Why I bought the Tamron 70-200 f/2.8

As those of you who follow my Facebook Page will know, I recently bought myself the Tamron SP AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro Lens. I posted some samples on my Facebook page and some photos of the lens. After seeing this (fairly large) lens some people thought it is a super zoom lens, but it is not. It has a range of 70mm to 200mm which isn’t far for a zoom lens, yet it is fairly large (and heavy, but lighter than other makes in the same class). Many photographers, even non-professional or amateurs, usually own a 70-300mm lens which has 100mm more reach, so why would I want this specific lens which is big, heavy and reaches only 200mm?

Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 sample

Though I can cite many reasons why I chose this lens I will only give the main ones.

1. It is a “Fast” lens

With a constant f/2.8 wide aperture it helps to take photos in low light at faster shutter speeds and lower ISO which improves quality of photos. Since I do professional wedding photography in the North West Province of South Africa I needed another fast lens for weddings which also gives me more reach. I already own a Sony 28-75 f/2.8 and a Minolta 50mm f/1.7, but they just don’t quite have the reach for some situations. Situations where I sometimes find I need a longer reach is during the ceremony which sometimes is in a church with low lighting. To get those close-up tight shots of the bride and groom normally requires me to move in close to the couple which can interfere with the people attending. I try to be as invisible during a ceremony as possible so those present can enjoy the proceedings without the photographer getting in the way. Using a 28-75 lens just doesn’t get you very close to things as they happen. Using a 70-300mm f/3.5-5.6 lens does not cut it either as it forces slower shutter speeds and the use of high ISO which really degrades the quality of the photos.

2. It is a quality lens

There is a misconception amongst many people that Tamron, Sigma and other after market lenses produced by manufacturers other than those of your camera make are not good, but this is untrue. Like Canon, Nikon, Sony and other camera manufacturers Tamron has entry level lenses for beginners and amateur photographers which are good enough for certain applications, but cannot be considered professional grade. Tamron does, however, produce excellent professional grade lenses and this is one of them. using Low Dispersion (LD) glass and high quality optics ensures you get clean, crisp and quality light through to your camera sensor. These lenses are way more expensive than the entry level lenses, but the cost is worth it.

3. Control of Background (Bokeh)

Though Bokeh (blurring of the background) can be achieved using virtually any lens it is just so much easier with an f/2.8 lens. Using this lens I am now able to blur the background even with a full length photo of a subject in a landscape shot.

Sony A77 with Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 Landscape Sample

The ability to blur the background on a full length landscape shot brings focus to your subject. Though you may not always want this it is there for those times you have a background which you prefer to blur out slightly. Some people try to do this in editing afterwards, but this always produces an unrealistic looking image. Bringing your subject to halft-length shots creates even more bokeh as in the below example:

Sony A77 with Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 Half-Length Sample

Since my subject is now close to the lens the depth of field shortens (or becomes shallower) which produces larger Bokeh circles for your background. This now completely separates your subject from the background. This is an advantage when you shoot in situations where you cannot always control what appears in the background. Since the background is now so far out of focus it almost doesn’t matter what is in the background as it will hardly become distracting. This is not only great for wedding photography, but also model and portrait photos. When bringing the subject even closer for head and shoulder shots the Bokeh effect increases even more.

Sony A77 with Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 Head and Shoulder Sample


So there you have the main reasons for my decision to purchase this lens.

If you are interested in this lens or something similar then head over to SACamera where you can find the best professional photographic and studio equipment at the best prices.

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