Tamron 150-500mm F5-6.7 Di III VC VXD E-mount lens review by Wētāpunga
|Wētāpunga#45786 date: Nov-10-2021|
flare control: 4
|ownership:||I own this lens|
|compared to:||Sigma 100-400mm|
Minolta 300/4 G with 1.4x TC
|price paid:||NZ $2350 new|
|positive:||Reach up to 500mm|
Cheaper than Sony 200-600mm
Just light enough to use handheld
Tripod collar includes Arca-Swiss foot
|negative:||Cannot be used with teleconverters|
Smaller aperture means you tend to shoot at higher ISOs
|comment:||The lens has a lot of positives, noting of course, that any large Zoom lens necessarily has some compromises. There is some pincushioning distortion throughout its range, but this can be corrected with lens profiles. |
The range is 'good enough' for my purposes. For wildlife I've always worked on a rule of thumb of being able to reach about 400mm, and for birds, about 500mm. A bit more reach is always nice, but that means the size and weight of the lens has to rise also. See the Sony 200-600mm or Sigma 150-600mm for comparison.
The sharpness is very good generally throughout the range. It's a little bit softer after 300mm but for practical purposes, that will rarely be important. It's not prime sharp however. The smaller aperture also means you get a little less isolation of the subject from the background. And you also tend to push the ISO-setting a bit higher. That means while you do capture a lot of detail, its not at the level of a professional prime lens. Nor should you expect it to be.
In good lighting conditions and with favourable lighting angles however, it will perform nearly as well as a prime.
However, one of the pluses is simply you can use it handheld. It's not so large and heavy that a tripod or monopod is necessary. That in itself is remarkable for a lens of this range. The lens collar also has attachment points for a camera strap, so you can shift the weight bearing from the camera and its lens mount, to the lens itself. It balances more effectively this way too.
I also like that it has an Arca-Swiss foot inbuilt in the tripod collar. Which means you don't have to screw or attach you own base plate into the lens. It comes ready to shoot.
You can also shoot the lens without the tripod collar for reduced the weight further and make it easier to handle.
The lens I think, should appeal to those photographers who want a lens with more reach than the 100-400mm options, but without the weight and bulk of the Sony 200-600mm. If that's your sweet spot then this lens fills that gap nicely.