70-200 VRII vs. Tamron 70-300 VC

Started Jan 14, 2013 | Discussions
Shotcents
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70-200 VRII vs. Tamron 70-300 VC
Jan 14, 2013

Recently I suggested that some folks, perhaps even a majority, might enjoy the Tamron 70-300 VC more than Nikon's very good 70-200 F4 which was recently released. As most of us know the F4 lens is very nice and sharp, quite close to the Nikon 70-200 VRII at F4, which is certainly pro level.

With that in mind I'd like to pit the Tamron (which costs 450.00 new vs. 2300.00 that I paid for the Nikon) against the beautiful VRII optic.

Here is our patriotic subject!



I've taken a lot of shots, but lets go with 200mm to get started, since folks are generally curious about the longer end of these zooms...



You're welcome to your own conclusions, but here are mine: The VRII has a BIT more inherent contrast and a tiny edge in sharpness. Even at about F5 the VRII still retains a more buttery bokeh. But...the Tamron is not slumming. It's quite sharp and the bokeh is very good. One side-note: The Tamron, which goes to 300mm, is fully capable of a true 200mm at closes distances. Due to focus breathing the VRII and F4 VRII are not.

Now let's try a snap at 300mm. Why? Because some websites (and people who are certain those sites know what they're doing) have said the Tamron is not sharp at 300mm or less so than the Nikon or whatever!

All of these shots are handheld with the D800. With VC and VR on and no tripod I'm sure you realize we could have even sharper results, but you probably also know that these are fairly nice results.

From a previous thread here is (I know, not the eye again!) another example of the Tamron's sharpness...



Right off the bat I was happy to see my expensive VRII outpace the Tamron just as it did the new F4.

Naturally there's a LOT more to a lens than sharpness in the center area of the frame. And with that in mind please stand-by for more tests and samples!

Cheers!

Robert

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fft81
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Re: 70-200 VRII vs. Tamron 70-300 VC
In reply to Shotcents, Jan 14, 2013

If you insist on the eye thing... D800, 70-200 f/2.8 VR2 at f/5.6

No down or up sampling, crop with color correction, no sharpening. Camera JPG.

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Shotcents
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Re: 70-200 VRII vs. Tamron 70-300 VC
In reply to fft81, Jan 14, 2013

fft81 wrote:

If you insist on the eye thing... D800, 70-200 f/2.8 VR2 at f/5.6

No down or up sampling, crop with color correction, no sharpening. Camera JPG.

The eyes have it!

Yes, the 70-200 VRII is incredibly sharp and a lens that allows wonderful and exact control over DOF.



Robert

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Josh152
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Give it up man.
In reply to Shotcents, Jan 16, 2013

In case you haven't noticed a great many posters on this board have their ego intimately tied to the price of the gear they use. You will never convince them that a lens as cheap as the Tamron is anything other than garbage when compared to their more expensive lenses. This thread will just devovle into what the other one did, a "yes it is", "no it isn't" back and forth that is utterly pointless in the end.

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Stacey_K
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Re: Give it up man.
In reply to Josh152, Jan 16, 2013

Josh152 wrote:

In case you haven't noticed a great many posters on this board have their ego intimately tied to the price of the gear they use.

But there are likely even more lurkers reading this that don't have an inflated ego that is tied to the purchase choices who will find this information enlightening. If you just read the fan boys, pony up for the trinity or don't bother. It's nice to see someone with an open mind showing the strengths and weaknesses of different options.

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Shotcents
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Re: Give it up man.
In reply to Stacey_K, Jan 16, 2013

Stacey_K wrote:

Josh152 wrote:

In case you haven't noticed a great many posters on this board have their ego intimately tied to the price of the gear they use.

But there are likely even more lurkers reading this that don't have an inflated ego that is tied to the purchase choices who will find this information enlightening. If you just read the fan boys, pony up for the trinity or don't bother. It's nice to see someone with an open mind showing the strengths and weaknesses of different options.

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Stacey

It's fun to buy and use expensive stuff like the 70-200 VRII, especially if you can actually get something out of it. I have photos of my son taken with that lens that always bring a smile to my face....and they're not always shot at 2.8 either!



But I've watched the evolution of cameras and lenses crawl along for many years. Many of todays good consumer lenses are better than pro lenses made just 10 years ago. And wonderful photos were made with those old lenses.

So "snobs" who sneer when I mention a Tamron 70-300 VC in the same breath with the new 70-200 F4 or VRII are little more than dull amusement to me. They KNOW that there is considerable overlap in the performance parameters, but they prefer to think that they've bought into a rarified club of some sort. Most pros don't behave that way. I don't and neither do the pros I know. They carry Tamron's, super zooms and all manner of lenses, consumer and pro. They're just lenses and they represent the SMALLEST factor in the quality of a photo anyone takes. That's repeated a lot around here, but we can see that most people don't believe it one bit.

Let me look at it another way and be a REAL snob!

1) My 70-200 VR1 let me down with it's slightly soft corners.

2) My 70-200 VRII let me down with its terrible focus breathing.

3) The 70-200 F4 VRIII I tried let me down by being a bit softer than the VRII at 200mm while costing a mint!

4) The Tamron 70-300 VC exceeded my expectations for sharpness. It also bested ALL of the above lenses for image stabilization and did so at 300mm! All of it's other weaknesses were expected and part of the design-set for a lens of this type.

Hmmmm. So if I want to REALLY be a snob I'd say the Tamron (and the Nikon 70-300vr) is the bigger over-achiever by a county mile.

Luckily I'm no snob! Well...maybe a little.

Robert



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Steve Bingham
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Re: Give it up man.
In reply to Shotcents, Jan 16, 2013

I am willing to bet you $500 that my Nikon 70-200 f4 VR III can out resolve your Tamron 70-300 at ANY focal length. Let a 3rd party judge and hold the money. Perhaps this will shut you up! I am getting so tired of your uneducated trolling!

Or . . . pick a 3rd party well known tester of lens. Or use the dpreview lens tests. Or something. But, please, get off this Tamron 70-300 kick. IT IS NOT THAT GOOD. Good yes, just not that good.

My credentials and work are for all to see. And your credentials? Or are you one of those self proclaimed experts? Going to your galleries and your info, I can't see a single photograph or bit of information that would lead me to believe that you have any real expertise - and yet you have posted more comments than any single poster on this forum! You are ruining it!!!

And yes, I am not a Tamron hater. My site, with the Lens Testing page, will show this.

But you, sir, need to cool it or be gone! Either that, or I am gone.

Unfortunately, the moderator who has not posted in 3 months, appears to be gone or you might have been asked to leave long ago.

My apologies for being so hateful and uncivil, but you have simply driven me over the line with your

persistent lack of true knowledge.



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Shotcents
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Move on.
In reply to Steve Bingham, Jan 16, 2013

Steve Bingham wrote:

I am willing to bet you $500 that my Nikon 70-200 f4 VR III can out resolve your Tamron 70-300 at ANY focal length. Let a 3rd party judge and hold the money. Perhaps this will shut you up! I am getting so tired of your uneducated trolling!

Or . . . pick a 3rd party well known tester of lens. Or use the dpreview lens tests. Or something. But, please, get off this Tamron 70-300 kick. IT IS NOT THAT GOOD. Good yes, just not that good.

My credentials and work are for all to see. And your credentials? Or are you one of those self proclaimed experts? Going to your galleries and your info, I can't see a single photograph or bit of information that would lead me to believe that you have any real expertise - and yet you have posted more comments than any single poster on this forum! You are ruining it!!!

And yes, I am not a Tamron hater. My site, with the Lens Testing page, will show this.

But you, sir, need to cool it or be gone! Either that, or I am gone.

Unfortunately, the moderator who has not posted in 3 months, appears to be gone or you might have been asked to leave long ago.

My apologies for being so hateful and uncivil, but you have simply driven me over the line with your

persistent lack of true knowledge.

Steve, with all due respect, please explain what you're so hot and bothered about. Or rather please explain why any of the following points are NOT true:

1) The 70-200 F4 and Tamron are both very sharp in the center at their focal length extremes.

2) Both lenses are capable of good bokeh, with the Tamron able to create a more blurred background at 300mm and 5.6, but the Nikon having the advantage at 200mm.

3) Both lenses have a very good VR/VC system.

4) The Tamron is MUCH less expensive.

5) Many people can do as much or more with the Tamron lens since it is quite good, inexpensive and has 100mm more reach.

So what exactly is the problem. I KNOW some people would be happy with the Tamron on it's own. I'm not, which is why I own the VRII. I don't like the F4 version. How does this effect you in ANY way?

Are you here to tell us all that no one would be happy with the Tamron or any other lens below the F4? How about if I tell you that you shouldn't be happy with anything less than the 70-200 VRII?

If you don't like the thread move on. I've said nothing radical or unusual. But somehow you seem to be threatened by it. And that's not MY problem and I will remain civil even if you can't.

Cheers,

Robert

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Son Of Waldo
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Tamron 70-300 (f5.6) VC vs Tamron 70-200/2.8 or Nikon 80-200/2.8
In reply to Josh152, Jan 16, 2013

Josh152 wrote:

In case you haven't noticed a great many posters on this board have their ego intimately tied to the price of the gear they use. You will never convince them that a lens as cheap as the Tamron is anything other than garbage when compared to their more expensive lenses. This thread will just devovle into what the other one did, a "yes it is", "no it isn't" back and forth that is utterly pointless in the end.

I'm thinking around $500 for nice, clean copies of either of the f2.8 lenses??

No, I don't need VC, 300mm, 36MP or a bunch of "DR" to shoot eyeballs.

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marike6
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Re: Give it up man.
In reply to Steve Bingham, Jan 16, 2013

Steve Bingham wrote:

I am willing to bet you $500 that my Nikon 70-200 f4 VR III can out resolve your Tamron 70-300 at ANY focal length. Let a 3rd party judge and hold the money. Perhaps this will shut you up! I am getting so tired of your uneducated trolling!

Or . . . pick a 3rd party well known tester of lens. Or use the dpreview lens tests. Or something. But, please, get off this Tamron 70-300 kick. IT IS NOT THAT GOOD. Good yes, just not that good.

My credentials and work are for all to see. And your credentials? Or are you one of those self proclaimed experts? Going to your galleries and your info, I can't see a single photograph or bit of information that would lead me to believe that you have any real expertise - and yet you have posted more comments than any single poster on this forum! You are ruining it!!!

And yes, I am not a Tamron hater. My site, with the Lens Testing page, will show this.

But you, sir, need to cool it or be gone! Either that, or I am gone.

Unfortunately, the moderator who has not posted in 3 months, appears to be gone or you might have been asked to leave long ago.

My apologies for being so hateful and uncivil, but you have simply driven me over the line with your

persistent lack of true knowledge.



He seems to be on some kind of crusade to show that his slow Tamron variable aperture zoom (which by the way got fairly luke-warm reviews from Lenstip and Photozone which he of course discounts are poor lens testers) can play with the big boys.  I've already posted many images in another thread that destroy the Tamron lens for sharpness (in the center, and borders), color/contrast, and bokeh.

The 70-200 f4 VR is sharp straight from max aperture and has superb color/contrast.  By f5.6 or sooner, you get sharp image right across the frame.  In contrast, the Tamron lens produces images with OK contrast (sometimes low contrast, see Lenstip 70-300 VC Sample images), and only decent sharpness in the center, and average in the corners (notice that he never posts images from the borders and corners).

He's under the delusion that he has some magic sample that can outperform pro-level constant aperture zooms like the 70-200 f2.8 and f4.  So he'll show you crop after crop of eyeballs sharpened within an inch of their lives, dead center in the frame.  This is supposed to prove definitively that his lens (which I've owned and can tell you gets softer by 200mm and softer still by 300mm just like any other 70-300 lens on the market) can outperform high-grade Nano Crystal coated Nikkors.

Not sure why it's so important to him that the Tamron lens can measure up, but apparently it is.  The problem is that many beginners read these forums and might get the impression that his conclusions are based in reality.  There is no free lunch.  Yes we would all like for a inexpensive tele zoom to perform as well as expensive higher end glass, but this is the real world.

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clarnibass
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Re: Give it up man.
In reply to marike6, Jan 16, 2013

Neither the OP or anyone else claimed that actaully.

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Shotcents
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Re: Give it up man.
In reply to marike6, Jan 16, 2013

marike6 wrote:

Steve Bingham wrote:

I am willing to bet you $500 that my Nikon 70-200 f4 VR III can out resolve your Tamron 70-300 at ANY focal length. Let a 3rd party judge and hold the money. Perhaps this will shut you up! I am getting so tired of your uneducated trolling!

Or . . . pick a 3rd party well known tester of lens. Or use the dpreview lens tests. Or something. But, please, get off this Tamron 70-300 kick. IT IS NOT THAT GOOD. Good yes, just not that good.

My credentials and work are for all to see. And your credentials? Or are you one of those self proclaimed experts? Going to your galleries and your info, I can't see a single photograph or bit of information that would lead me to believe that you have any real expertise - and yet you have posted more comments than any single poster on this forum! You are ruining it!!!

And yes, I am not a Tamron hater. My site, with the Lens Testing page, will show this.

But you, sir, need to cool it or be gone! Either that, or I am gone.

Unfortunately, the moderator who has not posted in 3 months, appears to be gone or you might have been asked to leave long ago.

My apologies for being so hateful and uncivil, but you have simply driven me over the line with your

persistent lack of true knowledge.



He seems to be on some kind of crusade to show that his slow Tamron variable aperture zoom (which by the way got fairly luke-warm reviews from Lenstip and Photozone which he of course discounts are poor lens testers) can play with the big boys. I've already posted many images in another thread that destroy the Tamron lens for sharpness (in the center, and borders), color/contrast, and bokeh.

As some have pointed out, and it's clearly evident from my samples and crops, MY photos appear SHARPER that those at the Holy Lenstip and Photozone.

WHY IS THAT, SIR?

You have not posted ANYTHING that destroys the Tamron lens for sharpness. Do you want to see the MAJOR reviews showing the F4 trailing the VRII for sharpness? I guess THOSE reviews don't count.

Let's try to react a little less and be sensible. I NEVER said the Tamron is a "better" lens than the Nikon 70-200 F4. I did say that it might be a good workable alternative for many people. I also said it might even be more versatile for some.

But if we look at what you wrote it becomes clear where you stand, doesn't it? The "big boys?" Are you kidding? First of all, the big boys are a wee bit more expensive than a midrange F4 lens, assuming you want to be a lens snob. "Big boys???" Wow.

Let's stop the nonsense with putting words in peoples mouths and playing class wars with lenses.

Robert

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Stacey_K
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Re: Give it up man.
In reply to Steve Bingham, Jan 16, 2013

Steve Bingham wrote:

and yet you have posted more comments than any single poster on this forum! You are ruining it!!!

My apologies for being so hateful and uncivil, but you have simply driven me over the line with your


Actually someone being hateful and hostile about a simple lens opinion (purchase choice) is what "ruins" forums. I've read a lot of your posts, if someone has a different opinion than you on any subject, they are WRONG! Turning things personal is where things go wrong.

The man posted some real world examples and in his (and my) opinion, we just don't see any real difference. He also explained this consumer lenses limitations, why would this get anyone as upset as you and some others seem to be? I mean seriously you are getting all wound up about someone questioning a $2000 purchase you made? If you are happy with it why do you care if someone else is showing "Look, you can get 90% of the performance for 1/4 of the price". That's always been the case, diminishing returns as you spend more money.

As far as moderators removing or blocking someone, I'dlike to see them stop your hostile, personal attacks on people

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Shotcents
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Re: Give it up man.
In reply to marike6, Jan 16, 2013

problem is that many beginners read these forums and might get the impression that his conclusions are based in reality. There is no free lunch. Yes we would all like for a inexpensive tele zoom to perform as well as expensive higher end glass, but this is the real world.

If any "beginners" are ready to pop for a 1400 dollar F4 midrange lens, MY suggestion is to start with a 70-300 from Nikon or Tamron to see where their needs might fall first.

After that they can decide if they can live with F4 or the focus breathing of the 2.8 VRII or the soft corners of the VR1.

Unless of course you want to be seen with one of the "big boys." Then you should get the 200mm VR F2.

Robert

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Stacey_K
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Re: Give it up man.
In reply to marike6, Jan 16, 2013

marike6 wrote:

...show that his slow Tamron variable aperture zoom can play with the big boys. I've already posted many images in another thread that destroy the Tamron....

Not sure why it's so important to him that the Tamron lens can measure up....

This is actually comical. Like was said in another thread, this sounds like some people believe they have joined some exclusive country club and others simply don't "measure up"..

He actually claims nothing you just stated. Over and over he has stated the more expensive lenses have better corners etc. As far as your examples "destroying" the results from the tamron, very jaded eye you are using to view those images is all I can say

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Josh152
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Re: Give it up man.
In reply to Stacey_K, Jan 16, 2013

Stacey_K wrote:

Josh152 wrote:

In case you haven't noticed a great many posters on this board have their ego intimately tied to the price of the gear they use.

But there are likely even more lurkers reading this that don't have an inflated ego that is tied to the purchase choices who will find this information enlightening. If you just read the fan boys, pony up for the trinity or don't bother. It's nice to see someone with an open mind showing the strengths and weaknesses of different options.

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Stacey

I guess if the moderators come through and delete the flame war posts that are already starting than sure this thread might turn out to be useful.

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Windancer
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My Thoughts......
In reply to Shotcents, Jan 16, 2013

Shotcents wrote:

2300.00 that I paid for the Nikon) against the beautiful VRII optic.

Robert

Just my own opinion is that you have already bought the Nikon 70-200/4 so just go out and use it. Everyone here may have an opinion whether you should or shouldn't, but ultimately only you can make the decision.

Go out and use it and enjoy yourself.

Terry

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Shotcents
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Re: My Thoughts......
In reply to Windancer, Jan 16, 2013

Windancer wrote:

Shotcents wrote:

2300.00 that I paid for the Nikon) against the beautiful VRII optic.

Robert

Just my own opinion is that you have already bought the Nikon 70-200/4 so just go out and use it. Everyone here may have an opinion whether you should or shouldn't, but ultimately only you can make the decision.

Go out and use it and enjoy yourself.

Terry

Hi Terry,

I actually own the VRII 2.8 and recently picked up the Tamron 70-300 VC without super high expectations. I've only used the 70-200 F4 once.

Robert

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Windancer
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Re: My Thoughts......
In reply to Shotcents, Jan 16, 2013

Shotcents wrote:

I actually own the VRII 2.8 and recently picked up the Tamron 70-300 VC without super high expectations. I've only used the 70-200 F4 once.

Sorry Robert I guess I misread your original post, I thought you were comparing the Nikko 70-200 vs. the Tamron 70-300 and had bought a 70-200/4 lens.

Terry

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marike6
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Re: Give it up man.
In reply to clarnibass, Jan 16, 2013

clarnibass wrote:

Neither the OP or anyone else claimed that actaully.

That's not true.  In the previous thread on this forum entitled "Why I'll never buy the 70-200 f4G ED VR" the OP claimed that the Tamron 70-300 VC not only outperformed the new f4 Nikkor optically, but he claimed that the Tamron's VC was MUCH better (totally discounting that the Nikon offers 5-stops to the Tamron's 4 (Photozone claims it's more like 3-stops), and the Nikon VR has two modes - Normal and Active and it detects when the camera is mounted on a tripod).

I suspect that in contrast to the thread about the 70-200 f4 VR, the OP knows that it would be ridiculous to come on these boards and claim that his variable aperture consumer zoom is optically superior to the 70-200 2.8 VRII.  Why he felt the need to proclaim to the world that the Tamron lens is optically superior to the new 70-200 f4 VR when there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary is anyone's guess.

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