Update. Despite my statements otherwise I may be folding on this. In addition to GAS my low level self diagnosed OCD would really like a same brand zoom lens trinity. The prospect of trading the precious towards the 70-180mm while getting a good ways towards the 17-85mm also sounds really good to me recently.
I love the precious.
But before I go further let us go back. I always wanted a proper factory 70-200mm f/2.8 lens.
I once had a factory 70-200mm (equivalent) with the Samsung 50-150mm f/2.8…
…and it was glorious.
But that ended when Samsung did the Samsung thing.
Next up? Stepped away from factory variants and embraced the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8…
…when I was in my Pentax phase (phases). Really enjoyed this lens. It was great on the Pentax K-1 especially.
If I still had Pentax I would still have it. But I preferred modern mirrorless and newer focus tech than this combination could offer.
In my first Sony factory 70-200mm pass I went for the very good f/4.
Great lens. If I had any sense I would have stopped here. But I am into photography which is often incongruent with reasonable decision making. This lens was wonderful.
Why not stop here? I have no valid reason to offer other than it was not f/2.8. Shooting outside this did not matter. Inside I really wanted that extra bit of light.
I had a brief dance with the lovely Canon EOS RP and a large motivator for buying it was acquiring a relatively affordable old school DSLR mount pre stabilized Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 thanks to the included Canon adapter (link to KEH post).
How did it do?
Eh. Ok. Perhaps owing to old age or perhaps a lack of any form of stabilization, camera or lens, it struggled. I would have preferred any of the lenses listed above at this graduation I attended. While I loved the Canon 35mm f/1.8 STM macro prime the 70-200m f/2.8 (well before the new, fantastic RF 70-200mm f/2.8 was released) did the RP no favors.
So what happened? Why did I finally step up to the big dog Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS?
Short version. Before dropping money on a camera that was pure want I chose instead to be more practical.
Longwinded version. I built up trade equity on an obsessive mission to finally score a medium format digital camera (specifically the GFX 50R), then snapped out of it (When I realized that I would only be able to score one lens, would most definitely be disappointed by contrast only AF, the lenses I could attain had relatively tame apertures, and I only really wanted to say “I have a medium format digital camera.”) and wondered what else I could do for the mount I already had. A Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 it is.
It has not disappointed.
Absolutely killed it on my first ever wedding shoot.
So why are we here? Why am I even considering anything else? Easy.
Let me start with the non-GAS reasons in the plus Tamron column.
- Much less expensive.
- Much smaller and lighter.
- Marginally sharper based on initial testing.
So GAS and three reasons. Well one reason for me. Smaller and lighter. This should not have swayed me… But it did. I contacted my local camera shop and toyed with the idea of trading the precious for the Tamron. But when the trade estimate came in I snapped out of it. Faced with the prospect of trading for the newer product some epiphanies soon followed. There are legitimate reasons for me to keep the G Master.
- I have it already.
- Like Spinal Tap it goes to 200mm.
- It is a proven entity while the Tamron is new and untested in the real world.
- Heavier for a good reason as it is built like a tank.
- Does not extend on zoom. I know that Canon went with an extended lens 70-200mm design also, but I prefer this not to be the case on a 70-200mm personally.
- Has buttons and switches.
- Those switches are attached to things like OSS or lens stabilization. While my A7s have in body stabilization the a6000 and a6100 do not. And I enjoy using the a6000 bodies for fast moving situations where 11fps and that extra 300mm (as opposed to 270mm) equivalent reach with stabilization is appreciated. I would not want to give that up.
- As I mentioned on my first wedding shoot post I thought the appearance of a lens was overplayed, but having a “professional looking lens” did pay dividends. Silly? Yes. Reality? Also yes. In isolation not that big of a deal, but combined with other factors it becomes significant.
- This advantage may never come to fruition, but the Tamron would not work with Sony’s 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters. This would bring this lens up to an equivalent 400mm to 600mm if such reach were ever needed. Hey. I may want to take pictures of birds one day. Trade for Tamron and that is no longer an option.
- 11 rounded blades instead of 9.
- I have it already. Bears repeating.
- I know I would regret selling it after the GAS haze wears off.
That being said I still want the Tamron. But I will fight it… Or cave and buy it also but the precious will remain.