Eric L. Woods

Update. Fighting GAS. The precious vs. that new-new: G Master 70-200mm and Tamron 70-180mm

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I have changed my mind.

I previously wrote a post stating my decision to keep the precious, or what I have most recently called the Sony FE G Master 70-200mm f/2.8. But after I have had some time to think I have changed my mind.

Let me start my stating and then contradicting my own arguments for keeping the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8.

  • I have it already.
    • Not a very strong argument, especially with someone like me that has traded perfectly good gear many, many times before.
  • Like Spinal Tap it goes to 200mm.
    • Well I tested 180mm on my G Master and it did not make much difference at all in background compression or framing.
    • I can take one step forward.
    • If I could not step forward I was also reminded that on a few occasions I have cropped with the 200mm I have to good effect. There is no reason I could not do the same with the Tamron. (Example crop and original below.)
Kauffmann Wedding Shoot - The Wedding
Cropped
Kauffmann Wedding Shoot - The Wedding
Uncropped
  • 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.
    • Yeah. This same weight is why this tank stays at home. Left it again on last weekend’s graduation shoot and ended up using the Tamron’s 28-75mm smaller sibling.
Graduation
  • 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.
    • Prefer? Yes. Strong enough in isolation? No.
    • Taking a hard look at my camera bag it would really be nice to have more space in there.
    • Would also like using a long zoom that is barely larger than my 28-75mm.
    • Smaller size along with lighter weight I expect this to see way more use than the G Master.
  • Has buttons and switches.
    • Real talk. I never use these buttons and switches.
    • More than once one of these switches have been bumped by accident. So much so that I constantly check these switches to make sure they have not moved.

One thing I did mention last time was OSS or lens stabilization. The issue raised was using it with my non-IBIS APS-C Sony bodies. But here is the thing.

  1. In nearly a year of G Master lens ownership I have used it with one of these crop Sony cameras exactly once.
  2. The size and weight issue with full frame bodies is magnified when using the even smaller crop Sony bodies.
  3. Save a cheap PZ pancake zoom none of the other lenses I use on crop Sony bodies have OSS so it is not as big of an issue as I had thought evidently.

Crop Sony bodies aside what of the superiority of in lens stabilization over on body stabilization? I had used the Tamron DSLR variant with in body only stabilization on Pentax. Perhaps used back to back I would notice a difference, but in isolation I never had any issues I could recall.

Pentax K-70

Some talk about OSS for video, but I do not shoot video often and when I do it will not likely be with this lens. And if I chose to use the Tamron it would most likely be with a tripod.

So if none of my prior justifications held water what was I on about? After careful introspection (Pandemic lockdowns allow plenty of time for this.) I realized the real reasons for my trade hesitation.

  • Ego. At that wedding last year a photographer in attendance remarked to his group that he was impressed with “the precious” (Sony G Master) on sight likely owing to its size and off white livery. I rather enjoyed that. After further consideration this is not a good enough of a reason to keep this lens in isolation.
  • Depreciation. The G Master depreciation was a harsh pill to swallow. But then I realized something…

While the G Master trade in value was less than I expected it is still worth quite a bit more than the Tamron is new. This means I could trade one lens towards completing a proper Tamron zoom trinity by also acquiring the also excellent Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8. (Photo below from Tamron website.)

Advantages:

  • Having mismatched mid and long zooms did my low level self diagnosed OCD no favors. I am very happy to be moving to a one brand lens trinity. And with Sony wide and mid zoom prices so high and my attachment to the Tamron 28-75mm there is no way on Earth that an all Sony set up would ever happen.
  • The 17-28mm and 70-180mm combined weigh less than the G Master 70-200mm alone which will lighten my load while expanding my lens selection.

Yes please.

This will not be the first time I will have had a Tamron trinity. With Pentax I had the Tamron 10-24mm:

Homecoming Parade and Bon Fire

Tamron 28-75mm:

Pentax K-1

Tamron 70-200mm:

Small Town Parade

What next? More to come. Trade has been negotiated and will update once it has taken place (update here). I am expecting great things from Tamron.

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