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My Initial Thoughts on the Tamron 24-70 VC USD

By Anthony Thurston on April 27th 2013

I just got the Tamron 24-70mm F2.8 VC USD (Nikon Mount) in for review, and so I wanted to share my initial thoughts lens. I’ve heard nothing but good things from the internets about this lens and so I am eager to give it a try to see how it goes.

Before I jump into my thoughts I want to give a huge shout out to Mike at Focal Point Photography in Dallas, Oregon (My local camera shop), he was kind enough to allow me to take this lens over the weekend for review. If you live in Oregon I highly recommend this shop for their great service and great lens (new and used) selection.

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My Initial Thoughts and Opinions

My first thought when looking at this lens was that it is huge, and very pretty. It is not quite as pretty as Sigma’s new lenses, but it’s still a very good looking lens. Much nicer than some of the older third party lenses that I have seen. The build quality seems to be pretty good, and the lens is very heavy in your hands. It’s a good solid lens.

Now for my initial thoughts on its performance. These are not so great, in fact if I didn’t know that this lens rocks (from other review) I may think that this lens is absolutely terrible. I have only had the lens for about a day now, but I have had the opportunity to take it with me to a softball game, a little league game and a portrait shoot. In both sports situations the lens did not perform well at all, I am not sure if it was the backlighting from the sun or if the lens is just badly calibrated but the lens appears to be back focusing pretty bad as well as some pretty bad blooming.

In the example below you can see a shot from the little league game. I was focused on the numbers of the pitcher, but as you can see in the photo the 3rd basemen is much more in focus but is still out of focus himself. (click to view full size)

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Now after this happened I did some on the fly AF micro adjusting, so obviously not very accurate, and it improved a little bit but the results were still really subpar. I took the lens with me to a portrait shoot and I was able to get shots in focus, within 5-10 feet. So I tried the lens again at a softball game and the same back focusing issue happened. It seems the lens that I have has problems focusing beyond 5-10 feet.

It is possible that this lens may just be a bum copy, in which case I hope to get my hands on a good copy soon. But at this point, after a day or two of playing around my impressions of this lens are not too great. I will continue to play with the lens and let you know how it all turns out in my full review.

What have your experiences been with this lens? Let us know in a comment below. 

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

16 Comments

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  1. ZullU

    I have a d7000 and a d610 my 85mm f1.8 is tack sharp on my d610 but on my d7000 (phase detection AF) is all over the place … also when I switch my d7000 on live view (contrast detection AF) it will focus 100% every time spot on. I think the problem lies with the phase detection in the d7000 (micro adjustment is a must! i tried -19/-20 and it seems fine most of times)

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  2. George Blythe

    Just purchased this lens and started to worry when the lens would ‘kick’ after taking a shot. However this only happens when using the integral flash on my D7100, when i use my SB-700 or when the flash isn’t required there is no movement. Thats ok for me, but wouldn’t be happy if i didn’t have the other flash. Is this an issue with the lens or camera? (Since its the flash causing the issue, could this be a firmware upgrade?)

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  3. Ujwal

    You got a dud mate or maybe the problem lies with the D7000, my Canon mount 24-70mm VC is a ripper.Tack sharp with my 5d and 5DmkII.

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  4. Steve Josanto

    No problem whatsoever….using 5d Mk III…

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  5. JeremieP

    24-70 with D600 and 70-200 on D7000 im pretty satisfied with Tamron product but i never tried Nikkor so i might just be unconscious.

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  6. Tony Guillaro

    Do let us know when you do, I was planning on getting this lens, Now I’m not to sure

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  7. Hallie D

    I have this problem with this lens. I did have it calibrated to my body (D800) and it improved, but is still causing me some issues, at a distance, much more noticeable. I hope to have it recalibrate, because I do love it when its right on, especially for video and such, but…. had to pass it up today for a shoot for my cheap 50….. hoping to get the kinks worked out because Ive heard such good things too over all

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  8. Lee Morris

    What camera? My D600 seems to do this.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      My D7000. Maybe it doesn’t like the D7000 style bodies? (lol)

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    • Lee Morris

      My D7000 had major back focusing issues. Try the same lens on a D800

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    • Anthony Thurston

      Your D7000 had major back focusing issues with this lens, or in general? If I had a D800 nearby I would try it :P

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    • Lee Morris

      I owned 3 D7000s. Every one had major back focusing issues with the majority of my lenses, very similar to the shot you have above. Especially my 70-200. I tested my lenses on the D800 and the focus was spot on. I don’t think I had the 24-70mm while I still had my D7000

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    • Anthony Thurston

      Interesting. My D7000 works fine with my 50mm and my 300mm, but I have noticed that I seem to get more oof/back focus shots than I feel like I should be getting with some lenses I have tried. Maybe its time for a new body….

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    • Anthony Thurston

      Did you ever try to send in the D7000’s to have the AF re-calibrated curious if that might help at all.

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    • Leo Hoang

      I had the D7000 and it back-focussed a lot… sent it back, and it came back ok… But I never had full confidence in it for nailing focus…

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    • Joel

      i shot a wedding today with my D7000 body and my friends Tamron 24-70mm VC and i have the same issues. some distances had ridiculous back focusing. kmt

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