For quite some time, I've heard people raving over the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 VC lens and after purchasing my 35mm lens, I knew I had to give this one a shot. At about half the price of the Canon equivalent, this lens is a great value for the money.
The Tamron lens is very well built and can take a beating. The lens construction is made of mostly metal and the zoom/focus rings have a nice weighted feel to it but not too restrictive. The tripod collar itself is made of metal while the knob is a good plastic. The included lens hood is a plastic, petal style and fairly large. Like all Canon lenses, this features a sturdy metal rear mount. Due to the materials, this lens is very heavy, just like the Canon version. It is also weather sealed for shooting in extreme conditions.
Optics are fantastic. It features one XLD element and 4 LD elements for superb chromatic aberration correction. The lens features Tamrons USD focusing for silent and quick autofocus and VC for vibration control shooting in low light situations. Out of focus parts are very pleasing and smooth. Images at f/2.8 are very sharp and stopped down to f/4 produce even better results.
With a price tag of $1,499 USD, this lens is easily worth looking at and compared to the Canon and even Nikon versions, this is very comparable in terms of image quality and build quality. For half the price, it really is the best value for money when it comes to a fast telephoto zoom lens.
Sample images are above.