After buying an SLR either with or without the kit lens most people look for a replacement, usually something with a constant f/2.8 aperture for brighter pictures and greater light gathering capabilities.
A good contender is the Tamron SP AF28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) Macro Lens, now isn’t that a mouthful?
Lens Construction (Groups/Elements) – 14/16
Angle of View – 75Â°-32Â°
Focal Length – 28mm to 75mm
Maximum Aperture – f/2.8
Diaphragm Blade Number – 7
Minimum Aperture – f/32
Minimum Focus – 0.33m (entire zoom range)
Macro Mag. Ratio – 1:3.9 (at 75mm)
Filter Diameter – 67mm
Weight – 510g
Diameter x Length – 73mm x 92mm
Accessories – Lens hood
Mount – Canon, Minolta-D, Nikon-D
These lenses also tend to be a lot sharper than the standard fare f/3.5-5.6 kit lenses sold with most cameras.
I had my eye on this lens for a while it seems like good walk around lens, it has a little longer range than most kit lenses (75mm vs 70mm) but it’s not as wide (28mm vs 18mm).
The difference between 18-28mm on the wide end is considerable, I did think it would be ok as I own a super wide 10-20mm lens which covers that range nicely.
I have to say though after trying, this is not the ideal range for crop form cameras, 28mm or even 24mm is just NOT wide enough.
This is an ideal lens for FF or Film cameras however.
Both Nikon and Canon do have lenses in this range (28-70mm) and this is a superb replacement for those if you can live with the widest being 28mm.
This is a really good f/2.8 lens for 1/3 the price of the Nikon and Canon equivalents.
As always I fully recommend you try it out and see what you think.
Reviews: Sample Images and Conclusion
The Tamron SP AF28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) Macro is a good lens. It’s well built, small, fast, light, sharp, flare resistant and affordable ($340 after rebate). It’s about 1lb lighter and $800 cheaper than the Canon 24-70/2.8L.
It does sharpen up a tad when stopped down from f2.8 to f4, but I’ve never seen an f2.8 (or faster) lens that didn’t get better when stopped down, so this really isn’t a strike against it. It’s a reflection of the difficulty of controlling aberrations in fast lenses.
Another Nikonian based in Japan, has reported that the prestigious Asahi Camera magazine tested the Tamron 28-75mm and it got 4 stars out of 5. Strangely enough their lab concluded edges are sharper at 75mm than the center.
Overall, Asahi Camera said this lens was very close in sharpness to the Nikkor, but there were huge inconsistencies in production. We have not been able to confirm this variation ourselves, however, if you buy this lens, buy it new and buy it locally so you can exchange it if you get a not so good sample, in case they do in fact exist.
I can’t speak highly enough about this lense, extremely accurate, fast and sharp. It’s not as rugged as the comparable Canon L series lense (which I own) but it’s only about 1/3 the cost and my own controlled tests have shown it to outperform the Canon lense. It also has a smaller O.D. so fitting it with filters will cost less and is significantly lighter which helps when your hauling it around for long periods of time. My conclusion is this is a great lense for portraits, weddings and general photography, though I still perfer the Canon lense as the ultimate rugged field lense.
This is a very nice lens. I have a 70-200 4L IS and my tamron and L lens is side by side. very sharp all the way even at 2.8. This is a great walk around lens. Its on my 30D most of the time. I am surprised by the sharpness of this lens, its just a great deal for what its worth. check out my flickr for images from my tamron.