Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 DI VC USD vs Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

Tamron recently announced the new SP 24-70mm f/2.8 DI VC USD lens (in stock at B&H for $1,299, click here), and it comes naturally to compare it to Canon’s EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM (around $1,600, click here). Although they have the same focal length, the former comes with image stabilization (called vibration control by Tamron) and costs approx. $300 less. Over at fstoppers they reviewed both lenses for a comparison. Let’s see how they performed after the jump.

I summarize what the guys over at fstoppers found out about the two lenses:

  • Tamron’s image stabilization (VC) works exceptionally good
  • The Tamron had serious vignetting issues at 2.8 (along the whole zoom range). At F4 and above vignetting was no longer an issue.
  • In the center of the frame Canon’s lens is always slightly sharper and at 24mm the edges were significantly sharper than the Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 DI VC USD.
Conclusion:
We were left not having a clear winner. The Canon did perform much better around 24mm but the Tamron was better towards 70mm (if you don’t consider the vignette at 2.8) and it comes with stabilization. Only you can decide what lens is right for you.
High resolution test files are available for download (zip file, 138Mbyte).

  • FMJ

    hum…. was expecting the Tamron to perform better all around since its new, but this proof me wrong.

    any comparison between Tamron’s 28-75 to the new Tamron 24-70?

  • Bob B.

    Frank, thanks for posting the video review…so nice not to read for once! I have seen the Tamron and this review informed me of what I suspected…even though the Tamron has IS (good for wedding videos I guess, ick!) it really is not significantly sharper than the mediocre Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 across the whole zoom range.
    So..I am going to sit and wait to see the reviews on the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 II and if the reviews bring on what I expect, a VASTLY improved lens I will pic one up someday when it is available. I sold the 24-105mm in April in anticipation of the April release date…so now I am Jonesing here!!!!

  • Ray

    Excellent review, but I wonder how the image quality comparison would have fared had the image comparison been done in a more “real world” scenario without a tripod. I suspect that in a low-light situation without a tripod, the vibration compensation in the Tamron might have produce a result superior to that of the Canon. Limiting the comparison to shots taken on a tripod doesn’t play to the Tamron’s advantage.

  • Nice review, was in conflict with another review which shows that no two lenses are alike.