REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Tamron70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro AF Lens for Nikon AF
 
4.4

(based on 155 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (82)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (62)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

96%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (96)
  • Consistent output (87)
  • Strong construction (81)
  • Durable (74)
  • Easily interchangeable (58)

Cons

  • Heavy (64)
  • Slow focus (46)
  • Poor in low light (5)
  • Tough to attach (4)
  • Weak casing (3)

Best Uses

  • Sports/action (83)
  • Low light (55)
  • Weddings (55)
  • Wildlife photos (46)
  • Landscape/scenery (42)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (41), Semi-pro photographer (37), Pro photographer (17), Semi-professional (14), Enthusiast (12)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (90), Yes (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Can a zoom match a prime?

Before actually reviewing the Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 let me get two confessions out of the way. First, I am a die-hard primes fan. I would gladly trade the convenience of a...Read complete review

Before actually reviewing the Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 let me get two confessions out of the way. First, I am a die-hard primes fan. I would gladly trade the convenience of a zoom for the quality of a prime and let my feet do all the zooming. My bag includes MF legends such as the 105 mm f/2.5 and 180 mm f/2.8 ED Nikkors, and I can attest to their exceptional quality. Secondly, I am unabashedly a pixel peeper. I routinely examine my photos at 100% to look for lens flaws, among other things. Enter the Tamron 70-200 f/2.8. The specs look great on paper, and the lens itself has received rave reviews, but I ask the question – can it match up to the primes in my bag? For those who want the review in a nutshell, the answer is a resounding yes from 70 mm through 170 mm, and yes with some caveats for focal lengths longer than 170 mm.

Straight off the bat, from 70 mm through 170 mm, wide open on my D90, this lens is razor sharp. At equivalent apertures of f/2.8, this zoom matches my 105 mm and 85 mm f/1.8D Nikkors for sharpness at the respective focal lengths. Stopped down to f/4, the image quality of the Tamron is exceptional, and for most part (unless, for example, I need the f/1.8 specifically of the 85mm) I would not hesitate to use the Tamron in place of the 85 and 105. Also, this lens does in fact have a useful macro mode – one can get close-ups with superb sharpness at focal lengths up to 170 mm. Beyond this focal length, the performance of the lens shows some weakness. Photographs taken with the lens show what I can best describe as "blooming", and some loss of sharpness (think of light Gaussian blur applied to a photograph in an image editing software). Thus, my 180 mm f/2.8 ED manual focus Nikkor (a phenomenal optic by any standards) performs better than the Tamron at those focal lengths, as does my MF 200 mm f/4 Nikkor. That being said, the Tamron's anomalies and indeed the differences between the MF primes and the zoom are best seen at a pixel-peeping 100%, and one could probably get away with careful post-processing and sharpening at normal image sizes and viewing distances. On the flip side, one could argue that the softness at longer focal lengths would make the Tamron zoom a suitable lens for portraiture. Stopped down to f/5 and beyond at the longer focal lengths, the Tamron comes into its stride, giving images with good sharpness and contrast, that stack up well when compared to the prime heavy hitters. Returning back to the macro capability of this lens, I must say I am impressed. Compared to my 90 mm f/2.8 macro lens (also by Tamron), the 70-200 mm gives macro performance that is within shouting distance of the fixed-focal length optic. Note that I base my results on shooting flowers, and I believe that the canonical macro attribute of field flatness would still be better on the 90 mm. In other words, the 70-200 mm may not be the lens of choice for copy work, although it offers great performance for shooting subjects like flowers and butterflies. Once again, optimal macro performance is obtained at focal lengths less than 170 mm; stopping down is necessary to get good image quality at higher focal lengths. This zoom also does very well with extension tubes – I have the Kenko AF set of 3 extension tubes, and these function flawlessly, giving both AF and metering functions.

Color aberrations are low to absent – I see some blue/purple fringing at longer focal lengths that can be easily taken care of by post-processing software (I use Nikon Capture NX2). As far as distortion is concerned, I am sure that there is some distortion, but I am mostly into nature, macro and portraits of my wife and daughter, so I am not that hung up about barreling and pincushioning. Note, however, that online reviews of this lens commend the low levels of distortion, so I suppose that there is not much to worry about in this department.

As far as handling is concerned, I have no major complaints. The plastic fantastic design helps keep weight low and minimizes fatigue. Overall, the lens is very solidly constructed, and the push/pull AF/MF ring design is neat and works well IMHO. Both zoom and focus rings are smooth and well damped. The reversible lens hood makes storing the lens easier as well. If there is one complaint I can direct towards the ergonomics of this lens, it would be the alignment dots for the tripod mount. Sometimes, while trying to mount the lens in a hurry, I do end up confusing the other dot for the tripod mount as the mounting dot for the lens. The lens does not mount in this case, and that does cause some anxiety, especially if you are in a hurry.

Brickbats have been directed towards this lens regarding the focus speed. I agree that it is no speed demon when it comes to focusing, and I would not use it for shooting fast action. The in-lens focus motor is sure and quiet.

Finally, we come to the very subjective part of the review – bokeh. I have a weakness for lenses that have good bokeh, and my Tamron 90 mm macro (affectionately dubbed the "bokeh macro") is one such example. In this department, the Tamron 70-200 mm positively shines, as noted by many reviewers before me. The photos taken with this lens have a buttery-smooth, watercolor-like delicate rendering of the out-of-focus areas of an image, and this is one of the most endearing qualities of this lens. Shoot a portrait with this lens, and there is almost a three-dimensional quality of the image that pops out at you, with the background reduced to mush. Shoot a flower, and there is a delicacy in the way the image is captured (ditto for my Tamron 90 mm macro, by the way). Compared to this lens, the 180 mm and 200 mm lenses have more neutral bokeh – yes, this lens wins over the primes in the bokeh department. The LD glass renders images with good contrast and saturation

So then how do we answer the question that is the subject of this review – can a zoom match a prime in terms of image quality? In the case of the Tamron 70-200 mm zoom, the answer is: for most part, yes, and even in the areas where the primes are better, the results from the zoom are not too far behind. For the price, this lens is a steal. Note that any engineering product has design compromises, and kudos to the Tamron engineers for making a lens that offers excellent all-round performance for a price that cannot be beat.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Nice images....slow focus

For quite some time I'd wanted to add a fast telephoto zoom to my gear. After doing some research I chose this lens. The only cons I'd read were regarding the slow focus;...Read complete review

For quite some time I'd wanted to add a fast telephoto zoom to my gear. After doing some research I chose this lens. The only cons I'd read were regarding the slow focus; for me this was not unfounded. Although the sharpness of the lens was very good, especially for a lens at this price level; the slow autofocus was more than I could accept. Most of my shooting is landscape and wildlife which don't always call for fast focus, but when I needed it's much appreciated. For shots without much action and for shooting on a tripod/monopod, I'm sure it would make most photographers happy. I returned the lens and ordered the Nikon 80-200mm f2.8. The Nikon was a bit more expensive, but well worth the difference. [...]

Reviewed by 155 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

Back to top

Previous | Next »

 
5.0

Great Lens, Great Value

By Smooth

from Detroit, MI

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Consistent Output
  • Durable
  • Easily Interchangeable
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
  • Nice Bokeh
  • Rugged
  • Strong Construction

Cons

  • Heavy

Best Uses

  • Sports/Action
  • Weddings/Events
  • Wildlife Photos

Comments about Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro AF Lens for Nikon AF:

Finally decided to purchase this lens and it was well worth the wait. Great for portraits, action and any other project....

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

Share this reviewHelp Icon

 
4.0

Tamron 70-200 f 2.8 Di LD

By mf

from wall nj

About Me Casual Photographer

Pros

  • Nice Bokeh

Cons

  • Heavy

Best Uses

  • Indoors/Low Light
  • Macro Photography
  • Weddings/Events

Comments about Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro AF Lens for Nikon AF:

Can't believe people are saying this lens is soft..either they don't use the proper technique or they have the shutter down too low. I am not a pro but have gotten excellent images out of the lens. Its heavy and no Vr so you must be diligent in your technique.If you can afford the newer version I would recommend it as hand holding 200 is not for the faint of heart.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

Share this reviewHelp Icon

 
5.0

Lens is Awesome

By GRP

from Wilson, NC

About Me Pro Photographer

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Consistent Output
  • Durable
  • Easily Interchangeable
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
  • Lightweight
  • Rugged

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Indoors/Low Light
    • Macro Photography
    • Sports/Action
    • Weddings/Events

    Comments about Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro AF Lens for Nikon AF:

    Use professionally. Focus fast. Macro is awesome

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this reviewHelp Icon

     
    5.0

    Professional lens minus the hefty price!

    By JJ

    from Wisconsin

    Comments about Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro AF Lens for Nikon AF:

    This is a great all around lens for portraits. I paired it with a Nikon DSLR and was very impressed with my portrait quality. You will shoot Professional portraits from family - newborn {outdoor and indoor) for 1/2 the price of other compairable name brand lenses. Purchase this lens and spend what you saved on studio gear/props and/or lighting equipment.

    Share this reviewHelp Icon

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Excellent alternative to the pricier options

    By BSAGE

    from Waukesha, WI

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Consistent Output
    • Durable
    • Rugged

    Cons

    • Heavy
    • Slow Focus

    Best Uses

    • Indoors/Low Light
    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Sports/Action

    Comments about Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro AF Lens for Nikon AF:

    Have two children who are into winter athletics (Ice Skating and Hockey), I was looking for a 2.8 70-200mm lens to assist in catching the right shots in ice arenas that can be somewhat on the dark side. After renting this lens, it's newer sibling with USD and the Nikon 2.8, I finally settled on this lens.

    Is it as sharp as the Nikon? No. Does it focus as fast and track moving objects as the Nikon? No. Does is cost a small fraction of the Nikon's price? Yes. Bottom line, for the price this lens is an excellent alternative to the pricier Nikon. However, just because it isn't as sharp or not a quick to focus doesn't mean that it doesn't take great pictures. It is like comparing the $20 bill and a $50 bill. Would I prefer the $50? Yep. But that doesn't mean the $20 is bad.

    As it relates to its newer sibling, I think the only reason to get the USD version over this one is if your camera does not have a focus motor and, therefore, requires the lens to do the work. Otherwise, the slight improvement in focus speed and tracking is far outweighed by the lower price of this version.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this reviewHelp Icon

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Great product

    By Badger40

    from ND

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Nice Bokeh
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

    • Slow Focus

    Best Uses

    • Indoors/Low Light
    • Weddings/Events

    Comments about Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro AF Lens for Nikon AF:

    I took a chance & bought the lesser version of this lens, as it has no image stabilization. But with practice, this has not been a problem for me. I bought it for a wedding shoot & I like it. Practice is useful. It hunts in low light, but you just need to be prepared for that.
    I usually always shoot wide open with it. I find the results pleasing. I still am considering the other pricier version. We will see.
    But I have used it on my Nikon F5 film camera, my d300 & d300s & now my d810. Much better results with the 810 of course. I have even used it with my d5100.
    The macro function also isn't disappointing and I have used my extension tubes on it & it performs well.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this reviewHelp Icon

    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Love This Lens

    By MAC

    from Virginia Beach, VA

    About Me Pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Consistent Output
    • Durable
    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
    • Nice Bokeh
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

    • Heavy

    Best Uses

    • Indoors/Low Light
    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Weddings/Events

    Comments about Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro AF Lens for Nikon AF:

    After much research I knew I wanted and needed a 70-200mm 2.8 lens for my Nikon. The only real question was whether to go with the Nikkor or Tamron. The price of the Tamron was nearly 1/2 the price of the Nikkor. i went with the Tamron and haven't looked back! It's a fabulous lens. The zoom is quiet which was especially important to me in my wedding photography business. I'm using it for the first time professionally this weekend. I'm excited to see how it operates in the church's low light!

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this reviewHelp Icon

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Great Lens!

    By Ben

    from Brooklyn, NY

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Consistent Output
    • Durable
    • Easily Interchangeable
    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
    • Nice Bokeh
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

    • Heavy

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Wildlife Photos

    Comments about Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro AF Lens for Nikon AF:

    This my first telephoto lens of this magnitude. I bought it in preparation for an Alaskan cruise to catch the scenery. I was able to capture shots of distant glaciers and whales breaching. A little heavy at first so i used a mono-pod to stabilize it.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this reviewHelp Icon

    (1 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

     
    2.0

    Should have spent the money on quality

    By T.J.

    from Ponca, NE

    About Me Pro Photographer

    Pros

      Cons

      • Blurry Focus

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/Scenery

      Comments about Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro AF Lens for Nikon AF:

      The only thing I have found that is good with this lens is the price. It is always soft on the focus, especially at 2.8 I decided to save money so I could buy another body at the same time. I should have spent the money on the Nikon 70-200 like I was going to. This lens is slow and soft. It will be a ok lens for hobby photographers not if you are going to try to make money with it. In the end I will never buy another tamron lens.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this reviewHelp Icon

       
      5.0

      Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF)

      By roln

      from michigan

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
      • Nice Bokeh

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Macro Photography
        • Weddings/Events
        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro AF Lens for Nikon AF:

        super sharp, fairly fast focus, well worth the money.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this reviewHelp Icon

        (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Very Good Deal

        By teedawg83

        from West Texas

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • Durable
        • Nice Bokeh
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

        • Slow Focus

        Best Uses

        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Night Photography
        • Sports/Action

        Comments about Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro AF Lens for Nikon AF:

        OK, maybe not quite as fast as the comparable Nikon "cheap" f2.8 lens, but a good lens for the budget-conscious photographer who wants to get professional-quality shots without a high price tag. Great bokeh for portraits, wildlife shots, etc. A little sluggish focusing on fast-moving objects, but do your homework, pre-focus and predict where you expect the action to happen, and you can catch some awesome action shots in low light venues like basketball, Friday night high school football, etc. I'm a lowly free-lancer in small town West Texas, but I got an assignment at a college basketball game and got the attached shot.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this reviewHelp Icon

        (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Perfection

        By Scott

        from Cleveland, Ga

        Comments about Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro AF Lens for Nikon AF:

        The lens performed as expected and the some. Thus is not the VR version but I had no issues with stability and focus. The images are crisp and focus is spot on. The lens is a little heavy, but I knew that going into it. I would recommend this lens!

        Share this reviewHelp Icon

         
        5.0

        New Toy

        By Softball Pics

        from Lithia,fl

        Comments about Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro AF Lens for Nikon AF:

        Great fast action lens with good close up shots

        Good value for the money

        Share this reviewHelp Icon

        (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        I wish it had image stabilization

        By Aaron

        from New York, NY

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Comments about Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro AF Lens for Nikon AF:

        Nice sense at a reasonable price. I only wish that it wold have image stabilization, but I knew this going into the purchase.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this reviewHelp Icon

        (12 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Awesome Lens! Well worth the money!

        By Aaron Bobeck

        from Buffalo, NY

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • Durable
        • Easily Interchangeable
        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Nice Bokeh

        Cons

        • Tough To Attach

        Best Uses

        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Macro Photography
        • Sports/Action
        • Weddings/Events

        Comments about Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro AF Lens for Nikon AF:

        First I'll address the issue that everyone is talking about: the slow autofocus. It really isn't that big of an issue unless a subject is coming directly towards you. If you are upgrading from the Nikon 55-200 or even 70-300, the autofocus on this lens will be faster than those. I've used this lens for sports (football at night, basketball) without a problem. When you compare it to the Nikon and Canon versions, the autofocus is a little slow but it's not a big deal. It really isn't that bad.In terms of optical quality, it is about the same as the Nikon and Canon versions. It produces spectacular sharp photos at all focal lengths, all apertures, except it is a tiny bit soft at 200mm at f/2.8 but still produces a usable image. The macro capability can be pretty amazing sometimes, I've used it to photograph insects on flowers out at 200mm. Don't expect it to be anything too amazing but it is an added bonus.The AF/MF lock everyone is talking about doesn't seem to be too big of an issue, but I don't see why Tamron designed it that way. But I'm not going to complain about it because of the price.Yes it is heavy, at 5 pounds, but that's a given with a lens like this. So don't complain.The only other thing that no one is talking about, is that there are 3 dots on the lens, and only one of them is the right one to attach (the one with the line above it) it can take a little getting used to, make sure you attach it correctly so it doesn't fall off :)Definitely well worth it! Go out and buy it! The only reason you wouldn't need

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this reviewHelp Icon

        (3 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Great lens

        By JZPHOTO

        from Los Angeles

        About Me Pro Photographer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • Durable
        • Easily Interchangeable
        • Nice Bokeh
        • Rugged
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Indoors/Low Light
          • Macro Photography
          • Sports/Action

          Comments about Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro AF Lens for Nikon AF:

          The focus isn't the fastest but it's tack sharp and because of the macro you can focus super close with amazing magnification. I'd choose sharpness over speed anyday.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Share this reviewHelp Icon

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          It is a nice lens

          By Lisa

          from Silver Spring, MD

          Comments about Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro AF Lens for Nikon AF:

          I was looking for a lens to take low light photography and dance photography and it actually was pretty good at focusing

          Share this reviewHelp Icon

           
          5.0

          AMAZING for small budget needs!

          By Helen

          from Los Angeles, CA

          About Me Photography Student

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Consistent Output
          • Durable
          • Fast / accurate auto-focus

          Cons

          • Heavy Tripod Collar

          Best Uses

          • Macro Photography
          • Sports/Action
          • Weddings/Events

          Comments about Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro AF Lens for Nikon AF:

          I am a student studying photojournalism. At school we can rent the Nikon 70-200s but I don't have that kind of money to spend right now. This is was the PERFECT compromise: A wide enough aperture to make it a good enough substitute, but a lens that doesn't break the bank. Something I thought was pretty cool was the focusing ring clicks forward and backward about a centimeter to switch quickly from AF to manual, if you want.

          The tripod collar is extremely heavy so I just remove it when not needed.

          Overall: I love it. Good for my needs right now.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Share this reviewHelp Icon

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Really Great lens

          By Birdi

          from Fort Mill, SC

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Fast / accurate auto-focus
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

          • Heavy

          Best Uses

          • Macro Photography
          • Sports/Action
          • Weddings/Events
          • Wildlife Photos

          Comments about Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro AF Lens for Nikon AF:

          I use this lens mostly for wedding photography. It's got a great sturdy feel. Pictures are crisp and it is fast. Only issue I have is that it is quite heavy. But, that really isn't an issue if you use a tripod.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Share this reviewHelp Icon

          (4 of 16 customers found this review helpful)

           
          1.0

          Very Disappointed

          By Mel

          from Georgia

          About Me Pro Photographer

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

            Cons

            • Blurry Focus
            • Heavy
            • Macro Do Not Work
            • Poor in Low Light
            • Slow Focus
            • Weak Casing

            Best Uses

              Comments about Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro AF Lens for Nikon AF:

              I purchased this lens in September 2012, I needed a lens for several different events. Sports, animals, and weddings. I am very disappointed with the results. The lens is slow to focus, blurry, and images are not sharp. Just not happy with this lens at all. I did speak with a Tamron representative about the issues I was experiencing and he was no help, nor did he offer any suggestions. I have had my camera looked at to see if it was the camera. Will not be buying Tamron products.

              This review should not reflect negative on B&H! I am always pleased with them.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this reviewHelp Icon

              Displaying reviews 1-20

              Back to top

              Previous | Next »