Well, it’s finally here. (Sorta. Available April 26th.) What is finally here? A stabilized 24-70 2.8, that’s what. (Yeah yeah, Sony users, keep laughing!) Tamron has gone and beaten BOTH Canon and Nikon to the punch with a mid-range, fast-aperture pro-grade zoom. With stabilization.
Now, I’m sure there are a lot of hard-core pros out there who would never consider getting a Tamron lens. That could be their loss! This has the potential to be an amazing lens. At least on paper it’s ridiculously sharp, constructed quite well and even has moderate weather sealing, and yes indeed, provides stabilization which both Canon and Nikon do NOT offer. Personally, if I were a hobbyist who shot full-frame, this would be the #1 lens on my wishlist right now. Heck, even as a full-time wedding photographer I’m interested in at least trying out this lens, although I’m assuming that my Nikon 24-70 2.8 will be just a little bit more rock-solid and reliable for a hard-working pro.
The weird thing is that Canon just announced a new mk2 version of their 24-70 2.8, for $2300, and it does NOT include stabilization. Simply based on price alone, I think that is the most expensive non-stabilized lens on the market. Nikon’s 14-24 is about $2K, and so is Canon’s 85 1.2 L. But $2300 is some kind of record for un-stabilized lenses in this day and age.
Now while I can safely bet that the new Canon mk2 24-70 2.8 is going to be 1.) Built like a tank, and 2.) Flawlessly sharp, and 3.) Incredibly accurate focusing even in near-darkness, …I’m sure that for a THOUSAND dollars less, many hobbyists and part-time pros are going to opt for this new Tamron.
So, you better PRE-ORDER your Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC now on Adorama! (Sorry, Nikon users, Tamron is still working on your version, April 26th is for the Canon version only. Nikon users can pre-order the Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC from B&H though, and it will ship after June 25th…)
A word on third-party lenses really quick: Never listen to the stories about how some high-dollar, all-knowing pro REFUSES to buy a Tamron / Sigma lens becuase “they owned a 70-300 once, and it fell apart in their hands”. Honestly? That’s just what you get when you buy a $130 zoom lens. Junk. But you know what? All of the cheapest lenses are junk, even from Canon and Nikon. You get what you pay for; most any lens that costs less than $400 costs that much for a reason. (With a few exceptions…) My point is, a Tamron lens that costs $1300 is usually a whole different ball game. If the lens were a cheap piece of junk, it would be $300, tops. But this is more like a Hundai or even a Honda. Maybe still considered “junk” to all the snobs, or some hard-working professionals, but for those who can get over a brand-name obsession; under the hood it is probably an incredible value, in fact a far greater value than a $2300 option without stabilization.
So, that is why I bother mentioning third-party lenses, and even go so far as to recommend them quite often. Pretty much ANY Sigma EX lens is going to be a pretty safe bet, and a good value. I like Sigma because 1.) They have the EX label that, like the “L” label, helps you recognize higher quality glass, and 2.) They’ve been using HSM (like Canon’s USM) for a while now and their autofocus is great. Also, Tamron lenses and Tokina lenses are often quite high-quality. Anything over $400-$500 is very much worth considering. Don’t get me wrong, I’m always a fan of putting the absolute most money into the one or two lenses that you know will define your style. Buying a third-party lens is a calculated decision that you should make based on oh-so-many personal factors, etc…
Pre-order the Canon Version from Adorama (Shipping after April 26th)
Pre-order the Canon version from B&H (Shipping after April 26th)
Pre-order the Nikon version from B&H (Shipping after June 25th)