The new Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD, with the VC referring to Vibration Compensation, is looking to be a serious contender to the professional offerings from Canon and Nikon! It is the first 24-70mm constant f/2.8 zoom lens ever to have vibration control.
Matt Granger, aka That Nikon Guy, was able to get in his hand arguably the first Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 with VC in Australia and didn’t hesitate to do several video hands-on review and comparison to the 24-70mm f/2.8 lenses from Nikon, Canon, and Sigma!
Although he is a Nikon shooter, the Tamron lens he got was the Canon version because the Nikon version is not out yet, so he tested the Tamron lens on the Canon 5D mkII.
In the first hands-on review, Matt brought up several points on this Tamron:
- It’s squat with a large barrel with a huge 82mm front filter thread!
- The VC motor has been redesigned and now sits around the lens barrel, which explains the large diameter
- There are 17 lens elements in 12 groups
- Focuses down to 38cm
- 9 rounded aperture blades that stops to f/22
- At 825 grams, it’s a bit lighter than the Nikon version
- Feels very well built, arguably the best of Tamron’s lenses
- Rather shallow lens hood
- Several hundred dollars cheaper than the Canikon equivalents
In the second review, Matt compares its physical attributes to the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 ED:
- The Tamron is slightly lighter (825 grams) and shorter than the Nikon (900 grams)
- Both stops down to f/22, but the Tamron has 17 lens elements in 12 groups whereas the Nikon has 15 elements in 11 groups
- So even though the Tamron has more glass, it’s still lighter than the Nikon. This is due to the Tamron’s high strength ABS plastic body vs Nikon’s metal body. Both does have full metal weather-sealed mounts
- Both focuses to 38cm and have the latest silent AF motors
- The Tamron has an 82mm filter thread and the Nikon has 77mm
- Tamron has a smaller focusing ring situated behind the zoom whereas the Nikon has a larger focusing ring in front of the zoom
In the third part of the review, Matt tests the VC capability of the Tamron vs the Canon 24-70mm L lens by walking around while filming and hand-holding the 5D mkII without any added stabilizer rig:
- The video with the L lens, as expected, is very bouncy while walking, and even hand holding it while standing in one spot while zoomed in at 70mm still results in pretty jittery video
- The video with the Tamron lens still has a bit of movement during walking, but it’s more controlled and should be pretty smooth with good walking technique. When standing still at 70mm, the VC really does do a great job in minimizing the vibration
- In the second test, Mark held the 5D with the lens, L bracket, and mounted microphone with one arm at a full arm’s length to see how the two lenses compensate the shaky arm. Besides the VC doing its thing for the Tamron, what I notice is that the video quality is pretty comparable to the L lens in this video test and the previous test
Now we’re getting to the real nitty gritty as Matt puts up a Canon 5D with the Tamron and Canon 24-7omm vs the Nikon D700 with the Nikon and the Sigma 24-70mm. We start off with spec comparison between the 4 lenses.
- All but the Canon have 9 blade aperture. The Canon has 8 blades
- The Nikon has almost all metal body with plastic filter thread. Sigma and Tamron is plastic, while the Canon has a mix of metal & plastic body with a metal filter thread.
- All made in Japan
Now that we got the introduction, Matt jump right in with a model photoshoot that highlights the speed of the auto-focus against contrasty sky and from front focus to infinity focus and back to front focus.
- Canon and the Nikon are the fastest in autofocus, the Tamron and Sigma are slower, though not slow, just slower.
- Out of all, the Sigma looks to be the slowest from infinity focus to close focus in low light
- All in all, the lenses’ auto focus performed within their price range, and the Tamron can keep up w/ the professional Canikon lenses
So far, the Tamron performed very close to the Nikon and Canon, and is only slightly behind in terms of auto focus. The Vibration Compensation does add a real value as a 24-70mm workhorse lens, but we’ll have to wait for more videos from Matt to see what he finds out about the most important criteria, image quality.
Be sure to follow his Youtube Channel and keep a look out for the rest of his Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 VC lens review.