Tamron AF 100-300mm F5-6.3 A-mount lens review by andyken

reviewer#9986 date: Mar-1-2012
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sigma 75-300mm f4.5-5.6
Sigma 70-300mm APO f4.0-5.6
Minolta 70-210mm f4
price paid:40 GBP
positive:Sharp wide open.
Maintains sharpness at 300mm.
Small and light.
negative:Maximum aperture not very wide.
Some CA at wide apertures.
comment:For not a lot of money this lens gives good results in good light, although IQ seems to drop off quite sharply if the lighting isn't good. Shots in good light have good colour and excellent contrast and sharpness doesn't appear to tail off too badly at 300mm, which suits me - if I use a lens like this, I'm going to want to use it (and get good results) at 250-300mm most of the time. It would be better if the maximum aperture at 300mm was wider than f6.3, but I can live with it.

Its unquestionably a 'budget lens' and doesn't bear up to very close scrutiny compared to more expensive glass (as you would expect) but is a clear winner on value for money. Although its light, build quality seems good and I've never had any problems.

Update: taken some more test shots now and in careful direct comparison with the Beercan and Sigma, both those other lenses have better IQ, but its pretty close and the Tamron is still good value considering its cheap price. It is also quite a bit lighter than the others.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 6
  • sharpness: 3.92
  • color: 3.67
  • build: 3.50
  • distortion: 3.83
  • flare control: 3.67
  • overall: 3.72
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