Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 vs Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II

jdsfighter

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I've been fighting this internal struggle since I managed to get my hands on my first L glass. I have a great telephoto, but after shooting my first wedding, I've discovered I really need something for wider shots. I stumbled across both the Tamron and the Canon 24-70mm, every review I've read seems to be fairly inconclusive.

Let's assume money is no object (it is, but let's pretend), I currently have enough to grab the Tamron, and I'm loving the fact that it has VC, since low light shooting is very probable, however I don't want to sacrifice overall sharpness. I've become spoiled by the sharpness of the 70-200mm f/2.8L and I want to remain relatively close to that. I will be upgrading to a FF within the next year, either the 6D or 5DMkIII, but that's a debate for another day.

Professionally, I'm going to be shooting primarily portraits, weddings, senior portraits, newborns, etc. However, in my spare time I enjoy shooting landscapes/cityscapes, so edge sharpness is somewhat of a concern. I do some minor sports shooting, but I feel like my telephoto will be primarily used for that over the wider focal length, so no major concerns there.

Based on my widespread and varied shooting, which lens do you think will suit me best in the long run? Keep in mind I do this primarily as a hobby, and I don't have a ton of disposable income, but I will need it for some paid work as well.
 

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I'd say see if you can find a local shop/camera club where you can get your hands on them and try them out yourself side by side. I've not heard as much about the Tamron, but I'd hazard that its a capable lens. It might not be AS good as the Canon, but it would be more than capable of performing well in the given situations.

At that point it becomes a debate on relative quality and when you're already "good enough" with the lower option it can be hard to justify the higher price of the newer lens. If you can experience both though you can more directly see the differences between them (not just in image quality, but size, weight, design, interface etc...)and then make a more informed choice.
 
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jdsfighter

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I'm thinking about renting both lenses for a few days from lensrentals and seeing what the results are, but my only fear is dropping $120+ on testing them. I know it would help me make a definite choice, but it's almost as if I need someone who's shot both just to say yea or neigh and make my mind up for me. It's just hard to justify spending the extra $800 if it's not necessary! That's a big chunk of money that I could essentially put toward the FF.
 

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Since you are using a T3i currently I think you would get more benefit from the Tamron given that it has VC. If you are going to make the jump to FF then the VC isn't a huge issue because the low light capabilities of both the 6D and 5DIII are extremely good. I would also urge you not to jump too quickly because both the 6D and 5DIII kits have the 24-105 f/4L IS USM for only $600 added onto the body. For $600 it is a very nice lens and again with the low light capabilities of both those cameras the one stop difference between the 24-105 and the 24-70s might not be such a big deal for you. To me the value of the 24-105 was far greater than either of the 24-70s so I can invest my money into a 70-200 f/2.8 IS II. But this really is a matter of opinion, what you want out of your gear, and the best value for your buck.
 
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jdsfighter

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When I go FF, I will be buying the kit lens with it, so that isn't a real concern of mine. I guess my question is, is the cost of the canon L justified versus the quality of the Tamron? I just can't fathom spending that extra money on something that is say only 2-5% better overall. At least not at this point.
 

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When I go FF, I will be buying the kit lens with it, so that isn't a real concern of mine. I guess my question is, is the cost of the canon L justified versus the quality of the Tamron? I just can't fathom spending that extra money on something that is say only 2-5% better overall. At least not at this point.

That was my point. If you are going to be buying the kit lens why even look into the 24-70 since that range is already covered with the 24-105. Plus the kit lens has IS and a constant f/4 which isn't bad it is only 1 stop difference between either of the 24-70s. Really what I am saying is my opinion is that for $600 the 24-105 is the way to go and forgo either of the 24-70s. Some people on here will argue that and that is fine because we all have our opinions but for me the value of the 24-105 outweighed either of the 24-70s. Trust me...it was a 6 month debate for me to make the decision to not get a 24-70.

I also shoot weddings, family portraits etc. I haven't shot one with the 24-105 yet but even then I don't think I will be renting either of the 24-70s.
 
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jdsfighter

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I simply like having the f/2.8 it'll be used on my crop from time to time and there will be times when the f/4 simply won't work.
 

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also think resale value down the road if you ever want to upgrade, the tamron will be far less % of original purchase price than the Canon. If money isnt an issue you know your answer. It is and because of that i'd say the $800 difference is probably enough to buy the tamron. You can also buy it, shoot for a week or so and determine if your happy with the shots. Any shop i would buy from would allow a 30 day return. I'm sure they'd be happy to exchange it for the canon if thats the route you took. My guess is that you'll shoot with the tamron during that period and make your mind up with certainty one way or the other.
 

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I simply like having the f/2.8 it'll be used on my crop from time to time and there will be times when the f/4 simply won't work.

I certainly understand that which is why I said before the Tamron will most likely serve you best now considering that it has VC but no doubt the Canon 24-70 mkII is clearly better and will also retain the value.
 
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jdsfighter

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I simply like having the f/2.8 it'll be used on my crop from time to time and there will be times when the f/4 simply won't work.

I certainly understand that which is why I said before the Tamron will most likely serve you best now considering that it has VC but no doubt the Canon 24-70 mkII is clearly better and will also retain the value.

According to the reviews I've read the Canon is about 10% better when it comes to overall performance. Center sharpness is near identical, or just barely less. Corners are significantly softer, but for 99.9% of my professional stuff, that is tolerable since I often crop down or position the subject relatively near to the center. For my hobbyist photos it is slightly disappointing because I love landscapes, but I feel like some minor post processing will make it similar, and unless I'm going up to 40" prints, it shouldn't be distinguishable.

Unless I'm just way off mark.
 
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jdsfighter

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if you test it on your t3i, probably not much different. When you test it on a full frame, it does not compare. 24-70 II all the way.

I'd assume that much is fairly true, but even the reviews I've seen have shown that on a FF it's still about 90% of the overall performance of the Canon.
 

Robin_Usagani

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Well.. I tested it in WPPI vegas. Put it on my 5D3, was not that impressed previewing the photos on my lcd on the edges. The 24-70 II is way better. If you dont care about edge softness, buy the Tamron.
 

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I simply like having the f/2.8 it'll be used on my crop from time to time and there will be times when the f/4 simply won't work.

I certainly understand that which is why I said before the Tamron will most likely serve you best now considering that it has VC but no doubt the Canon 24-70 mkII is clearly better and will also retain the value.

According to the reviews I've read the Canon is about 10% better when it comes to overall performance. Center sharpness is near identical, or just barely less. Corners are significantly softer, but for 99.9% of my professional stuff, that is tolerable since I often crop down or position the subject relatively near to the center. For my hobbyist photos it is slightly disappointing because I love landscapes, but I feel like some minor post processing will make it similar, and unless I'm going up to 40" prints, it shouldn't be distinguishable.

Unless I'm just way off mark.

It all boils down to what you feel is the best value for your money. Like Robin here. He is a pro wedding photographer so the benefit from the Canon gives him the most for his money. I know he is a HUGE advocate for the Canon 24-70 mkii
 

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Also a lot of those website dont post anytihing shooting against the sun with sun hitting the fromt element. Most lenses give you that wash out look. The 24-70 II gives you a much better clear vibrant look. I'll post example when im home tonight. I dont get this even with my other L lenses.
 

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