Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD £930, $1500
A HIGH-QUALITY FAST TELEPHOTO ZOOM FOR LESS
Tamron’s constant-aperture 70-200mm f/2.8 is a direct competitor to the equivalent Nikon lens but, in the UK at least, costs about half the price. Build quality isn’t of the same top-flight standard as the Nikon lens but the Tamron is robust, and has weather seals. Telephoto reach isn’t as long as with some lenses on test, but you can use teleconverters (Tamron’s UK distributor recommends the Kenko brand).
The ring-type ultrasonic autofocus system has full-time manual override, but lacks the Sigma lenses’ ‘manual override’ trick mode. The optical stabiliser has no switchable panning mode, although Tamron claims that its proprietary VC (Vibration Compensation) system doesn’t need it anyway.
Autofocus speed is more impressive than in the Tamron 150-600mm, and the wider aperture rating enables better autofocus performance in dull lighting conditions. In our tests, stabilisation during panning proved less effective than in the Nikon and Sigma lenses.