Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical IF SP AF might be a name you will easily forget. But this compact, cheap and fast constant f/2.8 mid-range zoom lens deserves to be remembered. For it’s image quality, for example. This lens was released back in 2007. We are reviewing it now as a prelude to our forthcoming Tamron 24-70mm 2.8 review. This lens is designed for full frame camera’s and the field of view ranges from moderate wide angle to moderate telephoto.
Tamron SP AF28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical [IF] MACRO review @ Canon 5D MK3
Macro with a zoom lens? The closest focusing range of the Tamron 28-75mm 2.8 is 33 cm at all focal lengths, offering a 1:3.9 magnification. Strictly speaking this isn’t a true macro lens, but you can make beautiful close-ups with the Tamron 28-75mm 2.8 lens, with a nice creamy bokeh.
Construction and autofocus
The Tamron 28-75 mm lens is a decently built lens with a big zoom ring close to the camera body, and a smaller focus ring at the far end. The lens body is made of plastic and the lens mount is made of metal. The zoom ring is without play, but does not have the same resistance throughout the entire range. The filter does not rotate along during focusing but the focal stroke is short. Focusing manually is therefore not easy. The lens does not even have image stabilization. The autofocus is mechanically driven and is not of an USM type. It is therefore relatively slow and makes, in exaggerated terms, the sound of a classic coffee-grinder. In low light, the AF sometimes hunts.
The vignetting behaviour of this lens is not unexpected. The Tamron 28-75mm lens shows a clearly visible, very heavy vignetting at maximum aperture. At a focal length of 28mm, vignetting remains visble st smaller apertures. For all other focal lengths, vignetting is reasonably well controlled at f/4, and good by f/8.
The Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 exhibits, like most zoom lenses, a barrel distortion at the wide end, changing to pincushion at longer focal lengths. Distortion at a 28 mm focal length is clearly visible. It can be corrected using software, but using the standard Lens correction profile in Lightroom, wasn’t enough to completely eliminate the visble distortion at 28mm.
The Tamron 28-75mm delivered a nice round bokeh (out of focus blur) at f/2.8 with just a small outer ring. The Tamron 28-75mm 2.8 has no rounded aperture blades, which results in angular bokeh at smaller apertures. At f/2.8, the bokeh is beatifully circular.
In backlit situations, the pictures are made at 50 mm, you see both some flare as well as ghosting. The ghosting can be seen on the picture between the leaves and the glare creates a soft image.
The center sharpness is very high, already at f/2.8. As an illustration, an image shot at 75mm f/2.8 is shown below. Below to the left, you see the entire image. The image right next to it is a 100% crop of the spot underneath the green rectangle in the left image. There’s a visible corner softness at f/2.8 at all focal lengths, especially at the lower focal lenghths. Stop down to f/5.6 and the sharpness in the center is even higher than at f/2.8 and the sharpness becomes very well-behaved across the frame as well. Take a look at the Tamron 28-75mm Flickr community, and see the image quality of this lens in many sample images for yourself.
Tamron has kept the chromatic aberration at a very acceptable level so that correcting for purple or green fringes in the corners will rarely be necessary.
Conclusion Tamron SP AF 28-75 mm 2.8 XR Di review
- High sharpnes in this class
- Fast lens
- Low distortion
- Favorable purchase price
- Somewhat limited zoom range in the maximum wide angle
- Slow and noisy AF
- No built-in image stabilization
The Tamron 28-75 mm is a nice, pretty compact and fast lens, designed for cameras with a full frame sensor. Use it at f/2.8, and you will have images with a good center sharpness and a nice bokeh. Use it at f/5.6, and you will be rewarded with a center sharpness even better than at f/2.8, and a very well-behaved sharpness across the framel. Disadvantages of the Tamron 28-75 mm 2.8 are the absence of image stabilization, the slow and noisy AF and the somewhat limited zoom range on the wide-angle side. The recommended retail price of the Tamron 28-75 mm is remarkably favorable for the offered quality.