I can put this lens on my beloved Minolta 7D, or any Sony A-mount camera, and it can be adapted too. The resulting images are just great.
In summary, if it wasn't for its mechanical AF coupling that is a bit slow side of things, this lens would be almost perfect, especially considering its price.
It is a lens from 2008, at the time part of Tamron's top line lenses. Forget about macro tough: the reproduction ratio is only ⅓. Still, its close focusing abilities are better than the other equivalent lenses made at the time: a little less than 3 ft.
It’s very well built, but definitely not environmentally sealed. As I just said, (on Sony and Pentax) the AF coupling is mechanical: meaning it’s using the little motor in the camera instead of a fancy fast integrated motor and therefore it can be a bit slow and noisy. Also, there is no direct override of the AF ring: you have to pull it to go into manual mode. Not super user friendly.
Anyway, that is all for what is not super great with this 70-200mm.
I’m shooting it on APSC cameras, but the following should also apply to full frame cameras. Maybe just barely a bit <strike>worse<\/strike> less good.
Resolution is impressive despite the expected slight softness / lack of micro contrast at F/2.8 which definitely is not an issue at all. If you don’t want to “fix it in post”, F\/3.5 is the way to go.
Distortion, chromatic aberration and vignetting are almost non-existent at any aperture. Even in the so-called macro mode. There is absolutely nothing to say about color rendition: it’s neutral. I didn’t have (yet?) any bad flare issue. The ugly huge lens hood must be quite efficient in that aspect.
Bokeh is OK, not the best, not the worst, but above average anyways. Again, nothing special here.
AF on the Minolta 7D is fast (for this camera) and I didn’t experience a lot of hunting even in super low light. Accuracy on the Minolta is perfect. On the Sony cameras, Af is faster than the 7D, but compared to other A mount lenses, especially the ones with supersonic motor, it definitely isn’t fast. In good light, with motor speed set to high, it is perfectly usable, but I tend to blame the body for some variance in accuracy in any AF mode other than single AF, especially with the A77ii. If light is less than great, I definitely need to set the motor speed to slow, but there is still some hunting, and again, accuracy can be inconsistent. I’m pretty sure it’s NOT the lens fault since this is happening with any lens on my Sony cameras.
Overall, it’s a good neutral lens that you forget once it is mounted on the camera. The optics are great and neutral, the AF a bit slow, and that’s it. Seriously, if you can get one for cheap on the used market, it is really a great option.