Even though I’ve been taking photos for almost 38 years (I received my first camera when I was 5), I REALLY started my photography journey when my husband bought me a “big girl camera”, a Canon EOS 400D, for my birthday back in 2007. It came with am 18-55mm kit lens and a kit zoom lens. I loved my new camera, though after shooting on full auto for the past 20 years I had no idea how to use it properly. I just shot on auto, all the time.
It was upon moving to England that I purchased my first prime lens. I was buying photography magazines, and one of them mentioned a 50mm lens as being the best lens for photographing children. With 3 children of my own, and a 4th on the way, I thought this would be a good investment. I quickly retired the kit lens, and the 50mm stayed on my camera for 99% of the time.
Fast forward a few years (and a few cameras – I now have a Canon 6D), and I have learnt to shoot in manual (thanks Lynne, from The Photographer Within) and taken a slew of equally amazing workshops (thank you Clickin Moms), and my collection of lenses started growing. The old kit lens went out with the trash (well, not really – my 9 year old daughter now has it in her lens stash, with my old 50mm 1.8 and 30mm 1.4), and I found myself desiring a zoom lens (I had a 50mm 1.4 and a 17-40mm). I had always heard how amazing the 70-200mm was, so when I realised I had enough points to buy one from the Qantas store, I jumped at it. It was a Canon 70-200 f/4 non-IS, and I fell in love with it. I loved the compression and how far I could zoom in. I used that lens for a good 18 months, and it got quite a workout.
Without a doubt, the 70-200mm f4 was probably my favourite lens, but after a while I realised that it wasn’t giving me the gorgeous creamy bokeh that everyone raved about. So last Christmas I rented a Canon 70-200 2.8 mkii.
Oh. My. God.
It was incredible. I couldn’t believe that it could be better than my 70-200 f4. But it was. It was so much better. I had that beast (because it’s bloody big!!) for 5 wonderful weeks, and the day I had to return it I almost cried. I took some of my alltime favourite photos with that lens, and I didn’t know how I could carry on with a less superior lens. It was depressing, to say the least.
I did an engagement shoot a few weeks later, and the resulting sale was much more than I expected – it was a minor windfall. I decided then and there that I would use that money to purchase my dream lens. However, $2800 seemed way too much, even for my dream lens. I approached my regular “camera guy” and asked him about alternative brands such as Sigma and Tamron. He talked me into the Tamron. It was over $1000 less than its Canon competition. He assured me it would do almost as good a job as the Canon, and I figured for the price it was well worth it.
He couldn’t have been more on the mark! I seriously love this lens! You have no idea how much I use it. Combined with my Sigma 35mm Art, the Tamron 70-200 2.8 gets equal usage. I’m either using one or the other. The Tamron 70-200 produces incredible compression and creamy bokeh, just how I like it. It’s heavy, like the Canon, and it has VC (Vibration Compensation, or the same as Canon’s IS). She’s a beautiful lens, and certainly gives the Canon a run for its money. If I had to do it all over again, I would probably go with the Tamron, just because I think it’s better value. I think my images speak for themselves. If you’re on the fence, seriously give the Tamron a go! You won’t be disappointed.
And that’s it for me. Until Tuesday when I’ll be back with “And then we snapped”. Have an awesome weekend, and make sure you get out there and make some memories! xxxx