My test of the Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Zoom Lens with the Tamron 2x teleconverter

fighter jet Chino Planes of Fame

Money Shot! Yep the Tamron 70-200mm SP f/2.8 Di VC USD Zoom lens works for me.
2x teleconverter used. Manual Focus. Note that the bomb bay doors are open. A slow pass (if you call a jet slow) for the crowd. 2014

I did some reading before buying the Tamron 70-200mm SP f/2.8 Di VC USD Zoom lens. Most everyone agreed it was a good sharp lens. Several said it was as good as the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8, but a $1000 less. I’m not rich.

I also have spent enough years seeing great photos from photographers on really poor cameras and photographic equipment, to realize it is also personal preference and ability.

I was at the L.A. Big Photo Show and one of the venders had the Tamron 70-200mm SP f/2.8 Di VC USD Zoom lens on hand. Put it on my camera. Shoot some shots and zoomed in on the LCD on the camera to see what I thought. I liked it enough to buy it on the spot.

After going out in nature and realizing that I wanted further reach for some bird or animal shots, I read up on teleconverters.

Canon’s 2x converter would only work on the 70-200mm. The Tamron not only matched my lens put claimed to work on other lens as well. It was a little less expensive too.

So I got it in and around that same time my Dad tells me he wants to go to an Air Show. One of my camera groups sends me invite to shoot Chino Planes of Fame.

I’m not too slow or dumb, Hey Dad, Here’s an air show! It may not be an animal or bird but I was going to have lots of moving targets.

Chino Planes of Fame air show air plane

Right at the top. You can read the sponsor on the wing top. 2014

Chino Planes of Fame air show airplane

While a bit blurry, I love the artistic effect. 2014

All of these shots are manual focus, no the auto focus with the 2x just doesn’t handle it. It was easy enough to zone focus to get ready and adjust as the planes came in to the shot I wanted.

Chino Planes of Fame air show plane

Down low, nice effect. 2014

That first shot of the jet was 374mm effective focal length, 1/250 a sec, f/13. Hand held, manual focus. I shot a little on the ground of planes but, I spent the afternoon shooting flying planes. I’m going back through them for this post, and yes I still think it is a great lens specially at the price.

I will be selling prints and ? of photos from this show on my e-commerce site. More info coming soon.

Here are some more photos:

Chino Planes of Fame air show jet

Low Jet, Whoosh! 2014

Chino Planes of Fame Air Show WWII fighter

WWII fighter plane. Chino Planes of Fame Air Show 2014

Chino Planes of Fame WWII plane

Well liked old bird. Chino Planes of Fame Air Show 2014

A couple of group shots

Chino Planes of Fame air show planes

Not too bad. 2014

But I like this one better, note the focus is on the nose of the jet.

Fly by of Chino Planes of Fame Air show planes

Fly by, shallower depth of focus and motion of not quite sync-ed speed of planes. Nose of jet is fairly sharp in RAW file. 2014

Fly by of Chino Planes of Fame air show planes

Deep depth of field here. 2014

Bomber B-17 Chino Planes of Fame ai show

World War II bomber (B-17?) 2014

Bomber in Chino Planes of Fame air show

Another bomber shot. 2014

Anyway, as you can see, for being a test, I got some good shots. With a bit of practice on that combo I know I would be having a lot of fun. Sure I’m getting old, reflexes aren’t what they use to be. Birds are tough to follow, got hummingbird season coming. So, yes I do need tight and sharp focus with some speed as well as the f/stop being fast too.

I’ll be out there shooting, practicing for a up coming visit to a botanical garden to see the annual return of the hummingbirds.

Hope this post helps someone decide if this lens is for them.

No, I don’t get anything from Tamron for this post. If they say Thank You it would be nice.

Till the next post,

Creative Shooting,


Update Feb. 25, 2015: I should also note that these are the full frame shots shown. Not cropped. All shots taken on Canon 7D (APS-C sensor 1.6 crop factor would make the 374mm lens focal length a equivalent crop of 560mm+). You are seeing what I was seeing and shooting in this test. Click on photos for a larger view.


All comments in artistic, opened minded opinions are welcome.

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