Tamron SP 70-300MM F/4-5.6 Di VC vs. Nikon 70-300mm

Started Aug 28, 2012 | Discussions
Dennis2958
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Tamron SP 70-300MM F/4-5.6 Di VC vs. Nikon 70-300mm
Aug 28, 2012

I was about to order a 70-300mm VR Nikon version of this lens then did a little reading on the Tamron version of this lens.

Has anyone used both and can offer some insight it would be appreciated. In fact ANY information on either lens would be appreciated. It's not a lens that will get a huge amount of use as I have the Nikon 70-200mm VR1.

I would use the lens on the D300/D400 or D600/800 in dx mode. B&H has the Tamron listed for $349 after rebate on their website. I think Nikon is in the $580 range.

Thoughts?

 Dennis2958's gear list:Dennis2958's gear list
Fujifilm X-Pro1 Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS +5 more
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dwa1
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Re: Tamron SP 70-300MM F/4-5.6 Di VC vs. Nikon 70-300mm
In reply to Dennis2958, Aug 28, 2012

Dennis,

There's some info about the Nikon vs Tamron in this recent thread.
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1030&thread=42303501

I have the Nikon 70-300 VR (it's VR-II). After getting the Sigma 150 2.8 Macro, I find myself using my 70-300 VR much less than I did prior to getting the Sigma 150. With that said, I do want to get the 70-200 2.8 VR-II or the Sigma equivalent.

After using the Nikon 70-200 2.8 VR, you may not be satisfied with the IQ of the 70-300 VR or Tamron equivalent. Have you considered the 1.7 TC for use with the 70-200 VR-I?

Also, for versatility, many on this forum are happy with the new 18-300 DX VR.

I'm sure that you'll get some other helpful replies. Good luck with your decision.

Wayne

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Dennis2958
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Re: Tamron SP 70-300MM F/4-5.6 Di VC vs. Nikon 70-300mm
In reply to dwa1, Aug 28, 2012

Have you considered the 1.7 TC for use with the 70-200 VR-I?

Wayne

Over the years I have owned almost all of the extenders and was never satisified going this route. Eventually I sold them off never to consider them again.

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dwa1
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Re: Tamron SP 70-300MM F/4-5.6 Di VC vs. Nikon 70-300mm
In reply to Dennis2958, Aug 28, 2012

Dennis2958 wrote:

Have you considered the 1.7 TC for use with the 70-200 VR-I?

Wayne

Over the years I have owned almost all of the extenders and was never satisified going this route. Eventually I sold them off never to consider them again.

Check out "Steve's" recent shots with the TC2.0-III and 70-200 VR. I was very surprised at the results.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1039&thread=42303605

Wayne

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Brev00
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Re: Tamron SP 70-300MM F/4-5.6 Di VC vs. Nikon 70-300mm
In reply to Dennis2958, Aug 29, 2012

I think you might be surprised at how often you might use a 70-300 lens. I find my Tamron 70-300 on my D90 much of the time. It is not too large to use as a walkabout lens and it does have the added reach for wildlife. Of course, I do not have a 70-200 to fight for space on my camera. Even so, I have noticed at times I was able to get a shot that others with the heftier lens were not. Either they were locked on a monopod or just did not have the reach to see the same shot. I think you will enjoy either one that you decide upon. You can check my gallery or my flickr stream linked below for examples of shots with the Tamron vc. Here is one:

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Nikon D90 Nikon D7100 Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Tokina AT-X Pro 12-24mm f/4 DX II Tamron AF 28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) Macro +3 more
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AlexTim5
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Re: Tamron SP 70-300MM F/4-5.6 Di VC vs. Nikon 70-300mm
In reply to Dennis2958, Aug 29, 2012

I've been in your situation about 1,5 years ago. I've chosen Tamron SP 70-300MM F/4-5.6 Di VC because of obviously better IQ at long end (230-300mm) - better contrast and resolution and better built. From that moment I've took about 20k fotos with it and can highly recommend it. It's VERY good lens for the money (yes, it's not f/2.8). BUT you should know two pieces of information about it to be aware of (from my experience):

1. Tamron SP 70-300MM F/4-5.6 Di VC underexposes for about 1 stop when shooting wide open aperture (I use Nikon D700), so you 'd use + exp. compensation. - I've send it to service but they said - it's the part of design. When you you close aperture for 1 or more stop it exposures ok! Also I've tried 5 another copies of that lens and all had the same behavior. So check it when you buy lens.

2. Sadly - but about 1 week ago VC on my lens had broken without any reason. When VC is ON image stabilization lens group unexpectedly starts to jump without actually moving the lens. I'll send it to service. But it can tell about prospective problems with Tamron's built quality. Till that moment I planed to buy in near future Tamron 24-70 VC, but now Ill think twice! Firstly I'll wait till my lens come back from service.

Apart from problems, described above, Tamron SP 70-300MM F/4-5.6 Di VC is very good lens and I still recommend it over Nikon 70-300 VR.

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The Big One
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Re: Tamron SP 70-300MM F/4-5.6 Di VC vs. Nikon 70-300mm
In reply to Dennis2958, Aug 29, 2012

My dad has the Tamron 70-300 VC. It is a very good lens as far as sharpness goes. It has less light transmission than some other lenses (i.e. I tested these two lenses, and at f/5.6 you need a higher ISO with the Tamron than you would with a Sigma 100-300/4 at f/5.6, probably partially due to its 62mm front element), although I cannot say how it compares to the Nikon.

I am currently in the market for one of these as well, and am having a problem figuring out which. The 67mm filters on the Nikon is a nice thing (a fair number of my other lenses share this size), and apparently the AF is a bit faster as well. The VR on the Tamron is reportedly better, although it does not have a panning mode and it tends to jump around in the viewfinder a bit more. I am currently leaning towards the Nikon, assuming I can find one which has similar sharpness at 300mm as my dad's Tamron. The reasons for this include filter thread size, AF speed, VR, and resale value. I may buy used, too, and there are many more Nikon versions of this lens out there than Tamron, at least in my area.

Cheers
--
--Wyatt
http://photos.digitalcave.ca
All images (c) unless otherwise specified, please ask me before editing.

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Dennis2958
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Re: Tamron SP 70-300MM F/4-5.6 Di VC vs. Nikon 70-300mm
In reply to AlexTim5, Aug 29, 2012

Both problems would tend to shove me towards Nikon. I wonder if others have the same #1 problem as you have experienced?

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AlexTim5
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Re: Tamron SP 70-300MM F/4-5.6 Di VC vs. Nikon 70-300mm
In reply to Dennis2958, Aug 29, 2012

Dennis2958 wrote:

Both problems would tend to shove me towards Nikon. I wonder if others have the same #1 problem as you have experienced?

Yes, right! I wonder too. Has anyone here had such problems and may be found some solution? As I live in Russia I don't think we have the most qualified Tamron service in the world. It's interesting to know others experience.

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Brev00
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Re: Tamron SP 70-300MM F/4-5.6 Di VC vs. Nikon 70-300mm
In reply to Dennis2958, Aug 29, 2012

I evaluated my lens for such an exposure problem. I found no ev issues. I believe it is a qc issue rather than a design flaw. Whatever lens I buy, I test it out immediately so I can return it or exchange for another copy if needed. I have only returned one lens, a Sigma 10-20. But, I would not draw any conclusions about the lens based on my one copy.
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AlexTim5
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Re: Tamron SP 70-300MM F/4-5.6 Di VC vs. Nikon 70-300mm
In reply to Brev00, Aug 29, 2012

Brev00 wrote:

I evaluated my lens for such an exposure problem. I found no ev issues. I believe it is a qc issue rather than a design flaw. Whatever lens I buy, I test it out immediately so I can return it or exchange for another copy if needed. I have only returned one lens, a Sigma 10-20. But, I would not draw any conclusions about the lens based on my one copy.
-
http://www.flickr.com/photos/brev00

Could you tell on what body (bodies) do you use your Tamron 70-300 VC?

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Brev00
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Re: Tamron SP 70-300MM F/4-5.6 Di VC vs. Nikon 70-300mm
In reply to AlexTim5, Aug 29, 2012

AlexTim5 wrote:

Could you tell on what body (bodies) do you use your Tamron 70-300 VC?

Nikon D90
--
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 Brev00's gear list:Brev00's gear list
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2005magnum
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Re: Tamron SP 70-300MM F/4-5.6 Di VC vs. Nikon 70-300mm
In reply to Brev00, Aug 30, 2012

I have owned both. Both are excellent for the money. Tamron has slightly better internal stabilization. Frankly, I would go with either one.
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Leonard Migliore
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Re: Tamron SP 70-300MM F/4-5.6 Di VC vs. Nikon 70-300mm
In reply to Dennis2958, Aug 30, 2012

Dennis2958 wrote:

Both problems would tend to shove me towards Nikon. I wonder if others have the same #1 problem as you have experienced?

My Tamron shares the exposure problem. It's especially annoying because you can't just set compensation, you have to change it with aperture. Saying it's part of the design is completely unacceptable.

I find the lens to have poor contrast, needing a special preset in Lightroom to get decent-looking images. And, of course, it's f/5.6 at 300mm, meaning you have to shoot at f/8 if you don't want mush. Good thing the VR is OK.

But, of course, I don't have the Nikon, which could be worse.
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Brev00
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Re: Tamron SP 70-300MM F/4-5.6 Di VC vs. Nikon 70-300mm
In reply to Leonard Migliore, Aug 30, 2012

Either you need to send that copy in for repair or our perceptions of lens quality are just that far apart. I would send it in if you haven't already tried a repair. Tamron does well by their warranty in my experience. You really should be able to enjoy 300mm wide open without any circuitous pp heroics or finicky ev adjustments.
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Leonard Migliore
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It's already been there
In reply to Brev00, Aug 30, 2012

Brev00 wrote:

Either you need to send that copy in for repair or our perceptions of lens quality are just that far apart. I would send it in if you haven't already tried a repair. Tamron does well by their warranty in my experience. You really should be able to enjoy 300mm wide open without any circuitous pp heroics or finicky ev adjustments.

Actually, it's been there already. The lens was much worse when I got it. I sent it in to Tamron, who replaced the whole rear imaging assembly. I have to assume that, after repair, the lens performs normally. Which is not good.

I don't think I'm overly picky about image quality. I have a lot of Nikkors and, in my estimation, they vary from good to great. I just never worry if the lens is going to be sharp. The Tamron's my only dog.

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Leonard Migliore

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Brev00
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Re: It's already been there
In reply to Leonard Migliore, Aug 30, 2012

If you are not that picky, then there is something still wrong. But, I can definitely see just kind of accepting the hand one is dealt after a good faith attempt at repair. Still and all, I would try again. You can check out my images using this lens in my gallery here or on flickr. If your lens can achieve that, there is probably nothing more Tamron can do. I think mine operates normally. If your lens cannot manage the same iq as mine, give a detailed report of its failings and send it back. When I have such a good experience with a lens, it makes me mad to see bad copies lessening the experience of others. One shouldn't have to be lucky to take good pictures.
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Nikon D90 Nikon D7100 Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Tokina AT-X Pro 12-24mm f/4 DX II Tamron AF 28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) Macro +3 more
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Tyr-Sog
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Re: Tamron SP 70-300MM F/4-5.6 Di VC vs. Nikon 70-300mm
In reply to Dennis2958, Aug 30, 2012

Both are great but for $350 the tamron cannot be beat.

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Tianium
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Re: AF
In reply to Tyr-Sog, Sep 1, 2012

I have the Nikon. I tried the tamron out in store, pointing it down the road, tracking cars moving down the street and alternately focussing on near and far objects. The Nikon seemed faster and the Tamon hunted more (like the Nikon 55-300mm does) shifting focus from near to far. Saved some money and bought a second hand Nikon.

Cheers
Darin

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mfahim27753
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Re: Tamron SP 70-300MM F/4-5.6 Di VC vs. Nikon 70-300mm
In reply to Brev00, Sep 1, 2012

I have used Tamron 70-300 VC on a D90 for about a month while on holiday, and I am surprised with the results. It is a great leans. I haven't tried Nikon 70-300, so can't comment on that.

Brev00 wrote:

AlexTim5 wrote:

Could you tell on what body (bodies) do you use your Tamron 70-300 VC?

Nikon D90
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