When we were told that the Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 VC lens was shipping on April 26, I can't understate how stoked Pat, Lee and myself were. Since we read the press release, we have been itching to get our hands on one. Why? Because this lens fills a void we have been aching for since DSLRs started shooting quality video.
So why does the Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 VC matter?
Jaron Schneider: Of all the lens choices available, for many the 24-70mm is far and away the most versatile, desirable, all around top pick workhorse lens you can buy. In fact, Fstoppers voted it the clear winner among the popular lenses currently available if they had to pick one lens and one lens only for the rest of their lives- an astounding 44.29% of those polled (a pool of 3,281 readers). When there are seven options and a vast range of styles and subject matter to photograph, 44% is huge.
As big as this percentage is, these results are not surprising at all. It is great for just about any style and can make the jump among the different types of photography seamlessly. The lens also makes some great video- if you have a tripod or great steady cam rig. Up until now there has not been a model of the 24-70mm available from any manufacturer that offers some sort of vibration reduction, or as Tamron calls it, Vibration Compensation. Vibration Compensation makes all the difference, especially if you're like me and your love for all things photography courses through your veins with such immeasurable pressure that it makes your hands shake uncontrollably. I can shoot hand-held with Tamron Vibration Compensation without a problem, as is evidenced by the moving videography in our FS Original with Blair Bunting and the Lamborghini Aventador.
As you can see in the chart below, there are four major players in the 24-70mm f/2.8 battle (click to see larger).
Side by side, the lenses are nearly identical. The main differences come in with price point and vibration reduction. Notice how only one lens has any sort of vibration reduction/compensation: Tamron. When I see this lens, I see something I desperately need and have been craving.
Lee Morris: When it comes to video, the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC is my favorite lens. Why? The Vibration Compensation that this lens has is the best that I have ever used in any lens. Most of the Fstoppers Original videos that we shoot require that I film without a tripod, and that means I am hand holding the camera 90% of the time. The VC on this lens can actually make my hand held shots look like my camera is on a tripod. With the "rolling shutter" issue, steady shots with DSLRs make the production value much higher.
The downside to this lens is that it is a DX lens so it will not work with the new full frame Nikon D800 or D4 or Canon's 5D MKIII. I have no clue why Canon and Nikon have been so slow to release a full frame 24-70mm with IS or VR, but those lenses still do not exist.
When I heard that Tamron was finally creating a full frame equivalent (the 24-70mm f/2.8 VC) I got extremely excited. The lens isn't cheap at $1300, but I see that as a good thing. I know that if Tamron is going to sell a lens for $1300 the build quality and sharpness will reflect the high price. If the optics of this lens can compare to my Nikon 24-70mm and the VC is even close to my Tamron 17-50mm, the new Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 VC will probably never leave my Nikon D800 Body.
Patrick Hall: As a wedding photographer and for filming Fstoppers Originals, I really need a fast lens that can work in low light both on and off the tripod. Since Nikon does not produce a standard 2.8 lens with VR, I wound up using the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC and found that Tamron's Vibration Compensation might actually be the most effective lens stabilization of any lens I've used. It really makes switching from stills to video a snap, and if the new 24-70 works as well as the 17-50mm then I will definitely have one on my full frame DSLRs.
So you can see, the core of why we want this lens is because we love the 17-50mm so much. We have immense faith in Tamron's Vibration Compensation. We're gonna have to sit tight and sweat things out for a few days while we wait for our review copy to arrive. Look for our full, comprehensive review of the upcoming Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 DI VC USD lens in the coming weeks. Until then, let us know: are you as excited as we are?