Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD £1,100/$1,100
Upmarket build at an affordable price
A little more or less expensive than the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8, depending which side of the Atlantic you’re on, this lens represents a major revamp of Tamron’s older ‘Macro’ zoom. The macro badge is ditched, as it doesn’t focus as close, and has a more mainstream maximum magnification ratio, but key improvements include VC (Vibration Compensation) stabilization and ring-type USD (Ultrasonic Drive) autofocus. Build quality feels as good as in Tamron’s older non-stabilized lens, but the newer edition adds weather seals that are lacking in the lenses reviewed so far. The optical path includes one XLD and one LD element.
Tamron’s proprietary optical stabilization system is worth about four stops in static shooting, but it’s less impressive than competing systems when panning. Image quality is very pleasing, and autofocus is rapid and whisper-quiet. However, our sample lost out to Tamron’s older lens for wide-open sharpness at mid-range zoom settings.