Head-to-Head Lens Comparison: Tamron 70-180 vs Sony 70-200 f/4 – The Pros and Cons

Choosing the right lens for your photography needs can be a daunting task, especially when faced with two highly popular options like the Tamron 70-180 and the Sony 70-200 f/4. In this blog, we will be conducting a head-to-head comparison of these two lenses, evaluating their pros and cons to help you make an informed decision. From image quality and build design to price and compatibility with various camera systems, we will explore all aspects of these lenses to determine which one may be the better choice for your specific shooting requirements. Stay tuned to find out which lens comes out on top in this ultimate showdown.

Head-to-Head Lens Comparison: Tamron 70-180 vs Sony 70-200 f/4 – The Pros and Cons

Introduction

I absolutely love the versatility of using zoom lenses. And when I think of a well-rounded zoom lens kit I think of a 16 to 35, a 24 to 70, and a 70 to 200. But sometimes getting those really high-quality zoom lenses that we all obviously want can be really, really expensive. Luckily now Tamron has all three of those zoom lens spots filled. Actually you’re incorrect. What do you mean? Tamron doesn’t have a 16 to 35. They have a 17 to 28. I mean, yeah okay, you’re right. And they don’t have a 24 to 70, they have a 28 to 75. Yeah, okay, you’re right. And they also don’t have a 70 to 200, they have a 70 to 180. Okay, I get it. But that’s what we’re going to do in this video is look at some of the differences between a 70 to 200 and the 70 to 180. Just get outta here, let me make my video. Sorry about the interruption. In this video today we’re going to be taking a look at the Tamron 70 to 180 F/2.8 and compare it to its closest competitor the Sony 70 to 200 F4 G lens. So first and foremost the reason that we’re going to be talking about the Tamron versus the cheaper Sony rather than the Sony G Master is just because they’re in a lot closer of a price range. The Tamron comes in at $1,199 making it the cheapest option But we’ve also got the Sony that comes in at $1,499 regularly but is often on sale for $1,299. And there’s a lot of used options out there that you can get for cheaper. Because it’s a little bit of an older lens you can find those things. And then of course, there’s the G Master and it comes in at $2,599 US which is why I’m kind of leaving it out of this comparison because it’s just so much more expensive that really if you’re looking at the Tamron, you’re probably not even looking at the G Master necessarily. Alright, so we’ve established that the Sony is a couple hundred dollars more expensive than the Tamron. Let’s see if we can figure out why. Starting off with the build of these two lenses. The Sony feels like it’s built like a tank.

Build and Construction

The Sony feels like it’s built like a tank. I feel like I could use this thing As a hammer and it would probably be just fine in the end. The focus and zoom ring are both smooth and have a nice resistance to them as well as the nice rubber grip on the outside. Overall, you definitely feel like you’re holding a premium piece of glass when you have this one. The Tamron on the other hand does feel a little bit more like a budget lens. There’s definitely a lot of plastic in the construction. And unfortunately I know firsthand how easily this will break if you accidentally drop it. I chipped away part of the front filter thread in an accidental drop. Luckily the rest of the lens still works flawlessly so I could continue with my testing. And no, dropping the lens was not on purpose and it was not part of my testing. The focus ring on the Tamron does feel pretty smooth but it’s a little bit thin. It feels like there’s not much to grab onto as well as the texture of the outside is not easy to grip. It’s got more of a plastic-y feeling than a rubber feeling and the zoom ring definitely doesn’t feel as smooth as the Sony. It’s got a little bit of friction going on there, Kind of plastic on plastic rubbing feeling. As well as, as you can tell we’ve got the extending barrel which we’ll talk about a little bit later. The weight of these two lenses is actually pretty close with 840 grams for the Sony and 810 grams for the Tamron. Now that weight is without the tripod mount but it really doesn’t weight much. The Tamron actually has a one millimeter wider diameter but it uses a 67-millimeter filter thread whereas the Sony uses a 72. I think this is because Tamron has used 67 on the rest of the lenses in this lineup. So they want it to keep it consistent. As far as the length of these lenses the Sony is quite a bit longer. The Tamron is 149 millimeters long, whereas the Sony is 175 but the Tamron has an extending barrel and the Sony doesn’t.

Features

As far as extra features go the Tamron’s list is pretty short. There is a lock to keep the lens from extending unintentionally which I must admit is kind of a cool feature in theory. In reality it is pretty much completely unnecessary because that lens does not move on its own. I have a couple of lenses that definitely extend If they’re like hanging from my backpack or if I’m just holding it in my hand or something like that, but this one, it doesn’t move. So that lock is really unnecessary. And I just kind of find it is annoying to be completely honest. The Sony on the other hand has a plethora of cool features. A lot of which you’ll find on the G Master version as well. Like I said before, we’ve got internal zoom which is a really cool feature to have. It just feels really nice when you’re using the lens for it Not to necessarily extend while you’re zooming. We’ve got an auto focus manual focus toggle switch. We’ve got a toggle switch between the full focus range or just three meters to infinity. And then there’s a big one that makes this stand out. It’s got steady shot built in. So we’ve got stabilization in the lens. And especially when you’re at longer focal lengths like this this can make a big difference. There’s a switch on the side of the lens where you’ve actually got two different types. There’s a general stabilization. And then there’s one specifically for panning. Again, this is something that the Tamron doesn’t have. Luckily most of the Sony full-frame bodies have internal stabilization built into them but doubling up with lens stabilization can be huge especially when you’re at these longer focal lengths. If you’re shooting video you’ll get steadier shots as well As if you’re shooting photos in low light you can get a little bit more out of your shutter speed. We’ve also got a focus hold button that you can customize to whatever you want. Actually, there are three of them but they all function as one button. But depending on how you have the lens oriented, that way they’re easier to get at. And speaking of that we’ve got a tripod collar mount that’s actually movable so you can change it between portrait or landscape mode or however you want it. And it’s removable as well. So if you don’t want it on there, you can just take it off. This is another thing that the Tamron doesn’t even have the option for as far as I’m aware.

Close Focusing Distance

Since that section leaned so heavily in favor of the Sony lens, let’s talk about something where the Tamron absolutely crushes and that is close focusing distance. The Sony’s minimum focusing distance is about a meter whereas as the Tamron’s is under a foot. So if you want that close minimum focusing distance the Tamron…

FAQ: Head-to-Head Lens Comparison: Tamron 70-180 vs Sony 70-200 f/4 – The Pros and Cons

Which lens has better image quality?

The Sony 70-200 f/4 generally has better image quality with sharpness throughout the zoom range. However, the Tamron 70-180 is also known for producing high-quality images.

Which lens is more affordable?

The Tamron 70-180 is typically more affordable compared to the Sony 70-200 f/4.

Which lens is lighter and more compact?

The Tamron 70-180 is lighter and more compact than the Sony 70-200 f/4, making it a great option for travel photographers.

Which lens has better autofocus performance?

The Sony 70-200 f/4 usually has faster and more accurate autofocus performance compared to the Tamron 70-180.

Which lens has better build quality?

The Sony 70-200 f/4 is known for its solid build quality and weather sealing, while the Tamron 70-180 may not be as durable in extreme conditions.

I hope you find useful my article Head-to-Head Lens Comparison: Tamron 70-180 vs Sony 70-200 f/4 – The Pros and Cons, I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.

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