Why the Tamron 24-70 is better than the Nikon

March 23, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Before I start, if you’re looking for test shots of charts and the like, then this isn’t the review for you.  This is my real world, working experience.

 

I upgraded to the Nikon 24-70mm 2.8 from the Tamron 17-50mm VC, after deciding to go full frame with my cameras.  I wanted to go to the Tamron, but I came across a refurbished Nikon 24-70 at the Nikon repair center in Mississauga, Ontario when I was bringing in one of my cameras for cleaning.  The cost was, I thought, unbeatable, and I decided to go ahead and purchase it at the time.

 

A lot of Nikon shooters used to  prefer Nikon/Nikkor lenses vs the ‘third party’ versions such as Sigma and Tamron.  Even to a lesser extent today, if you review the message boards of photography sites, they will have people insisting that you purchase the Nikon branded lenses. This did sway my decision a bit.

 

I should have gone with my gut and just waited and purchased the Tamron 24-70.  

 

Don’t get me wrong, the Nikon focused quicker than almost any lenses I had up to that point and it really was my workhorse for a while.  Paired with my D700, or even the D7100 I was shooting with as a backup, was great.

 

My main reason for going to the Tamron was the VC.  At the time, Nikon had not yet released the VR version.  I thought, to be honest, that I was giving up quality, to go with the lens with VC.  I shake when I shoot sometimes, and felt, even though I didn’t need it in all situations, especially with the wider angles, I wanted it to help out when I was shooting in darker rooms and just didn’t want to worry about it.  The reviews were all glowing about this lens, but a part of me just couldn’t comprehend that it would be better.

 

I finally went for it and my expectations were exceeded so far that I just couldn’t wrap my head around what I was seeing.  I purchased the Nikon D750 at the time, and thought at first that was the only reason, but then I shot it on my D700 and realized that it was indeed the lens.

 

Even if you are not a pro on a budget, then this lens is not a compromise.  It’s amazingly sharp, focus is very quick, with great colours, and actually let in more light than my Nikon.  I constantly had to dial in ⅓-½ stop darker exposure compensation when shooting in aperture priority, or ⅓-½ faster shutter in manual vs the Nikon.  The CA was also consistently less than my Nikon, although the Nikon was never a problem to me.

 

I’ve spoken about all the pros, now the cons.

 

The Tamron is definitely not on the same quality level for the build.  It is a tank, to me, but the all metal body of the Nikon made it feel like the Nikon would stand up to a lot more abuse.  There are those out there though that will argue that a plastic or composite body will actually stand up to being dropped better than the metal body.  Personally, I don’t want to find out.  I have dropped an older 50mm 1.4D all metal body and it was done afterwards.

 

The focus ring on the Tamron isn’t great for manual focus, but I find the majority of new AF lenses to be the same.  The older film lenses just feel better when trying to manually focus, but I’ve never been a huge manual focus shooter.  (What I’m shooting now is even better. Spoilers!)  

 

This isn’t necessarily a con, but the zoom ring was stiff.  Some people may not like it.  It was just right for me personally, but I thought I’d mention it because it definitely had a different feel from the Nikon 24-70 I had, and ones I’ve tried in the past.

 

Overall I would, as the title points out, suggest people to purchase the Tamron over the Nikon in most situations.  It’s less expensive, and optically better, so I don’t see why you would purchase the Nikon.  I haven’t shot the Canon 24-70 for a number of years, and that was only using someone else's for a few shots, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the result was the same for the Canon version.

 

I purchased my Tamron from Henry’s in Mississauga, my favourite gear store.  Tamron is distributed and warrantied by Amplis, in Canada.

 

The photo is from the Tamron USA website.

 

Comments

No comments posted.
Loading...

Archive
January February (2) March (8) April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December (2)
January February March (1) April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December