Tam­ron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD £1,100/$1,100

Up­mar­ket build at an af­ford­able price

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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.

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