Review Tamron 70-210/4 field review, short

Jul 8, 2019
SF Bay Area, California, USA
This is NOT an optical review.
This is an operational field review.

I used the lens to shoot a soccer game.
It was used on a Canon T7i.

The lens is an internal zoom, it does NOT extend when zoomed.
It is a bit longer than the Nikon 70-200/4. But this only affected me when I closed my camera case, and noted that the cover was tight.
I did not weigh the lenses, but the Tamron seems lighter.

The BIG question, the front positioned zoom ring.
At first I was leary about the front positioned zoom ring, vs the rear position zoom ring on the Nikon 70-200/4.
But in use, it turned out to be OK, and I adapted to it easily. I put my hand under the lens and I zoomed with my thumb and fingers. And it worked just fine.
Critical for finger zooming, is that the zoom ring was easy and smooth to use, similar to the Nikon 70-200/4. :)
I could hold the lens barrel, whereas on the Nikon, I use the tripod foot reversed, and rest the foot in my palm, to get my fingers in the right position to work the zoom ring. So a benefit to the front position of the zoom ring.
The zoom ring turns in the same direction as Nikon zooms, so I could zoom with muscle memory. :)
The Sigma zoom with the zoom ring turning in the opposite direction, drove me NUTS with frustration, constantly turning it in the wrong direction and losing shots.​

The lens seemed to AF OK. There were missed focus, but I could not clearly blame the lens for it; there were camera and user issues.
Short to long shots across the field focused well. Quick snap shots were sometimes OOF, just as they are with the Nikon, and night games make these fast shots difficult anyway.
I had more trouble with the unfamiliar Canon T7i than the lens. So missed focus were to a large degree pilot or camera error. Half way through the game, I was cursing the Canon and wanting my Nikon.

The lens was pleasant to use, and I liked it.
Definitely happy that the school got it.

This lens is a decent lower cost alternative to the Nikon 70-200/4.

However, for the DX users, like me, the other lens to look at is the 35-150/2.8-4. This lens more closely matches the coverage of the 70-200 on a FX camera.
Where the 70-210 was too long when the players got close, the shorter 35-150 got them.

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