Tamron SP 150-600mm F5-6.3 Di USD A-mount lens review by Kaishi

reviewer#12071 date: Dec-29-2014
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM
Sony SAL75300 75-300mm F4.5-5.6
Sony SAL70400G2 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM II
Tokina AT-X 840 AF-II 80-400mm F4.5-5.6
price paid:1100 USD (new)
positive:+ Fantastically sharp at 400mm F8
+ Minimal distortion, less than most options in the 150-500 range, and Lightroom includes a profile to correct for it.
+ fast and accurate focus, similar to SAL70400G2, perhaps better.
+ minimal vignetting on APS-C
+ minimal chromatic aberration
+ cheapest way to get to 500mm or beyond.
+ ~4Lbs, making it one of the lightest lenses beyond 300mm.
+ removable tripod collar, so you can reduce weight when you intend to hand-hold.
negative:- Minimum Focus Distance is about 3m / 9ft. Great for birds and mammals, terrible for pets, children, or insects.
- A bit soft at 600mm F6.3, but stopping down to F8 helps.
- SEVERE vignetting on full frame, a full stop of loss at the edges. Requires correction in post.
- F5-6.3 is a bit slow, body can struggle to find enough contrast to focus in low light.
- like all longer lenses, it is huge and can be difficult to operate, support, mount, carry, store, etc.
- 95mm front filter thread is enormous, expensive, and uncommon.
- effective range on APS-C is 225-900mm, making it particularly difficult to spot subjects (225 isn't wide enough) and hard to hand-hold (1/200s and below will show considerable motion blur, even with stabilization).
- lacks Tamron's impressive VC system, which is more effective on this design than Sony's SteadyShot, when used at 600mm. VC can provide 4 stops in real world tests, where SteadyShot caps out at about 2.5 stops.
comment:This lens is incredible value for money. It is superior to the SAL70400G2 which costs more than twice as much. Regarding resolution, this lens is superior to most of the long telezooms from any manufacturer, including Canon and Nikon.

It is a great tool for a novice birder, or any wildlife photographer committed to the Alpha system. Finally, we can achieve some of the reach that was previously reserved for Canikon folks.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 15
  • sharpness: 4.67
  • color: 4.73
  • build: 4.87
  • distortion: 4.87
  • flare control: 4.60
  • overall: 4.75
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