849 of 858 people found the following review helpful
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I have never bought a non-Canon lens because I just love the look, feel, and optical quality of the Canon line particularly the L series lenses. But I kept reading glowing reviews about this lens. On multiple websites. So, I went out and took a look.
First impression: the build quality is not as good as a Canon L series lens. Duh! It costs about 1/4 as much for goodness sake. This is a plastic lens - not metal. But I must admit that the build quality was pretty darn good. Better, I think, than the Sigma lenses I've seen. Fit and finish was very nice and tight. I'd give the build quality a 4/5. Not bad. I figured I could live with it.
Next, I put the lens on my camera. I'd read reviews complaining about the speed of the focusing. It may not be quite as quick as my 200 f2.8 L series lens but it was pretty darn good and for my purposes, plenty fast. A 4.5/5
I'd read reviews complaining about the noise and the fact that the AF was not USM. I thought the AF worked very quietly. Not at all distracting and barely discernable. Noise - not an issue.
Then, I took pictures with the lens and I was absolutely floored! How in the world did Tamron manage to produce a lens that performed so well optically for such a reasonable price?! Beautiful contrast, excellent resolution, gorgeous colors, and extremely sharp, particularly above f2.8. But, f2.8 is very good as well.
Obviously the first comparison that comes to mind is between this lens and the Canon 24-70 f2.8 L. I would say, I kid you not, that this lens is in every respect optically the equal of the Canon or better than the Canon. I could not believe it.
I tested this lens directly against a brand new copy of the Canon 24-70 f2.8L. Method: I tested both lenses on a tripod @ F 2.8 and 8.0 @ 28mm 50mm and 70mm. Target limestone wall 9.5 feet parallel to the sensor plane. Remote release employed. No mirror lockup. Center and all four corners were evaluated to my naked eye on a monitor using 100% crops. Both lenses were new copies received within the last 7 days.
The limestone wall lent itself perfectly to evaluating sharpness and subtle contrast and color rendition. There was enormous detail present in the wall with subtle colorations present.
28MM F8: Tamron definitely sharper in the center and corners
28MM F2.8: Tamron definitely sharper in the center and corners
50MM F8: Tamron slightly sharper in the center and very slightly sharper in corners
50MM F2.8: Tamron slightly sharper in center and equal in corners.
70MM F2.8: Canon sharper in center and at corners. Incidentally noted was inability of Tamron to focus as sharply as I was able to achieve with manual focusing.
70MM F8: Tamron sharper in center with Canon slightly sharper in corners.
Some have said that there is less flare with the Canon, but if you use the lens hood that should not be a problem. I didn't notice excessive flare in my copy.
Admittedly there is significant copy to copy variation in both the Canon and the Tamron, but my findings convinced me that at 1/4 the price, and with the Tamron weighing 1 pound less than the Canon that the Tamron was the lens for me. Optically 5/5!!
I cannot recommend this lens highly enough. It is the first non-Canon lens I have owned and I am thrilled.
553 of 562 people found the following review helpful
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I was a fool to have believed that the kit lens(18-55mm f/3.5-5) from the 350D was enough, but I was more than a fool when I thought the "nifty-fifty"(50mm f/1.8) was the only lens I needed. The kit lens was only a "so-so" lens at best. And the nifty-fifty was hard to take pictures when I must be standing at least 5 feet back to capture my subject. The 1.8 of the nifty-fifty was brilliant but having almost everything except one small spot in focus is not worth my "Kodak moments." I needed something more versatile, something efficient and cater to the budget photographer like myself.
I scoured the internet for a lens that could be titled as the "King of the Walk around Lenses." Many lenses were nominated by photographers across the net. Lenses such as the Canon 17-40 f/4L, the Canon 17-85 IS USM, Sigma 18-50 f/2.8, the Canon 50mm f/1.8(Nifty Fifty), Canon 24-70 f/2.8L, Canon's 28-135mm IS USM, and much more. A good walk around lens must have versatility, which for me meant a decent zoom range. Something that a prime lens like the "oh so perfect" 50mm f/1.8 nifty fifty cannot satisfy.
Here I shall digress a little and talk about the nifty fifty. It's definitely a great lens, a lens that is extremely affordable, approx 80USD. It is outstanding in low light and again, it is CHEAP. Many people love this lens for its value per price, myself included. That is why that the 50mm f/1.8 was my very first lens besides the kit lens. I began using it all the time but always found myself stepping back, way back, in order to achieve a good composition of the subject at hand. This annoyed me a little and I decided to continue my search for the best walk around lens.
Back on topic now, versatility is important, zoom range is important. Something like the 17-85 IS USM, 28-135mm IS USM definitely interested me. These are definitely not as expensive as the other lenses out there, especially the L-line. I was holding back because the prices on the mentioned Canon lenses were still quite steep; they were as expensive as the camera body! I could not come to grip with a lens that costs as much as the body, here I would like to mention I'm new to SLR photography. Price was a major factor for me and the zoom range was important as well.
Along with zoom range, another aspect of versatility included the lens' ability to be useful for indoor or night photography. This is the reason why I bought the nifty fifty in the first place. I took more interest in the lenses that had a larger aperture; something about f/2.8 just screams sexiness to me. Well with these criteria in mind, I started to really look at the Canon 24-70 f/2.8L. This lens has received epic reviews from every photographer. Its built quality and its pictures are perplexingly amazing. My versatility requirement has been met at every angle. When I look at the price, my jaws dropped and suddenly this lens just became a lens beyond my reach.
As price is a huge factor in buying anything these days, the price of the Canon 24-70 f/2.8L scared me away. But through my meticulously investigation into the 24-70L lens, I came across a small group of people who had found an alternative.
That alternative is what I am really reviewing here: the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8.
Advantages of this lens are the best part. This lens is incredibly versatile, good zoom range, great for low lighting shots. It was the perfect alternative to the beloved Canon 24-70L. The major factor that really pushed me into buying this Tamron was the price. It was a HUGE bargain. The Canon sells for more than a thousand dollars while this Tamron is in the very reachable range of 350USD.
Now there are only a few sample images by fellow amazonites so I was hesitant in believing what others were saying about the quality of the pictures. And there weren't many in depth review on this lens either. I also heard this lens has to seek focus for an image in low lighting areas. I took the plunge and bought this lens anyways.
To my surprise, this lens is tremendously useful. The 28mm is decent enough for landscape. The other end at 75mm is quite good for portraits or just typical zoom images. My pictures were very sharp comparing to the kit lens and the nifty fifty. I have taken pictures indoor during a cloudy morning, indoor night time with halogen lights in the room, outdoor nature, and outdoor people. This lens produces exceedingly sharp pictures.
The constant f/2.8 was the best part. I can shoot rather well in low light. For some ridiculous reason, I walked into a national park as the sun was setting, so when I was a mile in, it was already dark. My Tamron was able to still take pictures at ISO speeds of 800 and I thought, "Wow, I couldn't do this with my other lenses." With that said, there is one minor annoyance. This is not a USM obviously, so it does take a little bit of time searching for that focus. In extreme low lighting, like that of a hike after the sun has set, it was impossible for me to obtain autofocus. I guess this is true for all lenses so it is not that big of a problem here.
The Tamron's build quality is quite sturdy. This lens was very strong from when I was playing with it. The 28-75mm is much heavier than the kit lens I received with the 350D so I was still getting used to it. When this lens sits in my 350D body, I couldn't really hold the camera if my hands were only on the camera. I needed to place my left hand on the barrel of the lens in order for a good feel. Mounting this combination onto a light weight tripod gave me moments of fear. The top of the tripod would start tipping forward. When I tilted my camera vertically on the tripod, the tripod tipped to the left. Of course adding weights to the tripod solved the problem but be warned that this is a real lens that has a good weight to it.
Comparing to the Canon 24-70L lens, which weighs twice as much and cost three times as much, this Tamron is a steal! Even though this lens is not that well known, I love its ability to compete with the 24-70L. I especially love the price of this incredible lens. For those that are hesitant to buy this lens, please don't be. It's an excellent lens with good quality.
To sum it all up, the price, the zoom range, the large aperture, the built quality, and again the price make this lens the best "bang for the buck" lens for a Canon SLR. I love the ability to just take photos in any situation while producing sharp pictures. This lens claims the title "King of the Walk Around Lenses" in my book. And last but not least, a good walk around lens will definitely encounter battle scars so the low cost of this lens would not take a week's worth of pay to buy another one. Two thumbs up, five stars, top 10 rating from me.
I am sorry if this review was too long, I just love this lens.
Just came back from a 40 day backpacking trip through Europe. I brought this lens with me along with Canon 50mm f/1.8. The whole time, I only used the Tamron. It was heavy to be strapping the 350D around my neck walking around in 85F heat but i managed.
The lens performed commendably! It was truly a great walk around lens because when you're out, you're going to be out all day. So from morning to night, my lens was able to capture every moment I wanted to remember. Though I did find myself saying "I wish I had a wide angle lens" almost everytime I visited a museum or a church, I still recommend this Tamron whole heartedly.
After my long trip, I have learned that no single lens can truly claim to be everything you need, but with this Tamron, you'd have a blast with its sharp pictures! When I was in museums and churches, people were flashing about with their cameras while I took all my photos with my amazing 2.8 aperture so no flash was neccessary, capturing the true lighting on the subjects. People were just amazed and asked "Wow, you don't need a flash?"
Hope I can update every one out there with my experience on the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8
Update 12/13/07: 1 year later......
The lens is great, I did a lot of portrait shots over the year and with the 2.8, it made the subject stand out from the background. But I guess I'm still a beginner at photography. I looked back at some photos and realized my portrait style cannot be applied to taking photos of objects. Extending the focal range, I had tried to capture a car from a distance but my shaky hands and the f/2.8 made everything blurry! I have to review my basics and use a smaller aperture.
Still a great lens, for its price, it's definitely unbeatable.
I have now added a Canon 10-22mm to my collection, which is extremely fun to play with.
UPDATE 4/28/2010: 4 years later!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
OMG can you believe I'm updating this review 4 years later? Well it's because I LOVE this lens!!!!! I've shot a lot in the past 4 years with this lens, and I've grown into loving portrait photography even more. This lens is AMAZING performing portraits, great depth of field with the 2.8 at 75mm. I usually turn up the f-stop to 3.5 or so, 75mm, lower EV -1, and shoot in raw so I can edit the brighten up the photo later on in photoshop. The lens is still very sturdy, I've traveled to Ecuador, Hong Kong, South Korea, and throughout the US since then.
This lens was so cheap back then, now it's about $440.. wow... what happened?!
206 of 211 people found the following review helpful
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Let me start by saying I didn't want to like this lens. I've been a Canon lens purist since my first camera. I've always considered second party lenses to be inferior and not worth my time. Recently, however, I acquired another body (EOS 1). I wanted a dedicated walk around lens for it, since I'd been alternating my 24-70L between my digital and this new body. Unfortunately, my funds are a bit limited at them moment, so I wasn't able to purchase another 24-70L as I would have liked. So I began an extensive search for a lens that would fit my needs AND budget.
After a while, I started leaning toward the 28-105 f/3.5-4.5. However, although I got close to purchasing one several times, I just couldn't pull the trigger. It seemed good enough, but I just wasn't convinced. Then just by accident, I read a review of the Tamron. The review went on and on about the performance and sharpness of the lens. I thought it was all just hot air. Then I saw a second review that stated the same thing. I became intrigued. I started my research. I went to several different sources and a clear picture began to emerge: this is a lens that a lot of people really like. This is a lens that consistently gets compared to my beloved 24-70L, and consistently holds its own--or even out performs it. At first I thought it unfair to compare it to the 24-70L, but then I saw sample images. I saw sharpness tests. I was impressed.
So I took the plunge, and I'm so glad I did. As soon as it arrived, the first thing I noticed was that it did not feel like a cheap lens. I had expected it to be feather-light and almost flimsy. Instead, it feel substantial. It also came with a lens hood.
I threw it on my 400D and fired off some shots and took a look. I was very happy with the results. The color reproduction was great. And so was the sharpness. Just for my own edification, I set up my tripod and made some test shots with the Tamron and then the same shots with the 24-70L. The first go 'round was done at f/5.6. I made exposures at 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, and 70mm with each camera. I had a friend rename the files so I wouldn't know which shots came from which camera, so I couldn't claim bias either way. I then examined the shots. It didn't take nit-picky scrutiny to see the differences. After I selected the photos I found to be sharper in each group, my friend gave me the exif data on each one.
Here is what I found:
First Impression--At 25% magnification on my screen, all the photos looked fantastic. This puzzled me because I figured I'd be able to spot the 24-70L right away. I really couldn't tell the difference.
Then I zoomed in to 100% and the fun really began.
28mm--The difference in sharpness was very pronounced at this focal length. One photo was the clear winner, and that was the Tamron, particularly in center sharpness.
35mm--Again, one of the photos was a clear winner, and again it was the Tamron.
50mm--For the third time, the Tamron's sharpness outperformed the Canon. I was beginning to really develop an affinity for this little baby.
70mm--At this length, the photos were pretty comparable. I picked one, however, and, to my surprise, it was the Tamron once again.
After these tests I felt like a heretic. I had preferred the Tamron lens over the Canon in each trial. Granted, there are more I need to do, from wide open to fully stopped down. But this initial test has made me very happy.
I have seen no evidence of CA so far, and given Tamron's claims, I would have been surprised if I had.
The AF is a touch on the loud side (no USM), but it works well and is accurate. A bit of noise from the AF is nothing to complain about when one sees the results in the photos.
It's not weather sealed like the 24-70L, but that is not as important to me as to someone who is out in extreme weather with some regularity.
Finally, given the fact that this lens is just a third of the price of the 24-70L, and given that I am so impressed with the results, I'd have to say this is one of the better purchases I've made in a long, long time.
I know all Tamron lenses do not perform this admirably, just like all Canons are not "L" class. However, I will certainly add them to my research when I have a new need for a lens.
54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
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I am someone who swears by Canon and would not buy any other lens. Tamron has made me swallow my pride with this lens, I have to admit this is one gorgeous piece of glass, especially for the price and the 2.8 aperture. Comes with a hood, body kinda feels a little cheap, but to me, all that matters is the quality of the pictures and I am completely satisfied, thoroughly impressed with the quality of the photos.
Very sharp images at 2.8, through out the zoom range. I even took a portrait with this lens at 65-70mm 1/250 @ 2.8, ISO 400 with my EOS 3 (35mm)...one of the best portraits I've taken. Incidentally, this is the first photograph I clicked with this lens and I have to admit that I am floored. Honestly, I am toying with the idea of buying one more for my 20D.
Gorgeous background blur, which is one of the factors that impressed me the most and the DoF is good enough to focus the subject completely. I like to focus on the subject's eye and have enough DoF to cover the entire body (depth) of the subject rather than blurring out any part of the body. This lens serves the purpose and would give the portrait a really professional feel.
The other factor that impressed me is the minimum focusing distance - I took some macro shots in a tide pool in Point Loma / San Diego and I am thoroughly impressed with the sharpness @ 2.8 as well as the distance. I think I went as close as 7-8 inches ( did not measure, as seen by my friend) and was happy with that too.
In short, if you are toying with the idea of buying the 24-70 2.8L (which was the case with me) and want to leave that for an upgrade, you wont regret buying this lens. I think I will wait for the Canon 1-2-3 rebate for the 24-70 2.8 and will still keep this lens as a part of my kit.
5 stars, must buy!
UPDATE ON 17 MAR 2007
Decided to go for an upgrade to Canon 24-70 f/2.8L and conducted amateurish tests side by side at various focal lengths and apertures, all else being the same. Ended up returning the Canon and decided to keep the Tamron. The Canon was certainly a good copy, tacccckkkk sharp, but couldnt beat the sharpness out of the Tamron. The Tamron came out much sharper across wide open apertures (centers & edges, as examined by the naked eye at 100% image size) and equal sharpness between the two lenses at f/8 and above. Stunning image quality in both, the Canon locked the exposure much more consistently than the Tamron (which moved a half a stop or so while trying to focus). The only two areas where Canon beat Tamron was
(1) Canon focussed silently and much more smoothly compared to the Tamron
(2) Build quality, Canon is really built like a tank, cant think of any other word. Tamron feels cheap and plasticky when compared to the Canon.
Finally, I didnt feel like I was getting much value for $800 more, as my Tamron was already giving superior, TACK sharp image quality. However, for 1/3rd the price, 1/3rd the weight, I decided it was too pricy and upgrade and returned the Canon. Go Tamron!
Update on 23 Nov 2007
Almost 2 years with this lens, couldnt be more satisfied. this lens has never failed me during multiple trips in extreme conditions of heat, cold and extreme (S California wild fire) winds. No dust or other issues.
I did notice that images were soft after f/16 due to diffraction, but I do not think that is the lens' fault. Images at f/22 and f/32 are very soft and unacceptable for professional prints or enlargements above 8x10 when shot at 8MP (20D), but that was more my fidgeting to see what happens at those apertures. I almost never use anything narrower than f/13, so it doesnt concern me. Overall, very satisfied with this purchase, this one is a keeper even if I buy the 24-105L or 24-70L.
82 of 86 people found the following review helpful
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It's been about 2 months that I've had this lens and it almost never leaves my camera. I'm came to buying this lens after being lured in by the ever-so-attractive constant f/2.8 aperture. It was a contest between this lens and the Nikon 16-85 f/3.5-5.6 VR and now, I know I've made the right choice.
First and foremost, the constant f/2.8 is what makes this lens worth every penny. I don't know how I ever got along with my old 18-55 kit lens. Here's a little breakdown of the good and bad of this lens:
- Constant f/2.8 aperture (*angelic singing*)
- Extremely sharp even wide open at f/2.8 (although I'd recommend f/4 for maximum sharpness)
- Zoomed in at 75mm and wide open at f/2.8, this lens makes beautiful portraits with nice bokeh.
- On a purely subjective scale, bokeh is pretty awesome, 8 out of 10.
- Focusing is relatively fast and very accurate (about as fast as the 18-55mm kit lens, which is almost always good enough)
- Zoom action is well damped although I would've appreciated a very slightly shorter throw between 28 and 75mm.
- Autofocus/Manual focus switch conveniently located on the side of the lens.
- Internal autofocus motor! (Works on my D40x, will work on D40 and D60 also)
- Close focus ability enables shots with a closer perspective.
- Metal mount is always a good thing to see.
- Looks pretty awesome on the camera :)
- For travel and other things, 28mm will not satisfy some, buy a wide angle (and telephoto if you need it) to go with this lens.
- External focus ring moves during autofocusing (keep your hands away!)
- Focusing is noisy (much noisier than my AF-S Nikkors and HSM Sigmas)
- In manual focus-mode, the focus ring is a tad loose
- Lens hood doesn't seem to work too well, doens't look that great either, in my opinion.
- Rear lens cap sucks, throw it away and buy a Nikon one.
I'd rate this thing 4.5 stars if I could, but I gave it 4 so as not to give the impression of a fault-less lens.
This lens has a great deal of good points and very few bad ones. Most of the bad I attribute to the construction of the lens: somewhat solid, but not. It's a little loose inside since it zooms and is made mostly of plastic. Optically though, the lens is amazing, especially for the price. For me, it's created amazing portrait work, some cool close-up (see the "PS" section at the end) shots, and many others. Until you build up the money and arm strength to buy and haul around the Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 go with this lens. You cannot pass this up for the price, it's capable of so many things, and all for about 400 bucks.
Tamron may call this "Macro" but it's not really macro, it's more of a close focus (I have the Nikkor 60mm Micro, and this is not it). However, the close-focus can be really useful and can add some creative shots to your collection. However, do not confuse this lens with a real macro lens, it can't focus as close and can't reproduce 1:1.