Photography / Hands-on Review

B&H Wedding Guide: Tamron Lenses


When photographing a wedding, a variety of lens focal lengths is essential to "get the shot" from different vantage points and in different scales and compositions. Zoom lenses make this task a bit easier, due to their coverage of numerous focal lengths in a single lens barrel. A macro lens can also serve as an ideal prime portrait lens. Tamron’s recent additions to their lens lineup meet these needs, encompassing zoom ranges from wide-angle to telephoto, as well as an appropriate length macro lens.

Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Lens

The SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD lens, available for Canon EF and Nikon F mounts, as well as the SP 24-70mm f/2.8 DI USD lens for the Sony A-mount, is a standard-length zoom lens that covers wide-angle to portrait-length perspectives and features a wide f/2.8 constant maximum aperture throughout the zoom range to better serve working in low-light conditions at any magnification. Both the Canon and Nikon mounts of this lens feature a built-in VC (Vibration Compensation) image stabilization system to minimize the effects of camera shake to serve the longer end of the zoom range and when working in dimly lit conditions. This system employs three driving coils to activate the VC lens group electromagnetically via three ceramic balls. The VC lens group is held in place only by these ceramic balls, which provide smooth movement with little friction in order to achieve sharply rendered imagery. The Sony A-mount of this lens does not incorporate this VC system due to Sony’s inclusion of an image stabilization system inside their camera bodies.

Also integrated into the lens design is a USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive) motor, which produces fast, quiet autofocusing performance that is well suited to HD video applications and the inconspicuous shooting that is necessary when photographing a wedding ceremony. In regard to the optical design of this lens, three low-dispersion elements and two extra-refractive elements are incorporated to provide a reduction in chromatic aberration and distortions throughout the zoom range, and to provide greater overall image sharpness. Additionally, the 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD is the first lens from Tamron to feature moisture-resistant construction, which offers greater assurance if working in high humidity or precipitation.

Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Lens

Picking up where the 24-70mm lens leaves off, the SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD is a portrait-length to telephoto zoom lens that is available in Canon EF and Nikon F mounts, and the SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di USD, which is available in the Sony A-mount. Both the Canon EF and Nikon versions of this lens integrate the VC image stabilization mechanism, which works to reduce the effects of camera shake by up to four shutter-speed steps when working with longer zoom magnifications, and in low light. Also benefitting shooting in dim light is the f/2.8 maximum aperture, which remains constant throughout the entire zoom range. If working on a tripod or monopod with this lens, a built-in tripod mount is also available to maintain a proper balance point to enhance panning and subject-tracking applications.

The same USD autofocus motor is incorporated into this lens as well, which provides quickened focusing performance that is both smooth and fast to facilitate working in fast-moving situations and HD video recording. Full-time manual focusing is also supported for critical selective-focusing applications and shallow-depth-of-field shooting. Benefitting overall image sharpness and quality is the incorporation of one extra-low dispersion element and four low-dispersion elements, which also help to minimize chromatic aberrations and improve image contrast and color fidelity. Also like the 24-70mm f/2.8, this lens feature’s Tamron moisture-resistant barrel construction to enhance working in inclement conditions.

Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD 1:1 Macro

The last lens here fits somewhere between the two other lenses and is a fast prime portrait-length lens that features life-size macro capabilities. It is available in Canon EF and Nikon F mounts, and the SP 90mm f/2.8 Di USD 1:1 Macro is available in the Sony A-mount. Like the other lenses, the Canon EF and Nikon versions incorporate the VC image stabilization system into their design to offer the equivalent of up to four stops of reduction of the effects of camera shake to benefit working in low light and with close-up subject matter.

The Sony version does not include the VC mechanism, since image stabilization is built into their camera bodies. Also, to help when photographing close-up subjects such as detailed imagery of the wedding rings and flower arrangements, an internal focusing system maintains a constant lens length for more control over focus placement. The USD focusing motor provides smooth and accurate autofocusing capabilities, which can render subjects as close as 11.8” with 1:1 magnification, resulting in an overall working distance as close as 5.5”. Full-time manual focusing abilities are also available for refinement over focus placement, which can be especially useful for closely cropped portraiture and detailed imagery.

The optical construction of this lens also greatly contributes to highly detailed imagery with impressive quality. Two extra-low dispersion elements and one low-dispersion element minimize chromatic aberrations and improve sharpness, clarity and color accuracy, and a rounded diaphragm gives a smooth out-of-focus quality that is especially noticeable when working with selective focus and shallow-depth-of-field applications. Lens elements also feature Tamron’s eBAND (Extended Bandwidth and Angular-Dependency) Coating, which noticeably reduces the appearance of reflections due to a nano-structured layer whose dimensions (1/1,000,000mm) are smaller than the wavelengths of visible rays of light. This coating is applied on top of other traditional multicoatings to produce an extremely low refractive index that successfully attenuates flare and ghosting while maintaining overall image contrast.

The combination of these three lenses will serve to provide the ideal working kit of lenses for photographing any wedding or event—they encompass a spectrum of focal lengths ranging from wide-angle to telephoto, including an emphasis on portrait lengths to best serve photographing wedding guests. Each lens’s attributes work to produce high-quality imagery that is as sharp as it is well rendered and detailed. The focusing mechanism integrated into each lens works to quickly and accurately acquire and maintain sharp focus, and the ability to manually override this at any time will serve to enhance these lenses' creative appeal when shooting at their f/2.8 maximum apertures. Additionally, in the select lens-mount types, the VC image stabilization mechanism will greatly enhance their capabilities for working in dimly lit situations, which are quite common when photographing indoor weddings and events.

For more information, please contact a B&H sales professional in our New York SuperStore, over the phone at 1-800-606-6969 or online via Live Chat.

  SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di
SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD SP 90mm f/2.8 Di
VC USD 1:1 Macro
Lens Mounts Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony A Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony A Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony A
Focal Length 24-70mm 70-200mm 90mm
Maximum Aperture f/2.8 f/2.8 f/2.8
Minimum Aperture f/22 f/32 f/32
Angle of View 84°04’ -34°21’ 34°21′-12°21' 27°02′
Lens Construction 17 elements 12 groups 23 elements in 17 groups 14 elements in
11 groups
Number of Diaphragm Blades 9 9 9
Minimum Focus Distance 15" / 38 cm 4.3' / 1.3 m 11.8" / 30 cm
Maximum Magnification Ratio 1:5 1:8 1:1
Working Distance Not specified by manufacturer Not specified by manufacturer 5.5" / 13.9cm
Filter Diameter 82mm 77mm 58mm
Dimensions 3.5 x 4.6" / 88.2 x 116.9mm 3.4 x 7.7" / 85.8 x 196.7mm 3 x 4.8" / 76.4 x 122.9mm
Weight 1.8 lb / 825 g 3.2 lb / 1.47 kg 1.2 lb / 550 g