The Tamron 70-200 f2.8 G2

Tamron 70-200 F2.8 G2 - Source Tamron EU
Tamron 70-200 F2.8 G2 – Source Tamron EU

I’m very fortunate to own this lens – the G2 model A025N, the Nikon 70-200 f2.8 E FL is probably the best and pros shooting every day can justify the expense at nearly twice the price it should be top dog. For me, and I suspect a lot of others, Tamron delevers very close to the Nikkor at just over half the price.

It’s exceptional value for money, it has a solid, very well made feel along with excellent image quality. Tamron support it with a 5 year world wide warranty providing the purchase is registerd on-line and there’s a lot more to like:

Build:
As with most f2.8s theres plenty of glass making it a fairly large lens, but at just 1.485 Kg it’s not quite the heaviest as the Nikon weighs about 60 grammes more. It’s extremely well balanced on my D750 and the controls feel smooth, perhaps not quite Nikon 70-200 smooth but almost. It focuses internally so nothing moves externally which is a big plus point, furthermore it’s also weather and dust sealed although I’m not sure to what degree!
The foot plate tripod mount is Arca Swiss compatible so it mounts to the Arca Swiss clamp on your ball head. Most large Nikkor lenses lack this foot plate making an adaptor neccessary with usually just one screw to secure it. I’ve modified one to provide an extra securing screw but it’s tricky. Regretably Nikon doesn’t listen to their customers, but Arca Swiss really should be the standard for larger lens foot plates by now.  So Nikon please get your heads out of the sand!
The front filter is threaded 77mm.
All the switches have a nice positive feel.

In use:
Autofocus seems blisteringly fast, in near silent operation which can be limited to prevent focus hunting. It also accepts Tamrons 1.4x & 2.0x teleconverters that slow it slightly by 1 & 2 stops respectively producing acceptable images. However both TCs remain quite expensive.
Bokeh is really very good, it changes slightly through the focal length but remains pleasing. The minimum focus distance is close at 95cm and flare down the lens seems well controlled. Some owners have remarked it’s easy to knock the switches but that’s not happened to me.
The Vibration Control (VC) is very effective, permitting some nice sharp shots hand held even at 1/15th. This has three settings: 1 normal, 2 panning – I assume for BIFs, 3 maximum.
Distortion at the wider end & CA also seem very well controlled.

Other points:
The lens fits the Tamron TAP console for firmware updates and tweaks without a dealer visit should Nikon ever change the way future cameras communicate with the lens, however it currently works with all of Nikons later models D500, D600, D750, D800 upto D850 and pro models from D3x on as well as recent Dx models. Check with Tamron to be sure.
The lens clamp can be slackened to allow rotation & I’m told it can be removed altogether but havn’t tried.

Finally, I think the lens hood would be much better if they spent another £1 on it! It’s just a bit too flexible for a lens of this class & price.

Here’s my sample images: mostly 50% .jpgs – slight reduction in quality.
f4.5 1/320th 200mm

100% crop of above:

f4.0 1/160th 160mm

f5.6 1/200th 122mm

So yes, its very well built, excellent value for money with unmatched image quality at the price point in my opinion.

Competition at a similar or lower price are:

1. Nikon 70-200 f4.0 G ED VR AF-S
2. Tamron 70-200 f2.8 A009 – (version 1)
3. Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 APO EX DG HSM OS
4. Tamron 70-210mm f4.0 A034
5. Tokina 70-200mm f4.0 AT-X PRO

Please note: I am not sponsored or affiliated to the Tamron company or any other company. The opinions and findings here are my own from first hand experience using the product.

Please post any questions you have and I will more than happy to answer them.

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