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

reviewer#44219 date: Jan-28-2019
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: 12MP12 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony AF DT 18-250mm F3.5-6.3
price paid:320 GDP (new)
positive:Unbeatable range. IQ.
negative:Not a 10-500. Not FF. Not a constant f2.8.
comment:This is a unique lens in A mount, there is no other that offers the focal length range of this hyper-zoom. As such one is prepared to forgive it some weaknesses and foibles in order to get the convenience of a a one size fits all lens - but there is remarkably little forgiveness required.

The range is wide enough and long enough for almost all my needs - the compromises are in IQ, not that this lens is bad, it isn't, its just not as good as my best zoom (the Sony DT 16-50 f2.8 SSM) or as my primes. That said I don't have any G zooms, most of which should also be a step up from the Tamron (at a price).

This is the lens that always goes on holiday with me - on my A58 it is the perfect walkaround kit.

The only lens I have that can conceivably be compared on the convenience front is the Sony DT 18-250mm, a fine lens in its own right. I succumbed to the Tamron more for the 2mm at the wide end than the 50mm at the long end. I have not been disappointed, the extra width does make a real difference and the IQ is marginally better throughout, especially in the 200-250mm region.

There is not part of its range where there isn't a better alternative - but the size of bag needed to carry them all around is what this lens is about. This is the ultimate jack of all trades lens for A mount and shows the advantage APS sensors give to lens design - there is no FF lens that comes close to its range.

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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