Tamron AF 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 Di II LD Aspherical (IF) A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 34    1 2 >>
reviewer#11123 date: May-19-2013
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 used to own this lens
compared to:18-135 SAM
35-105 MAF MkI
price paid:250 USD
positive:great travel range
picture quality fully acceptable
sharp enough with one step closing
negative:slow AF with lower cameras
not good for indoor shooting

comment:I liked the lens with my A55, when it gave me some great pics. Then more then a year it was used by my son with A37 though its AF was too slow for action pics he took, otherwise performig quite nice. And I was really suprised with its quite new life with A65. It gives not only sharp pics but also its AF speeded a lot with no noticable difference to 18135 SAM with this camera. Pics quality of both of this lense are a little bit worse comparing to 33-105 MAF Mk I, but zoom range compensates it totally
reviewer#10937 date: Feb-23-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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:Tamron/Sony 18-200s
Sony 18-250
Minolta 70-210 f4
Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4 HSM
price paid:112 GBP used
positive:Range
Very good IQ
Good build
Colours
negative:Slow AF
F6.3 beyond 135
comment:Bargain at the price.

Very good overall IQ with good central sharpness even at max aperture. Needs stopping down at least a full stop to sharpen the edges. Much better than the 18-200s but would never replace the shorter range zooms - BUT it isn't intended to. It is a travel lens for occasions when carrying or changing lenses is undesirable and for this it is very good.

Amazingly at f7.1 @ 210 it is as sharp as my beercan.

Highly recommended but don't expect prime lens quality.
reviewer#10015 date: Mar-10-2012
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
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 15-88 kit
Tamron 28-75 f2.8
Sony 35 f1.8
SMC Takumar 50 f1.4
Minolta 50 f1.7
various other manual focus lenses
price paid:225 USD (used)
positive:Wide range. Good image quality.
negative:Very slow auto focus.
comment:I bought this for the range, but don't use it much. I'm more likely to shoot with a prime or the faster Tamron 27-75 F2.8. However, this lens work quite nicely when I use it, which is primarily for evens where I want a wide focal range without switching lenses. I know some users will talk about the distortion at the short end, or softness when open, etc. However, for a lens with such an enormously wide focal length range, I'm more than pleased with the image quality. The main thing I dislike about this lens -- and the reason why I'd consider selling it to buy the similar Sony 18-250 -- is that the AF can be fairly slow at times. Otherwise, I'm quite pleased. Primary uses so far: travel photos, outdoor sporting events, family events where kids are running all over the place.
reviewer#9510 date: Oct-19-2011
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:beercan, 100-200, Minolta 100-300APO, Tamron 80-200, SAL55-200
price paid:$180(refurbished)
positive:Range, price, image quality,build, size
negative:Cool colours
Slow AF but not too bad
comment:I always wanted to buy this lens but was waiting to get it at the right price. I have managed to get it prety cheap in mint condition.
For what it is, it is an excellent lens surpassing my expectations by miles. Image is on par with 100-200 or SAL555-200 with excellent range. Almost as sharp as BC and 100-300APO lens...
I just got it today and have taken aprox 100 shots...Wide open is good but much better stopped down a bit.. This is my new walkaround lens. Size is good and it is smaller than my Tamron 17-50 lens...
reviewer#9069 date: May-31-2011
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 18-125
Sony 18-70
Minolta 70-210 3,5-4,5 / 4,5-5,6 / Beercan
price paid:4300 SEK (430 EUR)
positive:Amazingly sharp especially up to 200 mm
Extremely versatile range
Compact format, well built
Very accurate AF
negative:Some CA
Slow AF
Slow aperture – but what can you expect?
Soft beyond 200mm
Zoom creep – but there is a zoom lock
comment:This is an extremely good lens. I am very much impressed by it. Yes there are sharper, faster lenses, lenses with faster AF but so very near perfect in so many areas in one lens, being really bad at almost nothing should be impossible. I have sold off all my other lenses for this one as this one replaces basically all except for macro and indoor sports (why I just bouth a 70-200 F2,8).

Edit: sold it to go for Olympus + 14-150 (the smaller size) but have realized I was missing the IQ from Sony+18-250. I had to buy another copy, this time a used one. Paid 2000 SEK for it this time.
reviewer#8454 date: Dec-27-2010
sharpness: 3.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Many lenses, like
Olympus 14-42
Olympus 12-60
Olympus 18-180
Sigma 17-70
ZD 16-80
Nikon 18-200
and more...
price paid:270 USD (Used, Mint)
positive:It's 18-250 after all!
Extension tubes made very well, sturdy
Relatively sharp if stopped down, compared to kit lenses and alike
I've mentioned the range, right?
Colors are quite nice
negative:3.5 is sure soft
Never too sharp, compared to upper class lenses
Zoom creeps easily
comment:I would definitely recommend this lens as a starting one for a newbie, this is a no-brainer. Get this and you can shoot anything you like, the range is just great. The IQ is acceptable. If you've seen only the kit lenses, the IQ will be great for you.
I've seen many lenses, so I see that this lens is not sharp enough to compete in this field with more expansive lenses. But it's unbeatable side is it's range!
As for IQ, well, shoot at 5.6-11 and do some sharpening in post process, and you'll get great pictures.

Check my review (in Russian, but you always can see the pictures, or google-translate it) - http://www.alphatraveller.com/2010/12/tamron-18-25035-63-sony.html

EDIT: I've sold this lens, but after some time I understood that it was a mistake, sometimes it is veery handy to have such a versatile lens, and I bought another one. The second one behaves very similar, maybe it's a bit sharper at the short end, but not too much.
reviewer#8190 date: Nov-5-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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:Sigma 18-200
price paid:120€
positive:sharp, nice colour, good build
negative:noisy, slow AF
comment:Test on A55 and 7D
I bought this lens at a low price due to dust inside
reviewer#7785 date: Aug-6-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 28-200mm
Tamron 55-200mm
Sony 18-70mm
price paid:250 GBP (used)
positive:Zoom Lock
wide rnage of focal lenghs
Very light
Sharp images
Limited flare issues
negative:Little slow on full zoom (6.3f)
Zooms creeps a bit
Slow AF at times
comment:Purchased this lens to replace my Sigma 28-200mm which was my stanadrd lens uptyo that point

really pleased with the lens, the zoom range is great, nice and wide(ish) at 18mm and long at 250mm perfct for walking alomg canals and rivers such as i do and getting a mix landscape/waterscape shots and close up nature shots

its not been off the camera since i've had it, a few things to point out, at 250mm it can be a bit slow due to an max aperture of 6.3f (when cmpaired to the Sigma of 5.6f) also the AF is a bit slow when the light drops a bit

other than that, no real issues and would recomend this little lens to anyone
reviewer#7346 date: Apr-25-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:- 18-55 kit
- 18-70 kit
- 35-105 beercan
- 28-135
- 70-210 beercan
- 75-300 new version
price paid:$350
positive:- sharp for its kind
- non-rotating zoom and focus
- light but still has durable feeling
- no zoom creep if heading down, mine is still new
- CA handling good
negative:- distortion @ 18mm
- AF slower than 35-105, 28-135, even beercan. but if you have experienced 75-300new version, they almost the same
comment:surprisingly sharp for all-around 14x zoom lens !!!
although distortion is somewhat u couldn't avoid, everything bends on 18mm..
color is good, vibrant, but different kind of that minolta has.
reviewer#7056 date: Mar-11-2010
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:beercan. sony 70-300g. tamron 200-500. minolta 100-300. minolta 35-105. minolta 17-35 g. sigma 24-70 macro.
price paid:479 USD
positive:A real one-lens travel solution. Light but not flimsy. A remarkable range.
negative:Some vignetting at wide end and softness at long end. Too slow for moving targets.
comment:I wish I'd bought this lens as a newbie to APS-C with the a100. If I had I would have found my favorite shooting ranges and subjects and added low-light primes, macro or longer lenses with a better idea of how I was really going to use a camera.
While it's plastic, I gave it a 5 for build because I'm amazed they're able to do this.
reviewer#7052 date: Mar-11-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 3.6
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:Minolta 18-70
Sigma 70-300 APO II
price paid:220€ (used, mint)
positive:Versatilty
Sharpness
Close focus
negative:Chromatic Aberration in the long side
Vigneting in the wide side
Slow focus
comment:A great lens for the price. It does everthing my former kit (18-70 + 70-300) except for the 1:2 macro ability the Sigma had.

For a lens that versatile, sharpness is great. The mayor drawback I've found is that C/A is very evident in the telephoto side.

Focus is a bit slow, and the lens is not too fast, but that's usual for that kind of lenses.
reviewer#6434 date: Nov-23-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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:Tamron 18-200
Sony 50f1.8
price paid:459 EUR (new)
positive:Sharpness
Great colors
Very ample range (18-250)
Almost always focuses right
negative:Slow focusing
Noisy
comment:At first I bought the Tamron 18-200 (recommended by the store salesman), but the results were very poor (I have posted a review on this lens).
Decided to change it for the Tamron 18-250 based on what I read on this site (it costs twice as much as the 18-200) and... I could not be more impressed!! everything written here about this lens is true. The sharpness and the colors are a beauty. In certain conditions it has proved to be as sharp as my Sony SAM 50f1.8 lens, which I believe is considered a very sharp lens. On the end of the focal range however, it looses some sharpness.
Despide it cost twice as much as its predecessor (the 18-200), it is still a great value compared to the price tag of equivalent Sony Lens (16-105 and 18-250) which cost about 30% more.
reviewer#6260 date: Oct-23-2009
sharpness: 3.5
color: 5
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:
missing
positive:You hardly need another lens.
negative:
missing
comment:This is the first AF lens I've bought. Been a Minolta fan for 30+ years but use an XM for film and all my lenses are MD/MC fit. So I took the plunge and bought a D7 and a lens.
Having learned with a 50mm and possibly a 35-70mm zoom it's fair to say that I'm very happy with such a zoom range. It's not as 'fast' as my MF lenses but given that ISO 400 is not unusable on the 7D I gain a couple of stops and lose a couple. Oh and by the way, the MC/MD lenses work very well with an adapter on the D7.
reviewer#6040 date: Sep-13-2009
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:CZ16-80
Tamron17-50
KM18-200
70-300G
price paid:$450 New
positive:Convenience
Cheaper than equivalent Sony
negative:Slow focus
Needs stopping down for any decent sharpness
comment:If there was a category for convenience this would get 5 without doubt. It is on my camera more than any other lens. The 17-50, 16-80 or 70-300G produce better pictures if the range is OK for you(especially the 70-300G.

It really HAS to be stopped down at least one stop at all FL to get sharpish images. As it starts pretty slow (3.5 runs out very soon) this means you are looking at a good light, or flash. I have mine usually set at f8 on Aperture Priority so I don't forget to stop down. It is definitely sharper than the KM 18-200 which I have since sold.

I can't complain about the build, it has stood up to 2 years knocking about without problems, and the zoom is still stiff enough unless I run with the lens pointing down (I have just started using the useful zoom lock). It is obviously not as good as the metal lenses so only 4.0, but it is definitely good enough.

The results are just not a colorful as the 16-80, hence only 4.0, (however everything is possible with pp).

I don't find flare much of a problem, but maybe I am just careful with lighting. I gave it 4.0 because I don't really have any comment.

if you don't have one of these lenses or its siblings you definitely need to get one!
reviewer#5960 date: Sep-3-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
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:Sony 18-70
Sigma 70-300 4-5.6
price paid:499.99 USD (new)
positive:Sharp
Versatile
Fun!
Resolves plenty of detail
negative:Fairly unattractive vignetting at long focal lengths (fix in post)
Distortion at shortest focal lengths inappropriate for critical work
Zoom creep
Petal hood is fussy
comment:This lens stays on my camera. It's great fun to shoot with this lens and it's difficult to make bad images with it. It isn't fast enough, of course, to satisfy even casual sports shooters, but it's fine for taking snapshots of kids and pets horsing around.
reviewer#5949 date: Aug-30-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
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:16-80 CZ
price paid:L349
positive:Fantastic Range
Small and compact
negative:Not "Pin sharp"
Colour and Brightness lack the legendary "minolta colours"
Focus hunt in low light conditions
comment:I really like the versatile range of this lens. In bright light it performs very well across the range, apart from some edge chromatic aberation at longer focal lengths.

It is very compact for the range and will be useful for trips where a single lens, with reasonable wide angle & telephoto are needed.

My copy seems to autofocus at 200mm which is under half the stated minimum focus distance...bonus! (Thought that might mean front focus problems but tests show it is spot on)

If pure quality is required I would be inclined to use the 16-80 CZ, and miss those shots that require the extra focal length.

At the price it a useful lens to have as part of the kit.

Further to this we have repalced the KM5D with an A350, this lens has come to life...

Recent shots are increasingly pleasing. Not a tack sharp lens, but just amazingly versatile.
reviewer#5833 date: Aug-7-2009
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 18-125
price paid:369
positive:Range, sharpness, IQ
negative:None really.
comment:Nice walk-around lens if you are not a purist/perfectionist photographer. A definite upgrade from the kit lens.
reviewer#5796 date: Aug-1-2009
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:Sony 18-70mm DT
Minolta 70-210mm Beercan
Sony 70-400mm
Sigma 10-20mm
Tamron 28-300mm XR Di
Tamron 55-200mm
Carl Zeiss 16-80mm
price paid:Ł289 new
positive:Sharpness throughout the range (for a zoom)
Colour and bouquet excellent.
No noticeable distortion
No noticeable flare
negative:Zoom creep
comment:I have bought and sold many lenses in my plight to find the right combination of lenses for my use and I have settled with the Sigma 10-20 for wide angles, Zeiss 16-80mm for landscape, portraits, etc and the Sony 70-400mm for wildlife.
However, I have had the Tamron a lot longer than any of these and it has served me very well and will continue to serve me well as an all purpose walk a round lens. It beats the Tamron 28-300mm hands down and I've found it just as good as the supposedly legendary 70-210 Beercan (and much lighter).
If you cannot afford this lens, then the Tamron 55-200mm is just as good but doesn't have the same range.
reviewer#5723 date: Jul-18-2009
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:
missing
price paid:349 Euro
positive:
missing
negative:
missing
comment:This is a great one lens solution for travel or for a starting point for a system.You really should have some faster glass for low light, but for everything else, it's all you need.
reviewer#5695 date: Jul-13-2009
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:TAMRON 28-300
price paid:399 NEW
positive:SHARPNESS,COLOR,AF is very accurate,Low weight
negative:Slow AF (especially in low-light)
comment:If you're shooting events where you need range, this is a fantastic lens. It's not for studio work or the like, but if you only want one lens, are shooting fast-paced dynamic events and don't want to worry about switching out lenses, or you want a utility lens that can do it all, this is the lens. It might not satisfy the top pro who spend $3,000 for a lens, but for the majority it will more than satisfy.
This is the best hyperzoom lens you can get.
reviewer#5337 date: May-4-2009
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:Minolta 70-210/3.5-4.5
Minolta 50/1.7, 35-105N
Tamron Di 17-35
price paid:$460 US (new)
positive:Ease of use, sharp through the range
negative:Slow to focus and slow f/6.3 at telephoto
comment:I dumped four other lenses when I decided to get this, and haven't looked back. While its shortcomings are clear they aren't a real burden in bright daylight and non-sports shooting. My keeper lenses are not in jeopardy, they each do things this one doesn't do as well - but the 18-250 is a real prize, worthy of all the praise I read before buying it. Torture-testing for flare showed the Di coating really works. The zoom-creep lock is a necessity. Colors are honest and neutral; saying 'understated' would be too harsh.

*Update* - I have sold the lens despite my satisfaction, having found a good copy of Sigma's 18-200 whose lighter weight and lack of zoom creep meets my needs.
reviewer#5327 date: May-2-2009
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 17-80 Kit Lens
Minolta 50/1.7
price paid:250.00 (NEW)
positive:Great Zoom Range
Clear Shots
Good Color
Good Build Quality
negative:Vignettes When Wide Open
Slow Auto Focus
comment:Had this lens on my camera two days in a row, One for Night/Low Light use and one for Day and Good Light / Macro Use. Picked this up last week at a closeout sale for $250. The store i bought this as was closing their electronics department so i got a real steal.

The First night using this lens I was really disappointed. Couldn't focus in low light situations and had to us MF (which isn't that bad). Also do to the slow speeds the camera is prone to shake and not so great for low light use, especially when using zoom.

However today i used in during the day in great light, and i was really impressed. The lens handled flare well and was sharp and crisp in good light conditions. The macro feature and ultra zoom came in very handy. Vignettes showed up wide open, but nothing Lightroom can't fix. Over all very pleased with this lens especially at $250 USD! What a steal!
reviewer#5314 date: Apr-30-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 3.6
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:Sony 18-70mm kit lens.
Sigma 17-70mm.
Tamron 55-200mm.
price paid:Ł250 used
positive:Huge zoom range.
Compact and light for range.
Sharpness.
Colour.
negative:Slow autofocus.
Distortion.
Slow, suffers in poor light.
comment:This is an early reflection on my use of this lens, so its not fully comprehensive. From the reviews, particularly on PhotoclubAlpha, my expectations were quite high. However when I got hold of a second-hand copy my reaction to using it was disappointment.

I knew there would be some wide angle barrel distortion but what I saw at 18mm was worse than expected. Zooming a bit to 20mm improves things a lot, but zooming only a little bit longer and it flips to pin-cushion. OK, this can be corrected in PP, and for a lot of subjects it is not an issue, but it's something I'd rather not have to deal with. Also I don't know if this varies between copies although I don't see why it should.

And autofocus is s-l-o-w, although I should add that this did improve a bit after I got an A700 body and put it on that. Using A or C mode autofocus on the A700 helps, but at the cost of some battery life.

Of course both of these are known issues with superzooms, and maybe I'm being a bit critical. But over its range I'd prefer the much cheaper Tamron 55-200mm, and for wider angle I prefer the Sigma 17-70mm.

However on sharpness, colour, flare my impressions so far are that the 18-250 ain't bad. And it does have the huge advantage of covering such a big zoom range.

Will I keep it? I'm not sure yet, so I'll probably hang onto it for now and see if it grows on me. But it will probably only get used in those situations where I don't want to carry spare lenses around with me, or in situations where dust might be a bigger than normal problem.

The score of 3 for build rating may seem a bit harsh, as mine is a second hand copy bought on eBay, and I don't feel I got the full story about how much use it had previously been given. Although it looks fine cosmetically it feels a bit sloppy mechanically, so it either came out of the box like that or it is not coping with use that well. Of course eBay is not really the best place to buy a lens, ideally you need to handle it first, but there you go.

Update: Sold it.
reviewer#4879 date: Feb-19-2009
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:lots
price paid:
missing
positive:Compact Size
Extremely useful range
Seems well built
negative:Don't like the double-throw barrel extension.
Slow aperture
comment:I've tried to make my ratings fair- I don't want to give this lens a 5, simply because it is the best superzoom. Obviously, its going to have compromises, but it manages them quite well.

I had the Sony version of the 18-250mm for a brief time and I was really stunned by how slow it was to focus compared to the 28-105/3.5-4.5. The colors also seemed sort of cold- so I sold it quickly without a lot of study.

People keep talking about how great the 18-250's are though, which prompted me to try again when I found one with a nice rebate. I picked the Tamron because of the 6 year warranty, appearance/build and the much better price.

Surprise, surprise- this is becoming my favorite lens. It is sluggish to focus, but its not nearly as bad as I remember. Is it possible that the slower gearing actually makes it focus faster in practice than the Sony? probably not. The focus speed is completely tolerable for me and I'm finding that if I can get it to focus on something moving once, it can keep up from there. Manual assist is a possibility here.

I've been shooting out the 18-250 against the Sigma 17-70, the Sony 16-80 and the Sony 70-300G.

While all of those lenses focus faster, the 18-250 puts up quite a fight in the IQ department. Outdoor colors in good light are quite pleasant. Indoor shots (with bounced flash) are also working for me.

In real life shots, the 250mm end seems sharp enough to me. I shot it against the 100-300APO and the 70-300G outdoors and couldn't tell a huge difference in the results, as far as sharpness goes. Test shots against a lens box with fine print revealed the 70-300G being sharper at 250mm wide open but stopping down the 18-250mm did help.

18mm is wider than I'm used to shooting, as the 28-105/3.4-4.5 is my normal walkaround. Its not as wide as 16mm, but it makes for a good walkaround.

Most of my shooting is handled from 100mm under, but it sure is nice to have the extra reach for those few shots here and there.

In good light, the color seems satisfying to me, compared to my other lenses.

I'm sure that more dedicated lenses will do better than this one in certain circumstances, but in practice, I'm not finding much at all to complain about. I'm sorry that I waited so long to buy one of these lenses. I'd buy it again, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a single-lens solution (even if they didn't always shoot that way).

And for the record, IT HAS CIRCULAR APERTURE, just like the Sony. Evidently, Tamron doesn't see this as a significant enough feature to list it on their website, but it is circular aperture. It also doesn't have that awful dustrap grip that the sony has.
reviewer#4854 date: Feb-13-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 3
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 28-135/4-4.5, 70-210/4, 100-300 APO, SAL 18-70/3.5-5.6
price paid:350 USD (like new)
positive:nice colors
great zoom range
good build
lightweight
negative:rather slow AF
some CA
distortions (at wide and tele ends)
comment:If you know what hyperzoom is, this is the best lens you can get. It has all the disadvantages of a hyperzoom (somewhat slow, a bit dark, some distortions, etc).
But still, it produces really great results without the need of changing lenses! So, if you know what you're doing, go and get this one!
reviewer#4456 date: Nov-29-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:500 USD
positive:1) All round travel lens. Wide to tele. light to carry.

2) Photo taken are sharp and great contrast/colour.
negative:1) Zoom creep.
2) Slow focus.
comment:A great travel lens that cover from wide to tele (about 13x). Lens is light and small with macro function (min 45mm), easy for traveling and I normally use it for my holiday (as a single lens kit). But AF is slow in low light condition (maybe due to small aperture), and exposure need to adjust +1/3 than normal.
reviewer#3945 date: Aug-10-2008
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
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:Sony 18-70, Sony 24-105, Minolta 24-105, Tamron 18-200, Sigma 18-250 OS HSM, Tamron and Sigma's 28-300 lenses
price paid:
missing
positive:Great range. Decent speed throughout the range. Very good sharpness. Low weight. Accurate focusing. ACCEPTABLE CA control.
negative:Slow AF, SOME vignetting, distortion at some focus lengths
comment:I use this lens most often when tripping. Apart of superb range it has very decent speed, usually 2/3 EV higher than standard SAL-1870 lens - 4 at 30mm (kit lens 5), 4,5 at 50 mm (kit lens 5,6). This is really sharp lens in standard range - it means that can be as sharp as Zeiss 16-80 lens. Sharpness is good throughout all the range even wide open. AF is so-so on A700 and A200-300, slow on A100, but always very accurate. For architecture photos use 20-22 mm, when there is no distortion - barrel appears under and pincushion over this value, then it reaches good proportion again at 80-250 range. Really good CA control for such a range.

This is ultimate ultrazoom, most useful from all available (maybe for safari shots newest 28-300's are better). Sigma has shown their 18-250 OS HSM recently. I made some tsst shots and quick comparison in same conditions on both Sigma and Tamron today (IX 2009) on A100. Sigma is heavier, has OS built (watch out not to use OS built in and IS). Very similar distortion and CA control but seems to be a bit softer...
reviewer#3815 date: Jul-7-2008
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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 AF 100-200mm, Tamron 18-200mm, Kit lens, big beercan
price paid:480 USD (new)
positive:RANGE! Sharpness, contrast, size/weight,
negative:Slow AF (especially in low-light)
comment:Really a fantastic lens. SUCH an improvement over the 18-200mm that you cannot believe the small price difference. I replaced 4 of my older Minolta zooms (and even a 28mm prime!) with this bad-boy. I sold the vaunted "big beercan (75-300mm)" because this doesn't dislocate my shoulder with extended use and the PQ on the 2 is not terribly different.

How they fit all this range and quality into such a tiny lens is beyond me.

Also, 18mm IS quite distorted, but I really like it. Can be used for very interesting perspective in shots.
reviewer#3004 date: Nov-30-2007
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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:18-70 Sony
16-105 Sony
70-210 Minolta Beercan
70-300 Sigma APO
price paid:570 cdn
positive:Compact size for a lens with a 13.9X zoom range. Nice lens grip, compared to the Sony version which collects dust. Great 1/2 macro feature, throughout the whole zoom range. Pro test results verify it's a much sharper lens than the earlier 18-200, yet is about the same size for only a small increase in price, from the older 18-200mm Tamron. Front element doesn't rotate when focusing, and has a nice petal lens hood. Has a round aperture same as the Sony.
negative:You must use the zoom lock or the lens slips from it's short length to it's longest, when storing in a case or walking around. Slight distortion at the shortest end, but for a zoom of this range it's an expected compromise in the design. A little slow at the long end in lower light at F6.3, but is workable for all the other benefits of the 13.9X zoom range.
comment:This lens was one of PopPhoto's lens of the year for 2007. If you were to buy one lens, to cover most common lens range situations, this would be the one. Best walkabout lens on the market at the moment. Great if you are walking in dusty locations like beaches etc., since one lens covers most situations and you avoid changing lenses. The Tamron lens grip than the Sony version (doesn't collect dust like the Sony grip). Far improved from the earlier 18-200mm Tamron, much sharper, yet same size and lens speed, for a slight increase in price. Very nicely built lens with a nice lens grip, and a functional petal lens hood.

This lens covers from wide angle to telephoto (28mm-375mm 35mm equivalent), and 1:3.5 macro feature throughout the whole zoom range. It is ADI flash compatible, with the 8 contacts for Sony/Minolta digitals.

There are compromises for a lens which covers a 13.9X zoom range. One is the lens speed of F6.3 at 250mm (AF may hunt under lower light), and the other is slight distortion at the wide end. But the pluses far outweigh the negatives. Quite a lens design accomplishment for such a compact lens. Overal it's a great little lens. Great vacation or walkabout lens, when you want to travel light.

Compared to the Sony repackaged version of the Tamron 18-250, optically they are the same lens. Both the Sony and Tamron hav round apertures. Both are excellent and far superior to the earlier 18-200 lenses. Tamron is slightly less expensive, and has a longer warranty than the Sony. Personally I prefer the Tamron look to the Sony, and the rubber lens grip is superior. One reviewer of the Sony claimed the focusing speed of the Sony was slightly faster, but I didn't really find it so. The slower focusing speed of the lens is mainly related to it's lens speed of F6.3 at it's longest point, which may be a problem for some. Also it depends on which camera you use it on. On a A-700 it will be faster than on a A-100. The A-700 focuses faster. Firmware versions on cameras may affect focusing speed (obviously always best to have the latest firmware version on the camera). Choosing between a Tamron or a Sony is like choosing between a Chevy or a Pontiac. They are close. Regardless of which one you choose you will have picked an exceellent lens superior to the older 18-200 lenses, in physically the same size lens, but far improved over the older 18-200.
reviewer#2536 date: Jul-11-2007
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
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 18-200, KM 18-200, Tamron 28-300, Sony 16-80
price paid:479.99
positive:Sharp throughout the zoom range, even wide open
negative:focus is slow in lower light levels (average in normal light)
comment:I bought this lens as a replacement for my Sigma 18-200, which had served me well for about the last year. The extra range is very nice, and optically, it's better than the Sigma, especially wide open. Focus speed is only really a problem in low light. Bought at the same time as the CZ 16-80, and found the Zeiss was rarely on the camera, so this one stayed and the Zeiss was sold. Pretty impressive lens, even more so when you consider the unparalleled range.
reviews found: 34    1 2 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 34
  • sharpness: 4.46
  • color: 4.62
  • build: 4.35
  • distortion: 4.06
  • flare control: 4.41
  • overall: 4.38

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