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Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 XR Di Zoom AF

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175 338643 Jun 16, 2010
Recommended By Average Price
85% of reviewers $357.83
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.96
9.21
8.6
28-75mm

Specifications:
The most compact and lightest in the history of fast zoom lenses. Thanks to the revolutionary downsizing "XR" technology employed by Tamron in the development of high-power zoom lenses such as the 28-200mm and 28-300mm, the dramatic compactness that makes this lens the world's smallest and lightest is achieved. Its compactness makes it look and feel like an ordinary standard zoom lens, yet the versatility that a fast constant maximum aperture offers will definitely reshape your photographic horizons.


 


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thw2
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Registered: Dec 26, 2004
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Posts: 2813
Review Date: Aug 31, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 1 

 
Pros: Cheap, lightweight for f/2.8 lens, affordable price
Cons:
Terrible communication with Canon bodies

I went to a store to purchase the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 lens some time ago. The first copy I tried (let's call it copy A) gave horribly out of focus shots wide-open with my XT. Mind you, I've got Canon 17-85, Canon 85 f/1.8 and Sigma 150 f/2.8 lenses which work perfectly fine. Anyway, I returned to the store to exchange for copy B. This one worked out perfectly, i.e., sharp when wide-open.

Now, comes the weird part. The store has its own XT camera. We tried out both lenses on their camera. Guess what? Copy A was sharp when wide open but copy B was terrible. So, the results are just the reverse!

Conclusion? You should get the lens that matches your camera body (assuming your body is properly calibrated). If you bought it in a brick and mortar store, it's easy to get an exchange till you're satisfied. If you got it over the web... well, good luck. Wink


Aug 31, 2005
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SFishy
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Registered: Jan 10, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 57
Review Date: Aug 28, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $360.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great all-around range -- comfortable and natural fit with my camera (20D) -- not to heavy, not to light -- price!
Cons:
Have had the occassional focus issue with objects further than 30ft away

I have been using this lense for nearly 7 months (since January, '05) and could not be more pleased. It is the lens most commonly mounted to my camera for all-around shooting.

It is sharp throughout it's range and aperture. I DID have to have it calibrated when I first purchased it, but Tamron was great to deal with and I was extremely satisfied with the results. Considering the price difference between this lens and it's comparable Canon 24-70 f/2.8, I had no gripes with sending it in for Calibration and ending up with near-L quality photos.

The Lens Hood included was a nice bonus, and the fact it reverse mounts right on the lens for easy storage is a nice feature... the camera w/lens and hood are always together in my bag.

It is a nice weight - not too heavy, but not to light, which creates a nice balanced feel when on the camera.

I've found the 28-75 range to be perfect for all-around use. Though there have been times I wished for just a tiny bit more reach, there's no way I would trade this lens for the canon 17-85. 28-75, f/2.8 throughout is wonderful!

If you're never going to be taking pictures out in the pouring rain, I'd recommend this lens to ANYONE who likes this range and doesn't want to spend $1000.00 on the Canon equivalent. While it isn't weather-sealed like the 24-70L, the picture quality is just as good.

I have run into very occassional focus issues on object more than 30 feet away, but overall I've been MORE than happy with this lens! It is my favorite, and just about lives on my 20D.

Amy

Taken with the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8:

http://www.something-fishy.com/photography/albums/BeachColor/sparkling.sized.jpg

http://www.something-fishy.com/photography/albums/PeopleInBW/iggynpop1.sized.jpg

http://www.something-fishy.com/photography/albums/PeopleInColor/wendell.sized.jpg


Aug 28, 2005
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jm_mac
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Registered: Aug 28, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 27, 2005 Recommend? | Price paid: $340.00

 
Pros: Build, optical sharpness
Cons:
Massive front focus wide open/wide angle.

I bought this lens due to all the great reviews on dpreview. I bought it mainly for low-light, group, indoor venues at distance greater than 15 feet (i.e. from a close specatator's distance). Therefore, I planned to use it wide open at all focal lengths.

After taking plenty of pictures with it, I noticed that I had a high percentage of missed shots - my subject was very blurry. So I did what I never did before - I tested the lens. I found that wide open, wide angle, at over 10-15 feet, this lens couldn't autofocus worth a d*mn. However, I knew it was optically excellent because the few correctly focused shots were great, and I could use the parfocal technique to get correct focus, then zoom out.

I compared it against my other 5 lenses (all canons), and none had a focus problem, except for the 50/1.8 (only wide open). So I sent it back for the infamous "calibration." I got it back, and to make a long story short, the problem was still here. In fact, I did even more exhaustive testing than before and I discovered this lens has focus problems wide open, wide angle at *all* subject distances. When closed down to about f5.6 the depth of field increases enough to make the subject always in focus. But I paid for an f2.8 lens, not an f5.6 lens.

I plan to keep the lens. But for all intents and purposes, I will use it as a 45mm-75mm f2.8 lens, because below 45mm wide open, the focus is just plain UNRELIABLE.


Aug 27, 2005
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jm_mac
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Registered: Aug 28, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 26, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 2 

 
Pros: Built well, super sharp optics
Cons:
Can't auto focus worth a d*mn when wide open.

This is the last of 6 lenses I own, the first 5 being all Canons. I expected a lot out of it due to all the positive reviews. What I found was very disappointing.

Between f2.8 and f5.6, at distances over ~10-15 feet, this lens cannot autofocus!!! Wide open, for example, if I focus on something 20 feet away and get focus lock, things about 10 feet away end up being in focus and my subject is very blurry. When I stop down to about f5.6 it gets much better - I suspect, however, that this may be due more to the depth of field rather than focus accuracy.

I know the optics are sharp because with close-up items, the pictures are gorgeously sharp. Also, even when wide open at distances greater than 10-15 feet, I get the occasional (maybe 1 in 10 or 15) picture that is focused well and is very sharp.

Overall, I bought this lens for indoor, low-light events with subject distances greater than 15 feet - exactly the situations where it has the most problems. I cannot trust it at all, hence the low score I am giving it.

Thankfully, I still have a bunch of Canon lenses I can trust. A couple may not be as optically sharp as this Tamron, but at least they focus faster and accurately.


Aug 26, 2005
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ballji
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Registered: Jan 22, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 23, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Price, Sharp, f2.8, Built Quality
Cons:
heavy Front Focus under 40mm, very warm color, no FTM

I tested four copies of this lens on 350D side-by-side. ALL of them are heavy front focus under 40mm. Their serial numbers are differ by 1000+. I tested them on 3D objects (MLU) and real world, shot over 100 pictures per lens with and w/o 580ex.

Over 50mm, all focus near perfect. Very small amount of both FF and BF. Can't notice over f4.0.

All copies are equally sharp over f4.0 with the whole range, just one copy stay as sharp @ f3.2.

All copies are very warm color, esp with AWB. 1 copy has least contrast, which happen to be the best AF one.

All copies have very little to none CA @ f3.2, but some Flare.

If you don't mind zoom-in to AF everytime, it is the best lens in its class.







Aug 23, 2005
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Renny
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Registered: Aug 7, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $360.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Constant f2.8 aperture, reasonably sharp across the entire frame at f3.5. Good sharpness by f4. Even at f2.8 the center of the frame is sharp. Although polycarbonate, the build seems sturdy. Inner focus is nice--the end of the lens doesn't rotate when focusing which is handy when you're using a polarizer.
Cons:
Heavier than you might expect. (Although according to other reviewers lighter than competing f2.8 zoom lenses.) I kind of wish it was an 18-75 lens, but that would undoubtedly require that it be bigger and heavier.

Let me start by saying that I don't have any experience with 'L' lenses. I was looking for something affordable and sharp that could function in lower light than my 18-55 kit lens. I ran some tests to compare the 28-75 to the kit lens. I tacked a newspaper to the wall and set up a tripod. I used the timer function--it seemed to give me better results than just mirror lockup, and I couldn't seem to get both to function at the same time. Sharpness at the center of the frame is no contest. The 28-75 is sharper at f2.8 than the kit lens stopped all the way down to f10. (Maybe my copy of the kit lens is bad? Nevertheless, the 28-75 seems sharp.) The 28-75 may get a little sharper when stopped down, but I'm very impressed with the center sharpness for f2.8.

Corner/edge sharpness is a slightly different story. At f2.8 the 28-75 is maybe just a little less sharp than the kit lens at f5.6. They're close, though. At f3.5 the 28-75 sharpens up nicely and definitely beats the kit lens at f5.6. The kit lens does sharpen up from that point, but not as quickly as the Tamron.

I've only had the lens a couple of days, but I haven't seen any front-focus issues yet on by 20D. I'll edit my update my post if I have any problems.


Aug 20, 2005
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Rhys
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Registered: May 5, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 3578
Review Date: Aug 15, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: So sharp I almost cut my fingers on the prints. I have never seen a lens quite as sharp as this.
Cons:
Focussing can be a bit hit or miss at 75mm.

I read reviews of this lens and eventually ordered through my local Ritz shop. I am not disappointed. It's an excellent lens. There is the focussing issue, however.

I did my normal lens test - on a tripod - aimed at a brick wall. This test shows up distortion and focus problems rather well. At 28mm everything was crisp and I saw little if any distortion. At 75mm, the first shot was just not quite sharp. It wasn't badly out but it was on a par with the 18-55 kit lens for sharpness. My second 75mm shot was taken with the focus point moved slightly. That was so sharp I could see the grains of sand in the cement between the bricks. Distance from camera to wall - about 10 feet. My next lens test was aiming at a tree silhouetted against a bright sky. There was a little bleeding on the fringes of the leaves but that's more camera than lens.

I am so happy with this lens that I'm content to recommend it to everybody.


Aug 15, 2005
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pioneer77
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Registered: Apr 3, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 155
Review Date: Aug 7, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $359.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, build, color, contrast, and especially overall value.
Cons:
Slight front focus wide open at f/2.8, but not very much.

I use this lens on my Rebel XT (350D) and it's a great lens overall. Balances really well with the XT and the BG-E3 battery grip attached.

The lens does have a very slight front focus on a close object when it's wide open at f/2.8, but I don't really notice it in 99%+ of the shots I take and the other 1% could easily be user error. Smile

The build on this lens is great... nice and heavy, built like a tank. Zoom gets a little quick after some use, but there is a zoom lock switch that is really handy to help out with that.

Bottom line, this lens is great for the money. Very sharp photos. It's a shame that it starts at 28mm... not wide enough sometimes, but I can't count that as a negative since it's a design specification, not a flaw of the lens itself. I consider the lens worth the results even though it's not wide enough and not long enough in its reach.


Aug 7, 2005
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jimdavies
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Registered: Apr 5, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1557
Review Date: Aug 7, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very sharp. Constant f2.8. Small & light for such a fast lens (compared to Sigma 24-70 f2.8) and it's nicely balanced on a 20D. AF is fine and build is ok. Price amazing too.
Cons:
Zoom works the opposite way from a canon ('m just being picky)

I've only had this lens a couple of days and I have found it to be exactly as described by the majority of users. Very sharp and nice contrast. I also have the Tamron 17-35 f2.8-4 and I also find this to be a great lens too.

At f2.8 the depth of field is very narrow and I wonder if this is why people seem to find front focus issues. I tried it out and at first I thought I found the same but with careful focus it's perfect.

Size is amazing for such a fast lens. Compared to my Sigma 24-70 it's tiny. Build quality is not amazing but is fine for my needs. This will be on my camera a lot. :-)

Well done Tamron for making quality affordable lenses.


Aug 7, 2005
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fotoman617
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Registered: Aug 6, 2005
Location: China
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 6, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $325.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Price, image quality
Cons:
None yet

I just finished three days of testing this marvelous lens on my D2X. I compared the Tamron directly against the following lenses: Nikon 28/2.8 AFD, Nikon 35/2.0 AFD and Sigma 70-200/2.8 EX HSM (at 70mm). I shot a series of images with all lenses at sub-infinity and 2 meter focus distances and apertures of 2.8, 4, 5.6 and 11. In ALL CASES the Tamron was distinctly sharper in the corners and exhibited almost no CA. All of the other lenses exhibited considerable CA in the corners. Center sharpness was barely better with the Nikon primes (I mean barely) and better than the Sigma wide open but eaqual to the Sigma at f4. The Nikon primes exhibited higher contrast and saturation, but the Tamron performed acceptably well in this regard (easily fixable in PS)... about on par with the Sigma. Frankly I'm stunned. I did expect the other lenses to exhibit more CA, but was shocked to see the Tamron out-perform them in corner sharpness. Obviously the Tamron benefits considerably by being designed for chip imaging as opposed to film. I didn't have to "easter-egg" for a good sample... this was the first lens I purchase and I see no reason to try and find a better sample. I recommend this lens highly.

Aug 6, 2005
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drewg
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Registered: Jun 17, 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 82
Review Date: Jul 30, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Price for 2.8f!
Cons:
None to date

For the price this has been an excellent purchase. Very sharp, no problems with the AF. Has allowed me to buy into the longer canon L lenses (with a 1352L on the way) to complement this lense. I would not have been able to do this by purchasing the 24-70L, and have been able to maintain the quality I was after.



Jul 30, 2005
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dougp
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Registered: Apr 16, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 41
Review Date: Jul 28, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: $369.00 | Rating: 3 

 
Pros: Size, Price
Cons:
Erratic focus

I purchased this lens and it had a serious front focus problem especially at distances > 10ft at f2.8.

While making test shots you could easily see the objects in foreground of the picture that were in focus rather than the intended subject. I would estimate about 1 in 5 shots were properly focused.

I returned the lens and received a second one with the exact same problems. I felt it might be something wrong with my body so I borrowed my father's 300D and experienced the same problems.

I called Tamron and they explained that the lens needed to be calibrated for the digital SLR body and that due to the nature of the work, turnaround time is about 3 to 4 weeks. Not knowing what I would get back from Tamron I returned the second copy as well.

Given the above facts, I must also say that photos at f5.6 and f8.0 were sharp with very few focus problem.

I think I will give this lens another shot in about 6 months, hoping that Tamron gets their QC issues under control.


Jul 28, 2005
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wtfisk
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Registered: Apr 29, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 40
Review Date: Jul 28, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 3 

 
Pros: Cost, rebate coupons, hood, and 6 year warranty. Feels good and appears to be a inexpensive alternative to Canon's 24-70L. I was able to use it for a week since, I had sold my Canon 24-70L in order to "roll up" to a Canon 70-200 F/2.8 IS L This created a gap for me in the 24-70mm range that I "gladly" vacated for the "big one". Or so it seemed
Cons:
Very poor quality in all of the neccesary ways. Focus softness both indoors and inside. Poor macro...I left manual alone and geared back to Auto, and Portrait..only mediocre results. I tried using a step-up ring (67-77) and poor results again. I was totally boon-swangled! Could most of the reviews be so wrong? Or could I have a "bad copy"? The AF searches too much, and feels cheap. Although, the build id fine, the acid test is in the results. And this lens failed!

After, much research, I decided to plunge ahead for a Tamron AF 28-75mm f2.8 XR Di Zoom, 3rd party lens that boasted and advertised itself a relative competitor to the Canon 24-70mm. It received superior reviews on this website. I bought it! After shooting 100 picts at various settings, my conclusion was that I have a "stinker" of a lens. About 1 out of 10 picts were "OK". After much deliberation, I brought it back on the assumption it was a "bad copy". The salesman suggested a 24-70mm for 3x's as much. But for the short term, I settled for a Canon 24-85mm. Not as well reviewed as the Tamron, but I had to cover that lens range, as I'm taking an advanced photo class where this range is essential. Well, after a few shots in almost the same situations, indoors and out, the "lowly" Canon 24-85 outperformed the Tamron significantly. I shot 100 picts. today and there is no comparison, at this point. The Canon outperformed the Tamron by about the same margin as the Canon 24-70L would outperform the Canon 24-85. I admit, I was a bit hasty in trading up for the superb and costly 70-200 2.4 IS. But for now, the Canon 24-85 will be my spare, until I move up. Also, the copy of the Tamron might have been "bad", if another one comes into the store, I'm willing to re-try it. But for now, there simply is no comparison between the Canon 24-70, the Canon 24-85 and the Tamron 28-75. And after, much research, I decided to plunge ahead for a Tamron AF 28-75mm f2.8 XR Di Zoom, 3rd party lens that boasted and advertised itself a relative competitor to the Canon 24-70mm. It received superior reviews on this website. I bought it! After shooting 100 picts at various settings, my conclusion was that I have a "stinker" of a lens. About 1 out of 10 picts were "OK". After much deliberation, I brought it back on the assumption it was a "bad copy". The salesman suggested a 24-70mm for 3x'x as much. But for the short term, I settled for a Canon 24-85mm. Not as well reviewed as the Tamron, but I had to cover that lens range, as I'm taking an advanced photo class where this range is essential. Well, after a few shots in almost the same situations, indoors and out, the "lowly" Canon 24-85 outperformed the Tamron significantly. I shot 100 picts. today and there is no comparison, at this point. The Canon 24-85mm out performed tha Tamron by about the same margin as the Canon 24-70L would outperform the Canon 24-85. I admit, I was a bit hasty in trading up for the superb and costly Canon 70-200 2.4 IS. But for now, the Canon 24-85 will be my spare, until I move up. Also, the copy of the Tamron might have been "bad" , if another one comes into the store, I'm willing to re-try it. But for now, there simply is no comparison between the Canon 24-70L and the Tamron AF 28-75mm f2.8 XR Di Zoom. I have field tested them both...actually all three. Lastly, you get what you pay for..But is the Canon 24-70L 3X's better than the Canon 24-85 or the Tamron? Who can say? Make sure you field test your lens before you call it a "keeper". Lastly, you get what you pay for..But is the Canon 24-70L 3X's better than the Canon 24-85 or the Tamron AF 28-75mm f2.8 XR Di Zoom? Who can say? Make sure you field test your lens before you call it a "keeper". Canon is the clear winner in a three lens race, here. Tamron came in 4th!

Jul 28, 2005
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Hrow
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Registered: Oct 18, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 5332
Review Date: Jul 19, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: $340.00 | Rating: 3 

 
Pros: Size
Cons:
Lack of sharpness wide open, serious focusing problems on anything over 15 feet away. Cost as any price is too high if the lens can't perform its most basic functions.

Given the widely differing opinions of this lens, my best suggestion is to buy it from a shop that accepts returns. Obviously, many people are very happy with their lenses but I was not.

The two problems with mine have been mirrored by others, exceptionally soft at 2.8 and errartic focus problems on subjects over 15 feet away. The focusing issues were just strange. Sometimes it was dead on and other times it was seriously out of whack. With no way to predict whether a shot would be in focus or not, the lens went back and was replaced by a 24-70L. In addition to it being MUCH sharper at 2.8 and 4 (about the same at F8) and actually being able to focus on the subject, the L has a subtle but significant extra something that makes the images come alive that the Tamron lacked.

I certainly acknowledge that my bad Tamron, great Canon experience may not be duplicated by everyone else. In fact, given some of the concerns about the 24-70L, it is very likely that my experience has probably been experienced by someone else in reverse. Again, probably the smartest thing to do is to buy either from a vendor where returns won't be a hassle.



Jul 19, 2005
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HKram
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Registered: Apr 17, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 39
Review Date: Jul 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $360.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Value for money, excellent walkaround, very sharp (rivals L).
Cons:
Plasticky feel? Actually, forget it, I'm not going to list things that dont matter at all.....

I bought the lens based on many reviews I read and I was looking for a lens to cover the mid-range. The lens is a perfect fit.

I have done a series of tests for sharpness on this lens. You can see the snaps at
http://kram.fotopic.net/c609783.html
and decide for yourself. I had read enough about bad copies, but didnt have any such issues.

Overall, a great substitute for the canon 24-70. Even if there are some who feel the L is superior (an it probably is), this lens will probably force canon to price their 24-70 lower very soon.

Buy it....you wont be disappointed.


Jul 10, 2005
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Cliffee
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Registered: May 19, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $329.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very sharp, at all lenghts and apertures, great contrast and color. Constant 2.8. Not to heavy and very small for such a fast lense. Focus is fast (not quit USM fast) but fast enough for anything I could imagine. Focus is pretty silent also. Contruction is pretty solid. For the price nothing comes close!! This lense will be on my 20D 90% of the time.
Cons:
Slight front focus confirmed wide open. Worse around 50mm for some reason. Spoke to manager at Tamron service in NY and he said to mail it and and after it's calibrated on their 20D he garuntees it will be perfect. We shall see?



Jul 5, 2005
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Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 XR Di Zoom AF

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
175 338643 Jun 16, 2010
Recommended By Average Price
85% of reviewers $357.83
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.96
9.21
8.6
28-75mm


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