Nikon 70-200mm F2.8G II vs. Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 G2: An In-Depth Comparison

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Welcome to our in-depth comparison of two highly sought-after telephoto zoom lenses: the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm F2.8G ED VR II and the Tamron SP 70-200mm F2.8 Di VC USD G2 Nikon.

Both lenses have gained a loyal following among professional and enthusiast photographers alike, offering impressive optical performance and versatility that appeal to a wide range of shooting situations.

In a world of ever-changing photographic needs, from capturing stunning portraits and heart-stopping sports action to documenting mesmerizing wildlife moments and dramatic events, the choice between these two lenses can leave even the most discerning photographer scratching their head.

In this comprehensive article, we’ll dive into the nitty-gritty details, analyzing their unique strengths and weaknesses, and shedding light on which lens might be the perfect companion for your next photographic adventure.

Whether you’re a portrait photographer searching for that dreamy bokeh or a sports enthusiast striving to freeze motion in crisp, sharp detail, our comparison will provide the insights you need to make an informed decision between these two remarkable lenses.

So, buckle up and get ready to embark on a journey through the world of telephoto excellence as we help you choose the lens that best fits your artistic vision and passion for photography.


Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm F2.8G ED VR IITamron SP 70-200mm F2.8 Di VC USD G2 Nikon
Max ApertureF2.8F2.8
Aperture TypeFixedFixed
Focal Range (mm)70-20070-200
Mount TypeNikon F (FX)Nikon F (FX)

The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm F2.8G ED VR II and the Tamron SP 70-200mm F2.8 Di VC USD G2 Nikon are both telephoto zoom lenses with fixed apertures of f/2.8, making them suitable for low light photography and providing consistent image quality across their 70-200mm focal ranges. They share the same Nikon F (FX) mount, ensuring compatibility with Nikon full-frame cameras.

Having a fixed aperture of f/2.8 allows both lenses to perform well in low light conditions, enabling faster shutter speeds or lower ISO settings for cleaner, sharper images. These lenses also offer a wider depth of field, while increasing blur from background elements for better subject isolation.

Although both lenses have similar specifications, there are some key differences to consider. The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II is a well-established lens, known for its excellent build quality and professional-grade performance. It produces sharp images with minimal distortion and chromatic aberration, making it a popular choice among professional photographers.

On the other hand, the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2 is a more affordable option that still delivers impressive image quality. While it may not have the same level of build quality as the Nikon lens, it offers a great value for those who prioritize budget without sacrificing performance.

Design and Ease of Use

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm F2.8G ED VR IITamron SP 70-200mm F2.8 Di VC USD G2 Nikon
Diameter x Length (mm)⌀87×205.5mm⌀88×194mm
Weight (gr)15401485
Filter Thread (mm)7777
Weather SealingYesYes
Distance ScaleYesYes
DoF ScaleYesNo
Hood SuppliedYesYes
Tripod CollarYesYes

The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm F2.8G ED VR II and the Tamron SP 70-200mm F2.8 Di VC USD G2 Nikon are both telephoto zoom lenses with different dimensions and weights. The Nikon lens has a diameter of 87mm and a length of 205.5mm, weighing in at 1540 grams. In contrast, the Tamron lens has a slightly larger diameter of 88mm but is shorter at 194mm, and lighter at 1485 grams.

In photography, dimensions and weight play a crucial role in portability, balance, discreetness, storage, and lens swapping. A more compact and lightweight lens, like the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2, offers greater ease in carrying around during travels or extended shooting sessions. It also allows for a more balanced camera setup and provides better discreetness, particularly useful in street or wildlife photography.

Based on the dimensions and weight alone, the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2 is the more portable and lightweight option, making it a better choice for those who prioritize convenience and ease of handling.

Lens Mount and Barrel

The Nikon 70-200mm /2.8G II and the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2 both feature durable and well-designed lens mounts and barrels. The Nikon lens has a Nikon-standard dull chromed brass mount with a rubber grommet for sealing, providing protection against moisture and dust. Its lens barrel is made of solid metal with an epoxy coating, offering a premium and professional feel.

On the other hand, the Tamron lens mount features a rubber O-ring and seal, ensuring a secure connection and protection against the elements. Its lens barrel is crafted from sturdy metal, finished in black, and sealed against dust and moisture, making it suitable for outdoor shooting.

While both lenses have their advantages, the choice between them depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you value a professional feel and the utmost durability, the Nikon lens may be more appealing due to its solid metal construction and additional stability provided by the immobile ring-shaped rubber grip.

However, if portability and weather sealing are your priorities, the Tamron lens could be a better option, given its lighter weight and effective sealing against dust and moisture.

Ultimately, both lenses offer excellent build quality and well-designed lens mounts and barrels, making them worthy choices for professional photographers.

Weather Sealing

The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 II and the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2 both offer weather sealing to protect the lenses from dust, moisture, and light water splashes, ensuring their durability and performance in various conditions.

The Nikon lens features full weather sealing, including a rubber grommet at the lens mount and a rear rain barrier. This protection ensures the lens can handle outdoor photography in different weather conditions without compromising its performance.

The Tamron lens also boasts full weather sealing, with gasketing at the lens mount and around all joints, as well as internal seals throughout the barrel. In addition to these protective measures, it has a fluorine coating on the front element to repel moisture and oils, making it easy to clean. The weather sealing of the Tamron lens has been upgraded from previous generations, adding internal seals and the fluorine coating for enhanced protection.

In conclusion, while both lenses offer weather sealing to protect against environmental elements, the Tamron lens appears to have a superior sealing design, with the addition of internal seals and a fluorine coating on the front element. This makes the Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 G2 an excellent choice for photographers who often shoot in harsh conditions and require a lens that can withstand the challenges of outdoor photography.


The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 II and the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2 both feature focus and zoom rings that are crucial for photographers to manipulate their lenses effectively.

The Nikon lens offers a focus ring with a generous 160-degree rotation range, providing precise control over focus adjustments. The zoom ring, covered with textured rubber, rotates through 80 degrees between the 70mm and 200mm focal lengths. Both rings have an immobile ring-shaped rubber grip for extra stability and a satisfying tactile experience, requiring the same amount of force throughout the range.

In contrast, the Tamron lens has a focus ring with a 130-degree throw, housed under a protective clear plastic window with distance indications. The zoom ring, with a 60-degree rotation, is slightly narrower than the previous generation and has a single ribbed design. Both rings are stiff, with no slack or play in their movement. However, the similar width of the rubberized surface on both rings can make it challenging to identify the correct ring by feel alone. The Tamron lens also features a windowed distance scale but lacks a depth-of-field indicator.

Considering ergonomics, precision, control, and tactile feedback, the Nikon lens appears to have an edge over the Tamron lens, with a more generous focus ring rotation range, better tactile experience, and distinct rubber grips for easier identification. Thus, the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II offers superior ring design, making it a more user-friendly option for photographers seeking precision and comfort in their lens handling.


The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 II and Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2 both feature 4 switches that provide photographers with control over various lens functions.

On the Nikon lens, these switches include an AF/MF switch for toggling between autofocus and manual focus, a focus limiter to minimize hunting by selecting between the full focus range and a range of 5 meters to infinity, and 2 VR switches to activate or deactivate the vibration reduction and change between normal (2-axis, panning) and active (4-axis) operation. The Nikon lens does not have an aperture ring, unlike some of its competitors.

The Tamron lens also has 4 switches located mid-barrel, which control the AF/MF, a focus limiter that restricts the closest focus distance to 3 meters, image stabilization, and the selection between the 3 VC modes. The switches on the Tamron lens are well-designed, allowing for easy adjustments between settings. However, some users may find that they can accidentally toggle the switches due to their design protruding from the lens barrel.

Taking into account the functionality and ease of use, the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 II appears to have a slight advantage with its vibration reduction switches, offering more refined control over stabilization. However, the Tamron lens also provides a robust set of switch options, with a focus limiter that allows for a shorter restricted focus range. In conclusion, the Nikon lens offers superior switches in terms of functionality, while the Tamron lens maintains a competitive edge with its switch design and features.

Filter Thread

The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 II and Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2 both sport a 77mm filter thread size, a standard and popular choice for many pro-level lenses. This size is convenient for photographers who already own filters in this size or are looking for a wide range of available filters, such as ND and polarizing filters, at a reasonable price.

On the Nikon lens, the filter ring is located on the inner edge, allowing for the attachment of standard filters. The design ensures that attached filters will not rotate during focus operations, simplifying the use of filters that require specific orientations, such as polarizing filters.

The Tamron lens also features a 77mm filter thread size, and the filter thread is made of metal, providing durability and ease of use with various filters. Metal filter threads are generally considered more robust and long-lasting compared to plastic counterparts.

In conclusion, both lenses offer a similar filter thread experience, with a 77mm size that is both popular and practical. The Nikon lens has the added advantage of non-rotating filters during focus operations, while the Tamron lens boasts a durable metal filter thread construction.

Lens Hood

The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 II and Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2 both come with petal-shaped lens hoods, designed to reduce flare and protect the front lens element.

The Nikon lens hood, the HB-48, features a plastic bayonet with a metal pawl and pawl cover, making it easy to attach and remove using a press-in catch. This pedal-style hood has rotation points on the lens body at 90-degree intervals and can be tightened into position with a knob. The HB-48 hood is shorter than its predecessor, the HB-29, allowing for easier access to the manual focus ring when in storage position. However, the hood’s blades do not sit flat on a table, making it unstable when set on its back cap. While not as effective as a cylindrical hood at preventing off-axis light ingress, it still reduces veiling flare.

The Tamron lens hood is made of plastic material and bayonets onto the lens cleanly and crisply, with a click stop that holds it firmly in place. This generously sized petal-shaped bevel helps reduce flare and ghosting. When reversed over the barrel for transport, the hood blocks the zoom ring entirely, making quick-grab shots more challenging.

In conclusion, both lens hoods offer valuable protection and flare reduction, but the Nikon hood has a slight edge with its metal pawl and pawl cover, as well as its rotation points and adjustable knob. The Tamron hood, on the other hand, has a more straightforward attachment method and a larger bevel.

Tripod Collar

The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 II and Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2 both feature tripod collars designed to offer stability and ease of use when mounted on a tripod.

The Nikon lens has a non-removable tripod collar that can be rotated and secured in place using a large locking screw. This design allows for effortless switching between portrait and landscape orientations. The collar is stable and can be rotated 360 degrees around the lens. The detachable foot has two screw sockets for anti-twist plates, but it is not mentioned whether it is Arca-Swiss compatible.

The Tamron lens comes with a compact and lightweight magnesium alloy tripod collar featuring a built-in universal lens plate, making it easy to attach to a tripod without additional accessories. This collar is removable, has a low-profile design, and is compatible with the Arca-Swiss quick release system. The lens can be rotated within the collar for easy orientation changes when mounted on a tripod. The Arca-Swiss compatible foot allows for direct mounting onto a tripod without a quick release plate or adapter, which users find convenient.

In conclusion, both tripod collars offer stability and ease of use, but the Tamron collar is superior due to its lightweight magnesium alloy construction, removable design, built-in universal lens plate, and Arca-Swiss compatibility. The Tamron tripod collar provides photographers with a more convenient and versatile option for mounting their lens on a tripod.

Focusing and Optical Stabilization

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm F2.8G ED VR IITamron SP 70-200mm F2.8 Di VC USD G2 Nikon
AF MotorSilent Wave MotorRing-type ultrasonic
Rotating Front ElementDoes not rotate on focusingDoes not rotate on focusing
Min Focus Distance1.4m0.95m
Full-Time Manual FocusYesYes
Focus MethodInternalInternal

Focusing Performance

The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 II and Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2 both offer impressive focusing performance, each with unique features.

The Nikon lens boasts a swift and accurate autofocus system with SWM, which is quiet and performs well even in low-light conditions. It takes approximately 0.6 seconds to focus from infinity to 1.4m, showcasing a fast focus acquisition speed. The focus ring is reliable with no slack or play, and a throw of around 130 degrees makes accurate focusing simple up to 150mm. It also offers full-time manual override with A/M or M/A positions and a smooth manual focus action. Repeatability of focus is excellent, with no outliers over a series of 40 shots and no performance variation depending on the focus direction.

On the other hand, the Tamron lens features a ring-type ultrasonic autofocus system that is fast, decisive, and very quiet. This system has been upgraded for enhanced speed and accuracy. With full-time manual focus override and a mechanically coupled manual focus action, there’s no slack or play. The lens focuses down to 0.95m (37.4 inches) and can focus without hunting in around 0.4 sec from infinity to 2m, which is notably fast. Initial autofocus acquisition speed is superb with minimal motor noise, and the focus accuracy is hard to fault, even with off-center focus points. It also boasts great repeatability, but optimal focus fine-tuning might require the use of a USB-dock.

In conclusion, both lenses deliver outstanding focusing performance; however, the Tamron lens has a slight edge due to its faster autofocus acquisition speed, improved accuracy, and compatibility with a USB-dock for fine-tuning. While both lenses are excellent choices, the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2 provides a more refined and efficient focusing experience for photographers.

Optical Stabilization

The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 II and Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2 both feature optical stabilization to help photographers capture sharp images, but they do so with different technologies and capabilities.

The Nikon lens sports a VR (Vibration Reduction) stabilizer that grants an advantage of around 2-3 stops, although the claimed 4 stops of shake correction may be slightly exaggerated in practice. It offers 2 stabilization modes: a normal mode for general use on stable platforms, and an active mode to counteract more substantial and unpredictable shaking, such as when shooting from a moving vehicle. The stabilizer can produce a low-level humming noise that might be picked up in movie soundtracks. The slowest shutter speed we could achieve with the 200mm focal length was 1/20 second, making a more realistic stabilization figure two to three stops, depending on the desired sharpness of a sequence.

In contrast, the Tamron lens employs Vibration Control (VC) for optical image stabilization, providing up to 5 stops of compensation for camera shake when hand-holding at slower shutter speeds. This is achieved in VC Mode 3, which prioritizes stabilizing the captured image over the viewfinder image. There are three VC modes: Mode 1 balances viewfinder and lens stabilization, Mode 2 is tailored for panning shots, and Mode 3 delivers the most extreme compensation. Some light chatter may be heard when VC is activated and deactivated, but it isn’t noticeable behind the camera. Achievable shutter speeds with stabilization on include 1/30sec or shorter at 70mm in Mode 1 and usable shots at 1/4sec at 70mm in Mode 3. The VC system is highly regarded, providing an impressively stable viewfinder image when the shutter button is half-pressed in Mode 1.

In conclusion, while both lenses offer optical stabilization to enhance image sharpness, the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2 emerges as the superior choice due to its advanced VC system with 5 stops of compensation and 3 versatile modes. This powerful stabilization system can make a significant difference in challenging shooting situations, giving photographers a greater level of control and flexibility.

Image Quality

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm F2.8G ED VR IITamron SP 70-200mm F2.8 Di VC USD G2 Nikon
Special Elements7 ED glass elements Nano Crystal CoatingeBAND and fluorine coatingsXLD, LD elements
Diaphragm Blades99
Circular ApertureYesYes


The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 II and Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2 both exhibit aberrations, but to different extents and with varying characteristics.

The Nikon lens excels in handling chromatic aberration, showing only minimal results even when tested with a camera lacking automatic chromatic aberration reduction. This means photographers using the Nikon lens can expect minimal color fringing and excellent image quality overall.

On the other hand, the Tamron lens exhibits some noticeable chromatic aberration, both axial and lateral. This can lead to color fringing and haziness in image quality, particularly at wider apertures. However, stopping down the aperture a few stops largely resolves these issues, and lateral chromatic aberration can be easily corrected in post-processing software. Coma is relatively low in the Tamron lens, with little visible even at wider apertures, and it displays little to no noticeable spherical aberration.

In conclusion, the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 II outperforms the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2 in terms of aberration control, providing photographers with superior image quality and reduced color fringing. While the Tamron lens does exhibit some aberrations, they can be mitigated by adjusting aperture and using post-processing software, making it a viable option for those seeking a balance between performance and budget.


The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 II and Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2 both offer remarkable sharpness, but with subtle differences in performance.

The Nikon lens boasts exceptional sharpness at f/2.8 across the entire focal range of 70-200mm, with further improvement when stopping down. Edge sharpness is optimal between f/8 and f/16, while the center sharpness excels from f/4 onwards. Although sharpness slightly decreases at f/22 due to diffraction, the results remain usable. When paired with a Nikon 1.4x teleconverter, sharpness is impacted but the images are still usable without any significant loss in quality.

Meanwhile, the Tamron lens delivers impressive overall sharpness, with slight softness at wide open aperture, especially at 70mm. Center sharpness remains consistently excellent across focal lengths and apertures, peaking at 135mm from f/2.8 to f/8. Corner sharpness is generally excellent between f/2.8 and f/11, although some softness appears at f/22. Stopping down the aperture improves sharpness up to a point, with the sharpest results between f/5.6 and f/8, depending on the focal length. When using a teleconverter, image quality and sharpness may be affected.

In conclusion, both lenses offer impressive sharpness; however, the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 II holds a slight edge in terms of consistency and performance at wider apertures. Nevertheless, the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2 remains a strong contender, providing excellent sharpness and a more budget-friendly alternative for photographers seeking high-quality results.

Bokeh Quality

The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 II and Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2 both exhibit remarkable bokeh quality, which is essential for creating pleasing, out-of-focus backgrounds in photography.

The Nikon lens produces a smooth and creamy bokeh that is comparable to the renowned Nikon 85mm f/1.4. Its 9-bladed aperture diaphragm results in circular highlights without any noticeable outlining or fringing, particularly at the 200mm focal length. This high-quality bokeh adds an elegant touch to portraits and other subjects where a smooth background is desired.

The Tamron lens also delivers excellent bokeh quality, featuring smooth gradations throughout the out-of-focus areas. This quality makes it suitable for portrait work and other applications where a sharp subject is set against a blurred background. The lens also has 9 rounded aperture blades that contribute to the pleasing rendering of out-of-focus highlights. Furthermore, the Tamron lens is capable of creating a strong background blur, effectively melting away even busy and distracting backgrounds at f/2.8 when zoomed in close to the subject.

In conclusion, both lenses offer superb bokeh quality. While the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 II is slightly ahead in terms of smoothness, the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2 provides strong background blur and pleasing out-of-focus areas.


The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 II and Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2 have varying performances when it comes to flare and ghosting control.

The Nikon lens boasts an impressive performance in handling flare and ghosting, thanks to Nikon’s Nano Coat. It manages bright light sources very well and can often produce images without visible flares. However, the presence of flares and ghosts can still be influenced by factors such as the location and angle of the light source, filter use, and front lens element cleanliness. The lens hood is helpful when shooting with the sun overhead, and ghosting is minimal when the sun is outside the image. Nonetheless, including a bright light source in the shot can cause the lens to flare, particularly at the edge of the frame, even with the lens hood attached.

On the other hand, the Tamron lens exhibits some noticeable flare and ghosting when shooting toward strong light sources, particularly at the longer end. The lens hood is attached during all tests, but the lens still produces visible flares and ghosts when the light is inside the frame. In field testing, the lens tends to flare quite noticeably when shooting toward the sun, which may be a matter of personal preference for those who enjoy shooting backlit portraits.

In conclusion, the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 II demonstrates superior flare and ghosting control compared to the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2. While both lenses exhibit some flare and ghosting, the Nikon lens, with its Nano Coat, offers better overall performance in challenging lighting conditions.


The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 II and Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2 exhibit some differences when it comes to vignetting control.

The Nikon lens displays noticeable vignetting at 200mm and slight corner darkening at shorter focal lengths when shooting wide open at f/2.8. However, stopping down to f/3.2 nearly eliminates the issue, making it a non-concern for most users. Although vignetting may be present, it does not detract from the lens’s overall impressive performance and image quality.

On the other hand, the Tamron lens exhibits vignetting at wider apertures, particularly at 200mm when shot wide open at f/2.8. Stopping down to f/4 significantly reduces the effect, and by f/5.6, it is unlikely to be visible in images. The lens performs among the best in its class in terms of vignetting control. Images captured with APS-C format cameras show minimal shading, with the barely-recognizable close-to-1-stop of shading in 200mm corners being the primary consideration. Overall, the vignetting is manageable and can be easily corrected in post-processing for raw shooters.

In conclusion, both lenses have a similar level of vignetting control. The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 II shows slightly better performance in minimizing vignetting when stopped down to f/3.2 compared to the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2, which requires stopping down to f/4. However, the differences are minimal, and both lenses offer manageable vignetting that can be easily corrected during post-processing.


The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 II and Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2 exhibit some differences in distortion control throughout their zoom range.

The Nikon lens displays typical distortion for a medium-range zoom lens, with slight barrel distortion at 70mm and noticeable pincushion distortion between 85mm and 105mm. At longer focal lengths, distortion increases slightly with a bit of barrel distortion at 200mm. However, the distortion is generally inconspicuous and should not pose a problem for most subjects. It can be easily corrected in post-processing using software like Photoshop or Lightroom.

In contrast, the Tamron lens shows modest barrel distortion at 70mm, curving straight lines outward in the center of the frame. As the lens zooms in, the distortion transitions through negligible distortion, and by 100mm, very slight pincushion distortion is present. Pincushion distortion gradually increases until 200mm, where a modest amount is visible. At 100mm and 135mm, distortion is a non-issue, but there is 1.1 percent pincushion distortion at 200mm, giving lines a slight inward curve. However, the distortion is so minimal that it is practically irrelevant and can easily be corrected in software if desired.

In conclusion, both lenses exhibit a similar level of distortion control. The Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2 appears to have slightly less distortion at the longer end of the focal range, with only 1.1 percent pincushion distortion at 200mm compared to the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 II. However, the differences are minimal, and both lenses offer manageable distortion that can be easily corrected during post-processing.

Final Verdict

Both lenses are high-quality options for a 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom lens, but they have their own strengths and weaknesses. The Nikon lens delivers slightly better edge sharpness and produces bokeh that is more comparable to that of a prime lens, such as the Nikon 85mm f/1.4. Additionally, it handles flare and ghosting more effectively due to Nikon’s Nano Coat.

On the other hand, the Tamron lens also offers impressive sharpness and good bokeh quality, making it suitable for portrait work. Although it exhibits some flare and ghosting, it still performs among the best in its class. Both lenses display some vignetting and distortion, but these issues can be easily corrected in post-processing.

In conclusion, if you are looking for the best overall performance and image quality, I would recommend the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm F2.8G ED VR II. However, if you are more budget-conscious and still want a lens with excellent image quality, the Tamron SP 70-200mm F2.8 Di VC USD G2 Nikon would be a great choice. Either way, you’ll be investing in a fantastic 70-200mm f/2.8 lens that will serve you well in various photography scenarios.

Choose the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 II if you:

  • Value pro-level build quality, magnesium alloy barrel construction, and weather sealing
  • Want smooth and creamy bokeh with minimal outlining or fringing, comparable to Nikon 85mm f/1.4
  • Need effective image stabilization with an advantage of around 2-3 stops
  • Require compatibility with all current teleconverters for autofocus
  • Seek excellent flare/ghosting control, even in challenging lighting conditions
  • Appreciate better distortion control, especially in the mid-zoom range
  • Want easily manageable vignetting that can be eliminated by stopping down to f/3.2

Choose the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2 if you:

  • Desire a Vibration Compensation (VC) system for improved usability and image quality
  • Seek good quality bokeh with smooth gradations and pleasing out-of-focus highlights
  • Want a lens with sturdy metal construction, and Arca-Swiss compatible tripod foot
  • Prefer a lens that performs among the best in its class for vignetting and flare/ghosting control
  • Value a more budget-friendly option without sacrificing overall image quality and performance

Meet the Author

Wei Mao

Wei was a cruise photographer who worked at Disney Cruise Line. He is a lucky traveler who has been to more than 20 countries with his camera while working on an around-the-world cruise. Photography has changed his view of the world forever. Now he wants more people to benefit from photography through his blog.

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