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Considering new 24-70 -- Nikon or Tamron?

Started Dec 21, 2013 | Questions thread
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Considering new 24-70 -- Nikon or Tamron?
Dec 21, 2013

I've shot a couple of events recently with my Sigma 24-70 on a D700 (and a longer zoom on the D3s). While I think Sigma is a very good lens, it seems a bit lacking in the microcontrast/"punch" factor (yes I can add it in post, but still...). So, I'm considering an update. I've been looking at the 24-70/2.8 Nikkor for a while, but it seems a bit overpriced, especially given it's been around for a good long time. It is also a large lens, and while this is not an issue for some event shooting IMO, I think it won't be my first choice for casually sticking it in my bag for other, less critical occasions. I do like the build of Nikkor though. On the other hand, I've heard that some 24-70 Nikkors suffer from a stiff zoom and there is significant sample variation.

Now we have this new 24-70 Tamron which got many rave reviews. I have a limited and mixed experience with the Tamron. While I think their 90mm Macro is fantastic, I also once tried their 17-50/2.8, and several samples had various issues (poor contact with the camera body, obvious centering defects), so I ended up not keeping it and got the 17-55/2.8 instead. I also have mixed feelings about Tamron's "plasticky" build. I honestly don't care about VR in the 24-70 range, as I think I'll need a higher shutter speed to freeze people movement, even if they just casually lift their arm or something. In my mind, the main thing that's going for Tamron is a very large price differential, and, second, smaller size/weight than Nikkor.

So, Nikkor or Tamron, or should I just keep my money and stick with what I've got. Opinions, suggestions, experiences? Thanks for your input!

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Nikon D3S Nikon D700
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