Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD review: A uniquely versatile pro-worthy alternative

By Kevin Carter - Friday February 08 2013

Lens Review
Introduction | Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 Di VC USD Canon lens performance | Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 Di VC USD Canon versus competition | Conclusion

Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 Di VC USD Canon


When mounted on a Canon EOS 5D Mark II, the Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 Di VC USD achieves an overall DxOMark Score of 24, the second highest score in our database for a high-speed (f2.8) standard zoom. Although the Tamron has well-controlled chromatic aberration, it’s the excellent transmission values and high sharpness, measured at an average of 15P-Mpix, that really make this lens stand out.

Transmission values more or less match the theoretical aperture values throughout the range, and may be useful for video capture
The Tamron displays good sharpness over a range of focal lengths and apertures up to f/11, although there is a slight drop in resolution at the maximum aperture from around 50-to-70mm

On the downside, there’s some noticeable vignetting in the corners at the maximum aperture at 24mm and 70mm. It is slightly lower in the mid-focal lengths but it never really goes away completely when stopped down. It just gets less noticeable.

All of the vignetting maps above relate to the maximum aperture at 24mm, 35mm, 50mm and 70mm focal lengths respectively.

Another shortcoming is distortion. Zoom lenses like this tend to exhibit barrel distortion at the wide end altering to pincushion at the other. While our figures are lower than average at 0.3% for this type of zoom, the Tamron has, in fact, quite heavy barrel distortion at 24mm.

Barrel distortion is high at 24mm on the Tamron, while average levels of pincushion can be observed at 70mm