Same price so which 70-300 should I get? Tamron or Nikon?

Started Feb 5, 2013 | Discussions thread
ohcello Senior Member • Posts: 1,637
A few points....

Tom Matty wrote:

I can choose either a Tamron 70-300 VC or a Nikkor 70-300 VR. Price is essentially the same. Which should I buy and why? Who has compared these and can advise me?

I have tried both these lenses and here are a few obversations:

1) VC vs. VR - The Tamron VC is more stable, but it also takes longer to engage and shifts the image when engaging.... so there is a small pause that you have to wait for it to kick in whereas the Nikon, while older/not quite as effective seems to kick in quicker.  I found the Tamron VC a little distracting in that regard and when I wanted to shoot right away sometimes I would make the shot right when the VC was kicking in and it caused a blurry image.

2) AF Accuracy - Not much mention of this, but I have found that the Tamron was not quite as accurate as the Nikon, especially when tracking fast moving erratic subjects.  Sometimes the Tamron would front focus a bit, other times back focus.... other times perfect.... the Nikon seems to nail it a bit more often.  Again, not a huge difference, but it's worth mentioning.

3) Sharpness  - The conclusion would should have reached by now with all the talk and testing is that these lenses are very close in sharpness.  For what it's worth, I just checked DXO Labs which tested both lenses on all Nikon bodies... I checked it on the D4 for both.... in *their* tests, the Nikon was slightly sharper in the center at most focal lengths wide open, but the Tamron was a little sharper when taken to f/8... but they are VERY close.... and at 100%..... I mean... that's a HUGE print.

Either way I think you'll be happy if you get a good sample....

For me, If I was buying Brand New, I'd get the Tamron as the price is significantly lower and you get a nice warranty.  If I was buying used, I'd get the Nikon as they can be had for $300-$350

Hope this helps!

 ohcello's gear list:ohcello's gear list
Panasonic LX100 Nikon D610 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR +2 more
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