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

Started Dec 4, 2012 | Discussions
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Steve Koon Junior Member • Posts: 36
Nikon 70-200mm f/4 vs Tamron f/2.8 VC

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

Nikon D600
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gl2k
gl2k Veteran Member • Posts: 3,232
Re: Nikon 70-200mm f/4 vs Tamron f/2.8 VC

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.

brightcolours Forum Pro • Posts: 13,008
Ignore brand generalizations
1

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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Steve

slimandy Forum Pro • Posts: 16,463
Re: Nikon 70-200mm f/4 vs Tamron f/2.8 VC
1

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
Brev00 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,668
Re: Nikon 70-200mm f/4 vs Tamron f/2.8 VC

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 Senior Member • Posts: 1,558
Re: Nikon 70-200mm f/4 vs Tamron f/2.8 VC

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

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brightcolours Forum Pro • Posts: 13,008
Re: Nikon 70-200mm f/4 vs Tamron f/2.8 VC

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.

DVSteve Contributing Member • Posts: 912
Re: Nikon 70-200mm f/4 vs Tamron f/2.8 VC

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."

Astrophotographer 10 Senior Member • Posts: 6,772
Re: Nikon 70-200mm f/4 vs Tamron f/2.8 VC

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
dv312 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,707
leaning towards the Nikon

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 Forum Pro • Posts: 13,008
Re: leaning towards the Nikon

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

engbert Senior Member • Posts: 2,504
Re: leaning towards the Nikon

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 Contributing Member • Posts: 704
Re: leaning towards the Nikon
1

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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www.pbase.com/bertramm pbase & dpreview supporter

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 New Member • Posts: 13
Re: Nikon 70-200mm f/4 vs Tamron f/2.8 VC

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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