In-Depth Review of Tamron’s SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 Lens

So many times it occurs to me what a wonderful time we as photographers operate in today. We find ourselves constantly being introduced to new and better gear… cheaper cameras, faster glass. That last bit about lenses is particularly true.

This robust fast telephoto lens is Tamron’s updated version of the of their first generation (model A009) 70-200mm f/2.8 and offers upgrades that make that this new comer a powerhouse in the world of fast telephoto glass. Wildlife and sport photographer… get in here.

First Impressions

The SP 70-200mm G2 offers a heavy hitting package of style and function which is evident right out of the box.The lens itself looks wonderful with it’s flat, matte black finish and contrasting bright white lettering. A great thing about updated versions of the SP line is the readily apparent attention Tamron has paid to improving not only the form, but also function of their reimagined lens offerings. The entire lens looks sleek and professional grade.Overall, the 70-200mm is substantially built but not at all overly weighty for a lens of this focal range and speed. The Canon version weighs in at 3.3 pounds (1,500g) is just tips the scales of Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM which weighs 3.28 pounds (1,490g). Nikon shooters will enjoy a .5oz shedding of body fat with their model at 52.4oz (1,485g). In general, I was pleasantly surprised at how well the the 70-200mm balanced in the hand.

Something that I noticed once I zoomed for the first time with the SP 70-200mm was that it internally articulates; meaning that as the user zooms in and out, the lens remains the same length. I admit I was not aware of this prior to the review but was elated to find out. That feature alone goes a long way with this author.

Quality of Build

As we mentioned, the lens is a substantial telephoto which means the idea of feathery delicacy isn’t expected and shouldn’t be for a lens intended to get into the thick of sporting events or wildlife photography. The SP 70-200mm feels extremely solid. The lines are elegant and the design of the lens flows well… that being said, you can definitely be sure that this is a tool meant to be used. It isn’t going to have trouble handling the elements or the demands of rigorous photo outings.The zoom and focus rings feel great and turn smoothly but firmly; nice and gripping without feeling overly rubbery. The zoom ring especially is easy to manipulate for a lens of this size and doesn’t feel as if you’re going to twist the lens right off the camera while zooming.