its own carrying case (solidly built, worthy of the glass it's trying to protect).  They should learn a thing or two from Apple on how to package a product.

One more aspect to consider.  The MkII definitely works well with the 1.4x extender, so that will give me the flexibility of going that route, should I choose to.  We have limited data on the Tamron, at least with regards to the pixel peeping folks :).

BoneDoc

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Re: Review: Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 VC USD
« Reply #55 on: August 23, 2013, 08:32:21 PM »
Back to the "Which lens shot this picture" :)


IMG_1908 by BoneDC, on Flickr


IMG_1909 by BoneDC, on Flickr


TWI by Dustin Abbott

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Re: Review: Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 VC USD
« Reply #56 on: August 24, 2013, 05:44:41 PM »
Here's the conclusions drawn by Matt Granger (that Nikon Guy) - another interesting watch:

BEST 70-200mm f2.8 lens
6D x 2 | EOS-M w/22mm f/2 + 18-55 STM + EF Adapter| Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 | Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 VC | 35mm f/2 IS | 40mm f/2.8 | 100L | 135L | 70-300L -----OLD SCHOOL----- SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5, Super Takumar 35mm f/3.5, SMC Takumar 55mm f/1.8, Helios 44-2 and 44-4, Super Takumar 150mm f/4

TWI by Dustin Abbott

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Re: Review: Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 VC USD
« Reply #57 on: August 24, 2013, 05:47:26 PM »
BoneDoc - I actually reversed them because I assumed from the distance that the focus breathing would make the Tamron image the smaller (subject) of the two.
6D x 2 | EOS-M w/22mm f/2 + 18-55 STM + EF Adapter| Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 | Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 VC | 35mm f/2 IS | 40mm f/2.8 | 100L | 135L | 70-300L -----OLD SCHOOL----- SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5, Super Takumar 35mm f/3.5, SMC Takumar 55mm f/1.8, Helios 44-2 and 44-4, Super Takumar 150mm f/4

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Re: Review: Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 VC USD
« Reply #57 on: August 24, 2013, 05:47:26 PM »

BoneDoc

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Re: Review: Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 VC USD
« Reply #58 on: August 25, 2013, 10:45:24 AM »
Having had both lens for almost a week, I'd have to agree with Matt Granger's conclusion (at least when it comes to the Canon vs Tamron).  Again, the Canon has a slightly more "luxurious" feel to it.  The IS comes a hair faster than the VC, as well as the autofocus (just barely though on the AF).  IQ is pretty much equal.  I can have less than perfect shots with either (only noticed when pixel peeping), but the rate of "perfect" (focus / exposure, etc) pictures is roughly about the same.  The only problem is that when the lens are this good, you realized how far you are from "perfection"....  Makes for a nice theological concept right? :)

I think I'm going to stick with the Tamron.  The main reason I think (aside from price), is the fact that I can hopefully be less conspicuous with a black lens instead of a white lens.  I think as a PRO a white lens may help telling other people that you are a Pro, and that alone, might worth the extra cost (think of it as a marketing tool).  I would rather NOT market that I have an expensive glass with me when I'm traveling :).

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Re: Review: Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 VC USD
« Reply #59 on: August 25, 2013, 11:50:21 AM »
Having had both lens for almost a week, I'd have to agree with Matt Granger's conclusion (at least when it comes to the Canon vs Tamron).  Again, the Canon has a slightly more "luxurious" feel to it.  The IS comes a hair faster than the VC, as well as the autofocus (just barely though on the AF).  IQ is pretty much equal.  I can have less than perfect shots with either (only noticed when pixel peeping), but the rate of "perfect" (focus / exposure, etc) pictures is roughly about the same.  The only problem is that when the lens are this good, you realized how far you are from "perfection"....  Makes for a nice theological concept right? :)

I think I'm going to stick with the Tamron.  The main reason I think (aside from price), is the fact that I can hopefully be less conspicuous with a black lens instead of a white lens.  I think as a PRO a white lens may help telling other people that you are a Pro, and that alone, might worth the extra cost (think of it as a marketing tool).  I would rather NOT market that I have an expensive glass with me when I'm traveling :).

One other minor point a lot of people don't bring up is CPS points. Sure, the Tamron gives you a great warranty, but the Canon will give you 12 CPS points: enough to get most people a gold membership with whatever camera body they have. For a lot of people, this could be a major asset.
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6D | 600D | Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 | Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 VC | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 | Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS II | 600ex-rt

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Re: Review: Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 VC USD
« Reply #59 on: August 25, 2013, 11:50:21 AM »