The zoom range 70-200, or thereabout, is one of the real classic lenses, an absolute “must” for sports and photojournalism. The faster the maximum aperture the better, but most important of all it must be a good performer. Tamron’s SP 70-200mm f2.8 Di VC USD has the right specifications and a price tag that is very attractive, especially when you see how good it is.
Available in versions dedicated to Nikon, Canon and Sony, the Tamron SP 70-200mm f2.8 Di VC USD contains 23 elements in 17 groups. Four of the elements are low dispersion glass (LD) and one is extra low dispersion (XLD). The aperture is constant throughout the range. The name of the lens includes 9 letters indicating various features of the design: SP refers to Super Performance: Tamron’s premium range of optics. Di is “Digitally Integrated Design”, VC is “Vibration Compensation” (not present in the Sony version, since the Sony cameras have IS built in), and finally USD “Ultrasonic Silent Drive”, the autofocus motor. The other specifications are typical of good quality lenses: a 9 blade, round diaphragm and a minimum focus distance of 1.3m. As with most lenses of this size it has a tripod mount on a rotating, removable collar.
Generally, the 70-200 focal length range is aimed at genres like sports photography and photojournalism, but the aperture of f2.8 in Tamron’s lens narrows this down as a lens aimed at the discerning amateur or at the professional. The coverage is full frame, again pointing at the upper end of the market, though it will work fine on APS-C format giving an equivalent focal length of 105mm to 300mm (Nikon body, coefficient 1.5); 112mm to 320mm (Canon body, coefficient 1.6).