Tamron AF 28-75mm F/2.8 Mini Review

Tamron AF 28-75mm F/2.8 On a EOS 60D

 

The Tamron AF 28-75mm F/2.8 Mounted on a Canon EOS 60D

  

Before anything else, I got mine from Amazon for a sale price of only $468.16 on April 1, and I just mailed the $25 rebate form to Tamron USA, so this lens only cost $443.16 after the rebate, and all I can say after using it continuously for more than a week now this is a lot of glass for the price, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a lens in the 24-70mm range.

I bought this lens to replace my year old Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8 VC. I sold it after getting my Canon EF-S 10-22mm F/3.5-4.5 Ultra-Wide Angle Lens. Now I have perfect trio, the EF-S 10-22mm, tamron 28-75mm F/2.8, and the Canon EF 70-200mm F/4 IS USM.

I was really hesitant at first, and I really wanted the Canon EF 24-70mm F/2.8, I didn't even bother to look at the Tamron at first. My eyes were stuck at the Sigma 24-70mm EX and the Canon 24-70mm F/2.8, then while I was reading some reviews I came across the Tamron 28-75mm F/2.8 and all reviews say that it has a great optics and produces excellent image quality across the board, so I look deeper and was convince and finally bought it, thinking that I'll just return it if it doesn't work the way I want.

Tamron AF 28-75mm F/2.8 On a EOS 60D

Ok so let's get on with the review. The Tamron 28-75mm F/2.8  is a fast zoom lens, compatible with both full framed and APS-C sensor cameras. It is regarded as the smallest and lightest in the history of Fast Zoom Lenses, and yes it is, up to now, it still is the most compact lens in the 24-70mm focal range competing with top name brands like Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony and Sigma. This little gem has a fast F/2.8 fix aperture and is very affordable. It bears the SP designation, for Super Performance which is Tamron's top of the line lenses.

What's with the name?
Like all Tamron lenses, this lens has a very long name – Tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8 SP XR ZL Di LD Aspherical (IF)

  • SP – SUPER PERFORMANCE :  Tamron SP (Super Performance) series is a line of ultra-high-performance lenses designed and manufactured to the exacting specifications demanded by professionals and others who require the highest possible image quality.
  • XR – EXTRA REFRATIVE INDEX GLASS : XR (Extra Refractive Index) glass can bend light rays at steeper angles, thereby decreasing the physical length of the lens while enhancing imaging performance by minimizing optical aberrations.
  • ZL – ZOOM LOCK : Another original Tamron mechanical engineering concept is the Zoom Lock (ZL), a simple convenience feature that prevents undesired extension of the lens barrel when carrying the camera/lens unit on a neck strap.
  • Di – DIGITALLY INTEGRATED :  Di (Digitally Integrated Design) is a Tamron designation that applies to lenses that have been optimized for digital capture using advanced multi-coating techniques and optical designs that assure excellent image quality across the entire picture field.
  • LD – LOW DISPERSION : Low dispersion (LD) glass elements in a lens help reduce chromatic aberration; the tendency of light of different colors to come to different points of focus at the image plane.
  • ASPHERICAL : These innovative optics allow us to achieve the ultimate in image quality, and at the same time produce lenses that offer remarkable zoom ranges in extraordinarily compact packages.
  • IF – INTERNAL FOCUSING : Internal focusing (IF) provides numerous practical benefits to photographers including a non-rotating front filter ring that facilitates the positioning of polarizing and graduated filters, and more predictable handling because the lens length does not change during focusing.

Tamron likes the names of their lenses to be descriptive. For this post I will just refer to this lens as Tamron 28-75mm F/2.8.

Specifications:

Model A09
Lens Construction (Groups/Elements) 14/16
Angle of View 75°-32°
Diaphragm Blade Number 7
Minimum Aperture F/32
Minimum Focus Distance 0.33m (13") (entire zoom range)
Macro Magnification Ratio 1:3.9 (at 75mm)
Filter Diameter ø67
Weight 510g (18.0oz.)
Diameter x Length ø73mmx 92mm
(2.9in x 3.6in)
Accessory Lens hood
Mount Canon
Nikon with Built-In Motor
Pentax
Sony

 

What's included?

The Tamron AF 28-75mm F/2.8 comes with a detachable petal lens hood, manual, and registration form. There's no padded case included like most Sigma Lenses.

Build Quality.

The Tamron AF 28-75mm F/2.8 build quality is descent. It's light, made of plastic and rubber and feels solid enough. It has no weather proofing and no dust sealing. It's lighter than my previously owned Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8, the 17-50mm is way bigger and heavier, and the 17-50mm can smash the 28-75mm if they fight 1 on 1 on the ring. Comparing it to the kit lens, the 28-75mm wins hands down. The zoom and focus rings are just the right size, perfect for my hand, it is well damped, not to tight, not too loose. Also the zoom and focus rings are made of rubber which are really nice to grip.  The Tamron 28-75mm extends when zooming, but the front element doesn't rotate, making it perfect for CPL users. The focal length lock is a great addition, maybe when the lens gets old the lock will surely prevent zoom creep, which is common on most zoom lenses.

Strong Points and Reasons to buy this lens:

  • Fast F/2.8 Fix Aperture
  • Excellent Image Quality / Excellent Optics
  • Light / Compact / Perfect for the traveler
  • Great for Low Light
  • Cost

Weak Points :

  • No Full Time Manual Focus
  • No VC /IS /OS /VR
  • No Weather Sealing / Proofing like the Canon 24-70mm L

Performance

The Tamron AF 28-75mm feature a built-in focusing motor, the lens extends when zoomed, but does not change length on focusing and the front of the barrel does not rotate. The focus ring however rotates during autofocus, so I'd like to remind you to keep your hands away from it.

Auto Focus of the Tamron AF 28-75mm F/2.8 is quite good and probably better than the Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8, it's consistent and acquires focus fast. It also performs great in low light situation, it doesn't hunt, again, in this case, I find it better than it's younger brother 17-50mm, and my nifty-fifty ( EF 50mm F/1.8).

Manual focus is very smooth and well damped, almost as nice or close to the EF 85mm F/1.8.

Here are sample photos taken with the Tamron 28-75mm mounted on a Canon EOS 60D. Sample photos were taken at 28mm and at 75mm at apertures F/2.8, F/4, F6.3 and F/8 at ISO 100, white balance set to Daylight. Photos were taken between 10 and 11 am. During the test the camera was mounted on a tripod and all images were taken in raw format and was converted to jpg using adobe lightroom 3, no adjustments where done to the photos, all are OOC(out of camera).
Shot at 28mm

Test Scene Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Test at  28mm F/8Test Scene Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Test at 28mm F/8
Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Test at  28mm F/2.8Cropped – Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Test at 28mm F/2.8
Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Test at  28mm F/4Cropped – Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Test at 28mm F/4
Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Test at  28mm F/6.3Cropped – Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Test at 28mm F/6.3
Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Test at 28mm F/8Cropped – Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Test at 28mm F/8

Shot at 75mm

Test Scene Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Test at  75mm F/8Test Scene Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Test at 75mm F/88
Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Test at 75mm F/2.8Cropped – Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Test at 75mm F/2.8
Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Test at 75mm F/4Cropped – Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Test at 75mm F/4
Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Test at 75mm F/6.3Cropped – Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Test at 75mm F/6.3
Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8  Test at 75mm F/8 Cropped – Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Test at 75mm F/8

Conclusion:
Tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8 SP XR ZL Di LD Aspherical (IF) is a great lens, has a descent built and will give you great image quality in such a small package, in fact the only downside I can see with this lens is, it doesn't have VC / IS or OS, but none of the lenses in this class and focal range has. Overall, I highly recommend this lens for those looking in the 24-70mm range. It's way cheaper than the Canon or Nikon, but can give you excellent results.

You can get the Tamron AF 28-75mm from Amazon and is available in the following mounts:

Update: 09/29/2012

I have posted an update for this review. You can read it here. 

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8 thoughts on “Tamron AF 28-75mm F/2.8 Mini Review

  1. Flickr: x3adnila

    nice! i read your review…… THAT’S NOT FAIR. howcome the price raised up to $498.76 today (without $25 discount yet) do you know how amazon does their pricing?