Tamron SP 70-300 4-5.6 Di USD A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 47    1 2 >>
reviewer#11958 date: Aug-25-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 70-300 Macro
Sony 55-200
Minolta 70-210 Beercan
price paid:449 US New
positive:Large but not terribly heavy. Very little distortion. Color is acceptable. Fairly sharp but not world class. No problems with flare unless you purposely try and cause it. Hood does not rotate during zoom.
negative:Some lateral fringing that causes a little extra work in post. Its a bit bulky, but that is to be expected. Lens quality suffers a bit past 200 but not unworkable, you just need to take extra care to shoot at F8-F11 for best sharpness. Bokeh suffers a bit after 200mm. Hunts a bit in low light.
comment:There are other lenses out there that are better, but for the price this lens delivers quality shots if you get to know the lens and what F stops to use in what circumstances, but that is true of many lenses. Autofocus is smooth and fairly quiet, but hunts a little too much in very low light. Bokeh snobs will want to consider a much more expensive lens, but it isn't bad between 70-200.
reviewer#11752 date: Apr-2-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Tamron 75-300
price paid:USD 450 new
positive:Very Sharp
Good contrast and Color
Silent Motor
negative:AF Issues
Good value for money
comment:I had the Tamron 70-300 SP for 2 years. It was a good first long zoom for sports and bird shots. But eventually started having major AF issues. Lens would hunt and refuse to lock focus. Sold this lens recently.
reviewer#11637 date: Jan-26-2014
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 70-300 APO
70-200 g SSM
price paid:
missing
positive:weight
cost
negative:Cheap plastic
Awful sharpness
Colors aren't nice
comment:I bought this lense after I have read all the positive review. But I am very disappointed, it does not meet my requirements. especially IQ. maybe I got a bad copy.
reviewer#11579 date: Jan-3-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 1
flare control: 1
overall: 2.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 75-300
price paid:3200 SEK (new)
positive:Quiet autofocus
Sharpness
Build quality
Focus-peaking compatible
5-year warranty
Price value
negative:Heavy
No AF limiter
comment:I use it on my A77 without any issues.

A great lense and probably one of the top performers in it's pricerange. Solid build quality but also heavy.

reviewer#11551 date: Dec-21-2013
sharpness: 4
color: 3
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:TAMRON 55-200 di II
SIGMA 120-400 APO DG OS HSM
TAMRON 70-300 Di LD Macro
MINOLTA 28-105
price paid:539.00
positive:>Great build quality
>Excellent manual focus ability
>Sharpness increases above f/7.1 and better still above f/9
>Excellent silent motor drive
>Very good control of flare and CA
negative:>Recurring focus-lock problems regardless of light or subject or camera body.
>Occasional over-exposure issues only rectified by spot metering(!)
>Removal of VC yet no price decrease on SONY version(!)
>Oddly, struggles to deliver stabilised images even as high as 1/180 sec.
>Struggles to gather light on overcast/darkened days.
>New parts fitted under warranty did not solve issues.
>High price to pay for average or sub-standard results.
comment:I was quite excited when I first received this lens nearly two years ago. After getting rid of the disappointing Sigma 120-400 (which was poor and hazy at tele end), I put aside my TAMRON 55-200 to get used to this new lens. For static photography on my old a33 it seemed at first fine, delivering fairly sharp photos at bigger apertures and better sharpness around f/9, with decent but slightly muted colors (however I could see less sharpness than my old 55-200 TAMRON). However, the lens proved to be near hopeless for anything moving, regardless of light or shutter speed and also with continuous af and even higher ISO. At an airshow most of my photos were out of focus despite at least 1/500 shutter and great light. Only a few shots were usable. The same happens when it is used to birds in flight, nearly all shots are fuzzy and out of focus-a problem I have never had with the 55-200. I have been shooting action for years which is why I went for SONY's SLT models, and thought this lens considering the price would be up easily to the job. The lens also occasionally stuttered rapidly, refusing to lock onto even static subjects, this was cured by rotating the manual focus ring quickly left and right, or constantly re-priming the shutter...failing that, the camera would have to powered off then on again. Thinking this was a problem between the compatibility of the lens and the a33, I upgraded to the superb a57, and the lens seemed to perform slightly better, however, upon attending a car rally in the bright summer, once again many shots were out of focus giving me the impression the absence of the VC unit was the cause and SONY's built-in SSS was struggling to keep up somehow. Upon turning SSS off, the problem did not go away. The problems have continued to this day and I have struggled greatly with this lens, it's weaknesses outpacing it's strengths of which is sharpness at smaller apertures, smooth (but not fast) focus and good movie ability. Compared to my TAMRON 55-200 di II which was £89 new, there is simply no match. The 55-200 outguns the 70-300 in nearly all areas including sharpness, light-gathering, focus speed and especially focus accuracy on which the 70-300 is just awful, often over shooting, then coming back, then overshooting again. I have never had this problem with any other lenses I have ever owned, even on 35mm cameras on which I am sure I can achieve greater results. As a last resort I recently sent the lens away to Tamron and it came back after nearly 7 weeks (!) with new focus motor, thrust barrel, new circuitry etc and it is still exactly the same. I am strongly considering scrapping it and going for a SONY 70-300 G or even a cheap Sig 70-300 as a stop-gap. The use of this lens is like a roller coaster, one minute giving you a high with good results mainly on static subjects, the next woefully letting you down even in perfect conditions with perfect settings. I would be very reluctant to purchase another TAMRON lens such as this.

UPDATE 24/12/13 I got outside for a walk in sunny weather for a couple of hours with this lens. It now has a more major exposure problem especially over 135mm, blasting images with lots of light on anything above f6.3. Changing ISO, shutter speed, light source, re-attaching lens etc made no difference. Dropping to f5.6 and locking the exposure according to the blue sky resolved this mostly. Also the focus started to become very slow and was clearly indicated so in the lens' focus window. The resulting shots of a static tree at 1/160 sec were all out of focus. I switched to the TAMRON 55-200 and everything was fine, so I know my cameras metering is ok. I have searched the internet and cannot find any other issues like this, so I guess I am the only person in the world to have a faulty 70-300 sp that is bad on two bodies!
reviewer#11369 date: Oct-6-2013
sharpness: 1
color: 1
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 3.2
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony DT 55-200mm
Minolta AF 70-210mm (beercan)
Minolta AF 75-300mm
price paid:220 GBP (used)
positive:Cheap
USD feels like SSM on Sony lens
negative:Slow aperture
Cheap plastic smells a bit
Awful sharpness
Colors aren't nice
comment:I'm not surprised about this lens, the only real bonus is silent USD autofocus motor, otherwise it feels like cheap Minolta 75-300mm. I think, instead of this, I'd better go for Sony 55-300mm: cheaper and smaller, as 55-200mm colors I like more than these Tamron and test shots looks like the 55-200 and 55-300 has very similar colors. 300mm end was important for me, not the sharpest lens in that end, about the same IQ as beercan @210mm and F4. Now considering about old Minolta fixed aperture prime 200mm or 80-200, no more money waste on these slow aperture telephoto zoom lenses. Afeter using 16-50, this feels like a class or two lower product, probably it is, but many says it has the same IQ and performance as 70-300 G, can't believe in that...
Maybe I'll change my mind after some more serious photo-shoots in the field, but local park experience tells me there wont be many surprises...

Updated on 10/10/2013
Was at Richmond Park for some deer hunting, misty day, results- awful, no really sharp image, no one was like I'd like to see, I had two cameras, one with this Tammy, the other- A58 was equipped with 16-50, I have to say, that 100% cropped deer from A58 looked almost better than optically zoomed deer with Tammy, of corse, in terms of sharpness, extremely disappointed about this purchase. Also there was some CA on highlights, I'm excepting no from the modern lens.
reviewer#11300 date: Aug-9-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 75-300
Minolta 100-300
price paid:500€ new
positive:- weight
- very good optical quality
- cost
- range
negative:- not f2.8 (but it would weight much more...)
comment:Wonderful lens to carry arround when you want to travel lightly.
Focusing is precise, fast and silent.
Build quality is good and it has very few optical flaws compared to Minolta 75-300 D or 100-300.

Moreover it is really cheap !
reviewer#11232 date: Jul-2-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Beercan 70-210 f4
sigma 17-70 os hsm (os system)
price paid:£350
positive:lightweight sharp very sharp.
bokhe is very pleasing.
Pretty fast AF in good light as its an outdoor lens this goes hand in hand.
negative:no vc for sony but sold at same price!
comment:Great optics. Light. I have taken some fantastic portraits using this lens at 70mm. Contrast is good colour is fantastic its not minolta beercan but better in its own rendition. I think paying vc price when its not incorporated is the only thing that taints my purchase. The sony steady shot on board both the a55 and a77 is good but in my experience the os /vc built onto the lens has been superior. That apart it a keeper.
reviewer#11206 date: Jun-24-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:350 USD (new)
positive:Range
Price
Contrast/color
Weight/size
negative:Aperture
Bokeh
comment:I bought this lens to get me by until I could afford a more "proper" long zoom. I have been quite impressed!

Steady Shot works exactly like it is supposed to, even at 300mm. I read a lot of reviews dinging the lens for not incorporating VC in the optics like the versions for other camera. I can't see why that is a problem since the camera takes care of it so well. It is pretty sharp throughout the range: on the a99 at 300mm wide open (f/5.6) the corners are slightly soft but you have to pixel peep to notice. Vignetting is also very low. There is a bit of CA, but nothing surprising for a lens like this and it cleans up very well in LR.

It certainly feels like a solid lens. Nothing jiggles or rattles, it has a metal mount, and the focus and zoom rings are easy to grip. The zoom ring is not very smooth, but it may soften a little with use. There is no zoom creep. The lens hood is huge, but of course it has to be. Without the hood flare can be a little bit of a problem, but nothing surprising.

It has the worst bokeh of any of my lenses-- but to be fair I am somewhat of a bokeh snob and all my lens purchases have reflected that. Comparing it to some of the best bokeh lenses available for the Alpha line might not lead to a relavant conclusion. The lens surprised me in so many other areas, so maybe my expectations were a little extreme? Looking at the sample photos of other zooms it seems to be in the middle of the pack.

AF is fast, quiet, and accurate. Neat trick-- the a99 thinks the lens is a Sony 70-300 G, which supports AF-D mode. Sure enough, all the little extra focus points light up in that mode! I suspect that since the lens is not *identical* to the Sony, it is not working in the same way. I have not noticed any issues in any focus mode-- DMF works and right out of the box it was accurate without any micro adjustment. The focus ring rotates about a half turn, and is nicely damped.

What really impressed me was the color and contrast throughout the focal and aperture range. Due to the bokeh it will not be my first choice for a portrait, but I have used it for portraits and the results were quite good.

The big test for me was using it indoors, handheld and at 300mm, for a comedy show. Wide open at 300mm is only f/5.6, but the fact that a spotlight was on the stage helped. I got some great shots that would not have been possible with any other lens in my collection. I am not a big fan of zooms in general, but I have been forcing myself to use this outdoors from time to time. So far, I continue to be impressed!

I wish it had a wider aperture, but of course that would make it more heavy, larger, and much more expensive. It works extremely well outdoors in sunlight, and surprisingly well indoors if the lighting is adequate. It is well worth the money I paid for it. Recommended.
reviewer#11202 date: Jun-19-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100-300 APO, Sigma 70-300 APO, Tamron 200-400, Minolta 80-200 2.8
price paid:300 USD- Used
positive:Very quiet, good focus, good sharpness, nice color. DMF
negative:Hood Design, mediocre focus speed
comment:I really like this lens, I've had several lenses in this focal range and this one is my current favorite. It's a nice overall package when considering the sharpness, focal mechanism, the size, and price. I've used in on my Sony A77 and it was good but once I micro adjusted the lens profile to -2 it is now outstanding. I find that it is a very easy to use and the DMF feature makes it very easy to fine tune the focal plane when you need to slice though layers of foreground. I've only used it for a few hundred clicks but I consider it a keeper. I feel that it's sharp throughout the focal range and above aperture 6.3 it really produces some spectacular images. No lens is perfect but since I've got familiar with how to best use if for my purposes I appreciate its capabilities and enjoy the range it offers.
reviewer#10960 date: Mar-3-2013
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.2
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-400/4-5.6 G
Sony 135/1.8 ZA
Sony 85/1.4 ZA
price paid:350 USD (new)
positive:Great general use tele-zoom lens;
6-year warranty;
$350 after rebate;
USD is on par with SSM;
Excellent print quality up to 20"x30".
negative:Decent AF accuracy prior to recalibration;
No VC;
If you are picky, some distortion can be noticeable on portrait (head) shots.;
Heavy vigneting from F4 till F5.6 (Easy fix in post-production);
Poor 300mm IQ at any F-stop.
comment:The best bang for a buck for Alpha system among all tele-zooms available so far. Its price positions it among other easy-choice lenses with very high IQ. It's a Sony 70-300 G sibling without a focus limiter. AF speed and accuracy is good enough for slow moving subjects but for action shots I'd look for a lens with a focus distance limiter.
My copy had a front focus issue and was sent to Tamron for recalibration. Since then no missed focus images for slow moving subjects. Exif reads "70-300mm F4.0-5.6 SSM"!
The lens is worth way more than the price paid. I'm keeping it as a backup if I ever find an as worthy tele-zoom-bang-for-a-buck-lens.

Tamron SP 70-300 USD AF Speed Test
http://youtu.be/rXkNWkJ7nKo

Its performance is not as solid at the long end but one can't complain about it for this ridiculously low price. Here you can see some samples in DNG at 300mm:
https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0BzDJkyUbS4xgMU9QR1lCVUROUlU/edit?pli=1

Here you can find comparison shots between Tamron and Sony 70-400 G at the long end with a subject near the infinity mark in DNG:
https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0BzDJkyUbS4xgYW1EUmJoNEdXMzg/edit
reviewer#10686 date: Nov-10-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 75-300, Sony 70-300.
price paid:$389
positive:Great general use tele-zoom lens.
IQ seems much better than the Sony 75-300 kit lens.
The USD is fairly quiet.
Pretty much 90% of the performance of the Sony G for less than half the price.
Works on FF and APS-C sensors.
negative:Lack of focus limit switch and small variable aperture makes it less than ideal for sports/action in other than ideal daylight conditions.


comment:Got this lens to use for a bit more reach for personal work when I go out and don't want to pack the 70-200G. Very pleased with the IQ but the focus is much too slow to use reliably for action shots. I test new stuff using my two favorite action models, Sydney and Cooper. My dogs. We let them run around the yard chasing a Frisbee and each other. With the camera set to release priority we took Over 300 shots. About 50% were OOF and a number more soft. With the camera set to focus priority on C mode the lens hunted and failed to focus lock quite a bit. Keeper rate went up to about 60% with some others on the margin of being soft. But this is an extreme test. The dogs are running around a big yard in an unpredictable manner. Much harder to focus on them than even a HS football player running with the ball. This isn't bad but not near the keeper rate for the lenses with a focus limiter. I would definitely recommend this lens if you are on a budget and want good general daylight images with decent bokeh.
reviewer#10546 date: Sep-28-2012
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Big Beercan
minolta 100-300mm apo
Sony 70-300mm G
sigma 100-300mm f4
price paid:
missing
positive:Best value lens of it's class
(near) silent sonic motor
manageable size/weight of it's class
negative:No focus limiter
No VC as on other mounts
Not a huge image quality jump up from mid priced options
comment:First impressions:

Good performer, a touch better than the mid priced lenses such as the big beercan or minolta 100-300 apo, producing a crisper image with less glow and CA than the older alternatives.

I'd say the G and sigma 100-300/4 are still better lenses but on a value for money basis, it seems to be the best option for someone looking to spend more than budget money.

One of the things I like about this lens is it's a decent size/weight that's manageable. It's shorter (but fatter) than the big beercan which makes the Tamron easier to fit into smaller bags and unlike the sigma 100-300mm f4 it's weight isn't problematic, it can be packed in as a just in case lens (just) where as I would be reluctant to carry the sigma around unless I was confident I needed it.

AF speed is okay but nothing special (seems to pause briefly when the motor needs to change direction, as if the lens is having a think about which direction to go), but then none of the other lenses mentioned are particularly fast IMHO. The (near) silent AF motor is a nice bonus from the older models.

All in all a good compromise on image quality, price and bulk, but I wish they included a focus limiter and VC.
reviewer#10469 date: Aug-23-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Beercan and Big Beercan
price paid:$350
positive:This lens is pretty sharp and I have noticed almost no PF
negative:slow
comment:This lens has been a mixed bag for me. It is nice and sharp but very slow to focus on things like BIF. I bought it to replace my Big Beercan since I was getting too much purple fringing with the old Minolta and this lens has been very good for delivering clean shots. I am actually shocked at how much faster my old screw drive lens are for focusing than this motor driven lens.
reviewer#10427 date: Aug-3-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:200.00gbp
positive:IQ
built well
colour
sharp
negative:Mine needed micro adjustment on the A77
comment:Really disapointed with this lense after reading all the good reviews,i may have got a bad copy but sharpness wise mine is not good.ca is really good,focus silent,iq is good,just its not sharp!!!!!!!!!!.probably sell and get the sony 70-300 G.After getting the A77 and using the micro adjustment this lense is just fantastic!!!!!!,so happy with it now,superb for the money.
reviewer#10421 date: Aug-1-2012
sharpness: 3.5
color: 3
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 70-210 BC, Sigma 24-135, Tamron 18-250, Tamron 200-400, (compared to Minolta 200 2.8 for kicks but not a fair matchup)
price paid:$350 after rebate
positive:Focus speed, size, price, better CA control than the beercan
negative:Sharpness, blokeh, colors, overexposure
comment:As always, looking for a walk around zoom that beats the beercan. Let me first start by saying that I have a nice copy of the BC, and have owned it for nearly 25 years.

On the positive front, the Tamron is way faster, and so much quieter. I think the wonderful praise stops there. To be sure, this is a nice lens, but I do not feel that it had been appropriately reviewed in this forum. I think there is a case of higher lens rating based in part on the price of the lens. No question, this lens provides good value for the money.

Comparing the shots throughout the focal length range (including cropped BC photos), the colors were not as nice, and the sharpness was really a toss up. Either wide open or stopped down, the lens had a tendency to slightly overexpose each shot. The same issue occurred on both the A700 and the SLT57.

My father and I took the lens through a really complete workout using hand held, tripod, sunlight, cloudy, and indoor shots. The results were solid, but certainly not great. In both our views, this lens falls below the BC in overall shot quality. Assuming the G lens is a 5, and the BC is a 4, this falls to about a 3.75. Nice, but certainly not worth the current rating of 4.72.
reviewer#10361 date: Jul-6-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta Maxxum 75-300mm f/4-5.6 AF - BBC
Minolta Maxxum 70-210mm f/4 - BC
Minolta 135mm f/2.8 AF
Tamron 90mm f2.8 Macro 1:1
price paid:$350 after rebate
positive:Tack sharp through entire focal lengh range. Sharp starting from initial f/4 and f/5.6 at 300mm. AF is very fast and very silent. Has very good bokeh.
Almost no PF or CA compare to BBC
negative:No infinity stopper. No AF limiter switch.
comment:This lens is producing amazing IQ for zoom lens. It has excellent control over Purple Fringing and CA compare to Other zooms I tried in same range: Sigma 70-300mm DL, Minolta Maxxum 100-300mm f/4-5.6 AF, Minolta Maxxum 75-300mm AF f/4-5.6 BBC and Minolta BC - 70-210mm f4 AF.

At the same time this lens does great detail definition-sharpness, AF is very fast if light is strong enough.
I would define this lens as "perfect action outdoor lens".

Also, 5 feet minimal focus is great at 300mm end for macro-like shots!
reviewer#10330 date: Jun-26-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tokina 80 400
price paid:£275
positive:Sharp
Quick
Permanent Manual Focus
Nicely made
Good Hood
negative:Chunky
No macro mode
comment:This Tamron lens really is as good as the reviews say.

It is quick, sharp, lacking in aberrations and has full time manual override.

I'm very impressed. I have just tried it out at the Yeovilton Navy Air Day and had lots more keepers than I would have had with my old Tokina 80-400. I also used it at the Silverstone race circuit practising my panning skills and the quick focus made for great results.
It is a good wildlife lens too and is even sharp enough for decent dragonfly and butterfly photographs. Rapidly becoming a favourite lens of mine.


Unless you need more reach this lens is a no-brainer and a must have lens for Sony users.

Excellent value too.
reviewer#10321 date: Jun-24-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 75-300 f/4.5-5.6
Sigma 18-250 f/3.5-6.3 HSM
price paid:350 USD (new)
positive:Sony G-series quality
Bargain price
Very sharp
Direct manual focus
Nearly silent focusing
Low distortion & CA
Great warranty
negative:Somewhat slow focus
Questionable quality control
comment:The Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di USD is an excellent quality telephoto zoom lens. It is nearly identical to the Sony 70-300G F4.5-5.6 lens in size, weight and image quality, but costs less than half as much. One of the few differences between it & the G-series lens is that it is actually a faster lens on the short end (f/4).

It is true direct manual focus lens, which allows the photographer to freely turn the focus ring in AF as well as MF mode. This makes it possible to lock focus of the lens in AF mode, but still fine tune the focus as necessary. The lens also includes a well-marked focus-distance window.

Auto-focus is nearly silent but, unfortunately, a little sluggish. In low-contrast situations, especially, focus will hunt before finally settling on a setting. Including a focus-limiter would have been helpful for situations like this. Focusing on birds-in-flight is also sometimes a hit & miss proposition.

Build quality seems generally good -- sturdy plastic with a metal mount. Quality-control of this Chinese-made lens, though, seems less than stellar. The lens stopped auto-focusing two months after I bought it. Fortunately, Tamron repaired the lens quickly under their excellent 6-year warranty. The other QC-issue I've encountered is that a couple times I've temporarily noticed intermittent electrical contact between the lens & camera body.

Images are sharp across the focal-length range with good colors & a low level of chromatic aberration. Flare is well controlled with Tamron's substantial lens hood.

On a side note, the lens physically worked well with my Kenko Teleplus MC4 1.4x DGX Teleconverter. It correctly reported the exif data, and I was able to autofocus at 300mm when the subject had good light and contrast. Image quality took a moderate hit but was still good enough that this lens-TC combination was useful to me.

The Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di USD is a high quality zoom lens at an unbeatable price. It is equivalent in quality to Sony's expensive G-series lens & blows away Sony's 75-300 kit lens!
reviewer#10276 date: Jun-8-2012
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100-300 f3.5-5.6 APO
Minolta 75-300 f3.5-5.6 N
Minolta 70-210 f4 (beercan)
Minolta 100-200 f4.5
Sony 55-200 f4-5.6
price paid:£250 (used)
positive:Superb IQ and very sharp at every aperture and every focal length.
Feels well built, impressive hood.
Excellent value.
negative:A bit bulky compared to most other lenses I own.
comment:Interestingly I had exactly the opposite experience to Icemantx in the review two below mine. I already owned a Minolta 100-300 APO and while I found the image quality to be very good, I was keen to find something even better without spending an arm and a leg. The Tamron SP 70-300 USD is exactly that lens. Compared directly to the 100-300 APO, the Minolta has a size and weight advantage, but in every other aspect the Tamron out-performs it. I can only think that Icemantx's lens was either faulty or back-focusing on his camera, as my lens is simply astonishingly sharp throughout its range, giving noticeably better IQ than every other lens in my 'compared to' list above.

I recently did a group test of several telephoto lenses, taking numerous identical shots at different apertures and focal lengths and then doing A-B comparisons on screen at 100%, looking at centres and corners. As the Tamron was the most expensive lens in my collection, I expected it to come top and it didn't disappoint, although other lenses sometimes came close, it was never beaten to top spot at any setting by any other lens.

In my opinion this is a true gem of a lens and as long as it is set up optimally on your camera will produce phenomenally sharp images, which are almost a revelation compared to less expensive glass, almost like someone who is slightly short-sighted wearing glasses for the first time. Having said that, in retrospect I don't want to give the wrong impression as all the lenses in my 'compared to' list are good and the differences, although definitely there, are subtle. If you're not into pixel-peeping and will never print bigger than A4, you're very unlikely to notice any real difference and the Minolta 75-300 N (for example) has virtually the same range and very good image quality for around 1/4 of the cost. You pay a lot unfortunately for excellence.

Build quality seems very good, colours are excellent, CA is negligible, I've never detected any distortion and flare is very well controlled (the excellent lens hood helps).

I'll still keep my 100-300 APO for times when I want to travel light, but in every other situation I will be using my Tamron, it is simply a better lens.
reviewer#10264 date: Jun-5-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 70-300 APO DG Macro
Tamron 90/2.8 macro
price paid:380 Euro (new)
positive:silent, sharp wide open, no CA, nice bokeh,
negative:backfocus on my A77 (adjustable)
comment:Very well build, nice, heavy lens, easy to zoom and easy to manual focus. Silent and quick focus. Sigma has a worse IQ like this Tamron (own both). Sharp up to 200 wide then a bit soft. Comparable to Tamron 90 macro (at 90mm). I'm happy I bought this one though had to adjust backfocus problems.
reviewer#10229 date: May-21-2012
sharpness: 4
color: 5
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100-300 APO D
Sigma 50-150 f2.8
Tamron 70-210 f3.5-4.5
Sony 70-300G
price paid:449 USD (new)
positive:Quick and silent focus
Focuses well in low light
Good build

negative:Soft wide open
Not as sharp as Minolta 100-300 APO D
Bulky
comment:I bought this lens as a replacement for the Sony 70-300G I sold a year and a half ago. I sold the Sony in anticipation of this Tamron and hopes that it would be just as good as the Sony 70-300G and expected it to outclass the Minolta APO 100-300 APO D I acquired at the same time.

Maybe I got a bad copy or something, but in most cases, the Tamron USD was not as sharp as the Sony 70-300G or the Minolta 100-300 APO D. I took several hundred photos with each of these lenses and in the end, I had far more keepers with the Sony 70-300G and Minolta 100-300 APO D. I was surprised to say the least after reading the glowing reviews of this lens on Dyxum. The focusing was fairly quick, but I do miss the focus limiter of the Sony 70-300G when shooting birds in flight or fast moving objects.

The biggest surprise for me was how well the Minolta 100-300 APO D did against the Tamron. I was fully expecting to end up putting the Minolta back on eBay after comparing the two lenses. However, it is the Tamron that is heading back to B&H for a refund.

Based on the very positive reviews of the Tamron, I will chalk my Tamron up as a bad copy and maybe somewhere down the road I will try it out again. For now, I will use the Minolta 100-300 APO D and enjoy the Minolta colors and the diminutive size of this little gem.
reviewer#10098 date: Apr-10-2012
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 55-200 F4-5.6
price paid:359 USD (new)
positive:Build Quality, Sharpness, Features, Price
negative:Really cannot think of anything within reason
comment:Excellent lens which pairs well with my Sony A33. With all the features (USM focusing, full time manual override, Internal Focusing, Focal Length Window, Build Quality) at the price I paid ($409 - $50 mail in rebate-- which was back in my hands less than 10 days after I sent it in) I cannot imagine anything better. The images are sharp, the lens feels GREAT in the hands, and I can tell it is quality. I don't have any fear about issues like I would with Sigma lenses and Sony SLT bodies, and I cannot see the benefit of a lens like the Sony 70-300G 4.5-5.6 over this lens, even at $300 more. Great lens, if you are on Sony system, get it!
reviewer#10066 date: Mar-31-2012
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:MINOLTA 100-300MM 4.5
SONY 16-105MM
TAMRON 90MM 2.8 MACRO
TOKINA 100MM 3.5 MACRO
price paid:459 USD (NEW)
positive:BUILD QUALITY
Sharpness in some focal lenghts
negative:CA in some focal lenghts
SHARPNESS IN SOME FOCAL LENGHTS
Bokeh a little busy for my taste, but nothing disturbing.
WEIGHT
comment:It is a nice lens but has some compromises.
At 300mm it is not sharp. Unfortunately, this is the focal lenght I use this lens most of the time.
At 70mm, 100mm, 135mm and 200mm, it is very sharp.
At 200mm there is purple fringing and at 300mm there is a blue fringing. This is easily visible in real life shots.
I have tested the Sony G version of this lens before and results are roughly the same.
Interestingly, it shows as a Sony 70-300 G in every software I have opened its pics.
All in all, it can't be beaten for the price/performance.
Shot at 300mm: http://www.flickr.com/photos/58742644@N04/10310377124/
reviewer#10064 date: Mar-30-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:beercan, big beercan,
sigma 70-300 macro
price paid:279 GBP (new)
positive:flare control is outstanding silent autofocus
very sharp
ca (well the lack of it)
negative:focus is accurate but a tiny bit slow
comment:After searching and looking at all the reviews i could find i opted for this lense and am certainly pleased with my purchase, great lens very sharp upto just below 300mm and at 300mm still very good, nice auto focus just would have prefered it to be a little faster but is wayyyy better than any of my compared to lenses flare and ca control is outstanding
i have never been sure about 3rd party lenses (never really liked the sigmas) but the Tamron's i have at the moment (this one and the 90mm di macro) have convinced me that Tamron are very good makers indeed.
can't wait for the 24-70mm f2.8 to come out
reviewer#9996 date: Mar-5-2012
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 75-300
price paid:550$ new
positive:Sharpness
No Chromatic Abberations
Colors
Very nice bokeh
Sharp even on long end
negative:Non so far
comment:Amazing lens. Specially comparing to my old Sony 75-300. I love bokeh on this lens. Very sharp lens, specially on F8. Very good and precise controls(focus and focal rings)...very well build. Love the colors and overall image quality of this lens. It is pretty sharp even on 300mm where my old Sony 75-300 was not so good. There is no CA at all, and I'm very pleased with that. Only thing is a little slower focusing, but nothing so bad that you need to worry. Very silent while focusing. I recommend this lens to everyone who need 70-300 range and does not have enough money to buy Sony 70-300G.
reviewer#9940 date: Feb-16-2012
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 18-200 3,5-6,3
Sigma 28-300 3,5-6,3
price paid:300 EUR (new)
positive:(see rating)
negative:maybe the focus speed. it is on a high scale kinda slow.
comment:the fokus speed could be a little faster compared to my Sony 16-50mm 2,8 for example. but overall this is a really great lens. very charp even at 4 resp. at 5,6. the build quality seems quite good even so it is a full plastic lens (due to its price i guess).

great lens on my D7D!
reviewer#9937 date: Feb-15-2012
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-300 G
Tamron 70-200 f2.8
price paid:400 USD
positive:Nice build quality
negative:Soft, very soft on long end, from 200 up to 300.
comment:Almost identical performance compared to the 70-300 "G", which is not a good thing but at half the price I guess that soothes the pain. Soft at the long end, even at f8. My Tamron 70-200 with a 2x MC7 TC is sharper and has better contrast.

This lens is so similar to the Sony one wonders if the Sony is a rebadged Tamron design.
reviewer#9929 date: Feb-13-2012
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-300 G
Minolta 100-300 APO D
price paid:399 USD (new)
positive:Comparable IQ to Sony 70-300 G at half the price!
Good build quality.
Fast & Silent focus,
DMF compatible.
No CA.
negative:None so far.
comment:This is a no brainer choice among the 70-300mm range without fixed aperture if you can live with no focus hold button, a tad slower focus compared to SSM, and "G" logo to boost ego.

For the same reason, I can't justify paying 2 times more (in Thailand) for the 70-300 G, while I could get this Tamron 70-300 USD with enough money left to spend on another lens.

Build quality is great. IQ is comparable to the G lens. No visible CA which usually plagues telephoto zooms. Focus speed although not as fast as SSM, is quick enough for most situations and completely silent. I can do without focus hold button by using the AF/MF button on camera instead. Although the Sony can get a closer at 1.2m MFD (compared to 1.5m), the Tamron can do the same magnification ratio at 1:4 and another subtle difference is the Tamron can open at f4 while Sony starts at f4.5.

I'm not going to compare with other options in this range such as the cheaper Sony/Minolta 75-300 f4.5-5.6 since it's totally different class and price. However if compared to Minolta 100-300mm D, what I like more about the Minolta is its richer Minolta colors and contrast, although the Minolta is soft wild open and need at least f8. The Tamron is acceptably sharp wide-open and much faster focus speed.

If you're looking for the best IQ in 70-300 range for day use, Tamron 70-300 USD is the best value for money period.

See my photos with Tamron 70-300mm USD on my Flickr collection at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lifeispixels/collections/72157628204412995/
reviewer#9789 date: Jan-14-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 70-300 ld macro
Sony 18-70
Sony 18-55
Tamron 24-135
price paid:299 usd (new)
positive:Sharp
Good color
Price
negative:Heavy
comment:The actual cost for this was $399, but there was a $100 rebate.

This is a good lens! It makes sharp photos with great color. Even though it's got a floating f stop on it, it still handles low light quite well compared to the two Sony kit lenses and the Tamron 24-135 that I have.

Compared directly to the Tamron 70-300 ld macro, it is heavier that the ld macro, handles light about the same, and provides much sharper, better photos.

Compared to the Tam 24-135, it is a little heavier, but makes sharper photos with better color and will take shots indoors that the 24-135 can't handle. I originally intended to keep the 24-135, even though I wasn't sure about how to use it. But now that I've seen how good this lens is, I have decided to sell it and try again.

I am happy with this lens and will probably use it for years to come.
reviews found: 47    1 2 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 47
  • sharpness: 4.55
  • color: 4.32
  • build: 4.40
  • distortion: 4.66
  • flare control: 4.55
  • overall: 4.50

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