For the new full-frame 70-200mm (model
A025), Tamron went back to the drawing
board, revamping the earlier design to
improve autofocusing speed and precision
and improve image stabilization (or Vibration
Compensation, as Tamron calls it). Like other
models in the SP lineup, the 70-200mm has
been built to resolve the plentiful pixels
packed into modern image sensors.
The lens’s VC is now able to deliver up
to 5 stops of image stabilization, per CIPA
standards. It’s available in three modes:
Mode 1 balances between the stability of the
image in the viewfinder with the stability
of the final image. Mode 2 is dedicated to
stabilizing your image during panning. Mode
3 prioritizes the stability of the final image
and won’t stabilize the viewfinder image.
Another nice upgrade is the minimum
focusing distance. It’s now 37. 4 inches, down
from its predecessor’s 50.7-inches. You’ll
enjoy a maximum magnification of 1: 6. 1
The SP 70-200mm now features Tamron’s
eBAND Coating to reduce flare and ghosting
and fluorine coating on the front of the lens to
make it easier to clean.
The nine-blade aperture stops down
f/22. Autofocusing is driven by an Ultrasonic
Silent Drive motor. You’ll have the option to
manually tweak focus even when the lens is
set to AF thanks to its full-time manual focus
The SP70-200mm is compatible with
the company’s optional TAP-in Console to
customize VC, update firmware and make
other lens adjustments. It’s also compatible
with a pair of new teleconverters: a 1.4x
(TC-X14) and a 2.0x (TC-X20) to extend its
reach still further.
As with most recent Tamron lenses, the
Nikon mount has been upgraded with an
electromagnetic diaphragm for better exposure
control during continuous shooting (a standard
feature on the company’s Canon-mount lenses).
The 70-200mm maintains the improved
industrial design of all of Tamron’s refreshed
SP lenses. It’s weather and dust resistant,
yet not overly bulky. At 52. 9 ounces (Canon
mount) it’s essentially the same weight as
Canon’s EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens.
The Nikon mount version weighs in at just
2 ounces lighter than Nikon’s own AF-S 70-
200mm f/2.8 ED VR II.
The focus and zoom rings turn smoothly and
there’s a series of three convenient buttons to
It’s a measure of how low video ranks in
Ricoh’s priorities that the K- 70 is the first model
to offer C-AF in video. Not surprisingly, it’s not
nearly as seamless or responsive as Canon’s
Dual Pixel CMOS AF or the performance
you can expect from a Sony or Panasonic
mirrorless camera, but it’s adequate in a pinch.
However, it’s very noisy when paired with the
DR18-135mm kit lens. The K- 70 doesn’t record
4K video, but full HD/30p video. You can
adjust ISO during video shooting. You can
also set a color profile beforehand.
The K- 70 clocks in with a respectable burst
mode of 6 fps with focus fixed on the first
frame—that’s one frame-per-second faster
than both the Canon Rebel T6i and Nikon’s
D5600. You can burst for about 12 RAW
frames and well over 50 JPEGs but it took
us over a 10-count to clear the buffer.
Focus locks quickly in single point
mode and is able to lock on rather reliably
in low light. We found continuous AF
performance to be mostly up to the task
of freezing fast-moving objects, though
the camera did appear to struggle with
objects moving toward the lens. While
image stabilization was rated for 4. 5 stops
by CIPA, we had less luck keeping images
steady below 1/45th sec. shutter speeds.
You’ll enjoy 480 shots per battery per
CIPA standards, which is fairly modest by
DSLR standards. By comparison, you’ll get
over 900 shots on Nikon’s D5600.
The K- 70 compares favorably to
its comparably priced DSLR peers,
particularly if capturing blazing-fast action
or high-quality video isn’t a top priority.
If that’s your mandate, Nikon’s D5600 has
a similar resolution but more than three
times the number of AF points and full HD
recording to 60p. The K- 70 is a fair amount
heavier than both the D5600 and Rebel T6i
but we think that’s a worthwhile trade-off
for its durable, rugged build.
tamron sP 70-200mm F/2.8
Di Vc usD gs
Alongside the 24-70mm, the 70-200mm is a classic zoom lens—a staple in most every
photographer’s kit. Whenever a major lens maker rolls out an updated version of these
lenses, it’s kind of a big deal.
So we were naturally excited to see Tamron refresh its 70-200mm f/2.8 lens with the
updated SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2. We tested a Canon mount version of the new
70-200mm with N.J. photographer and director David Patiño ( www.davidpatino.com).
ricoh Pentax K- 70
Pros: Weather-sealed; Pixel Shift
Resolution mode; AA filter simulation
mode, good value.
cons: Sluggish and noisy AF in video;
C-AF can be slow; video features
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