Tamron SP 150-600mm F5-6.3 Di USD A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 13   
reviewer#38860 date: May-16-2017
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 18-270
price paid:$879 USD
positive:Can really reach out there. Very sharp stopped down to f8 or so. Very good for the price. Love being able to get bird and wildlife photos.
negative:Some CA and hunts a bit. Heavy, but that's expected.
comment:It's possible to get good shots handheld, but this lens gets heavy over a few minutes, for me anyway. I managed to get some good sharp bird shots handheld even though it seemed like I could not hold it still. I got a gimbal head for my tripod and it's helped a lot. Sharpest stopped down to f8 or so, and that means lots of light is good. It's a real bargain for its capabilities. Have a friend with a 600mm prime Canon. Nice, but many times the price of this one.
reviewer#33731 date: Dec-15-2016
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:* Sony 70-200/2.8G
* Zeiss 135/1.8
* Minolta 70-210/4
* Sony 70-400G
price paid:799 USD (NEW)
positive:* Great build
* Long reach
* Nice heft(great for reducing vibrations/shake)
* Solid performance
negative:* HEAVY (this is not a light lens, tripod isn't a hard requirement, but unless you have great stamina, a tripod is a strong recommendation)
* Can be slow to AF on the long end at f/6.3 (Soft focal limiter of A99 and A99m2 a great plus here!)
* Minimum focusing distance (pro/con)
comment:I had originally rented this lens to cover my youngest brother's graduation ceremony. Shot from the back upper bleachers and the lens performed like a champ, allowing me to REALLY get close to the action on the stage, procession, and the occasional shots in covering the field. This lens will reach.

Given the weight of the lens, you will want a tripod with a good ball head. I had a compact tripod and a smallish ball head and I found that at times, the weight of the lens was capable of overwhelming the ball head I had. So something a bit beefier than the 1-2" ball heads would be recommended. If you have a gimbal? Even better.

The sharpness of the lens is quite good. Depending on your camera, you may or may not have to apply some micro-adjustment to get the focus just right for your setup.

I shot the graduation with the Sony A99 and a rented copy of the Tamron 150-600. I recently got the A99m2 and bought my own copy of the Tamron on sale from B&H for $799 USD brand new. Woot!

Test shooting indoors with low light, the A99m2 and the Tamron 150-600 pairs well.

Will be taking this lens out for some more serious testing in the coming weeks, but want to add that this lens works well on both of the A99(s). I also have an A6000 and will test it with the A-to-E adapter.
reviewer#25505 date: Feb-26-2016
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 150-500mm f5-6.3
Minolta 75-300mm f4.5-5.6
price paid:750 GBP
positive:Price
Range
IQ
negative:Poor in low light
Heavy, although handheld photographs can be taken using it for hours is inconvenient
comment:Having used for a month now I can say it is light hungry. But in good light conditions with aperture dropped down to f8-10 and a shutter speed of 1/1200 sec and ISO 100-400 (Sony A77V) produces crisp and sharp images. Overall the best value for money. I am impressed with it.
reviewer#21451 date: Dec-10-2015
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 200-500
price paid:796$
positive:Range
negative:
missing
comment:Very nice lens, the range 150-600, sharp, and noiseless. Well keep backlight (but I always use the lens hood). Very good lens got Tamron
reviewer#16291 date: Jul-2-2015
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-400G
Sony 70-400GII
price paid:1195
positive:Range.
negative:None
comment:Beats the Sony 70-400G/70-400GII everytime.
reviewer#12211 date: Mar-27-2015
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-400 G SSM 1
Sony 70-400 G SSM 2
Sigma 500/4,5 APO
price paid:idr 13 mio
positive:the price is affordable
sharp
af speed moderately fast
not too heavy, easy to handheld
negative:
missing
comment:Really love this lens...considering the price, this lens is really good..
reviewer#12177 date: Mar-10-2015
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-400G
Tamron 200-500
price paid:EUR 970 (new)
positive:+ 600 mm at long end
+ Good image quality
+ Fast and silent autofocus
negative:- Needs good lighting conditions
- Quite heavy
- Minimum focus distance could be shorter
- In the standard position the tripod collar comes quite near the vertical grip
comment:Very nice lens for birding. Can be used hand-held, although it is certainly useful to use some sort of support for extra stability.
reviewer#12110 date: Jan-25-2015
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:70-400G2 (based on research and price)
price paid:1160 (new)
positive:Build quality - feels hefty and well built
Lightweight for a telephoto zoom lens of its reach
negative:F6.3 at 600mm - cant be helped for a lens at this price point and reach! Almost a positive.
comment:I have thought long and hard about this lens from the time when I was using the Canon 1D3 and 1D4, till when I managed to get an a77ii for a good price. The 70-400G2 was very tempting since its an OEM lens so you can be sure of its quality (colour, AF speed and accuracy, sharpness blahblah).

However at $500 or so more costly than the Tamron 150-600, the 70-400G2 was really hard to stomach so I decided to give the former a go.

Having used it at the aviary and in the wild about 4-5 times so far, I must say I am very impressed by the quality I am getting at 600mm. No, it does not make my heart flutter a little like when I was looking at images from my 70-300L but it more than does the job. I have no real complaints. Again, for photography gear, where most people have something bad to say about everything, no real complaints is an actual positive quality.

Okay f6.3 can be a little slow in places where there is not much light. Think about it though, would you rather pay 10x the price for a f4 lens? I cant but even if I could, I do not shoot enough currently to justify such a massive outlay. F6.3 is good enough for me. What's more important is I can get to 600mm (900mm on the a77ii)!!! Less need to crop and I can get more details than using a 300mm lens.

I really find it hard to see the difference between 600mm at f6.3 and f8, the latter which many users have said will produce the best image quality at 600mm. It may very well be that I am a really easily contented guy - as long as I can nail the images I want, it looks big in the frame and the colours are like what I remembered of the subject, it will do.

I must say I am still working on using this lens to track BIF. Havent had much time outside of work and family during the past month so this is something I cannot comment on. Especially when I am still learning how to harness the a77ii's capabilities for BIF. Hopefully I can provide my feedback on this soon.

BIF tracking aside, this lens has been really good to me. I am happy with the images I am getting, happy with the reach for the price I am paying, happy with the weight of the lens for the reach I am getting, happy with the colour of the lens (white is too attention grabbing) and happy that there is no real issue that requires me to send it in for servicing.

There are other competitors such as the 70-400G2 and older third party 50/150-500 telephoto zooms but I am happy enough with the Tamron 150-600 that I havent saw the need to even think about the rest. If you want/need 600mm, there is no better lens.

I have a Tamron 70-300 for occasions where I need a lighter lens and dont need so much reach, such as the zoo, outdoor events and sports.

Yes it is a bit of a crapshoot when it comes to third party lenses so this Tamron 150-600 is my first ever third party lens and I chose to buy it brand new just in case something happens. If you prefer to have a peace of mind, then do consider the OEM options such as the 70-400G2.

It is going to be very very hard to find a better lens that gives you so much value and reach for money.
reviewer#12098 date: Jan-21-2015
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony Reflex 500 F8
Sony 70-400G SSM
Tamron SP 70-300 USD
price paid:1069 USD
positive:Relatively sharp
Well-balanced
Light (hand-holdable)
Well-built
Good zoom & focus rings
negative:No focus hold
Back-focus on A580
AF/MF and limiter switches are small/slippery
comment:I bought this lens to supplement my growing stable of telephoto lenses. While I love my 70-400G, there are times, particularly for birding, where a 400mm focal length is just not enough. Although not perfect, it's about the only game in town for an affordable long zoom for A-mount.

The build of the lens is very good. The zoom ring turns very easily, especially in comparison to the 70-400G, which makes it very responsive. The focus ring is also very smooth. It does lack a focus hold button, which I often use on the 70-400G. The focus limiter (15m to infinity) seemed slightly less useful to me than the 70-400G's 3m to infinity's range. Both the AF/MF and limiter switches are rather small and slippery. It almost feels like I have to dig my fingernail into them in order to get a grip. The lens does include a useful zoom lock (at 150mm).

AF is truly silent and reasonably fast. It was quieter and seemed more responsive than the Tamron 70-300 USD. AF was accurate on my A77, but I noticed a tendency to back-focus on my A580. Central-zone focus, which is not available on the A580, works especially well. It will also autofocus when used with a Kenko Teleplus 1.4x DGX teleconverter, turning it into a 210-840mm zoom, when used with good light. You must use wide AF area setting for it to accurately focus with the Kenko, though, and image quality does suffer somewhat.

The 150-600 USD can be hand held with good results. It is well-balanced but requires good technique. It worked particularly well with the A77; I wouldn't recommend using it with a small, light camera body, though.

Image quality is good. While I didn't do an in-depth comparison, IQ at 400mm compared favorably with the 70-400G at 400mm, especially if stopped down slightly. Image quality above 500mm became slightly soft, but was superior to cropping the 70-400G.

Overall I am happy with the 150-600 USD. Its excellent price-performance ratio and 6-year USA warranty make it almost a no-brainer for bird/nature photography for A-mount users.
reviewer#12071 date: Dec-29-2014
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM
Sony SAL75300 75-300mm F4.5-5.6
Sony SAL70400G2 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM II
Tokina AT-X 840 AF-II 80-400mm F4.5-5.6
price paid:1100 USD (new)
positive:+ Fantastically sharp at 400mm F8
+ Minimal distortion, less than most options in the 150-500 range, and Lightroom includes a profile to correct for it.
+ fast and accurate focus, similar to SAL70400G2, perhaps better.
+ minimal vignetting on APS-C
+ minimal chromatic aberration
+ cheapest way to get to 500mm or beyond.
+ ~4Lbs, making it one of the lightest lenses beyond 300mm.
+ removable tripod collar, so you can reduce weight when you intend to hand-hold.
negative:- Minimum Focus Distance is about 3m / 9ft. Great for birds and mammals, terrible for pets, children, or insects.
- A bit soft at 600mm F6.3, but stopping down to F8 helps.
- SEVERE vignetting on full frame, a full stop of loss at the edges. Requires correction in post.
- F5-6.3 is a bit slow, body can struggle to find enough contrast to focus in low light.
- like all longer lenses, it is huge and can be difficult to operate, support, mount, carry, store, etc.
- 95mm front filter thread is enormous, expensive, and uncommon.
- effective range on APS-C is 225-900mm, making it particularly difficult to spot subjects (225 isn't wide enough) and hard to hand-hold (1/200s and below will show considerable motion blur, even with stabilization).
- lacks Tamron's impressive VC system, which is more effective on this design than Sony's SteadyShot, when used at 600mm. VC can provide 4 stops in real world tests, where SteadyShot caps out at about 2.5 stops.
comment:This lens is incredible value for money. It is superior to the SAL70400G2 which costs more than twice as much. Regarding resolution, this lens is superior to most of the long telezooms from any manufacturer, including Canon and Nikon.

It is a great tool for a novice birder, or any wildlife photographer committed to the Alpha system. Finally, we can achieve some of the reach that was previously reserved for Canikon folks.
reviewer#12040 date: Nov-23-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 50-500
Sony 70-400 G
price paid:1069 USD New
positive:A fun lens, not to bad to hand hold but you will want something to support it between shots seems fast to focus. Far more reliable in AF than the Bigma
Certainly draws a lot of comments from others. Tried to get a lens flare but could not.
negative:No case provided
Lens hood is a bit fiddly to put on
comment:Manual focus is easy when hand holding, can be done with the third finger of your right hand. I have the Tamron 1.4x & 2x TC Image quality is still good and Auto Focus still works with the 1.4x mounted. I did find the Thinktank Digital Holster 50 V2 and the Thinktank Lens Changer 75 Ver. 2 fit this lens
reviewer#11984 date: Sep-16-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 4.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 150-500, Rokinon 800 F8
price paid:$1,250 (new)
positive:It's sharp and smooth, and feels rock solid. it also has a generous share of focus throw (but that can also be a negative depending on the subject being shot.
negative:A lens this size really should have been weather sealed, in a dusty or moist area, zoom in extra slow, of you zoom out quick enough you can easily feel the air blowing out, which means you'll get suction when zooming in. Obviously this lens is on the slow side so focusing in dimmer situations is a hassle. It's size and weight can be a surprising burden to shooters not used to large lenses like this, but a simple monopod will help. Also the lock only locks at 150 and with a zoom that slides that easy, I find that disappointing.
comment:Definitely a great choice for wildlife and sport enthusiasts who cant justify blowing a couple grand on a lens. I have not yet tried out the software the lens comes with, I would rather prefer lens profiles for Lightroom though. With my A77 attached, lens hood on, and fully zoomed, it goes just a bit over 20".
reviewer#11957 date: Aug-24-2014
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony DT 75-300
Tamron 16-300
Tamron 70-200 f2.8(new one)
price paid:HKD$8900
positive:Very sharp wide open, even at 600mm F6.3 or 400MM
more sharp at 600mm F8
negative:A200 AF is very slow, 600MM from closet (3M) to infinite need 6 second. Tried at A99, this cause you within 1 second only.
Don't know why i cannot get F5.6 at 400MM(Confirm it is my A200 body problem, A99 do have F5.6 at 400MM, A200 will jump to F6.3 between 400 and 350MM)
Brokeh is a little bit strange(This is conditional, lots of shots do not show this, maybe too hot at that time and 600MM gives a good enlarge for the background Mirage)
comment:Hi, I am from HK and Tamron have some copies at HK for sony mount so we can have a test on it. Please forgive my English.

I am A200 user with the long range KIT. Overall this lens bit my sony DT lens too much. And we got more good details in A99. Its AF is not good at my A200(confirm this is body problem, please remind that A200 is an old product, maybe the lens is too heavy and the motor at A200 cannot push it fast), but at A99 this is fast and accurate. At the testing we do not have A77M2 or A77 so we do not have much test on them. Mostly A99.

I do think this lens is good for the step before 500 F4 lens.

Please visit my flickr for A011S test pictures
https://www.flickr.com/photos/124251969@N08/sets/72157646388695229/
reviews found: 13   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 13
  • sharpness: 4.69
  • color: 4.69
  • build: 4.92
  • distortion: 4.85
  • flare control: 4.54
  • overall: 4.74

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