Head to head

Which is best, a 70-200mm with a 2x tele­con­verter, or a 100-400mm zoom?

NPhoto - - CONTENTS -

Can’t get close enough to the game? We see whether you’re bet­ter off with a tele­zoom plus tele­con­verter or su­per-tele­photo

Tam­ron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 + Tam­ron TC-X20 2.0x Tele­con­verter

El­e­ments/groups: 23/17 + 9/5 op­ti­cal sta­bi­lizer: Triple-mode min fo­cus dis­tance: 0.95m max mag­ni­fi­ca­tion: 0.16x fil­ter size: 77mm in­cluded ac­ces­sories: Hood, tri­pod ring di­men­sions (dia x length): 88x194mm + 64x65mm Weight: 1485g + 306g price: £1299/$1299 + £500/$439 The Tam­ron 70-200mm got a rave re­view a cou­ple of is­sues ago, we praised its zippy aut­o­fo­cus, 5-stop triple-mode op­ti­cal sta­bi­lizer and pro-grade build. Un­like the pre­vi­ous edi­tion, the G2 is com­pat­i­ble with Tam­ron’s new 1.4x and 2.0x tele­con­vert­ers.

With its rel­a­tively fast aper­ture rat­ing, this lens weighs in at 1485g and mea­sures 88x194mm. Add the tele­con­verter and the over­all pack­age in­creases to 1791g and 88x259mm. How­ever, the phys­i­cal length re­mains fixed through­out the en­tire zoom range.

The per­for­mance of the lens on its own is spec­tac­u­lar but there’s al­ways some degra­da­tion when us­ing a tele­con­verter. Here, great sta­bi­liza­tion is re­tained and aut­o­fo­cus re­mains fast and mostly ac­cu­rate, but track­ing mov­ing ob­jects is a bit more prone to er­ror.

Again, you can ex­pect some degra­da­tion of image qual­ity when adding a tele­con­verter to a lens, but the image qual­ity of this par­tic­u­lar com­bi­na­tion is im­pres­sive. Con­trast re­mains ex­cel­lent although sharp­ness isn’t as good, through the en­tire zoom range.

At £1299/$1299, Tam­ron’s 70-200mm G2 lens is ex­cel­lent value for an f/2.8 tele­photo zoom, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing its build qual­ity and per­for­mance. The TC-X20 2.0x Tele­con­verter is sim­i­larly well made but its price is some­what less ap­peal­ing at £500/$439.

Tam­ron 100-400mm f/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD

El­e­ments/groups: 17/11 op­ti­cal sta­bi­lizer: Yes min fo­cus dis­tance: 1.5m max mag­ni­fi­ca­tion: 0.28x fil­ter size: 67mm in­cluded ac­ces­sories: Hood di­men­sions (dia x length): 86x199mm Weight: 1115g price: £789/$799 Not as ro­bust as the 70-200mm, this 100-400mm zoom has a weather-re­sis­tant de­sign and sim­i­lar flu­o­rine and EBAND coat­ings, along with rapid aut­o­fo­cus and a 4-stop dual-mode sta­bi­lizer. A tri­pod mount ring is avail­able sep­a­rately for £109/$129.

At just over a kilo­gram, this lens is less than two-thirds the weight of the 70-200mm plus tele­con­verter, so it’s more con­ve­nient for car­ry­ing and hand­held shoot­ing. It’s also phys­i­cally shorter at 199mm, but in­creases to 277mm at the long­est zoom set­ting.

Track­ing er­rat­i­cally mov­ing ob­jects is trick­ier with­out the 70-200mm lens’s third sta­bi­liza­tion mode, which only ap­plies cor­rec­tion dur­ing ex­po­sures and doesn’t af­fect the viewfinder image, but aut­o­fo­cus ac­cu­racy is more con­sis­tent when track­ing.

Not as sharp as the 70-200mm but, apart from soft image cor­ners at 100mm, it’s a lit­tle sharper than the other lens with a 2x tele­con­verter. The tight­est avail­able depth of field is pretty much the same as when us­ing the 70-200mm with the tele­con­verter.

Com­pared with the com­bined price of £1799/£1738 for the 70-200mm lens plus the tele­con­verter, this lens is about £1000/$1000 less to buy. It’s not as strongly built and the op­tional tri­pod mount­ing ring is sold sep­a­rately, but it’s still a bar­gain.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.