High-Speed Standard Zoom Lens for Your Full-Frame DSLR
The Tamron SP 24–70mm f/2.8 Di VC lens is a fast lens designed to work with full-frame cameras (but it will work with smaller sensors, too). It’s available for Canon, Nikon, and Sony; however, the Sony version doesn’t include vibration compensation (VC) because Sony DSLRs already have that feature built in.
When attached to the camera, the Tamron lens measures 4.3″ in length compared to 5.2″ for the NIKKOR version. The main difference is that the NIKKOR supports internal focusing, whereas the Tamron extends to a little more than 5.5″ when zoomed all the way in. The Tamron has a diameter of 3.5″ and weighs 29.1 ounces (a couple ounces less than the NIKKOR), so the Tamron is a hefty lens and has a solid feel.
We tested the Tamron 24–70mm on a Nikon D3s, and it delivered good contrast and sharpness throughout our test images. At f/2.8 the depth of field creates very pleasing blurred backgrounds that bring the attention to where it belongs, your subject. At the extreme ends of the focal range, there was some very slight vignetting and distortion, which was easily corrected by selecting the Tamron lens profile in the Lens Corrections panel of Lightroom. It was only looking at the before and after images in Lightroom that the vignetting and distortion became evident.
Vibration compensation also worked well. We were able to capture sharp images in low light with shutter speeds as long as 1/6, but we recommend keeping it above at least 1/15 for most scenarios. Strangely enough, the NIKKOR 24–70mm lens doesn’t include VR (vibration reduction), so this is one advantage of the Tamron over the NIKKOR (not to mention that it costs nearly $600 less).
Scott Kelby borrowed the lens to test it on the sidelines of an NFL game and he was impressed with the results, as well. Check out his comments at http://kel.by/RDCAg2.
Hot: Image quality; VC; price
Not: Very slight vignetting and barrel distortion