The Tamron 70-210mm f/4 goes up against the new Canon 70-200mm f/4 IS II and Nikon 70-200mm f/4 VR

Jul 16, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

The Tamron 70-210mm f/4 goes up against the new Canon 70-200mm f/4 IS II and Nikon 70-200mm f/4 VR

Jul 16, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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The Tamron 70-210mm f/4 Di VC lens has had a lot of hype. Leaked in February, announced a day later, and subsequently reviews on its own, it’s seems to be quite a good lens. But how does it stand up against the Nikon 70-200mm f/4 VR and the brand new Canon 70-200mm f/4 IS II? And which should you buy?

That’s what this video from DPReview TV aims to find out. Chris and Jordan team up with photographer Kyle Marquardt to put them to the test. Which is going to be best for you will depend on your needs.

At the beginning of the video, they do make it clear that this isn’t supposed to be a Nikon vs. Canon video. I know it’s rare that those sorts of conversations get out of hand, but the point here is simply to test the capabilities of the Tamron. To see which lens is most deserving of your money depending on the system that you shoot.

It’s a fairly long video at 13 minutes, but it goes quite in-depth. There are a whole lot of tests pushing the limits of VR, diffraction, focus distance and a lot more besides. The short version seems to be that if you shoot Canon, then get the Canon. If you shoot Nikon, then there’s so little in it that you’re probably better off getting the Tamron and saving yourself some money.

That being said, the Tamron has inferior image stabilisation, worse focus breathing than the other two, but subjectively better bokeh. It also has the zoom ring at the far end of the lens and the focus ring closest to the camera – the opposite of both Nikon and Canon. The dials also spin the same way as the Nikon lens, which could take Canon shooters some time to adapt to.

If you’ve been thinking about getting any of the three lenses, the video is well worth a watch. And when you’ve made your decision, you can get them here.

As a Nikon shooter myself, I’d sooner go with a used 70-200mm f/2.8VR or VRII over the newer 70-200mm f/4 VR anyway. Or the Tamron 70-210mm f/4 Vi DC. But if keeping your setup as light as possible is important, then that’s not really an option for you.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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One response to “The Tamron 70-210mm f/4 goes up against the new Canon 70-200mm f/4 IS II and Nikon 70-200mm f/4 VR”

  1. Frank Nazario Avatar
    Frank Nazario

    if im going to hit the f4 range i might as well keep with the kit lens 55-200 f4-5.6 VR which gives me more range and VR and the stops you say? slide the exposure bar in Adobe Lightroom and its done… people, we have technologies that overcome almost any situation in our “digital darkrooms” don’t over stress it.