with Courtney Slazinik
Tamron 70-200mm 2.8 Review

When Tamron sent me the 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD I was over the moon. This lens has been on my list for years and it didn’t disappoint. I know my review won’t do this lens justice so do me a favor, head out this weekend and rent it. Play with it, fall in love with it, then get it!

The Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD is a dream lens. The images it is able to create straight out of the camera are amazing.

Why I love the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8

1. Compression
Oh my sweet goodness! The compression created by this lens is amazing. It can make your subject pop against the background taking your image to a whole other level. Plus this lens helps to create beautiful blurry backgrounds that bring your viewers attention directly to your subject.
Tamron 70-200mm f-2.8

2. Focal length
If you have kids you know they don’t always play close by. It is nice to have a lens with a longer focal length but with a fixed aperture so you don’t have to interrupt the moment they are having to capture the shot. I’ve been able to capture soccer games, school parades and everyday moments without having to get in too close.
Tamron 70-200mm f-2.8-7
Tamron 70-200mm f-2.8-3

3. It is tack sharp
You don’t need to worry that you won’t be able to capture a sharp image with a lens that has such a long focal length. This lens is tack sharp. You can freeze any type of movement. Just make sure your shutter speed is fast enough and the lens will not disappoint.
Tamron 70-200mm f-2.8-5

4. Images look awesome straight out of the camera
There is something to be said about a lens with great color and compression that the image looks good right out of the camera. This image is straight out of the camera, just saved as a jpeg and uploaded.
Tamron 70-200mm f-2.8-10

5. Amazing portrait lens
Because of the compression it creates it is a great portrait lens. It is flattery and doesn’t distort your image.
Tamron 70-200mm f-2.8-4
Tamron 70-200mm f-2.8-6

6. Great indoors too
I always thought the 70-200mm had too long of a focal length to be used indoors. I was wrong. I love being able to use it both indoor and outdoor. Now, if I’m in a small room I will shoot with it at 70mm but you are still able to capture some great shots.
Tamron 70-200mm f-2.8-8

7. It’s affordable
Compare the Tamron version to other 70-200mm f/2.8 on the market.
Tamron 70-200mm f-2.8-11

8. Fixed aperture
When looking for zoom lenses I love those with a fixed aperture, meaning you can pick the aperture no matter what focal length it is on instead of a variable aperture which means depending on how far you have it zoomed the aperture may change as you zoom.
Tamron 70-200mm f-2.8-2

If you are looking for a tack sharp lens affordable lens to capture beautiful images of your life and family, definitely look into the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD.

  • jojo
    November 12, 2014 at 10:23 AM

    is it possible to put some raw samples to see in crop the sharpness . Thanks ..

    • November 12, 2014 at 10:30 AM

      Unfortunately, I can’t upload images as a RAW file. Would you like to see a close up of the eyes? I can add that.

      • Steph
        November 12, 2014 at 11:09 AM

        I am thinking she is meaning the un-edited SOOC shots…. either way, I would love to see a close up of eyes :)

        • November 12, 2014 at 11:30 AM

          Thanks Steph! The image in #4 is SOOC. I’ll work on putting up some close up of the eyes today :)

  • Mindy
    November 12, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    What camera do you use the 70-200mm lens with?? I have a Nikon D5000 and want to upgrade. Note sure I can afford the fx cameras. Would it do as well on a dx?? Like a Nikon D7100?

    • November 12, 2014 at 1:02 PM

      I have a Nikon D700 but from my understand it does work on a Dx :)

      • Jessie
        November 12, 2014 at 1:25 PM

        It does work on a DX. I bought this lens in September and it works perfectly on my D5100. (One day I hope to upgrade to the D7100 or 750…must play the lotto!)

        • Mindy
          November 13, 2014 at 4:55 PM

          lol I know what you mean about playing the lottery! :) I want to upgrade my NikonD5000 to a D7100. Im not a “professional” so I hate to spend the money on a fx camera right now. Now I’m trying to decide on the lens. I use a 50mm 1.8 now…still looking :)

    • November 12, 2014 at 3:08 PM

      Hi Mindy, I use this lens on my D7100 (and used it for a little while on my D5100 before I upgraded). I mainly shoot sports with it and it is a beautiful lens – so happy with it! Only downfall is how heavy it is. :-)

      • Mindy
        November 13, 2014 at 4:58 PM

        I’m more of a hobby photographer….I do families, children, maternity..that kind of thing. Would you have another lens that you would recommend for a D7100 besides the 50mm 1.8 and 35mm. I have those. I like them, but I want to get back a little and get the family and the landscape…am I making any sense? lol

        • November 14, 2014 at 11:59 AM

          Yes, it make sense. If you prefer prime lenses then you may want to look into a portrait lens like the 85mm.

          • Mindy
            November 14, 2014 at 12:12 PM

            That would give me some more room to move back a little? lol I’m still learning all of this. I LOVE your site by the way! I have learned a lot! Very helpful!! Would the 85mm work well on a Nikon D7100. I just can’t see me upgrading to a fx camera when I’m still learning all of the ropes. :)

            • Mindy
              November 14, 2014 at 12:15 PM

              Would you go for the 85mm 1.4 over the 1.8? If you’re going to be a bear, be a grizzly right? lol

  • Jill Franklin
    November 12, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    I’ve never used Tamron before, is it compatible with Canon 7d?

    • November 12, 2014 at 1:03 PM

      They are great :) Yes, they are compatible with Canons. Just purchase the Canon version.

  • D M
    November 12, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    I am not familiar with Nikon, is yours a full frame camera body?

  • Jen
    November 12, 2014 at 1:44 PM

    Thanks for this. I’m excited to check it out. The last time you recommended a lens that I bought I was thrilled.

    • November 12, 2014 at 2:16 PM

      I’m so glad to hear that! I’m pretty picky on what I recommend :)

  • Natalie
    November 12, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    How much is the lense?

    • November 12, 2014 at 2:16 PM

      It depends on where you buy it but it is currently $1499 on Amazon.

  • November 12, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    I have the competitors 70-200mm/2.8 and I LOVE LOVE LOVE this lens!!!! EVERYTHING you commented about this lens is TRUE!!!! The fixed 2.8 aperture makes ALL the difference!

    I love your website and it is one of the blogs I consistently read. Thank you so much for sharing!!!!

    • November 12, 2014 at 2:17 PM

      Thank you :) So glad to hear you have a lens you love! Yay!

  • Tina
    November 12, 2014 at 2:34 PM

    I have a 55-250mm is that about the same as 70-200?

  • November 12, 2014 at 3:02 PM

    i’m new to photography but learned alot from your blog, is this lens very heavy as my hands aren’t exceptionally steady, thanks for everything

    • November 12, 2014 at 3:10 PM

      Heidi I have found it is a very heavy lens (but I find it worth it). When shooting sports I use a monopod which helps out a lot!

    • November 12, 2014 at 3:15 PM

      Yes, like Anetta said it isn’t a light lens. According to the stats it weighs 1470g which is a little over 3 lbs. But I agree, what it produces is worth the weight :)

  • Greg
    November 12, 2014 at 4:15 PM

    Tina – as to your question if this 70-200 is similar to your 55-250, both yes and no. Your lens has a similar focal range in a lighter, smaller and much cheaper package. It would be a great lens to practice with to see if you like taking pictures with that range. So why is the 70-200 $1500 compared to $250? Primarily because it lets in a lot more light, about 6x as much when zoomed in. This lets you take cleaner pictures in lower light. It is also a professional lens, so it will be sharper, have less distortion, chromatic aberration etc and it will let you blur the out of focus areas a lot more. Basically it will take a higher quality picture. But keep in mind, it will still be a very similar image other than the blurred background, so have fun with your lens and you will be able to have an idea if you want to add this to your “dream” lens list.

    • Vicki
      November 20, 2014 at 10:09 AM

      Thanks Greg for this explanation. As someone new to photography this kind of information is not easy to find! That’s why I find the comments on blogs so helpful! Please keep it up, us newbies really appreciate it :)

  • Stefanie
    November 12, 2014 at 7:04 PM

    So when would you use the 70-200 over say a 50mm or 35mm? I shoot mostly portraits, and I have only been using a 50mm 1.8. Just curious what lens you think would be better, or if they would be used under different situations? I just upgraded to the D750 (yeah, my first FF!!!) and so I will need to get more lenses. Luckily I can still use my 50mm on the 750 :) Thanks for this post. Very informative and I will definitely check out this lens!

    • November 14, 2014 at 12:01 PM

      It really depends on the look I’m going for. If I want a close up shot with a nice blurry background then I’ll grab the 70-200mm. However, if I want more of an environmental shot I’ll go for the 35mm which will include more of the surroundings.

  • MIke
    November 12, 2014 at 7:45 PM

    I have a canon EOS Rebel SL1 camera. Is this lens effective for this camera?

  • Trudy Johnson
    November 12, 2014 at 7:55 PM

    This lens (without VC) was my first “good” lens. I have taken amazing sports photos with it since 2010. I did have some issues with it once I purchased my 7D. I sent it in for warranty and they fixed it promptly. My son dropped it several months back (totally my fault for not zipping the case it was in). The UV filter shattered and the housing cracked, but it still works. I am having a few focus issues shooting football under shotty stadium lighting, but I am so totally satisfied with the 4+ years of service this lens has provided. I will purchase the VC version if I can ever afford it. I can leave the house with my Tamron 24-70mm lens (or 17-50mm if I am using my crop frame camera) and the Tamron 70-200mm lens and be confident I will capture whatever I want for the day.

    • November 14, 2014 at 12:01 PM

      Awesome! So glad you found several lenses that help you get the look you are going for :) Yay!

  • Mari
    November 13, 2014 at 6:46 AM


    Can I use this lens on a Canon?

    • Ze
      November 13, 2014 at 8:39 AM

      Yes, I use it on a 60D and works great.

      Thanks for this blog!

      • Mariana
        November 13, 2014 at 11:22 AM

        Don’t you need an adapter?

        • Ze
          November 13, 2014 at 11:25 AM

          Not at all!

    • November 14, 2014 at 12:02 PM


      Like Ze said, you can use it with Canon. When you purchase it just make sure you get the Canon version :)

      • Mari
        November 14, 2014 at 1:21 PM

        oh~ I see. I’ll be sure to pay attention to that. Thanks!

  • Mari
    November 13, 2014 at 11:29 AM

    That’s awsome! Thanks!

  • Robin
    November 14, 2014 at 9:31 AM

    Hi. I have been using the Tamaron on a Canon body for over a year now and love it! Oh and, I sincerely love this blog!

  • Alissa
    November 16, 2014 at 4:17 PM

    I have seen that they are compatible Cannon but I was wondering if it would work with a Cannon Rebel, and how it compared when using a crop body verses a full frame camera? I don’t really want to invest in a full frame camera but would love a lens that would be great for general shots and portraits.

    • November 18, 2014 at 1:20 PM

      Hey Alissa,

      Yes, it will work with your Rebel. When on a crop sensor it will be zoomed in a bit further than on a full frame. :)

      • November 23, 2014 at 10:49 PM

        have a rebel and using the 50 1.8 mm along with 18-135mm. i’m quite new at this and my photos aren’t quite as sharp as i would like them to be. I would like to know if this lens would help me take more focused and sharper shots than the lenses I currently have? thanks

    November 19, 2014 at 3:14 PM

    I’ve had the 70-200 lens for a few years. It is my go to lens. I’ve taken Wedding shots, engagement and many others. My absolute favorite lens!

  • November 19, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    Great post Courtney! Totally agree and it’s great to know that you like the Tamron version (as it’s much cheaper than the Canon or Nikon version). Sigma is doing some really neat things lately as well. Love your work…keep it up!

  • tzoutzou
    November 25, 2014 at 7:00 PM

    can you upload some samples to see the actual size of this photo ? for details chr. ab. and other stuff?

  • tzoutzou
    November 25, 2014 at 7:01 PM

    please can you post some raw files ?

  • December 29, 2014 at 8:04 PM

    I cannot find the answer online so hopefully someone can help. I own a Nikon D3000 and am looking to purchase the Tamron 70-200. However, I am unsure as to whether it is compatible. Any input is appreciated.
    Thanks so much.

  • Lucas Kaehler
    June 8, 2015 at 10:00 PM

    Thanks to this post I’ve decided to buy this lens! I’m very glad I did it! It’s now the favorite zoom lens on my collection.

Leave a Comment