Tamron's professional-level 24-70mm f/2.8 lens costs about the same as its brand-name equivalents, so is it worth the price? Tim Coleman puts it to the test. Read the Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD review
Build and handling
At 825g, the Tamron lens is reassuringly weighty. This is not only due to the amount of glass packed into the lens, but also the inclusion of Vibration Compensation. However, because Sony includes image stabilisation in its camera bodies, Vibration Compensation is not included in the Sony-fit version of this lens. Although the Tamron lens is a similar length to other 24-70mm f/2.8 models, it is a little chunkier at 88.2mm in diameter and with an 82mm lens thread. The size and weight of the lens balance well with a camera like the Canon EOS 5D Mark III that was used in this test.
The lens body is built to a high standard, with a moisture-resistant and weather-sealed, high-quality plastic construction and, as one would expect, a metal lens mount with appropriate contacts for full auto control. I have used all the brand-name versions of this lens, and can say that this Tamron model features extra controls, including a switch to activate Vibration Compensation. A lock for the zoom is also included, which can be used at the 24mm setting when the lens is packed away to prevent the barrel from extending.
It took me some time to become acclimatised to the placement of the focus and zoom rings. Unusually, the focus ring is closer to the camera body with the zoom control at the far end. When focusing manually, I often had to search for the focus ring, so I would like to see it a little wider for a quicker find. However, both the zoom and focus rings are dampened for smooth control. Close focus is quoted at 38cm.