Tamron 24-70 VC vs. Canon 24-70 for stills and video filming – image stabilization and bokeh test
The Canon 24-70 mk II was to me and many others a great dissapointment. Great new standard pro lens, but still no IS (image stabilization) and a super high price. WTF?
Since we are expanding more into filming with our Canon 5D mk II and mk III we started looking into lenses for that use with IS. The non-tele options are basically the Canon 24-105 f4.0 IS or the Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD. Coming up are the Canon 24mm, 28mm and 35mm with IS, and the Canon 24-70 f4.0 IS, but they are not here yet and I really like the idea of a zoom that is f2.8 for filming so I gave the Tamron a try.
While I know several people who use the Canon 24-105 f4 IS for filming I also heard that it’s not that great a lens, and f4.0 is not very sexy….
So, since I have the Canon 24-70/2.8 mk I and now the Tamron 24-70/2.8 VC I thought I should give them a quick comparison and a mini review. Others have done more detailed sharpness tests etc so this will be only my personal findings after testing a couple of hours in real life.
The Tamron seems well build and feels nice. A bit lighter and smaller than the Canon.
The Tamron exposes its electronics inside when you zoom, not sure this matters.
The Tamron lens hood is fixed for 24mm, so at 70mm it is not much use, Canon and Nikon have a much smarter solution where the lens hood changes with the zoom level, always giving maximum glare protection. – BAD Tamron!
The Tamron lens cap is easier than Canons to remove.
The Tamron has quite a lot of vignetting and the in camera lens corrections does not work with non-Canon lenses. So if you shoot jpg or show customers unprocessed RAW you will get a lot of distortion and vignetting etc. – NOT GOOD Tamron!
The Tamron focuses slower, not that its really bad, but quite a bit slower. – NOT GOOD Tamron!
The Tamron is not really 70mm, more like 65mm
The Tamron seems to keep focus point while zooming.
The center sharpness of the Tamron seems OK, sometimes sharper, sometimes not than the Canon.
The VC image stabilization works great with stills, allowing me to get a good hit rate at 70mm 1/20 and sometimes even 1/10 sec. – GREAT Tamron!
The VC also works nice with filming, not as magic steadycam like as on my Olympus OM-D that I can actually walk with without ANY shake, but definetly helps. While panning there can be some jerkiness as usual since the VC has limitied scoope to handle big movements so best with still handhold shots or panning moving very carefully. (The OM-D can really handle HUGE movements!) – GREAT Tamron!
The bokeh is extremely ugly. Onion shaped artefacts in light points, and a strange overall sharpness in the unsharp areas. See images below. – REALLY BAD Tamron!
And a bit closer :
So, this is a lens I will use when its very dark for stills, and all the time for filming, but try to avoid for dalight stills due to the ugly bokeh (since I have the Canon and several other lenses to use instead for that) that is visible even in small prints and not just while pixel peeping!