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Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD review

May 2013 | By Andy Westlake
Buy on Amazon.com From $1,270.99

The Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD (Model A007) was announced in February 2012, just one day before the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM. Its headline feature is indicated by the 'VC' in its name, which stands for 'Vibration Control'; it's the first and only optically-stabilized fast normal zoom for full frame cameras. As befits a premium SLR lens it also includes an ultrasonic-type autofocus motor for fast and silent focusing, and as an added bonus it features a degree of weathersealing (Tamron uses the term 'drip proof'). Put together, this makes it the highest-specified 24-70mm lens currently on the market.

To achieve this feat, Tamron has employed an exotic optical formula that makes extensive use of special elements. It includes three Low Dispersion (LD) glass elements, two Extra Refractive Index (XR) glass elements, three glass molded aspheric elements, and one hybrid aspherical element in its 17 element / 12 group design. A 9-bladed aperture diaphragm uses curved blades for the attractive rendition of out-of-focus backgrounds.

As usual for Tamron the lens is available in versions for Canon, Nikon and Sony SLRs. The latter doesn't include optical stabilization, relying instead on the camera body's built-in sensor-shift stabilization, and drops the 'VC' from its name as a result. But in all other respects it's identical, including the same optical design.

What's perhaps most impressive about the 24-70mm F2.8 VC, though, is its price. At around $1300/£800 it's significantly cheaper than Canon, Nikon and Sony's own 24-70mm F2.8 lenses, although it's rather more expensive than Sigma's older, unstabilized model. You could be forgiven for thinking this is too good to be true - on paper it looks like a steal. So the question is: how well does it work in practical use? Read on to find out.

Headline features

  • 24-70mm focal length
  • Fast F2.8 constant maximum aperture; F22 minimum
  • Vibration Control (VC) optical image stabilization
  • Ring-type Ultrasonic Drive (USD) focusing with full-time manual override
  • 0.38m closest focus, offering 0.2x magnification
  • For Canon, Nikon and Sony mounts (Sony version doesn't have VC)

Angle of view

The pictures below illustrate the angle of view on Canon full frame and APS-C cameras (taken from our standard position):

24mm, full frame 70mm, full frame
24mm, 1.6x APS-C (38mm equivalent) 70mm, 1.6x APS-C (112mm equivalent)

Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD specifications

 Price  • $1300 (US)
 • £810 (UK)
 Date introduced  February 2012
 Maximum format size  35mm full frame
 Focal length  24-70mm
 35mm equivalent focal length (APS-C)
 38-112mm
 Diagonal Angle of view  • 84-34º (full frame)
 • 61-23º (1.5x APS-C)
 Maximum aperture  F2.8
 Minimum aperture  F22
 Lens Construction  • 17 elements / 12 groups
 • 3 LD (Low Dispersion) elements
 • 2 XR (Extra Refractive Index) elements
 • 3 glass molded aspheric elements
 • 1 hybrid aspherical element
 Number of diaphragm blades  9, rounded
 Minimum focus  0.38m
 Maximum magnification  0.2x
 AF motor type  • Ring-type Ultrasonic Drive motor
 • Full-time manual focus
 Zoom method  Rotary, extending
 Focus method  Internal
 Image stabilization  • Yes (not available on Sony mount version)
 Filter thread  • 82mm
 • Does not rotate on focus
 Supplied accessories*  • Front and rear caps
 • Petal-type Hood HA007
 • Soft lens case
 Weight  845 g (29.1 oz)
 Dimensions  88.2 mm diameter x 116.9 mm length
 (3.5 x 4.6 in)
 Available Mounts  Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony Alpha

* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area


This lens review uses DxOMark data thanks to a partnership between dpreview.com and DxO Labs (read more about DxOMark and our partnership with DxO Labs). DxOMark is the trusted industry standard for independent image quality measurements and ratings. DxOMark has established this reputation with its rigorous hardware testing, industry-grade laboratory tools, and database of thousands of camera, lens and mobile test results. Full test results for this lens can be found at www.dxomark.com.

If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

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This article is Copyright 2013 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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Comments

Total comments: 7
Average User

Will Tamron make this lens for Sony FE mount? If so, could it have image stabilization?

0 upvotes
Jimothy H

Hello Admin,

Why is it the quality decrease when step down from 2.8 to 4 at the 70mm end? It's for a crop sensor test. The test with full frame doesn't have the same problem.

0 upvotes
jungfrow

Hi,
Just bought the Tamron SP 24-70 Di VC USD for nikon.
I noticed that there is a plastic rubbing sound when it focuses and when moving around the elements inside the lens seem to bump around a bit.
Is that normal?

0 upvotes
Chamu

Just bought this recently and absolutely love this lens. The lens is sharp and very quick. It's a very good alternative to similar Nikkor lenses.

0 upvotes
Nader Erfani

Indeed a very good lens which thanks to its stabilisation offers a lot more towards creative photography than one would at first anticipate.

0 upvotes
ecube

This Tamron SP 24-70 f/2.8 seem a cheaper and better alternative to Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8. I'll stop by a local dealer to try it on my D800

1 upvote
camerosity

Just got this lens today. It's amazing. Heavy! But sharp at f2.8 and beyond with my D800.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 7