- Tamron 28-75mm 1:2.8
- Canon EF 50mm 1:2.5 Compact-Macro
- Canon EF 28mm 1:2.8
- Tamron 17-50mm 1:2.8
- Canon EF 24mm 1:2.8
- Konica Hexar AF
- Sigma 12-24mm 4.5-5.6 EX DG HSM
- Minolta MC W.Rokkor - NL 21mm 1:2.8
- Canon BG-ED3 Battery Grip
- Canon 10D
- Sigma EF-500 DG Super EO ETTL
- Minolta Dimage Scan Elite II
- Sears 55mm 1:1.4
- Minolta X-370
- Canon EF 28-90mm 1:4-5.6 III
- Canon 400D (Rebel XTi)
Tamron 28-75mm 1:2.8
It is hard to find many negative things to say about this lens. Relatively affordable, relatively fast, relatively compact, and great image quality for it's price point. This lens was my primary optic for a the one year that I owned it. While it isn't in the same league as Canon's EF 24-70mm 1:2.8 it fills a similar role and does it well enough that most users will be plenty happy with Tamron's version.
This Tamron was my first lens upgrade from the included kit lens, an EFs 18-55mm II, which was not hauling the mail. Some casual testing showed that it could produce good images. (If I avoided the extreme ends of the zoom range and stopped down a bit.) But in real life shooting situations it sometimes didn't. When I upgraded to Tamron's 28-75mm 1:2.8 zoom I found a new level of sharpness. Maybe it was the faster shutter speed and lack of user induced camera shake. Maybe my technique was improving. Either way, the average image quality was much higher when I switched to Tamron's 28-75mm.
What really hit home, however, was being able to see an obvious difference in the images. One of my field trip gigs required shooting inside a barn. The wide end of the Tamron would not be wide enough. I switched to the EFs 18-55mm II. Between indoor shots I continued to utilize the kit lens outside. I finished the day using the Tamron. While reviewing the images I realized that, despite similar subjects and framing, I could tell which images were produced by the kit lens and which ones were produced by the Tamron lens just by the quality of the image. The Tamron was a bit sharper and also possessed more contrast. This wasn't the regimented lens testing where we expect to discover and quantify image quality differences. This was a non-test that clearly showed the superiority of Tamron's 28-75mm.
The kit lens went to the bottom of my bag (and I mean the bag that stays home) and probably only returned once or twice (and only because it offered a wider wide) before being offered up on Ebay.
I consider this lens the best value in it's class. Given how good the optics are, how much glass you are getting (a constant 1:2.8), and how affordable it is, I can't image a better value.
My lens hasn't been drop tested but seems well built. The included lens hood does a good job or protecting the front element from flare and greasy third grader's fingers. The focus was fast enough but a bit noisy. Although I didn't do any formal testing I eventually concluded that the lens was sharper at f4 than f2.8. My results at f2.8 were still great.
Some folks say 'size matters' and I think size might work against this lens on smaller bodies. When mounted to my 400D it sometimes felt like the tail was wagging the dog. Specifically, the lens felt bigger and heavier than the body. When holding with just one hand I prefer to use my right hand, in shooting position, on the body. But when this lens was on the smaller Rebel series bodies the only secure one handed hold was the left hand under the lens.
At the end of the day only one thing kept me from making this my 'Number One' lens. And that is Tamron's similar Tamron 17-50mm 1:2.8 offering. I found that as I did more 'artsy' photography I appreciated the extra width of the 17-50mm more than I required the extra length of the 28-75mm. But that is a different review for a different day.