Tamron SP 70-210mm f/3.5 Reviews

Sep 3rd, 2006goldmet

Price Paid
$450 USD

Product Understanding
Good

Time Owned
More than a year

I've owned this lens for nearly 20 years. It's very good with film and truly excellent with a DSLR. This lens is very sharp at 70mm at all apertures. At 150 and 210mm it's tack sharp at f5.6 through f11. This is a very very high quality zoom for this range of FL. The only downside to this lens is that it's a bit heavy and long. It take some practice to use handheld.
Sep 20th, 2006TamronSP

Price Paid
$170 USD

Product Understanding
Good

Time Owned
More than a year

In my opinion, and for several reasons, this is the best 70-210 zoom lens ever designed and manufactured. Overall somewhat above average performance within its class, plus several notable design features. This later one-touch constant F3.5 aperture zoom features a unique "reverse" zooming cam in which the zoom collar moves forward to become a lens shade when zooming to the longer focal lengths. This, in conjunction with the bayonet lens hood, assures that the optics are always optimally shaded against stray light. This model 19AH has approximately 50% better overall resolution and contrast compared to the earlier two-touch model 52A. Macro optical performance is exceptional (for a zoom), reaching 1:2.66 life size at the 210mm position and with better macro performance near the corners of the focal plane compared to the earlier model.

In terms of overall optical performance, solid construction, ease of handling, zero zoom creep, and optimized variable shading when the lens is used with its lens hood, you can see why I strongly believe that this is the best 70-210 zoom lens produced by any manufacturer. In short, Tamron achieved the optimal balance of the overall design features which Tamron wished to incorporate into this lens.
Oct 6th, 2006Racinette

Price Paid
$125 used

Product Understanding
Good

Time Owned
More than a year

This lens is a real sleeper! You can usually find a good deal on Ebay for under $100 US. I bought mine used for $125 CDN in 1997 and kept it until I bought a Nikon 80-210 f2.8 a few years ago.

There are many excellent points about this lens: It's cheap (used), it's stunningly sharp - even at f4, it's a great portrait lens, the macro is very convenient, the big zoom/focus collar "feels right", it fits on practically every 35mm or dSLR camera (except Canon, which annoyingly switched lens mounts 20 years ago -- the nerve of those guys!), and it's cheap!

So, if you've got a modern DSLR Nikon or Pentax, and you don't mind focussing on your own or using the histogram for exposure with non-metering bodies like my D70S (which, by the way, WILL meter with a D2X or D200), and you can't justify the cost of an f2.8 AF lens in this range, then this lens is for you. Besides, you can use it as much as you like and probably sell it for what you paid for it, as there'll always be a demand for a lens like this.

Note: make sure you buy it with the lens hood -- stray light from the big front optic will kill your photos if you don't.

Another note: Check your Tamron mount carefully -- if it's old, this heavy lens might wiggle loose -- it happened to me once, luckily with no harm.
Jun 29th, 2007Kent

Price Paid
25,-

Product Understanding
Good

Time Owned
Less than a year

I was really lucky when I got this zoom lens. It was sold as broken, but actually it isn't. That's why I got it so cheap. This lens is amazing. A constant f3.5 and such a great performance! Some say it is the best manual 70-210 ever - and they might be right!
Aug 16th, 2007pleo

Price Paid
70 Euro

Product Understanding
Good

Time Owned
More than a year

There are at least 2 different models of this lens.
I bought mine 2nd hand and didn't know which one this was.
Build quality is really good. The zoom-ring is a bit loose for my finding.
Maybe it's called heavy - but hey: It's only 1/2 stop less than the expensive and really heavy 2.8/80-200-zooms!
Tamron always got it right with good near-distance/macro-quality in their lenses.
On film-slr it produced very good results. Very good for portrait work too.
On my Pentax DSLR (even with the PK/A-adaptor) it causes difficulties with the white-balance and exposure. That's why I sold it.
Nov 1st, 2007nikorto

Price Paid
about400

Product Understanding
Good

Time Owned
More than a year

I bought it 15 years ago.It's very well made, optical quality is very good on films, best at f4.5-8.
Macro performance are good, for a zoom. It's a very good choice for general purpose.
Apr 24th, 2008Farside

Price Paid
12.50

Product Understanding
Good

Time Owned
Less than a year

Racinette is slightly out of date with her/his commment about Canon EOS mounts - they can be found on ebay for a few bucks.

This lens is, without doubt, the best zoom lens of this range I've ever owned. My previous Tamron in this range, the 80-210 103A was good, but this surpasses it by a good margin. My version, the 19AH, is terrific all round and I wouldn't be without it now. Keep looking on ebay if you want one, for you'll find one of these hidden away somewhere, unregarded, like many Tamrons. I paid 12.50 for mine, like new, but I was quite lucky that day to get it quite so cheaply.
Mar 19th, 2010titistras

Price Paid
60

Product Understanding
Good

Time Owned
Less than a year

I've bought some months ago this 70-210 f/3.5 lens and this zoom is a very nice all-purpose gem. Adapted on my EOS Canon 5D (24x36 sensor), it gives very sharp photos, with an incredible bokeh, with the flexibility of the zoom.

Normally, I prefer fixed focal lens, but here I should agree that in term of sharpness (even at 200mm f/4) this lens is in par with pro primes I own. And the macro/proxy possibilities are incredible. Of course as many manual lens, to focus exactly, it's better if you have enough light.

The only drawback is sometimes the presence of chromatic aberrations on high contrast scenes (white birds illuminated by the sun show noticeable purple fringing when you crop on the image). Nothing is perfect...

Titi

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