Per­for­mance

NPhoto - - Test Team -

The Tam­ron does re­mark­ably well to main­tain sharp­ness at its widest aper­ture of f/2.8, through­out the zoom range, al­most match­ing the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 in this re­spect. Com­pared with the Sigma 70-200mm, it’s also slightly sharper at 200mm, and con­trast is very im­pres­sive. Aut­o­fo­cus is very fast and the op­ti­cal sta­biliser also works ex­tremely well. Over­all, this is a re­ally ex­cel­lent lens. We so of­ten see the ED tag ap­plied to Nikon lenses that it’s be­come all but ubiq­ui­tous. How­ever, in­stead of one or maybe two Ex­tra-low Dis­per­sion el­e­ments, this lens has no fewer than seven. Build qual­ity is also a step up from com­pet­ing 70-200mm lenses, fea­tur­ing a tough mag­ne­sium al­loy rather than plas­tic bar­rel, com­plete with weather seals.

As in the Nikon 70-200mm f/4, the VR sys­tem in­cludes both nor­mal and ac­tive modes, the for­mer of which has au­to­matic pan­ning de­tec­tion. As well as the usual A/M mode (aut­o­fo­cus with man­ual over­ride), there’s an M/A mode that gives greater pri­or­ity to man­ual fo­cus­ing. There’s also a fo­cus lim­iter, which locks aut­o­fo­cus travel be­tween five me­tres and in­fin­ity.

De­spite its mag­ne­sium al­loy build, this Nikon is the heav­i­est 70-200mm f/2.8 lens in the group at 1.54kg. Even so, it’s rea­son­ably com­fort­able for pro­longed hand­held shoot­ing, and the con­struc­tion re­ally does feel the most ro­bust.

Per­for­mance

There’s an ex­cel­lent con­sis­tency in sharp­ness and con­trast, not only through­out the zoom range but also at dif­fer­ing aper­tures. The rounded di­aphragm, with nine blades, helps to main­tain a pleas­ant bokeh when stop­ping down a lit­tle from f/2.8.

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