I picked up the Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 on that Amazon warehouse deal I posted awhile back and I’ve been using it quit a bit over my last month worth of travel. Image quality so far has been great and I’ve found the VC (vibration control) a lot more useful then I expected.

The vibration control isn’t going to fix everything, but it really works well for slow steady handheld movements. Volume levels of the VC motor aren’t as loud as the Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS but it’s still loud enough to be picked up by the RODE videomic pro when mounted directly to the camera. I’m not sure whether the noise is picked up audibly or transmitted through the camera body itself, I’ll have to do some more testing.

Tamron made a good design choice by using a raised pad for the AF and VC switches. This makes it very easy to find them by feel, saving the trouble of having to flip the camera around every time you need to turn things on and off. Each switch provides a very reassuring click when operated and the overall build of the lens feels solid.

Fully extend the Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 is a long fellow, but it doesn’t seem to be any bigger then Canon’s original 24-70mm f2.8 and it’s weight is very consistent with Canon’s offering (825 g v.s. 803 g), especially when you consider the added VC motor.  Focus speeds feel a little bit slower then my prime lenses, but the focus motor is still very quiet and the focus ring supports Full-Time Manual control making it very easy to rack focus.

At 24mm the Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 does show a noticeable amount of barrel distortion, this can easily be corrected in post, or if you’re a Canon 5d mark III owner, you can simply make this correction in camera (in camera correction only works with Canon lenses, thanks for the correction Dave). The Canon 24-70mm f2.8 mark II doesn’t suffer from this problem, but at twice the price it might not be a value for people willing to “fix it in post”. One other issue I’ve run into so far is that the lens sometimes errors out my 5d mark III when filming. During a 12 hour day of shooting with this lens, I had two occasions where the camera would report a “lens err” and I had to pull the battery to get it to reset. The two times it happened I was using VC on the lens to shoot an effects sequence at close range (laying on the floor), so I’m wondering if it has anything to do with the power drain caused by the VC motor operation. I haven’t run into the problem on other bodies and I’ve sent in an e-mail to Tamron’s customer support to see if this is a known issue.

Other then the few hiccups, I’ve been very happy so far with the price to performance offered by this lens. I’ll see if that feeling has changed when I finally get to the full review.

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