24-70: A beautiful portrait lens

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Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD; 70mm @ 0.5m; F/4; ISO 100; 1/250s.

Last weekend I put the Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD through its paces for a child portrait session. Working space was tight, which made this lens ideal for the task, with its wide angle and short telephoto capabilities.

Using flash is a superb way to reveal the true resolution of a lens, with all motion blur eliminated by the instantaneous burst of light. Coupled with the D800, it didn’t matter which focal length I chose: the 24-70 showed a staggering level of detail, revealing tiny hairs and specks of dust that I simply couldn’t see at the time. The Tamron lens will outresolve smaller sensors easily, so if you’re working with a 12-16MP sensor, you’re never going to have issues with soft images with this lens as long as you use good handling techniques and nail your focus.

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Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD; 48mm @ 1.3m; F/6.3; ISO 100; 1/250s.

Happily, this wasn’t an issue either. Using a high resolution, full-frame camera makes it very easy to see if you’ve missed critical focus, but after two hours of shooting I only discarded two shots for this reason (and those were down to poor placement on my part). The autofocus on this copy of the lens has proved to be incredibly reliable, and I’d have no hesitation recommending the Tamron 24-70 SP to any professional studio photographer.

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Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD; 736mm @ 0.8m; F/6.3; ISO 200; 1/250s.

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