Goodbye Tamron 28-75 F/2.8 XR Di LD

When I bought my Nikon D750 when it was just released, I mainly bought it to start using my Nikon ‘holy trinity’ 2.8 D-lenses again which served me so well on my Nikon F90. These holy trinity lenses at the time were the Nikkor 20-35 2.8 D, the Nikkor 35-70 2.8 D and the Nikkor 80-200 2.8 D lens.

I stored them away for about 9 years, waiting for the moment to use them again, when I would be buying a Nikon Full Frame body. Although I used the Nikon D70S extensively during this period, the only lens out of these three which I sporadically used, was the Nikkor 80-200 2.8 D lens. The reason was that the other lenses did not make sense from a focus length perspective. Due to the DX crop, the 20-35 mm became a 30-52.5 mm lens, and the 35-70 mm a 52.5 – 105 mm lens. The Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF, and later the Nikkor AF-S DX 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 G ED VR II, Zoom lenses I used on my D70S, were simply more practical.

Soon after I started using the Nikkor 35-70 2.8 D again on my D750 though, I discovered the lens had a fungus problem. I thought I had done an excellent job by storing it safely away in its case in the dark, only to discover that that had been exactly the wrong approach. Storing lenses in the dark seems to provide great conditions for fungi to attack lenses.

When I started looking for a new lens, I was shocked to hear what the new standard zoom lens from Nikon (the NIKKOR AF-S 24-70mm F2.8 G ED lens was costing), and started looking for an alternative.

I thought I found this in the Tamron AF 28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical [IF] MACRO lens. This prices was roughly one third of the Nikon, and the lens received many favorable reviews.

Unfortunately my experiences with the lens were mixed. Some pictures were brilliant, but more than half of my pictures were not sharp due to the slow autofocus. The lens also suffered from corner softness. Fortunately enough I had great prime lenses for my professional portrait work. However, I find having a zoom lens just very practical for those occasions when I only want to have a limited amount of gear with me, and/or do not have time to switch lenses in between your shots.

I decided to take my Tamron out for the last time to test it in a street photography session. You can see a selection of the pictures I took below. Although I really liked some of the pictures I took during the session, but most were just not sharp enough for my taste.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, after this session I decided to cut my losses, to sell my lens and invest the money in another piece of gear. What I bought back? That will be the topic of my next post!


I read the news today oh boy
Born to be wild
Shop till you drop
Three is a perfect pair
Not an option
A picture says more than a thousand words
Uncertain times
Take-away

All pictures taken with the Nikon D750 camera and the Tamron 28-75 mm 2.8 lens


One comment

  1. I had a similar experience with a Tamron zoom for my Canon: slow focus and noticeably not sharp. It wasn’t much money compared to others, but still not worth the price. Like you I shall attempt to sell it and try to reduce my losses.

    Liked by 1 person

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