Tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8 SP XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) (Nikon) - Review / Lab Test Report
Lens Reviews - Nikon / Nikkor (APS-C)
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Review by Klaus Schroiff, published July 2006

Special thanks to Josef Merk for providing this lens!


The Tamron marketing folks seem to be funny people - their primary quest is obviously to find the longest lens names around and the Tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8 SP XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) (did I forget something ?) is no exception here. Thanks to its comparatively low price and pretty decent magazine test ratings the (full-frame) lens has been very popular ever since it was released a couple of years ago. On APS-C DSLR such as the Nikon D200 (used for testing here) its field-of-view is equivalent to a ~42-112.5mm - not terribly useful due to the rather odd widest setting.

Tamron used two so-called XR (Extra Refractive Index)) elements for the design. These elements bend light more efficient than normal glass thus allowing more compact lens constructions and the Tamron is certainly a dwarf compared to something like a Canon AF 24-70mm f/2.8 USM L or Nikkor AF-S 28-70mm f/2.8D IF-ED. The Tamron is also designated Di (Digitally Integrated) lens - this refers to an optimized lens design for image sensor characteristics.

The lens also belongs to Tamron's SP (Super Performance) line up indicating a professional grade lens by Tamron standards. However, the build quality may be good but neither the finish nor the subjective quality of the used materials are comparable to similar Tokina AT-X or pro grade Nikon lenses. The zoom and focus control rings operate quite smooth. As you may have noticed in the product shots above the lens extends when zooming towards the long end. Thanks to the IF design the lens front does not rotate during zooming or focusing so using a polarizer is no problem. The lens has no internal AF motor and relies on a slotted drive screw operated by the camera. The AF speed is a very good on the Nikon D200.

Equiv. focal length42-112.5 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/4.2 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction16 elements in 14 groups inc. 3 LD elements, 4 aspherical elements and 2 XR elements
Number of aperture blades7 (rounded)
min. focus distance0.33 m (max. magnification ratio ~1:3.9)
Dimensions73 x 92 mm
Weight510 g
Filter size67 mm (non-rotating)
Hoodsupplied, petal-shaped
Other featuresLens provides distance information. Zoom lock (at 28 mm).