Canon 70-300L vs Tamron 70-300 SP Di VC

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Daveg6, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. Daveg6 macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2012
    I'm trying to decide between these two telephoto zoom lenses, the Canon 70-300L or the Tamron 70-300 SP Di VC. Has anyone done a comparison on these two? I have read they are both very sharp but there is a huge difference in price. I also wonder about the Tamron's auto focus speed. Any input would be appreciated. I'll be using a Canon 7d body. I take outdoor and sports photos.
  2. milbournosphere macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2009
    San Diego, CA
    I can't comment on the Canon lens, but the Nikon-mount version of that Tammy outperforms the Nikkor 70-300 (in my humble opinion, anyway). I tried both and found the Tamron to be sharper. I've used one many times on nature outings and had no problems with the autofocus speed, and it's very sharp even at max focal length. I would have no concerns buying the Tamron lens. It's great glass for the money.
  3. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    Photozone's analysis of the lenses show that the Canon is the sharper, more pleasant-bokeh and less vignetting lens. The only area where the Tamron trumps the Canon is at the 70mm distortion, where the Canon exhibits visible amounts of barrel distortion.

    In this case, the price difference seems to make an impact in image quality. Of course both won't compare to the Canon 70-200 series in IQ but for a big-range zoom tele solution, the Canon is better than the Tamron.
  4. Policar, Jul 23, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2012

    Policar macrumors 6502a

    Nov 21, 2004
    Safari ate my long reply but long story short: my impression is that IQ is very good from the Tamron but significantly better from the Canon at 300mm f5.6. Wider and stopped down they are pretty similar, but the Canon has better contrast at 300mm by a substantial amount. You can compare here and it corroborates what I heard from a 70-300mm L owner who sold me his old Tamron:

    The IS on the Tamron is great and I use it more than my very old 70-200mm f2.8 L for stills because it's lighter and the IS is more useful than two stops extra speed--except for portraiture where you want to blur out the background.

    I wouldn't get the Canon for IQ alone unless you need to make huge enlargements or crops (or if you're a professional and can justify the cost in a few days of shooting). But the autofocus is way slower on the Tamron than it is on L zooms, so...for sports I'd consider the L.

    Just get the 70-200mm II IS, though, really. It should have good reach on the 7D. It's kind of a dream lens for me, but the cost is prohibitive.
  5. Pompiliu macrumors 6502a


    Apr 22, 2012
    70-200L f/2.8. IS or non-IS. Version I or II. Depends on your needs/budget.

    Trust me on this one. That's a lens you'll never sell and you'll use it as long as Canon still makes EF-mount cameras. ;)

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