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Joe Willie | profile | all galleries >> equipment_reviews >> Lens Tests >> Tamron SP AF 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD (IF) Lens Test & Review tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Tamron SP AF 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD (IF) Lens Test & Review

I use this lens as my standard zoom. Given the large aperature of this lens, I consider it to be light (18 oz.) and cheap (retails currently at $350 online). The zoom turns the opposite direction of the Canon zooms, which is unfortunate. However, unlike the non-L Canon lenses, all Tamron lenses come standard with hoods. What's more, the front lens cap is easily removed or replaced with the hood on, which is a nice feature. The rear lens cap, on the otherhand, only fastens when aligned one way and fits loosely, whereas the Canon lenses can be in any one of three positions and the fit is more snug. As for image quality, it's generally good. I have some ongoing focusing issues at shorter focal lengths and this is getting somewhat annoying. On my 350D, I found that the lens was prone to "front focusing" at these focal lengths. When focusing on an object 40 feet away, the object would be out of focus while objects 5 feet away in the side of the image were in focus. On my 30D, it seems that this lens is simply inconsistent at shorter focal lengths. When the autofocus works, the images are sharp, contrasty, and saturated. The close focusing ability of this lens is a nice feature. It is useful for "near macro" applications. A new use I found for this lens this past winter ('07) is nighttime alpine racing. I am able to get decent pan shots wide open at 75mm, ISO 1600, and slow shutter speeds (1/60th second) if I position myself near the gate with the best lighting. Overall, I have mixed feelings about this lens. If the autofocus was more consistent, I would be enthralled at all times. However, this is an ongoing issue and I find myself using the EF-S 18-55 kit lens (!) more often in place of this lens. I think I will send the Tamron back to the factory to see if they can improve the autofocus performance. Given that the Tamron is one third the cost and half the weight of the Canon 24-70 f/2.8L, it should be a worthy low-cost alternative, but only if it works well for you.
Tamron SP AF 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD (IF) Lens Tests
:: Tamron SP AF 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD (IF) Lens Tests ::
Tamron SP AF 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD (IF) Sample Images
:: Tamron SP AF 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD (IF) Sample Images ::