Tamron SP AF 70-300mm 4-5.6 Di USD A-mount lens review by Michevan

reviewer#10421 date: Aug-1-2012
sharpness: 3.5
color: 3
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.5
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:Minolta 70-210 BC, Sigma 24-135, Tamron 18-250, Tamron 200-400, (compared to Minolta 200 2.8 for kicks but not a fair matchup)
price paid:$350 after rebate
positive:Focus speed, size, price, better CA control than the beercan
negative:Sharpness, blokeh, colors, overexposure
comment:As always, looking for a walk around zoom that beats the beercan. Let me first start by saying that I have a nice copy of the BC, and have owned it for nearly 25 years.

On the positive front, the Tamron is way faster, and so much quieter. I think the wonderful praise stops there. To be sure, this is a nice lens, but I do not feel that it had been appropriately reviewed in this forum. I think there is a case of higher lens rating based in part on the price of the lens. No question, this lens provides good value for the money.

Comparing the shots throughout the focal length range (including cropped BC photos), the colors were not as nice, and the sharpness was really a toss up. Either wide open or stopped down, the lens had a tendency to slightly overexpose each shot. The same issue occurred on both the A700 and the SLT57.

My father and I took the lens through a really complete workout using hand held, tripod, sunlight, cloudy, and indoor shots. The results were solid, but certainly not great. In both our views, this lens falls below the BC in overall shot quality. Assuming the G lens is a 5, and the BC is a 4, this falls to about a 3.75. Nice, but certainly not worth the current rating of 4.72.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 55
  • sharpness: 4.50
  • color: 4.38
  • build: 4.35
  • distortion: 4.62
  • flare control: 4.53
  • overall: 4.47
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