In the fall of 2015, Tamron began introducing new versions of popular lenses with upgraded construction and ergonomics. It began with several primes (35mm, 45mm, 85mm and 90mm) and then zooms as well, starting with the SP 150-600mm F/5.6-6.3 Di VC USD G2, followed by the SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 and now the newest G2 lens, the Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 (Model A032).
A Di-series lens, the new 24-70mm is designed to be used with full-frame sensor cameras, but can also be used with APS-C systems, providing an equivalent focal range of approximately 36-105mm when attached to the latter.
Available in Canon and Nikon mounts, at $1,199, it’s priced very competitively against the options available from those camera makers. Canon’s ƒ/2.8 offering, the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM, retails for about $1,749 and doesn’t include image stabilization. Nikon has two ƒ/2.8 models, the AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm F2.8G ED that sells for around $1,799 and the AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR that includes stabilization for $2,399. Tamron’s Vibration Compensation system is CIPA-rated to provide up to five stops of correction, beating Nikon’s four stops—noteworthy for a lens that’s half the price.
As we’ve observed in reviews of other G2 Tamron lenses like the SP 70-200mm F/2.8 G2, the material and construction upgrades are very nice. The metallic barrel, rubber grip zoom and focus rings, and generously sized autofocus and Vibration Compensation switches add up to an ergonomic experience that’s satisfying and feels premium. The lens also features six weather seals to protect against the elements, and another nice durability feature is the fluorine coating on the front lens element that repels oil and water, making it easier to clean when needed.
We had the opportunity to bring the lens with us on a recent trip to Jackson, Wyoming, for the Summit Nature Photography Workshop, photographing in and around Grand Teton National Park. We were impressed with both the image quality and the responsiveness of the lens’ autofocus with our Nikon D750. Among the improvements from Tamron’s previous generation 24-70mm is a “dual MPU control system.” One MPU (micro-processing unit) is dedicated to controlling the lens’ Vibration Compensation system, and the other is dedicated to autofocus. The result of providing dedicated processors for these tasks, according to Tamron, is more precise AF and consistent stabilization performance—presumably a key factor in the Vibration Compensation system’s five stops of correction versus four stops in the previous generation of this lens.
Overall, we found the Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 to be an excellent value, with its fast, constant ƒ/2.8 maximum aperture, advanced stabilization, solid construction and competitive price.
Key Specs: Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2
|Optical Construction||17 elements in 12 groups|
|Minimum Focusing Distance||15 in.|
|Maximum Diameter||3.5 in.|
|Length||4.4 in. (Canon)
4.3 in. (Nikon)
|Weight||31.9 oz. (Canon)
31.7 oz. (Nikon)