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  Reviews by: StevenPA  

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

Review Date: Aug 30, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Size, weight, cost, constant f/2.8, zoom lock. Also, nice wide manual focus ring, pleasing bokeh, sturdy feel.
Focus ring turns during focus. Focus can be a bit noisy and slow. 28mm isn't wide enough on a 1.6x crop body; wish it was 24mm.

With all the good press this lens gets, anyone who is looking for a walkaround lens would do very well to cosider the Tamron 28-75. I'll be bold here and say that it is the best lens at its focal length and price point.

The lens is light and compact, and matches with my 300D very nicely. I find that I get good balance from the two even when the zoom is fully extended, which helps minimize camera shake to a certain degree.

The different parts of the lens feel very sturdy. The zoom ring is tight and not gritty. The focus ring is nice and wide with a similar tight but non-gritty feel. The barrel, when extended, doesn't wobble. Lastly, the rubber around the zoom and focus rings has a tough yet supple feel to it. Oh and kudos to Tamron for one of the greatest lens caps out there and the free hood!

About the only gripe I've developed concerning the physical characteristics of this lens is with the zoom range. 28mm just isn't wide enough on a 1.6x crop factor body and I find myself bumping up against the wide end of the lens too much for my liking. Even an extra 4mm at the wide end would be fantastic!

On my copy, the lens wide open at 28mm is good (acceptable, useable, up to my standards for wide open performance) and sharp, sharp, sharp at the 75mm end. I never hesitate to use the lens wide open from 35mm to 75mm if I want a shallow DOF or if low-light requires f/2.8. Stopped down to about f/5.6, the contrast and clarity of fine lines (like hair) gets even better. As others have noted, the images tend to be a bit warm from this lens, but that doesn't bother me very much at all. I shoot mostly in RAW and can adjust the WB if need be, which isn't that often.

About the only cons I can think of for the performance of this lens (and they aren't that big) concern achieving focus. The motor tends to be a bit noisy, but still it's much quieter than the rackety Canon 50mm f/1.8. Also, focus can be a bit slow. Minor compalints? Yeah, I think so. I've never missed a shot entirely because of focus issues like these.

On a personal note, overall I'm more than satisfied with the Tamron and seem to recommend it to friends and whomever is looking for something in this focal length. I was leary of buying 3rd party at first but have been won over by this lens. No feelings of buyer's remorse here at all.