Nikon 70-200mm f/4 vs Tamron f/2.8 VC

Started Dec 4, 2012 | Discussions
Steve Koon
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Nikon 70-200mm f/4 vs Tamron f/2.8 VC
Dec 4, 2012

I plan to buy one of these two in Shanghai.  Nikon USD1,400 and Tamron 1,550, which is a better choice with D600.

I shoot mostly family, portrait and street as hobby, not professional work.

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Steve

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gl2k
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Re: Nikon 70-200mm f/4 vs Tamron f/2.8 VC
In reply to Steve Koon, Dec 4, 2012

Tamron lenses are prone to missadjusted aperture levers resulting in incorrectly exposed images.  IQ wise Tamron delivers mostly very good results. Often enough though Tamron lenses are sharper in the center than their counterparts but softer in the corners.

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brightcolours
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Ignore brand generalizations
In reply to Steve Koon, Dec 4, 2012

Steve Koon wrote:

I plan to buy one of these two in Shanghai. Nikon USD1,400 and Tamron 1,550, which is a better choice with D600.

I shoot mostly family, portrait and street as hobby, not professional work.

From the early samples and "test" reports, both are very fine lenses. The 70-200mm f2.8 VC USD can easily rival the Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VR II, and the Nikon 70-200mm f4 VR seems to be a lovely beast as well.

So, base your decision on their 2 main differences:

* maximum aperture

* size and weight.

While the Tamron gives you 1 stop bigger max. aperture, it weighs almost 2x as much. 1.5 kilos is quite a lot to lug along, and the 800something grams of the Nikon can be a real advantage.

Personally, I would prefer the lens with the least weight. because I do like to take it along a lot.

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slimandy
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Re: Nikon 70-200mm f/4 vs Tamron f/2.8 VC
In reply to Steve Koon, Dec 4, 2012

Based on reports both seem to have excellent IQ so it boils down to the extra stop verses the lighter weight. It depends how you intend to use the lens. I use the Nikon 70~200mm f2.8 and I like having f2.8 but I sometimes wish I had a lighter alternative. I'm going to stick with the f2.8 lens but if I was hiking regualrly I would get the lighter lens.

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Brev00
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Re: Nikon 70-200mm f/4 vs Tamron f/2.8 VC
In reply to Steve Koon, Dec 4, 2012

For portrait work, I would go for the Tammy and the faster aperture.  For street, I would definitely go with the Nikon and the lighter weight.  Going hybrid, I would think the Nikon could get you some nice portraits while I doubt you would often want to use the 2.8 zoom for street work.  Your style; you decide.  Don't forget, in terms of price comparison, the tripod ring is an added option on the Nikon and will add to your cost.

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glo
glo
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Re: Nikon 70-200mm f/4 vs Tamron f/2.8 VC
In reply to Steve Koon, Dec 4, 2012

Steve Koon wrote:

I plan to buy one of these two in Shanghai. Nikon USD1,400 and Tamron 1,550, which is a better choice with D600.

I shoot mostly family, portrait and street as hobby, not professional work.

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Steve



My preference is to go with 2.8, I like isolating from fore/backgrounds even when I'm not shooting portraits. Weight should be a non issue, getting the image you want should be worth carrying some extra weight. But the Tamron? ... spend a little more and get the Nikon vr2, it's awesome.

glo

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brightcolours
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Re: Nikon 70-200mm f/4 vs Tamron f/2.8 VC
In reply to glo, Dec 4, 2012

glo wrote:

Steve Koon wrote:

I plan to buy one of these two in Shanghai. Nikon USD1,400 and Tamron 1,550, which is a better choice with D600.

I shoot mostly family, portrait and street as hobby, not professional work.

-- hide signature --

Steve



My preference is to go with 2.8, I like isolating from fore/backgrounds even when I'm not shooting portraits. Weight should be a non issue, getting the image you want should be worth carrying some extra weight. But the Tamron? ... spend a little more and get the Nikon vr2, it's awesome.

glo

The Tamron, with less breathing than the 70-200mm f2.8 VR II, is "awesomer", especially for you who likes to isolate.

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DVSteve
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Re: Nikon 70-200mm f/4 vs Tamron f/2.8 VC
In reply to glo, Dec 4, 2012

glo wrote:

Steve Koon wrote:

I plan to buy one of these two in Shanghai. Nikon USD1,400 and Tamron 1,550, which is a better choice with D600.

I shoot mostly family, portrait and street as hobby, not professional work.

-- hide signature --

Steve



My preference is to go with 2.8, I like isolating from fore/backgrounds even when I'm not shooting portraits. Weight should be a non issue, getting the image you want should be worth carrying some extra weight. But the Tamron? ... spend a little more and get the Nikon vr2, it's awesome.

glo

It's a little more than a "little more."

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Astrophotographer 10
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Re: Nikon 70-200mm f/4 vs Tamron f/2.8 VC
In reply to DVSteve, Dec 5, 2012

Not really. Tamron is around $1500 and Nikon F2.8 70-200 are going for as low as $1998 on Ebay.

The Tamron needs to come down. I'd get one at $1000 but $1500 is too close to the Nikon which is my trusted brand.

Greg.

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dv312
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leaning towards the Nikon
In reply to Steve Koon, Dec 6, 2012

for it's much lighter

when you carry the lens around all day then the lighter weight makes a big difference

Bokeh on the F4 should be good enough for most cases (as seen in samples)

The lens is light enough the tripod mount is not needed

IQ wise they should be on par with each other

The extra stop can be easily compensated by the sweet ISO range on the D600

AF speed may favor the Nikon since it's proprietary and Nikon didn't provide specs to 3rd party

Cheers

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brightcolours
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Re: leaning towards the Nikon
In reply to dv312, Dec 6, 2012

dv312 wrote:

for it's much lighter

when you carry the lens around all day then the lighter weight makes a big difference

Bokeh on the F4 should be good enough for most cases (as seen in samples)

You probably mean blur, not bokeh. The amount of blur is good enough. Bokeh is the quality of the blur, not the amount.

The lens is light enough the tripod mount is not needed

That is debatable. The camera and lens mount will not break, sure. However, you will need to use a remote shutter and mirror lock up quite often, because the long lens will easily vibrate, even on quite sturdy tripods.

IQ wise they should be on par with each other

The extra stop can be easily compensated by the sweet ISO range on the D600

AF speed may favor the Nikon since it's proprietary and Nikon didn't provide specs to 3rd party

Cheers

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engbert
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Re: leaning towards the Nikon
In reply to dv312, Dec 6, 2012

A D800 weighs 900g, while the 70-200 f4 weighs 800g.

So it makes more sense to have the tripod mount on the camera which weighs more.

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Glen78
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Re: leaning towards the Nikon
In reply to engbert, Dec 6, 2012

engbert wrote:

A D800 weighs 900g, while the 70-200 f4 weighs 800g.

So it makes more sense to have the tripod mount on the camera which weighs more.

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Not sure I agree with you. With a tripod mounted D800 + 70-200 f/4 the center of gravity is going to be much closer to where the lens collar mounts than to the mount on to the camera body. Mounting with the tripod collar will also dampen lens vibration.

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redwill
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Re: Nikon 70-200mm f/4 vs Tamron f/2.8 VC
In reply to brightcolours, Dec 7, 2012

brightcolours wrote:

The Tamron, with less breathing than the 70-200mm f2.8 VR II, is "awesomer", especially for you who likes to isolate.

Closer in, the Tamron breaths less.  But at 30 feet or infinity, the Tamron is a 175mm lens while the Nikons are at about 195mm.

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/12/quick-resolution-tests-on-two-new-70-200s

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