Tamron 24-70 f/2.8

Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 VC
  • Editor Rating
  • Rated 3.5 stars
$800 to $1300
  • 70%

  • Usability
    Editor: 80%
  • Image Quality
    Editor: 90%
  • Speed
    Editor: 85%
  • Accessories

Tamron 24-70 This is an excellent, sharp lens at a lower price than the Canon and Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 alternatives. However, it has a couple of serious problems. First, the build quality is terrible compared to the Canon and Nikon lenses, and our test model literally broke in half. If this is for occasional use or you’re very careful with your gear, that shouldn’t be a problem. If you’re a pro (especially one shooting events or travelling) it might not stand up to the abuse. Second, it has severe focus breathing when working up-close, and the already limited 24-70 range becomes more like 24-50. Check the video above for more information. Overall, we still regularly recommend this lens for event photographers on a budget. I would encourage you to buy a used copy, though, because the new price tends to be about $1,300, but they lose value quickly on the used market, and you can probably find one for $800. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMU1YPO_mXA If you’re looking for a high-quality walking around lens, also consider the Sigma 24-105 f/4, which we prefer. While it gathers a stop less light, the Sigma 24-105 f/4 has a much better zoom range, and at 105mm, it’s capable of producing decent headshots with good background blur–something no 24-70 f/2.8 can do well. If you’re picky about sharpness, here are some charts. Notice that the Tamron loses sharpness at the long end compared to the Canon, especially when shooting wide-open. The difference is noticeable, and you’ll probably use 70mm more than the rest of the range.

That difference is even more noticeable in the Nikon world with the higher resolution D810:

In summary, you get what you pay for here, and the Tamron just isn’t as good as the Canon and Nikon lenses. However, it’s less expensive. Also, if you’re shooting with slower shutter speeds without a tripod, the addition of image stabilization will do more to improve sharpness than the higher-quality optics of the name brands.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • SHARP
  • Has image stabilization

Cons

  • Flimsy and breaks easily
  • Only about 50mm when shooting closeup
  • Weird circular bokeh