Nikon 70-300mm VR vs. the VC on the Tamron 70-300?

Started Mar 6, 2012 | Discussions
Montana Wild
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Nikon 70-300mm VR vs. the VC on the Tamron 70-300?
Mar 6, 2012

I read the reviews contrasting the two and it seemed to be about an even race between the two. I'm going to be filming hunting with it and I noticed some people said the Tamron's VC was noisy. Does anyone have an experience with this and could tell me how much noise it makes? Does the VR in the Nikon make any noise?

Montana Wild
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Re: Nikon 70-300mm VR vs. the VC on the Tamron 70-300?
In reply to Montana Wild, Mar 6, 2012

anyone?

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Bjorn_L
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Re: Nikon 70-300mm VR vs. the VC on the Tamron 70-300?
In reply to Montana Wild, Mar 7, 2012

I have shot Tamron's with VC. It seemed louder than the VR in my Nikon. For a telefoto filming, you will be happier with an oil damped tilt and pan triod than with VR or VC.
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Montana Wild
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Re: Nikon 70-300mm VR vs. the VC on the Tamron 70-300?
In reply to Bjorn_L, Mar 7, 2012

Ya I use a quality tripod. Just wondering if operating handheld what the level of noise would be. Audible beyond ten feet? 20,30,40??

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Brev00
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Re: Nikon 70-300mm VR vs. the VC on the Tamron 70-300?
In reply to Montana Wild, Mar 7, 2012

I never even noticed the sound until you asked this question. When I just tested it out, the lens made a noticeable sound engaging and disengaging that could easily be heard more than 10 feet away if one is listening for that sort of thing. The whirring sound during operation is also noticeable but in a quieter, smoother sort of way. I cannot test for distance, but would guess that it can be heard about 10 feet away if one is in a quiet environment. I cannot compare it to the Nikon vr nor do I have any experience with using it for video which is probably why I never paid it any attention in the past. Plus, the vc is so effective, it could sound like a garage band and I wouldn't care. Good luck with your decision!
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Reilly Diefenbach
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Re: Nikon 70-300mm VR vs. the VC on the Tamron 70-300?
In reply to Montana Wild, Mar 8, 2012
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Micky Campo
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Re: Nikon 70-300mm VR vs. the VC on the Tamron 70-300?
In reply to Reilly Diefenbach, Mar 8, 2012

Reilly Diefenbach wrote:

Does the VR in the Nikon make any noise?

No, and it's a bit sharper at 300:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=622&Camera=614&Sample=0&FLI=4&API=2&LensComp=757&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=4&APIComp=2

I don't think that that is the right version in that comparison. I am assuming that the OP is referring to the Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD lens, the upgrade from the lens that is in that comparison. That is a $199 lens, not the lens that has been consistantly been rated sharper than the Nikon in the 200-300mm range. As for noise, I cannot comment. I have the Tamron, got it last week, and I never noticed any noise until reading this post. I haven't tried to use it for video yet, so I do not know if noise is an isssue yet.

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Leonard Migliore
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Re: Nikon 70-300mm VR vs. the VC on the Tamron 70-300?
In reply to Montana Wild, Mar 8, 2012

Montana Wild wrote:

I read the reviews contrasting the two and it seemed to be about an even race between the two. I'm going to be filming hunting with it and I noticed some people said the Tamron's VC was noisy. Does anyone have an experience with this and could tell me how much noise it makes? Does the VR in the Nikon make any noise?

Got the Tamron right here. Set VC on, AF off. Makes a distinct click when I half-press the shutter button. Probably as loud as a Leica shutter. Then it whirrs softly; hard to hear a couple of feet away. Makes the same click when it shuts off too.

I wouldn't run it within 50 feet of a leopard.
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Steve Bingham
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Nikon 70-300
In reply to Montana Wild, Mar 8, 2012

The Nikon is simply sharper. From 70-200 it is supurb! From 200 to 300 it is simply good. In any case, it is the sharper lens. Surprised?
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Steve Bingham
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Samples at 200-300mm and ISO 400-640 with D7000
In reply to Steve Bingham, Mar 8, 2012
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Smiert Spionam
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Re: Nikon 70-300
In reply to Steve Bingham, Mar 8, 2012

That's not my experience. With a couple of samples of each, on multiple bodies, I found the Tamron to be sharper from 200-300mm. It's especially noticeable on a high-density crop body like a D7000, but still there on FX. Is it a big deal? No, not really -- both are excellent lenses. I find the Tamron to be a little sharper, though, and with more effective VR/VC.

If you're on a tripod, you shouldn't even have the VC enabled, so the sound shoot be fairly moot. It probably is a little noisier than the Nikon, though.

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hoof
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Re: Nikon 70-300mm VR vs. the VC on the Tamron 70-300?
In reply to Micky Campo, Mar 8, 2012

Those pictures are yet another reason I don't trust that site's comparisons. Both images have telltale signs of mirror slap blur. If a site can't prevent that, how trustworthy are their comparison pictures?

Micky Campo wrote:

Reilly Diefenbach wrote:

Does the VR in the Nikon make any noise?

No, and it's a bit sharper at 300:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=622&Camera=614&Sample=0&FLI=4&API=2&LensComp=757&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=4&APIComp=2

I don't think that that is the right version in that comparison. I am assuming that the OP is referring to the Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD lens, the upgrade from the lens that is in that comparison. That is a $199 lens, not the lens that has been consistantly been rated sharper than the Nikon in the 200-300mm range. As for noise, I cannot comment. I have the Tamron, got it last week, and I never noticed any noise until reading this post. I haven't tried to use it for video yet, so I do not know if noise is an isssue yet.

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hoof
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Re: Nikon 70-300
In reply to Smiert Spionam, Mar 8, 2012

Smiert Spionam wrote:

That's not my experience. With a couple of samples of each, on multiple bodies, I found the Tamron to be sharper from 200-300mm. It's especially noticeable on a high-density crop body like a D7000, but still there on FX. Is it a big deal? No, not really -- both are excellent lenses. I find the Tamron to be a little sharper, though, and with more effective VR/VC.

If you're on a tripod, you shouldn't even have the VC enabled, so the sound shoot be fairly moot. It probably is a little noisier than the Nikon, though.

Totally agree. I owned a Nikon 70-300 VR for almost a year, shooting thousands of pictures, including a trip to Tanzania and the Serengeti. When the Tamron came out, I got a copy, and compared them side-by-side. They were close, but the Tamron had better contrast at 300mm. Sharpness was a bit of a wash. I kept the Tamron.

That said, my copy of the Tamron overexposes a bit when stopped down. Hopefully that has been addressed by now.

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Reilly Diefenbach
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Re: Nikon 70-300mm VR vs. the VC on the Tamron 70-300?
In reply to Micky Campo, Mar 8, 2012

I'm not sure why you doubt that theTamron lens on the website is the one in question, but it is. There is no way it has been "consistently" rated sharper.

http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1339/cat/23

I would rather have a look at a couple of close crops from a D3x under identical conditions,which clearly show the Tamron a bit sharper at 70, the Nikon a bit sharper at 300, where one would mostly use it.

Neither one of them is a patch on the 300 f4 as the same comparison table shows without a doubt. They are best kept at 250 or below if possible.

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Lordsegan
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Re: Nikon 70-300mm VR vs. the VC on the Tamron 70-300?
In reply to Montana Wild, Mar 8, 2012

There is audible noise on the Tamron, but I don't find it distracting.

The VC on the Tamron is UNBELIEVABLY good. Seriously better than any other brand VC/VR/IS that I have ever used.

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hoof
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Re: Nikon 70-300mm VR vs. the VC on the Tamron 70-300?
In reply to Reilly Diefenbach, Mar 8, 2012

Reilly Diefenbach wrote:

I'm not sure why you doubt that theTamron lens on the website is the one in question, but it is. There is no way it has been "consistently" rated sharper.

http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1339/cat/23

I would rather have a look at a couple of close crops from a D3x under identical conditions,which clearly show the Tamron a bit sharper at 70, the Nikon a bit sharper at 300, where one would mostly use it.

Neither one of them is a patch on the 300 f4 as the same comparison table shows without a doubt. They are best kept at 250 or below if possible.

The problem with all comparison sites is that they usually test their lenses at a particular distance. Lens IQ varies with the focus distance. Sigma discovered how this can hurt them the hard way when they optimized their 150-500 OS for distance shooting at 500mm. They adjusted, and the 50-500 OS has really good IQ at test chart distances. Is it sharper than the 150-500 at 500mm and distance shooting? I doubt it. But the test chart numbers end up being better, so people think it's sharper overall.

Trouble is, even if lens A is "sharper" than lens "B", sharpness isn't necessarily the most important factor. The Tamron 70-300 VC at 300mm has more contrast (not sharpness) at 300mm. Even if the sharpness were inferior (and I doubt it is inferior), the better contrast vs the VR version makes for better looking pictures (IM).

That, IMO, is where the Tamron does better. The images it produces have more "punch" due to the contrast. The review sites often mention this, and I witnessed it personally when I compared the two. This was another factor in why I kept the Tamron.

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Brev00
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Re: Nikon 70-300mm VR vs. the VC on the Tamron 70-300?
In reply to hoof, Mar 8, 2012

I appreciate your point of view since I own and am happy with the Tamron version, too. But, the op asked specifically about the noise of the vc. He must have already compared the two lenses on his own. It is easy to go back and forth with the vr owners over which is better. But, that was not the op's question. Owners of the Nikon version love to land on vc threads to restate their case. Which is fine when that relates to the topic of the thread but the topic is very narrow here. If the vr is quieter, and that is the op's main concern, he should get it.
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hoof
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I find the VR version quieter
In reply to Brev00, Mar 9, 2012

Brev00 wrote:

I appreciate your point of view since I own and am happy with the Tamron version, too. But, the op asked specifically about the noise of the vc. He must have already compared the two lenses on his own. It is easy to go back and forth with the vr owners over which is better. But, that was not the op's question. Owners of the Nikon version love to land on vc threads to restate their case. Which is fine when that relates to the topic of the thread but the topic is very narrow here. If the vr is quieter, and that is the op's main concern, he should get it.
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You're right. To answer your question, I found the VR version quieter. It only clicked when activated (the VC version chirps), and the running rumble is barely audible (VC is noticably louder).

Thus, if the stabilization noise is a factor, then get the VC.

Another factor: When panning slowly, I believe the VR will be better, as a slow pan causes VC to make jumps. You're below the threshold where it starts panning, so it stops all motion, reaches the limit, recenters, and repeats. VR more-or-less just floats.

For those two reasons, for video I'd recommend the VR version.

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Micky Campo
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Re: Nikon 70-300mm VR vs. the VC on the Tamron 70-300?
In reply to Reilly Diefenbach, Mar 9, 2012

Reilly Diefenbach wrote:

I'm not sure why you doubt that theTamron lens on the website is the one in question, but it is. There is no way it has been "consistently" rated sharper.

http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1339/cat/23

Your right about the lens, I misread the model description of the Tamron lens, although it is missing some letters that identify it as the newest version. That being said, this comparison you posted compares the Nikon lens on a Nikon camera to a Tamron Lens on a Canon camera.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=622&Camera=614&Sample=0&FLI=4&API=2&LensComp=757&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=4&APIComp=2

Do you not see a problem with this? Pretty much an invalid comparison. I myself tried both lenses, on my D7000, and ended up with the Tamron primarily based on price as the deciding factors.

There is no loser in either of these lenses. When I said "consistently rated sharper" I should have said that it was based on reviews that I had read. I spent a couple of weeks researching the pros and cons of these two lenses, and there were 4 major points that I consistently came across.

Tamron VC faster than Nikon's VR
better from 200-300, only marginal at far end, but still apparent

Nikon Faster auto focus
Build quality

There are lots of other factors that don't mean as much to me (weight, noise, ...) so the ultimate decider for me was price.

For the OP, I must again that the Tamron does make some noise, so perhaps the Nikon would best for shooting video.

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