Quick Review: Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD

by Kenneth Wilson

I’ve been hearing a lot about Tamron lately, and they just won another lens of the year award, so I thought I’d check them out. I took the Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD for a spin, and here’s my quick review.

The lens seems very well built, out of both metal and high quality plastics. The zoom and focusing rings turn smoothly and are quite responsive.  The lens handles flare quite well and in my short time with it I saw little to no chromatic aberration, you know that purple/blue fringe often apparent on subject edges in backlit shots with lesser quality lenses. I also appreciate that it’s weather-sealed, since it was raining for the majority of my time with the lens.

What better way to test a lens’s capabilities than to run after your unsuspecting child and cat, trying to get sharp images, while they duck and weave around corners to evade the all seeing eye of their photographer dad. Let me tell you, shooting at f/2.8 really helped me to boost the shutter speeds and get decently sharp images regardless of their evasive actions.  Insert evil dad laugh here.


Nikon D800, Tamron 24-70mm; taken at 30mm, f/2.8, 1/80, ISO 2000


After the in-home testing I took the lens over to CrossFit Terra Nova, a gym near me. I figured it would be a good place to put it through more paces, and they were happy to let me shoot there. The focal length range was pretty great, and the f/2.8 maximum aperture very helpful. I did notice though that at f/2.8, the shots were not as sharp as they could be, but at f/4, they seemed to greatly improve.

Photo 2

Nikon D800, Tamron 24-70mm; taken at 55mm, f/4, 1/200, ISO 1000


A 24-70 f/2.8 is a great standard zoom to own. They’re wide enough for respectable indoor shots and tight enough to capture an intimate portrait. With this Tamron you can quickly and easily go from a wide shot at 24mm to a tighter shot at 70mm.  Tamron geared the zoom ring so that it zooms faster from 24mm to 50mm than it does from 50mm to 70mm. While that doesn’t seem like a useful feature, I found that if you have the camera down, notice something that you want to zoom in on, you can have the camera to your eye and the lens set to 70mm in virtually no time!  It works well for those fleeting moments that you find at weddings, or as your sitting on your heels, waiting for a runner to run past a puddle and as he does, you’re day dreaming about the great shots you’re going to get.

Photo 3

Nikon D800, Tamron 24-70mm; taken at 46mm, f/3.2, 1/2500, ISO 1000


Photo 4

Nikon D800, Tamron 24-70mm; taken at 55mm, f/5, 1/3200, ISO 1000


In all, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with this lens.  The images came out pretty darn sharp.  The focus was fast most of the time, although there was some searching in lower light situations, but that can also be attributed to the AF system on my Nikon D800.

The wide f/2.8 aperture lets in a ton of light which helps to get images in lower light situations without the fear of motion shake.  About the only bad thing I can say is the lens hood didn’t feel like it was made for this lens, and it was quite annoying to use.  Otherwise, if you get this lens, I am sure that it will quickly become your daily use lens especially for weddings, landscapes, lowlight, or nighttime photography.

Photo 5

Nikon D800, Tamron 24-70mm; taken at 52mm, f/2.8, 1/8000, ISO 900

Kenneth writes his own blog too, you can find it here:  http://www.stuckshutter.com/


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