Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro Specification Review

The SP AF 70-200mm F2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro is Tamron’s latest lens, announced at the end of Feb 2008. A simple telephoto zoom ability capability for the more budget-conscious marriage photographer, the style and style features 19 elements on 16 groups, such as three Low Submission (LD) cup elements for decreasing chromatic aberration. Tamron say the lens is ‘packed with features that allow stress-free photography’, and accordingly these are indicated by all the different name packed into that shateringly protracted lens name. ‘SP’ designates this to be a individual of Tamron’s top-line ‘Special Performance’ wide range, ‘Di’ indicates that it is ‘Digitally Integrated’ (i.e. improved for DSLR use, but still defending the full-frame Disadvantages format), and IF demonstrates it works an surrounded concentrating process. Finally the ‘Macro’ details provides an concept to one of this lens’s more interesting features, a smallest concentrating number of 0.95m, that gives a class-leading replication amount of 0.32x; a little bit ahead of the Sigma equivalent’s 1m/0.28x, and far better than the ~1.5m more typical this classification.

Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F2.8
Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F2.8

Tamron has something of automobile of production the best high quality cost-effective fast zooms, as proven by the SP AF 28-75mm F2.8 Di LD Aspherical (IF) Macro, which has become something of a fringe movement conventional due to its effective combination of fine optics, a small featherweight body as well as expenses (especially in comparison to F2.8 conventional zooms from the most important digital camera manufacturers). It’s therefore no actual surprise to see Tamron concentrating in its marketing material that this supplement concept has been managed for the new 70-200mm. Of course this lens is also by no indicates the company’s first go to fast telezoom area, and photography fans whose encounter expands back to the times of film will recall the SP AF 70-210mm LD and the mature details focus SP 80-200mm LD; this is a len with undeniable popularity.

The 70-200mm Macro is planned to be available in Rule, Nikon, Sony models styles and Pentax-mount versions (although only the Rule and Nikon styles are currently distribution as of This summer 2008), developing this a cost-effective remedy to OEM connections for most of DSLR clients. In inclusion, the Nikon set up edition has a built-in auto-focus motor, developing it entirely appropriate with the D40-D40x-D60 number of price bracket DSLRs. Perhaps most significantly, the lens is available at an certainly eye-catching price, even soon after its release, further enhancing its client fascination. However the big question to be addressed is of course whether the optics as well as can competition with the course leaders; let’s find out.

Key Features

  • 70-200mm main length range; fast F2.8 ongoing maximum aperture
  • Focus group clutch-type details focusing
  • To be available in Rule, Nikon, Sony models styles and Pentax mounts

Body And Design

The 70-200mm F2.8 Macro is a member of Tamron’s top-line ‘SP’ sequence of contacts, and development seems fairly strong. The install is steel and the gun barrel appears to be designed excellent steel and plastic materials, with perhaps a little more use of plastic than its opponents, which helps the overall weight to the least heavy in its category. However, analyze a little nearer and the development is just a little less enhanced than its peers; the fit and complete isn’t quite up to the biggest level, particularly in the small details, so it’s obvious that some minor sides have been cut to website. Basically, this is a no-frills, effective style.

Tamron SP AF Body And Design
Tamron SP AF Body And Design

The lens is fairly common in size for its category, and therefore potential upgraders should appreciate that it’s considerably bigger and bulkier than customer telezooms such as 70-300mm F4-5.6s. This therefore may well not be a lens you’ll want to carry around all day when on a mountain-biking trip across the Andes, for example; it’s also quite likely to draw in the attention of over-keen protection officers interested in defending the world from the obvious protection risk caused from professional photographers with huge contacts.

Lens body system elements

  • The lens will be available in installs for Cannon, Sony models, Nikon and Pentax DSLRs – our example here is the Cannon EF edition. The Nikon and Cannon editions have built-in concentrate motors; the Sony models and Pentax editions will use your ‘screw-drive’ systems.
  • The narrow line is 77mm, which has become the de facto conventional for professional contacts, and does not move on autofocusing (good for narrow users). Despite the big size front side element, that rather protracted lens name still controls to expand its way around fully one third of the area.
  • The petal-type HA 001 lens bonnet is as conventional, and fits to the top side of the lens via a bayonet install. It’s a nice 98mm/3.9″ deep, with molded inner rib cage to reduce the representation of wander light into the lens, and changes around nicely for storage.
  • The zoom capability band moves 70 levels clockwise from 70mm to 200mm, i.e. the ‘right’ way for Nikon, Pentax and Sony models customers, but reverse to Cannon contacts. The ribbed rubberized hold is Thirty millimeters extensive, and the zoom capability activity reasonably sleek and accurate (if not quite as enhanced as the costly contacts from the major digicam manufacturers).
  • The concentrate band is a very nice 46mm extensive, does not move during auto-focus, and again the experience is sleek and accurate. It moves 80 levels clockwise from infinity to 0.95m (this time the ‘right’ way for Sony models and Cannon customers, but reverse to Pentax and Nikon lenses). This is a a little bit short travel for such a long concentrate range, making really accurate guide concentrate just a little hit-and-miss.
  • Switching from AF to guide is achieved by taking the concentrate band towards you and the ‘M’ indicate. However the clutch i465 black can quite frequently stick at medium difficulty position which doesn’t allow concentrating properly. The concentrate range can also be added too the transition, so you can’t effectively set the concentrate using AF then maintain that range by changing to guide. Sony models and Pentax customers will also have to change to M on you body system.
  • A range range is provided with marks in both feet and metres, however there are no depth-of-field or infra-red modification represents.
  • The lens comes with a removable tripod install band, which is covered with a Teflon sleeve for sleek spinning. The range at the top adjusts with represents organized at 90 levels around the lens for scenery and image types. The easy-to-open style allows elimination when the lens is designed to you, by undoing the solving attach completely (about 11 full turns) – not quite as stylish as the Sigma or Nikon designs.

Images Quality

Full-frame in comparison to APS-C

Eagle-eyed audiences will no doubt have realized that the MTF50 sharpness information at any particular central length/aperture mixture is remarkably greater on full-frame when in comparison to APS-C. This may at first vision appear surprising, but in truth is an unavoidable result of our demonstration of the sharpness information in regards to range sets per image size (and thus outside of structure size). Quite simply, at any given central duration and aperture, the lens will have a set MTF50 information when indicated in regards to range sets per mm. In order to turn to lp/ph, we have to increase by the indicator size (in mm); as the full-frame indicator is 1.6x larger, MTF50 should therefore be 1.6x greater.

Specific image issues

As always, our studio room exams are secured by taking many pictures with the lens across a variety of topics, and analyzing them in depth. This allows us to validate our studio room findings, and recognize any other problems which don’t display in the assessments. Our test example of the lens was in Cannon EF install, and we examined it on a variety of systems from the low-end EOS 450D to the professional EOS 1D Mark III.


The complicated visual design of 70-200mm F2.8 contacts usually makes them rather vulnerable to surface under undesirable circumstances, and the Tamron is no exemption. It’s still able to handle most daily circumstances completely well, but can sometimes run into serious problems, especially with strong light resources just outside of the structure.

Tamron Images Quality 70mm F16, Canon EOS 5D
Tamron Images Quality 70mm F16, Canon EOS 5D

Our two ‘real-world’ surface illustrations display this clearly; with the sun placed in the structure at 70mm, the surface design is often less invasive and challenging than either the Cannon or Nikon 70-200mm F2.8s, so here the Tamron does well. However, with the sun placed just outside the structure at 200mm, the lens is not able poorly, with shiny veiling surface blocking essentially the entire image. However it’s important to remember that these illustrations are somewhat produced ‘torture tests’, and are not exactly common of common capturing circumstances.

Bokeh Quality

One truly suitable, but difficult to evaluate part of a lens’s efficiency is the ability to provide efficiently blurry out-of-focus areas when trying to separate a topic from the, usually when using a long central duration and large aperture. Here the Tamron usually generates attractive, sleek bokeh, especially with macro topics. Even with very ‘busy’ background scenes it does a good job of not taking away from the topic.

Tamron Images Quality 200mm F3.5, Canon EOS 5D
Tamron Images Quality 200mm F3.5, Canon EOS 5D Photo By Azis Photography

Chromatic aberration

Our studio room assessments indicate horizontal chromatic aberration to be very low with the 70-200mm F2.8 Macro, and indeed it is very hardly ever a problem in real-life. Actually it only ever really reveals up at the extreme circumstances of the zoom capability (with none at all in the center of the range), and even then is hardly a problem. These illustrations display ‘worst case’ circumstances, with noticeable, but far from crucial red/cyan fringing at 70mm, and very weak read/cyan fringing at 200mm.

Autofocus consistency

One problem we experienced with this lens in real-world capturing was a more than predicted percentage of a little bit defocused pictures, especially noticeable when capturing at F2.8 where the details of field can be extremely superficial. This was not a thorough ‘front-focus’ or ‘back-focus’ problem, but instead an allegedly unique propensity to overlook concentrate a little bit in circumstances for which we would normally expect a 100% hit rate. This matter continued across a variety of camera systems, from the EOS 450D through to the EOS-1D Mark III, so we can only determine that it is a problem with the lens itself.

Below are a number of 100% plants from the center of the structure taken using an EOS 5Ds at 200mm F2.8, using auto-focus to re-focus each time (this is a remote topic, at about 275m/900ft). Of eight successive photos taken in reliable shiny bright circumstances (1/1600 sec F2.8 ISO 100), half are clearly misfocused, and another a little bit smooth, although still useful. Now it must be pressured that 200mm F2.8 is the most severe casr situation, and stability at other central measures and apertures will be better, but this isn’t really the kind of concentrate precision we’d feel able to depend on for crucial photos.


Street price • $700
• £530
Date introduced February 2008
Maximum format size 35mm full frame
Focal length 70-200mm
35mm equivalent focal length
109-310mm (1.5x)
112-320mm (1.6x)
Diagonal Angle of view (FF) 34º – 12º
Diagonal Angle of view (APS-C) 23º – 8º
Maximum aperture F2.8
Minimum aperture F32
Lens Construction • 19 elements/16 groups
• 3 LD elements
Number of diaphragm blades 9, rounded
Minimum focus 0.95m
Maximum magnification 0.32x at 200mm
AF motor type • Micro motor
• Manual focus clutch
Focus method Internal
Zoom method Internal
Image stabilization • None
Filter thread • 77mm
• Does not rotate on focus
Supplied accessories • Front and rear caps
• Lens Hood
• Soft Case
Weight 1330g (46.9 oz)
Dimensions 89.5mm diameter x 194.3mm length
(3.5 x 7.6 in)
Lens Mount Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony