Tamron 16-300mm F3.5-6.3 Di II PZD MACRO A-mount lens review by balacau

reviewer#11995 date: Sep-28-2014
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: 12MP12 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 16-105
Sony 55-300
Tamron 18-270 PZD
Sony 16-50 F2.8
price paid:520 GBP (new)
positive:Build quality
Silent focusing
Compact design
Focal length
negative:Slight distortion at 16mm at extreme image corners
comment:I picked this lens up new due to the unfortaunte demise of my Tamron 18-270mm PZD lens at the hands of a concrete path! Before the purchase, I had seen quite a few example pictures from Canon and Nikon users and was suitably impressed with its performance.

I had the lens a week before I actually found time to get out there and use it. I was not disappointed. The first things I noticed about the lens were its build quality is quite superior to the earlier 18-270 (almost like comparing the 18-55mm SAM kit zoom to Sony's own 16-50mm F2.8) and the fact its notably heavier too.

Getting to shooting with the lens was something else too. The zoom action has a damped feeling to it, something lacking with the 18-270, it has enough resistance to hopefully eliminate zoom creep but time will tell on that!

I do not believe that Tamron has upgraded the PZD motor in this new lens, the AF speed doesn't seem to have increased any but that's not exactly an issue, even the older lens wasn't sluggish in the AF department. Focusing is quiet enough for video purposes although this really doesn't apply to me so much.

Colours and bokeh are pleasing although with some busy backgrounds, the bokeh is a little distracting producing some almost hexagonal effects if you catch something shiny in the background (at F8 anyway).

In short, its a great lens and seems to be quite an upgrade from its predecessor. The splash-proof design is a nice addition and I'm keen to see if after several months, the damped action stops zoom creep or at least reduces it to being less of a problem.

This lens should certainly work very well as a 2-lens kit with my Sigma 8-16 (another very highly regarded lens) keeping the gear I have to carry light and thus being mobile.

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As an update, I have found my first bugbear with this lens; or rather the lens cap. I've never really had this issue with Tamron caps before but it seems to unclip itself whilst the lens is still in the bag. The issue is not about losing the lens, but more likely the front element being scratched if the lens cap and/or camera moves around during transit. Still very happy with the lens otherwise and no zoom creep showing yet either - something which my Sony 55-300 has started to show some signs of!

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 9
  • sharpness: 4.61
  • color: 4.67
  • build: 4.89
  • distortion: 3.89
  • flare control: 4.22
  • overall: 4.46
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