It appeared on DpReview this morning. We’d briefly talked about the Canon/Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 reviews before, and I had said I hoped the Tamron was a nice alternative to the pricey versions. Reminder of the previous tests (Nikon, Canon/Nikon).
Nikon: easily resolves 6-micron pixels over the DX frame from wide-open aperture, but only ~12-15 microns in the FX corners even stopped down. Virtually perfect lens on 12MP APS-C, corners just not acceptable on 12MP FF. Need to add a 1.4x TC to make a decent 105-280 f/4 zoom on FF with 8~9 micron pixels.
Canon: resolves 8~9-micron pixels evenly across the entire frame at most apertures. Not quite sharp enough for 10MP APS-C or 21MP FF, but quite excellent on 12MP FF. Can’t really tolerate TCs on current cameras.
Now… drum beat…
Tamron: fits right in between, resolving 7~8-micron pixels at most apertures/mm, except at 135mm where it just fails optically before f/5.6. On APS-C it’s got the Canon mostly bested, and on FF it’s got the Nikkor licked.
The Nikkor is still the clear winner on APS-C frames, and Canon offers a better f/4L IS version that’s close in the price of the Tamron… so it’s up to stiff competition. Lack of image stabilization is not helping – with image stabilization I would say the Tamron steals Canon/Nikon thunder, but not quite as it is.
Now we just need to see the Sigma 70-200 review and the round-up is complete. The v1.0 of the Sigma wasn’t great, but last year they launched a v2.0 with better coatings that should really help. It’ll be very interesting to read that review: will we end up with 4 flawed lenses, or will the Sigma surprise us? :^)