Tamron 70 200 F2 8 Nikon

By | 01/11/2022


Highly Recommended awardTamron’southward new 70-200/2.8 zoom is a very competent lens: It’s almost up there with the best Nikon has to offer, even sometimes surpassing the new Nikon 70-200/2.8E VR in paradigm quality. It offers a very constructive paradigm stabilization of almost v stops even if it could not suppress the mirror-slap of the D810 completely and has a fast and reliable AF. And as its price is almost one-half of what you pay for the Nikkor the new Tamron deservedly earns a Highly Recommended rating.

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Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 VC G2 review

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In depth

The Tamron SP seventy-200mm f2.8 Di VC USD G2 is a 2.9x telephoto total-frame zoom bachelor in mounts for Canon and Nikon DSLRs. Appear in February 2017, it’s the second generation model from Tamron (hence the “G2” moniker) and identified by the A025 lawmaking compared to the A009 for the outset stabilized version. Tamron has washed a piffling fleck of optical redesign to better performance and go the lens to focus down to 0.95m. Add together the usual merits of improved image stabilization, improved AF speed and precision plus compatibility with Tamron’s USB “TAP-in” console to fine tune various characteristics of AF and VC and it’s articulate Tamron also wants more money for the new lens: 1300 USD or 1600 EUR (incl. 19% VAT) which is a marker-up of 30% over the current price of the starting time generation 70-200/two.8 VC.

So the question is: does the new lens deliver on its promises? To find out I tested the Tamron lxx-200mm f2.8 VC G2 confronting my reference lens in this segment, the Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f2.8E FL ED VR, and will likewise bear witness you some comparisons with the older Tamron offering, all on the demanding D810 body. So if you’re shopping for a large aperture telephoto zoom, you’ve come to the right place!

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Facts from the catalog

As usual I’ll accept a look at the technical data first. I’ve rated the features with a [+] (or [++]), when it’s better than boilerplate or even state of the art, a [0] if it’s standard or simply average, and [-] if there’southward a disadvantage. I’ll compare it mostly with its predecessor, the Tamron 70-200/2.8 VC (the “predecessor” for short) and the Nikon 70-200/2.8E VR (the “Nikon” for short).

Size (diam. ten length): 88 x 191mm (iii.five 10 7.5in) plus some other 89mm (three.5in) for the lens hood. Zooming does not change the length of the lens as with its predecessor and the contest. The predecessor is slightly smaller at 86 x 188mm without lens hood. The Nikon is almost the same size. [0]

Weight: 1370g (48.3oz.). The lens hood adds some other 57g, the detachable tripod neckband 109g. The predecessor is just a chip heavier, the Nikon is a bit lighter. [0]


Optics: 23 elements in 17 groups, aforementioned as with the predecessor and in a pretty similar optical design. This is pretty hefty merely par for the course: the Nikon has 22 elements in 18 groups. The lens has 6 (extra) depression dispersion elements. It employs fluorine coating on the front lens to repel water, dust, and clay plus Nano-coating to reduce flare and ghosting. [+]

Closest focus distance/max. magnification: 0.95m (iii.1ft) / 1:half-dozen.1 vs. one.1m (three.6ft) / one:4.viii with the Nikon and a meagre 1:8 magnification of its predecessor. In my test I could go down to 0.85m / 1:5.six with manual focusing. [+]

Teleconverter: Tamron offers two teleconverters which were specifically designed for utilize with their new A025 and A022 models – which are currently the only listed compatible lenses. The TC-X14 transforms the G2 model into a 100-280mm f4.0 lens. It retains the minimum focus distance of 0.95m and increases the maximum magnification to 1:4.four. The tele converter has half-dozen elements in iii groups and adds another 200g. The TC-X20 produces a 140-400mm f5.vi lens which will still automobile-focus on whatsoever Nikon or Canon DSLR and offers a maximum magnification of i:3. The contest offers tele converts too. [0]

Filter-thread: 77mm which is standard with near pro-lenses and the same as with its predecessor. [+]

Image Stabilization: Yep. It can be switched off and offers three VC modes: mode 1 = normal, mode 2 is recommended when tracking moving objects, way 3 offers no stabilization of the viewfinder image but prioritizes the stabilization of the captured images. Way 3 is said to have the greatest stabilizing consequence. Tamron claims their VC yields 5 stops of stabilization in way three. Its predecessor offers “normal” and “active” mode. The contest also has paradigm stabilization, dubbed “OS” with Sigma, “IS” with Catechism and “VR” with Nikon. [+]

Motorcar Focus: USD (ultra sonic drive), and so it likewise works on Nikon D3x00/5×00-bodies which don’t have an AF-bulldoze congenital in. Manual-focus override is by simply turning the focus ring. Same with the contest. But the new Tamron allows you to modify the response to manual focus override with the USB TAP-in console from very sensitive to Off. The lens offers a focus limiter which tin can exist set to “full” or “infinity – 3m” to limit hunting and the range can besides be modified with the USB dock. [+]

Covers full frame/FX or smaller = very good. Same with the competition. [+]

Cost: around 1300 USD / 1600 EUR (incl. 19% VAT), 30% more expensive than its predecessor and almost double the price of Sigma’s current offering just notwithstanding comfortably cheaper than the Nikon. The new tele converters from Tamron both have a pretty loftier asking price of 420/440 USD resp. 500/600 EUR. [0]

Comes with a soft pouch and a removable tripod-collar that has an Arca-Swiss way tripod interface. The lens hood is included and reversible for send, the lens caps are standard Tamron’south. When you use the congenital-in flash you can come across the shadow of the lens hood at the bottom of the image from 70mm – 140mm focal length when the lens is focused to infinity. Without lens hood there is no shadow from the wink inside the frame fifty-fifty at closest focus distance. [+]

Distance information is relayed to the photographic camera, so the Nikon torso can exercise all the advanced exposure-related stuff with this lens. Same with the competition. [+]

Aperture ring: no. Aforementioned every bit with all the other alternatives. [0]

Sealing: yes. A rubber grommet at the lens-mount and a rubberized front-end that acts as a seal when the lens-cap is attached. Plus there are other “leak proof” seals throughout the lens barrel. [+]

The score in the “features-department” is 0[-]/five[0]/9[+]. This is pretty skillful: The new lens has all the modern bells and whistles, reaches a decent magnification at close distances, and seems hardened well against the elements.

Hither is the angle of view that the Tamron covers with its two.9x zoom:


Above Tamron 70-200/2.8 VC G2 coverage on Nikon D810 (FF/FX) trunk at 70mm (left), at 200mm (right)

Y’all tin attach Tamron’due south 1.4x or 2.0x teleconverter to produce a 100-280/4.0 or a 140-400/5.6 zoom respectively. The post-obit images show how far yous tin can achieve with the teleconverters:


In a higher place: Tamron 70-200/2.8 VC G2 with TC 1.4x at 280mm (left), with TC 2.0x at 400mm (right)


  • Sigma has the AF seventy-200mm f2.8 EX DG APO HSM OS, encounter my Sigma lxx-200/ii.8 OS review. Information technology got a Recommended in 2013 and is the cheapest 70-200/2.eight at around 850 EUR.
  • From Tamron at that place’south nonetheless their SP AF 70-200mm f2.8 Di VC USD for around 950 EUR (see my Tamron 70-200/2.8 VC review) as long as supply lasts.
  • Canon has the Catechism EF 70-200mm 2.8 Fifty IS 2 USM from 2010 with a street price around 1900 EUR.
  • Nikon offers the well-nigh expensive of the alternatives: their new Nikon AF-Southward 70-200mm f2.8E VR for about 2800 EUR. Information technology earned a Highly Recommended in my Nikon 70-200/2.8E VR review.

If you want something lighter with the same zoom range you can also go for one of the post-obit stabilized 70-200/4.0 lenses:

  • Nikon seventy-200/four.0G EDII VR (850g, meet my Nikon 70-200/iv.0G VR review where the lens earned a Highly Recommended) going for around 1250 EUR
  • Tokina AT-X Pro seventy-200/four.0 FX VCM-S for 850 EUR weighing 980g
  • Catechism EF seventy-200mm iv.0 L IS USM weighing a meagre 760g and going for around 1100 EUR.


Above left: Nikon 70-200/ii.8E VR, to a higher place right: Tamron 70-200/ii.viii VC G2


Focus accuracy and repeatability is critical to consistently produce abrupt shots. Repeatability (the accuracy of focus on the same subject field after repeated focus-acquisition) of this lens is very good (measured 99.0% in Reikan FoCal) with no outliers over a series of 40 shots. And there is no functioning variation whether the lens focuses from infinity or from a closer altitude. At 200mm focal length the lens focuses without hunting in around 0.iv sec from infinity to 2m, which is very fast. Unfortunately optimal focus fine-tuning needed a bit more than my Nikon D810 could provide in photographic camera. And then I had to use the USB-dock to set the optimal AF tuning value.

The focus band has no slack/play betwixt its movement and the focus-action and a throw of 130 degrees. Its rubberized surface is 17mm broad. The zoom band turns through 60 degrees and has a 29mm wide rubber surface. Both rings are pretty stiff, at to the lowest degree fresh from the factory. They turn both in the same management as Nikon users are used to and Tamron did also put the zoom ring at the front and the focus-ring closer to the camera. But this is the complete opposite of what Catechism does eastward.g. with its EF 70-200mm 2.8 L IS 2 USM.

AF-performance is barely audible from the outside, and if you tape video with the born microphone the AF-drive produces a slight hiss but in that location are no clicks at the start or stop of focus-movements. The VC-system is virtually silent both on the exterior and when recording video. Very skillful!

As yous pull focus, you’ll notice some focus breathing: the image becomes less magnified at closer focusing distances. When I adjusted the focus from infinity to 2m, I measured a 12% decrease in magnification at 200mm focal length which might displease videographers. At shorter focal lengths the effect is less pronounced. In comparing the Nikon 70-200/2.8E VR increases magnification past a mere four% at 200mm focal length.

Prototype stabilization

To test the effectiveness of the image stabilization I did a series of 260 test-shots manus-held with the new Tamron at 200mm focal length. I tested with VC in mode 3 and mode 1 and shutter speeds were from one/200 of a second downwards to one/6 sec. Shots at one/200 sec  with VC=OFF are used equally reference of how proficient my hand-holding was at the fourth dimension of the test and Reikan FoCal did the chore of evaluating the sharpness of all shots. All-in-all the results are very disarming. Here’re the details: at 1/200 sec and 1/100 sec VC in mode one or 3 has a clear advantage over VC=Off. At 1/l sec (2 stops) and 1/25 sec (3 stops) the results with VC=On were roughly comparable to 1/200 sec with VC=Off. No significant differences between mode one and 3 could be seen in this range of shutter speeds. At i/13 sec fashion 1 had a pretty high risk of clearly blurred images while mode 3 produced results that were equally usable as ane/200 sec with VC=Off. This is a iv stop reward from stabilization in way 3 and a 3 terminate reward in mode 1. Standing the exam at 1/half-dozen sec (5 stops) I can report that in mode 3 the chances to get a usable image is nigh 1 out of 2 shots.

I did another series of 260 test-shots hand-held at 70mm focal lengths from i/fourscore sec down to 0.4 sec. The benefits of VC were similar to the results at 200mm with style 3 showing its merits at 0.2 and 0.four sec, i.e. four-5 stops of stabilization. This is one of the best results I’ve seen so far from prototype stabilization.

In that location’s too an interesting side-outcome of mode iii: when the viewfinder image is non stabilized one tends to practice a better and more stable hand-holding technique because you can hands see how bad y’all shake otherwise. I commend Tamron on beingness so bold to forfeit stabilization of the viewfinder epitome completely in mode 3. If you lot don’t like it yous tin but use mode 1 or mode 2. Btw.: Alive-view and video capture are not stabilized in mode 3.

The only permit-downward with the image stabilization of my copy was a tendency to let the mirror/shutter slap of the Nikon D810 through at effectually 1/100 sec. Following is a series of three 100% crops from i/160 sec on the left to 1/40 sec on the right shot handheld simply with support:


In a higher place: Tamron seventy-200/ii.eight VC G2 at 130mm, 100% crops; f4.0, i/160 (left), f5.6, 1/80 (center),  f8.0, 1/40 (right)

Source: https://www.cameralabs.com/tamron-sp-70-200mm-f2-8-vc-g2-review/