Tamron 70-200 f2.8 vs Canon 70-200 f4 IS

Started Nov 23, 2009 | Discussions
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wssfcop New Member • Posts: 4
Tamron 70-200 f2.8 vs Canon 70-200 f4 IS

I am considering purchasing a lens for my Canon 30D. I have narrowed it to two, the Tamron 70-200 f2.8 or the Canon 70-200 f4 IS. I’m also going to purchase a 1.4 teleconverter to go with it. I am an amateur photographer, take pictures of nature, family, grand kids. I have heard some negative things with the Tamron but I also have seen some beautiful photos taken with it. I’ve heard nothing negative about the Canon although the f4 is a little slower. I know the Tamron can be a little slow on the focus, but does the 2.8 make up for it. I’m also considering a used 5D soon, if that makes a difference.

JackM
JackM Veteran Member • Posts: 7,317
Re: Tamron 70-200 f2.8 vs Canon 70-200 f4 IS

The Canon 70-200/4 IS is the sharpest zoom made for Canon. I have one and I will never part with it, even if I get the f/2.8 version someday.

However if you absolutely need to be able to use a teleconverter with it, you might be better off with the Tamron, because all TC's come with a penalty of at least one stop of light. So the f/4 would become f/5.6 with a 1.4x TC.

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ScottD1964 Senior Member • Posts: 1,314
Re: Tamron 70-200 f2.8 vs Canon 70-200 f4 IS

I have both the 70-200 f4IS and the 70-200 f2.8 L. While I really like the 2.8 version I find the f4 IS a much more versatile lens than the 2.8 non IS. It's lighter and razor sharp in every way. I find myself using it much more oftenthan the 2.8 on a walk around basis. So much so that even though Ive only had it two months I'm considering selling it in lieu of some fast primes (85 1.8, 135 f2 and 200 f2.8). The IS in the f4 makes it much more versatile in everyday use than the non IS 2.8 in my opinion.

Scott

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CNY_AP Senior Member • Posts: 1,305
Re: Tamron 70-200 f2.8 vs Canon 70-200 f4 IS

He's asking about Tamron, not Canon.

stlsportscom Regular Member • Posts: 201
Re: Tamron 70-200 f2.8 vs Canon 70-200 f4 IS
1

I own both of these lenses.

The Tamron 2.8 is a fine lens. It does focus slower than the Canon 4 IS.

Obviously, you get the extra stop with the Tamron.

And obviously, you get the IS with the Canon 4.

I am not a professional photographer (although I have sold some images!)...and I do not do absolutely-must-have-the-best-shot sports photography.

But I do shoot somelow-light indoor events...and the Tamron 2.8 works great...center focus point only...with only an occasional missed shot.

For 90% of the photography that a 70-200 is used for, I choose the Canon 4 IS over the Tamron 2.8...and I would choose it over the Canon 2.8 IS as well...and here is why: WEIGHT.

I find that the 2.8 70-200 is substantially heavier and bulkier than the 4...so much so that, in my hands, a monopod is a necessity for even moderate 2.8 usage.

On the other hand (literally!), the 4 IS is easy easy easy to handhold...making it, in practice, a much more versatile lens.

You really should try both sizes out.

So when I purchased these two lenses...I was able to purchase both of them, new, for the price of the Canon 2.8 70-100 IS alone.

And I've only regretted the decision for one set of shots...and I'm not sure it would have made any difference: low-light youth baseball game...one close play at first base...shot from the right field foul pole...mis-focus occurred while using the 2.8 Tamron. Probably my error.

Make sense?

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ScottD1964 Senior Member • Posts: 1,314
Re: Tamron 70-200 f2.8 vs Canon 70-200 f4 IS

No kidding genius. I was comparing f2.8 non IS functionality and usefullness (canon or tamron, does it really matter) versus the f4 IS.

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CNY_AP Senior Member • Posts: 1,305
Re: Tamron 70-200 f2.8 vs Canon 70-200 f4 IS

Actually, I literally am genius. I thought maybe that was your point, but it's a stretch. The Canon is not sharp at F2.8, everyone says the 70-200 F4 IS is better overall, nothing new there.

If the Tamron focuses fast and accurately, and is sharp, it would be a good choice, but that's 3 big if's.

ScottD1964 wrote:

No kidding genius. I was comparing f2.8 non IS functionality and usefullness (canon or tamron, does it really matter) versus the f4 IS.

rebel99 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,025
Canon 70-200 f4 IS is the king!

I don't have any Tamron lenses but if you are looking for just a f2.8 FL, which won't help you that much in low light, anyways, go ahead and get the Tamron: but if you are looking for a great IQ tele, which produces some great shots and it will never leave your 30D, I think the choice is clear and it'll be canon 70-200mm f4 L IS. This canon tele amazes me every time i use it! good luck with your decision.

cheerz

wssfcop wrote:

I am considering purchasing a lens for my Canon 30D. I have narrowed it to two, the Tamron 70-200 f2.8 or the Canon 70-200 f4 IS. I’m also going to purchase a 1.4 teleconverter to go with it. I am an amateur photographer, take pictures of nature, family, grand kids. I have heard some negative things with the Tamron but I also have seen some beautiful photos taken with it. I’ve heard nothing negative about the Canon although the f4 is a little slower. I know the Tamron can be a little slow on the focus, but does the 2.8 make up for it. I’m also considering a used 5D soon, if that makes a difference.

007peter
007peter Forum Pro • Posts: 10,308
Tamron 70-200 "amazing bokeh", but slow + troublesome AF

I can feel your delimma. The attraction of Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 is irresistible:

  • Amazing bokeh

  • Great price - lowest of all 70-200 f/2.8

  • Good color + saturation + better CA control than sigma 70-200 f/2.8 macro.

I have the luxury of testing Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 extensively. The bokeh is indeed wonderful, yes I like it better than my 70-200 F4 IS..... especially when I"m comparing 70mm f/2.8 vs 70mm f/4.0 .

However, Bokeh & price are the only 2 good thing I can say about this lens. The negatives are many:

  • The lens autofocus very VERY S L O W L Y!

  • Micro-motor is too weak to move the heavy glass element. If you zoom from 70mm to 200mm, the lens takes about a 1-2sec to readjust & find focus. It feel like an eternity

  • Lens often failed to find Autofocus.

  • Worst, is that once AF fail, tamron will grinds back N' forth for about 1 minutes than give up completely. Manual focusing is much faster, and more reliable

  • Lack of focus limiter makes the AF hunting problem worse

In conclusion, Tamron strikes again with a Stunning Optic only to be let down by another terrible + slow autofocus. Due to its AF slowness, action shoots with 70-200 f/2.8 is out of the question, as does the advantage of having f/2.8 in the 1st placed.

If you have the patient, tamron 70-200 f/2.8 is a great portrait lens. But the micro-motor on canon mount is badly strained. I like the lens enough that I may tried it again on the Sony Screw-Drive mount. From what I heard, tamron 70-200 f/2.8 on a Sony A700 focus rather fast. I don't know if the Nikon mount is a screw-drive or lens in motor, but I would stay away from tamron's micro-motor at all cost.

wssfcop wrote:

I am considering purchasing a lens for my Canon 30D. I have narrowed it to two, the Tamron 70-200 f2.8 or the Canon 70-200 f4 IS. I’m also going to purchase a 1.4 teleconverter to go with it. I am an amateur photographer, take pictures of nature, family, grand kids. I have heard some negative things with the Tamron but I also have seen some beautiful photos taken with it. I’ve heard nothing negative about the Canon although the f4 is a little slower. I know the Tamron can be a little slow on the focus, but does the 2.8 make up for it. I’m also considering a used 5D soon, if that makes a difference.

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anorris1 Junior Member • Posts: 43
Re: Tamron 70-200 f2.8 vs Canon 70-200 f4 IS

So the Canon 70mm-200 f4L IS is better than the Canon 2.8f? Tell me more. Are we just talking IQ or the whole package (speed, sound, etc)

wssfcop OP New Member • Posts: 4
Re: Tamron 70-200 f2.8 vs Canon 70-200 f4 IS

I want to thank you guys for all the good info. I will go with the Canon, I really am looking forward to using the L glass I've heard so much about.

William DIllard Senior Member • Posts: 2,481
Re: Tamron 70-200 "amazing bokeh", but slow + troublesome AF

I saw some great bokeh on your web page at photobucket, the girl on the city street and some man at night. Which lenses were used there and would you post the pictures?

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007peter
007peter Forum Pro • Posts: 10,308
Re: Tamron 70-200 "amazing bokeh", but slow + troublesome AF

William DIllard wrote:

I saw some great bokeh on your web page at photobucket, the girl on the city street and some man at night. Which lenses were used there and would you post the pictures?

The man is me: Girlfriend took it with 85mm f/1.8 @f/1.8

Her is my Girlfriend. I'm a lucky man, also with 85mm f/1.8

I really regret selling the 85mm f/1.8 for 100mm f/2. 85mm is magical for portrait. Now I used 50mm f/1.8 for street shots and 100mm f/2 for telephoto head shots.

Some other great bokeh lens are:

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 @f/2.8:

50mm f/1.8 @f/1.8

Canon 70-200 F4 IS for Street Shooting

But Yeah, 85mm f/1.8 rules them all

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William DIllard Senior Member • Posts: 2,481
Re: Tamron 70-200 "amazing bokeh", but slow + troublesome AF

Thanks for posting a pure delight!

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goldfries New Member • Posts: 5
Re: Tamron 70-200 "amazing bokeh", but slow + troublesome AF

I've personally tested the Tamron 70-200 f2.8 - even for that short moment, I do find the AFing reminds me of my Tamron 70-300.......... SLOW! it hunts and hunts.

It was far from being as silent or as responsive as Canon's USM or Sigma's HSM.

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stlsportscom Regular Member • Posts: 201
Re: Tamron 70-200 "amazing bokeh", but slow + troublesome AF

I stand by my earlier post in this thread--using center focus point...on a Canon 40D...the Tamron 70-200 2.8 is a fine lens...when the shooter is aware of its limitations.

The Tamron is about a thousand less than the Canon 2.8 IS version, I used that dough and purchased the Canon 70-200 4 IS...and am happy with the compromise.

To the previous poster--what were you trying to shoot that causes its AF to hunt and hunt and hunt? When I use the 2.8 I try to be sure, in the way that I use it...to not let what you describe happens. So, what exactly were you trying to shoot? And for what it is worth...in low light you can make the 2.8 Canons hunt, too. Not as much...but some.

There is NO question that you get what you pay for...but for my use...the Tamron 2.8 does what I need it to do...and I use the 4.0 IS from Canon the rest of the time.

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Lynn55 Regular Member • Posts: 320
I agree completely

When I was shopping for a 70-200 lens, I tried the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 at a local shop. I put it on my 20D and tried focusing on objects a various distances and handed the lens back after about 30 seconds. It was very slow, noisy, and hunted a lot.

I ended up with the Canon 70-200mm f/4 IS and am completely happy with my choice.

The Canon 70-200mm f/4 IS is just as sharp at f/4 as it is stopped down and the better IS makes the lens more useful for indoor events than the f/2.8 which needs to be stopped down to get best sharpness and the reduced DOF is not an advantage for this type of shooting. I hope Canon will come out with a new 70-200mm f/2.8 with updated IS and better optics.

I love the optics in the Tamrons but if they would add USM, it would really make my day.

PS:

The Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 that I have focuses fast and accurate but makes some noise.
--
Lynn David Cole
---------------------------
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keano12
keano12 Regular Member • Posts: 359
Re: Tamron 70-200 "amazing bokeh", but slow + troublesome AF

Hi is the Tamron booked on par with the Nikon? Regarding the AF slowness. Is their a newer version of the Tamron that performs better focusing?

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