Tamron AF 55-200mm F4-5.6 Di II A-mount lens review by zastavia

reviewer#10895 date: Feb-2-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 3
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 own this lens
compared to:>Tamron SP 70-300
>Sigma 120-400 APO DG OS
price paid:£89.99
positive:>Extremely compact
>Surprisingly accurate focus
>Fast to focus in good light
>Ridiculously good value
>Nice, warm, accurate colors
negative:>Plastic mount, but durable
>Fiddly, lose focus ring at front
comment:This was the first 'digital' tele lens I bought and has had considerable use on an a33 and now an a57. The price of this lens is simply amazing considering it's performance. Physically, the lens is very compact, almost as small as my 18-55 sam. It is light-weight and actually well built despite having a plastic mount. The hood is round and sometimes fiddly to mount, but that might just be me. The range of 55-200 is good, especially on APSC as the crop factor gives an excellent and useful range for medium tele shots. The colors are very pleasing, not Minolta, but they sure are nice, and flare is well controlled too. Chromatic aberration is also well controlled and only just visible in high contrast situations, and when the image is closely cropped in post-process, but it has never been a problem for me. Focus accuracy is extremely good, but like many lenses in this range, it can struggle when shooting into busy situations like compacted tree branches viewed from side-on, but for the most part, it performs very well. Focus speed, in good to strong light, is extremely fast. I have never used a lens that focuses so fast or is so quick to zip through the 55-200 range. Of course in low light, things get slower. Focus noise is not pleasant but also not too bad. Now, this lenses strength lays in it's excellent level of sharpness, of which, some people unfairly slightly under-mark it. At virtually all apertures, and all focal lengths, this lens delivers near-razor photo's every time. It has never failed me in over two years, from birds to flowers, from aircraft to animals. I have a TAMRON 70-300SP which is pretty sharp, especially at f9 and f11, but this little guy is just as good, if not, slightly better. When I want to take lighter kit, I will pack this instead of the SP, despite it's shorter range. I cannot recommend this lens enough considering the price. Like the TAMRON 18-250, this will in time be sought-after. It will always remain in my kit.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 50
  • sharpness: 4.54
  • color: 4.42
  • build: 3.70
  • distortion: 4.46
  • flare control: 4.50
  • overall: 4.32
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