Photo packs have come a long way in the past decade, especially those that are targeted toward outdoor and adventure photographers. Alaska-based adventure photographer Dan Bailey takes a closer look...
The Tamron SP AF28-75/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) Macro is a fast, general
purpose lens for both digital and film cameras. On a film camera the 28-70mm
range covers a lot of applications from landscapes and photojournalism to travel
and environmental portraits. On a typical APS-C digital camera, such as the Canon
EOS 20D or the Canon Rebel XT, it has the same field of view as a 45-120mm lens
would on a full frame 35mm camera. This range also has a number of "typical
applications" but perhaps of most interest is that it covers the "portrait"
range, which traditionally has been from about 80mm to 105mm.
Of course you can take portraits with anything from a wideangle to a
telephoto, but most portraiture is done with short telephotos (80-105mm). A fast
(f2.8) lens also lends itself to portraiture, where a smaller DOF gives a more
The Tamron SP AF28-75/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) Macro is a Tamron "Di"
lens. Di lenses designed with digital SLRs in mind and Tamron say that they have
higher resolution, better control of flare and ghosting, less light fall-off and
lower chromatic aberration than earlier designs.
Note that the Tamron SP AF28-75/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) Macro lens,
although designated as digital ("Di") has full frame 35mm coverage. It can be
used both on APS-C sensor DSLRs and on full frame digital or film cameras.
Tamron SP AF28-75/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF)
Lens Construction (Groups/Elements)
Angle of View
28mm to 75mm
Diaphragm Blade Number
0.33m (entire zoom range)
Macro Mag. Ratio
1:3.9 (at 75mm)
Diameter x Length
73mm x 92mm
Canon, Minolta-D, Nikon-D
The lens solidly constructed with a low reflectivity black finish and a
rubberized zoom control. It comes with a "petal" style detachable lenshood. The
barrel material appears to be plastic.
The zoom can be locked in the 28mm position so that the lens doesn't extend
when being carried in a downwards position.
Focus can be switched between AF and MF with a small switch on the left, near
the lens mount. Manual focus is smooth and well damped with about a 51 degree
rotation of the rubberized focus ring from 0.33m to infinity. There are no depth
of field scales and no IR focus identification mark. It's marked with focal
lengths of 28, 35, 50, 60 and 75mm
Focus speed is good. It takes the Tamron SP AF28-75/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical
(IF) Macro about 0.65 seconds to go from 0.33m to infinity (or infinity to
0.33m). Focusing isn't silent but it's pretty quiet and certainly not a
The lens extends when zoomed (from around 92mm long at 28mm to around 129mm
long at 75mm), but does not change length on focusing (it's internal focus - IF)
and the front of the barrel does not rotate when the lens is zoomed or focused.
However the focus ring does spin during autofocus, so keep your hands away from
Tamron SP AF28-75/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) Macro Optical
The Tamron SP AF28-75/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) Macro uses three types of
special optical elements as shown above. XR glass (extra refraction) is glass of
high refractive index, used to keep the lens short. LD (low dispersion) glass is
used to control and minimize chromatic aberration. Aspherical elements are used
to minimize aberrations like spherical aberration which become more troublesome
in fast lenses.
The lens has a close focus distance of 0.33m which gives a maximum
magnification of 1:3.9 at 75mm. Although the official name of the lens includes
the term "macro", it's really more accurately described as "close focusing". True
macro lenses usually give 1:2 or 1:1 magnification and are specially optically
corrected to ensure low distortion, flat field and high sharpness at very close