At the CP+ show in Japan, we got to have a look at Tamron’s new 70-210mm F/4 DI VC USD zoom lens. The lens looks like a good option for those who are on a budget and are looking for a compact, full-frame telephoto lens.
The 70-210mm F/4 Di VC USD features a constant maximum aperture of F4, and by using an F4 aperture and not making the lens F2.8, Tamron has managed to keep the weight down to 859g (30.3 oz.). The physical length of the 70-210mm is 17.2cm (6.8″). The lens felt nicely weighted when I tried it out on a Canon 6D and it’s nice to use a telephoto lens with an internal zoom mechanism so the physical length of the lens does not change during zooming. As the physical length of the zoom doesn’t change when zooming, it’s compatible with matte boxes on rails.
The lens has a close focus ability of 95cm (37.4″) and a front filter diameter of 67mm. The optical construction of the lens consists of (20 elements in 14 groups), and it uses three LD (Low Dispersion) lens elements to effectively compensate for axial and transverse chromatic aberrations.
The lenses AF drive system uses a USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive) ring-type ultrasonic motor that is claimed to be responsive, fast, and precise. The 70-210mm is also equipped with a Full-time Manual Focus override mechanism that enables shooters who are using the AF to instantly make fine manual focusing adjustments without switching the AF-MF mode switch. I tried out both the manual focus and autofocus capabilities of the lens and they both worked very well on a canon camera.
The lens is also equipped with Tamron’s proprietary VC system and achieves a claimed CIPA image stabilization performance level of 4 stops.* Even in low light or with slow shutter speeds.
*CIPA Standard Compliant. For Canon: EOS-5D MKIII is used; for Nikon: D810 is used.
Build quality is on par with most Tamron offerings and the lens can also be used with both the Teleconverter 1.4x (Model TC-X14) and Teleconverter 2.0x (Model TC-X20) if you need extra reach.
Competition includes the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM ($1149 USD), Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/4G ED VR ($1396.95 USD), and the Tokina AT-X 70-200mm f/4 PRO FX VCM-S ($829.95 USD).
The Tamron 70-210mm F/4 Di VC USD retails for $799 USD and is available to pre-order in both Canon and Nikon mounts. The lens will start shipping on the 2nd April in Nikon mount, and on the 26th April in canon mount.Unfortunately, Tamron hasn’t made this lens available in Sony E-mount.
Tamron was also showing a prototype of their new 28-75mm F2.8 Di III RXD E-mount full frame lens at the show. This lens weighs in at 550g and will feature an all-new high-speed AF drive system. This lens will hopefully be available sometime in the middle of this year and it looks like it might be a good solution for Sony E-mount cameras.