Tamron SP AF 70-300mm 4-5.6 Di USD A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 54    << 1 2
reviewer#10066 date: Mar-31-2012
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
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 100-300MM 4.5
SONY 16-105MM
TAMRON 90MM 2.8 MACRO
TOKINA 100MM 3.5 MACRO
price paid:459 USD (NEW)
positive:BUILD QUALITY
Sharpness in some focal lenghts
negative:CA in some focal lenghts
SHARPNESS IN SOME FOCAL LENGHTS
Bokeh a little busy for my taste, but nothing disturbing.
WEIGHT
comment:It is a nice lens but has some compromises.
At 300mm it is not sharp. Unfortunately, this is the focal lenght I use this lens most of the time.
At 70mm, 100mm, 135mm and 200mm, it is very sharp.
At 200mm there is purple fringing and at 300mm there is a blue fringing. This is easily visible in real life shots.
I have tested the Sony G version of this lens before and results are roughly the same.
Interestingly, it shows as a Sony 70-300 G in every software I have opened its pics.
All in all, it can't be beaten for the price/performance.
Shot at 300mm: http://www.flickr.com/photos/58742644@N04/10310377124/
reviewer#10064 date: Mar-30-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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:beercan, big beercan,
sigma 70-300 macro
price paid:279 GBP (new)
positive:flare control is outstanding silent autofocus
very sharp
ca (well the lack of it)
negative:focus is accurate but a tiny bit slow
comment:After searching and looking at all the reviews i could find i opted for this lense and am certainly pleased with my purchase, great lens very sharp upto just below 300mm and at 300mm still very good, nice auto focus just would have prefered it to be a little faster but is wayyyy better than any of my compared to lenses flare and ca control is outstanding
i have never been sure about 3rd party lenses (never really liked the sigmas) but the Tamron's i have at the moment (this one and the 90mm di macro) have convinced me that Tamron are very good makers indeed.
can't wait for the 24-70mm f2.8 to come out
reviewer#9996 date: Mar-5-2012
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:Sony 75-300
price paid:550$ new
positive:Sharpness
No Chromatic Abberations
Colors
Very nice bokeh
Sharp even on long end
negative:Non so far
comment:Amazing lens. Specially comparing to my old Sony 75-300. I love bokeh on this lens. Very sharp lens, specially on F8. Very good and precise controls(focus and focal rings)...very well build. Love the colors and overall image quality of this lens. It is pretty sharp even on 300mm where my old Sony 75-300 was not so good. There is no CA at all, and I'm very pleased with that. Only thing is a little slower focusing, but nothing so bad that you need to worry. Very silent while focusing. I recommend this lens to everyone who need 70-300 range and does not have enough money to buy Sony 70-300G.
reviewer#9940 date: Feb-16-2012
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 18-200 3,5-6,3
Sigma 28-300 3,5-6,3
price paid:300 EUR (new)
positive:(see rating)
negative:maybe the focus speed. it is on a high scale kinda slow.
comment:the fokus speed could be a little faster compared to my Sony 16-50mm 2,8 for example. but overall this is a really great lens. very charp even at 4 resp. at 5,6. the build quality seems quite good even so it is a full plastic lens (due to its price i guess).

great lens on my D7D!
reviewer#9937 date: Feb-15-2012
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.4
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:Sony 70-300 G
Tamron 70-200 f2.8
price paid:400 USD
positive:Nice build quality
negative:Soft, very soft on long end, from 200 up to 300.
comment:Almost identical performance compared to the 70-300 "G", which is not a good thing but at half the price I guess that soothes the pain. Soft at the long end, even at f8. My Tamron 70-200 with a 2x MC7 TC is sharper and has better contrast.

This lens is so similar to the Sony one wonders if the Sony is a rebadged Tamron design.
reviewer#9929 date: Feb-13-2012
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:Sony 70-300 G
Minolta 100-300 APO D
price paid:399 USD (new)
positive:Comparable IQ to Sony 70-300 G at half the price!
Good build quality.
Fast & Silent focus,
DMF compatible.
No CA.
negative:None so far.
comment:This is a no brainer choice among the 70-300mm range without fixed aperture if you can live with no focus hold button, a tad slower focus compared to SSM, and "G" logo to boost ego.

For the same reason, I can't justify paying 2 times more (in Thailand) for the 70-300 G, while I could get this Tamron 70-300 USD with enough money left to spend on another lens.

Build quality is great. IQ is comparable to the G lens. No visible CA which usually plagues telephoto zooms. Focus speed although not as fast as SSM, is quick enough for most situations and completely silent. I can do without focus hold button by using the AF/MF button on camera instead. Although the Sony can get a closer at 1.2m MFD (compared to 1.5m), the Tamron can do the same magnification ratio at 1:4 and another subtle difference is the Tamron can open at f4 while Sony starts at f4.5.

I'm not going to compare with other options in this range such as the cheaper Sony/Minolta 75-300 f4.5-5.6 since it's totally different class and price. However if compared to Minolta 100-300mm D, what I like more about the Minolta is its richer Minolta colors and contrast, although the Minolta is soft wild open and need at least f8. The Tamron is acceptably sharp wide-open and much faster focus speed.

If you're looking for the best IQ in 70-300 range for day use, Tamron 70-300 USD is the best value for money period.

See my photos with Tamron 70-300mm USD on my Flickr collection at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lifeispixels/collections/72157628204412995/
reviewer#9789 date: Jan-14-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.8
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 70-300 ld macro
Sony 18-70
Sony 18-55
Tamron 24-135
price paid:299 usd (new)
positive:Sharp
Good color
Price
negative:Heavy
comment:The actual cost for this was $399, but there was a $100 rebate.

This is a good lens! It makes sharp photos with great color. Even though it's got a floating f stop on it, it still handles low light quite well compared to the two Sony kit lenses and the Tamron 24-135 that I have.

Compared directly to the Tamron 70-300 ld macro, it is heavier that the ld macro, handles light about the same, and provides much sharper, better photos.

Compared to the Tam 24-135, it is a little heavier, but makes sharper photos with better color and will take shots indoors that the 24-135 can't handle. I originally intended to keep the 24-135, even though I wasn't sure about how to use it. But now that I've seen how good this lens is, I have decided to sell it and try again.

I am happy with this lens and will probably use it for years to come.
reviewer#9733 date: Dec-30-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
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:Canon 75-300mm, Canon 75-300mm IS
price paid:
missing
positive:After bad experiences with Canon lenses of this focal range I took a chance based on reviews. I am delighted with the purchase! It's light, sharp and has good colour. There has been no problem with flare at all.
negative:Construction is light so I hope it is more durable than it feels.
comment:I was getting hip problems from carrying my Minolta 400mm F4.5 and Sony A900 on my hip holster clip. I needed a lighter walk around lense for casual walks and general use. This fit the bill perfectly.
reviewer#9732 date: Dec-30-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
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 100-300 APO
Minolta 75-300
Sony 55-200
price paid:449.00
positive:Sharp and great range. Sharpest up to 250 mm then just a bit soft. Colors fantastic with the addition of a BW UV filter. No CA visible.
negative:Bit on a heavy bulky side with a small camera like an A35. Very sturdy and solid to the touch.
comment:Was a bit confused about the sharpness raves because mine was soft at first. The UV filter played a part (cheap) because without it the photos improved. I added a BW MRC filter and the images were almost 3D-like. Nice color. I also used my warranty and had Tamron recalibrate the lens for focus. Just right on now with the F11-F20 range. Above 250mm goes a bit soft but still dynamic images. The Minolta 100-300 gives similar results except its older technology and less range. I use the Minolta if carrying weight is an issue. The Sony 55-200 has great sharpness although not the Tamron's color. Glad I purchased it and received a quick rebate and great support from Tamron too.
reviewer#9567 date: Nov-6-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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:Nikkor 70-300mm VR 4.5-5.6
Nikkor 70-200mm VR I 2.8
price paid:$530 AUD New
positive:Super sharp resolution, excellent colour, sharp throughout range, little or no CA or PF. Lens is light for the range yet very solid feeling. Fast and silent focusing.
negative:Missing a tripod collar and mount.
comment:Having just sold my D7000 and the totally enjoyable and reliable Nikkor 70-300VR, I was missing the range when I started using the A77. Tamron? When I found this lens and purchased it based on previous reviews I was very pleasantly surprised to find that it was better in many ways than the Nikkor and an excellent price for the package. Highly recommended, definite keeper.
reviewer#9484 date: Oct-9-2011
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:Beercan
70-210 F3.5-f4.5
Sony 18-250
Tamron 70-300 di ld macro
Sigma 70-300 Apo DG mACRO
Sigma 70-300
Tamron 55-200
price paid:£310 GBP
positive:Sharpness
Build Quality
Price
negative:Enormous lens hood
No VC
comment:Having tried everything within a certain price point (below £200), I wanted to up the ante by getting a far better lens, and yep this is that lens, it's sharp wide open, build quality is in a different league, put this next to the overhyped beercan and see which one comes out tops ;-).

It really is a great lens, quiet, smooth excellent IQ/colours and as for looks, put this lens alongside the Sony 75-300 and you'll see for yourself, no comparison.

Downers: that overly big lens hood, it does hunt from time to time and weight, I would imagine it also looks rather funny if fitted to an A55 (big lens, small camera).

For the money (i paid only £310), it is an excellent lens.

Ref VC & pricing; I did e-mail Tamron regarding the Pricing of the Sony version, which unlike the Canon & Nikon versions does'nt come with VC, Tamron's answer; Sony has inbody anti shake & pricing was same becuase of the costs relating to the Sony/Minolta mount :-(
reviewer#9389 date: Sep-4-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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 70-300
Sony SAL55-200 sam
Sony 18-55 kitlens
Minolta 35-105
Minolta 50 1.7
Tamron 17-50 2.8
Minolta 35-70 3.5-4.5
Sony 35 1.8
price paid:369 Euro
positive:Sharp
Fast and acurate AF
Manual focus overide.
negative:MFD.
comment:I bought this lens about 2 months ago and it never left my camera since.

I realy like that it can focus fast and accurate.
Sometimes i use a nd filter wich does wonders for the colors. (i can do it in post but i want to do less photoshopping not more)

Portrets are also a lot of fun to do with this lens, yes i just love it.
I only wish de mfd had been shorter.

This is the best lens i own.


reviewer#9337 date: Aug-15-2011
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:Minolta 70-210/4
Sony 70-300G
Sony 70-400G
Tamron 70-30 Macro
Tamron 18-250
Olympus 50-200/2.8-3.5
price paid:500$
positive:Very sharp on all the zoom range
Does not needs to be stopped down at all!
Good color
Great build
Fast and accurate AF
Silent (completely)
negative:Bokeh on slightily blurred objects can be strage. Happens rarely.
comment:This lens makes me completely happy. It is VERY sharp, AF works very good, it looks and feels like a real pro lens. Check my pictures at sample pages, there are crops from 70-300g and 70-400G along with this Tamron, you'll see that this lens with it's price is unbeatable!
Also feel free to check my review - http://www.alphatraveller.com/2011/08/tamron-sp-70-300-usd-vs-sony-70-300-g.html (in Russian but with many pictures).
reviewer#9320 date: Aug-10-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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 AF 70-300 F4-5.6 Di LD Macro
- Sony - AF 70-300 F4.5-5.6 G SSM
- Sigma 120-400 4.5-5.6 APO DG HSM
price paid:330€ + filters
positive:- sharpness
- zoom speed
- zoom accuracy
- almost silent
negative:- no zoom lock
comment:The lens feels solid, although not as tough a the beercan or the Sigma 120-400 4.5-5.6 APO DG HSM. I used a Tamron AF 70-300 F4-5.6 Di LD Macro before i got this one, while the cheap tammy is a fairly good lens it has many drawbacks, the new Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD is a very big improvement and compared to its competitors the Tamron still is very cheap. While it might not be as tough as the G lens i have the feeling that it worked much better IQ wise.
The focusing works well in all aspects, fast, silent and accurate (so far), the prictures are sharp. Excellent lens for a good price
reviewer#9255 date: Jul-24-2011
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.3
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 AF 100-300mm F4 EX DG (IF) APO
Minolta AF 300mm F/2.8 APO/APO HS G
Sigma AF 70-300mm APO DG Macro
Minolta 300/4 APO HS G
Minolta AF 80-200mm F/2.8 APO (+ APO HS G)
SAL AF 70-300mm G SSM
SAL AF 70-400mm G SSM
price paid:£350.00 (new)
positive:Lightweight
Long Lens Hood/Flare Control
Full Frame
AF/MF Switch (see negative also)
Above Average Zoom Speed
Quiet Zoom Motor
negative:No VC (why?)
Poor IQ Beyond 200mm
AF/MF Lens Switch Easily Moved (no resistance/to loose)
Grossly Overpriced In UK
comment:Tamron insist in keeping the VC in the lens title when the Sony/Minolta version of this lens doesn't have it.

So, what person at Tamron decided that a Sony owner couldn't decide for themselves that an in-lens stabilisation system available to Canon/Nikon owners was beyond our capability to turn off the camera's SSS and pay the same price for the VC version when the Sony variant doesn't have the facility?

Look at Sigma. OS lenses are twice the price as non-OS lenses. Question? Why is the Tamron non VC version for Sony/Minolta the same price as the VC version?

I digress. The lens from the point of view of a person who has been using budget lenses, this lens must seem like a revelation. On the other hand, if you've been using G/HS G top shelf or intermediate grade lenses, then this tele-zoom is just above average and nothing else. CA handling is awful, but there is definately PF at the longer focal length (though not with all images), and the colours are bland. It's nice and lightweight, thus easly hand holdable all day if needed, though the AF/MF switch on the lens lacks any resistance and the mode can easily be switched without realising.

Shooting at 24MP at ISO 100 at 300mm produces far too much noise when taken in cRAW on A850 and images require A LOT of PP, so unless you have a smaller sensor, images may be better as on FF, the only option is JPEG for reduced file size shooting.

The lens is OK (ish). Far better options would be a Sigma AF 100-300mm F4 EX DG (IF) APO if you can find one, or the Tokina AT-X equivalent or their AT-X 300/2.8, again if you can find one, and price difference aside, the quality of the images will be vastly superior to this Tamron offering, though short range images are excellent.

On the whole, an above average but overpriced tele-zoom that sits well in both focal and price range for what it can produce unless you can buy a better used optic. It's nothing to write home about, and I couldn't print a 24MP image from the camera if taken at long range as the IQ is rubbish. PP'd and reduced, yes, you have what appears to be an excellent photograph, but what a job just to get that!

I can't honestly recommend this to anyone who's used superior optics, though for anyone technically upgrading from a kit or lesser budget lenses it's going to be a little marvel, and to think when the SAL AF 70-300mm G SSM was released in the UK, it was the same price. If you want a faster zoom and AF speed, buy a lens that uses the cameras torque drive (like the legacy Minolta's for example).

If this is Tamron's birthday gift to us, I would be returning it and buying something else as it really doesn't cut the mustard in IQ at long focal lengths bearing in mind price paid. For USA/Canadian buyers, it may represent far better VFM (value for money) due to rebates which we don't have in the UK.

UPDATE:

I sent the lens back for checking/rectification under warranty to Intro2020 and 6 weeks later it was returned. New components have been fitted and I am currently conducting tests with it on A580 and A850. I will amend my 'review' in due course subject to any findings of note.
reviewer#9196 date: Jul-1-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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:Sony 75-300
Sony 70-300G
Sony 70-400G
price paid:400 USD (new)
positive:Sharp
AF speed/accuracy
Build
Price
negative:focus ring too close to camera
should keep VC
comment:I have been waiting for this lens for a long time, I finally got it early last month, and am glad it didn't disappoint me. I tried 2 copies of Sony 70-300G, all had back focus problem. Very frustrating. As soon as the new Tammy became available I bought one.

After almost month of using, I find it exceeding all of my expectations, especially in sharpness aspect. With this lens I never need to stop down aperture so I can get faster shutter to fight motion blur. CA control is exceptionally good (just like Sony G lens), AF is fast & quiet, and more accurate then the two copies I tried before.

The only "complain" from me would be Tamron's decision to omit VC - it could make nice video lens for my A55. But likely Sony mount get better optical performance in return? Maybe I am lucky to have a good copy.

Bottom line: for $400 there is no better AF 70-300mm lens on this planet.
reviewer#9163 date: Jun-21-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:sony 70-300 G
tamron 70-300 LDi Macro
price paid:365 after rebates
positive:Sharp!
fast and silent focus
nice balance on A700
rebates make it a real bargain.
negative:issue with first copy
no focus limiter
comment:This was worth the wait. My first copy had a sticking aperture, but the second copy works flawlessly. (That's the reason for a 4 for a build rating.) This was the first problem that my local camera shop had seen with this lens in any mount. Otherwise, it feels solid and has a decent hood.

This lens is as sharp as the Sony for half the price. Wide open the Sony may have a very slight edge, but not enough to justify the price difference. When stopped down a step or two, the Tamron is its equal.

It's quick to focus, even in lower light. The USD focus motor is eerily silent. There is no hunting in good light. Focus locks and stays locked. In low light, there may be slight hunting, but then again, this really isn't a lens you will use in those situations.

The zoom action is smooth with no lens creep. This will be the lens that comes with me when I don't feel like lugging my 70-400G. Tamron is offering some great rebates at the moment that make this lens a true bargain.
reviewer#9116 date: Jun-10-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
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:Sony 70-300G
price paid:400 USD
positive:Well built.
Quiet focusing.
Great price/performance.
negative:No focus hold.
No focus limiter.
comment:To be fair, I've owned the Sony for a couple of years and only had the Tamron for a couple of weeks. But I have used the Sony extensively and knew what I was looking for in the Tamron.

I would say that they are about the same in build quality. Both are about the same size and weight. The Sony has a silky smoothness when zooming rather than the stiffer Tamron. Over time, the Tamron will probably loosen up a bit. I use the focus limiter and focus hold buttons on the Sony so I'm sure I would have missed them from time to time with the Tamron.

The real and noticeable difference is in sharpness. Bottom line, the Sony is sharper, but not by alot. If you want the better sharpness, go with the Sony. The Tamron is sharper than the previous version from Tamron and all of the Minolta and Sony long zooms that I have tested (and I've tested all of them) except for the Sony 70-400G (which I also own). The Sony is sharper near the edges wide-open everywhere and especially from 200-300mm. Both have very good to excellent sharpness in the center at all focal lengths, although in the strictest evaluation the Sony is always equal to or better than the Tamron and usually better. The Sony can be used wide open at any time, but the Tamron benefits from stopping down 1 f-stop.

In the field, both lenses perform well and nearly the same. The Sony seems to be a bit smoother and quieter, however. Both are fast focusing. While it is larger and heavier than, say, the Sony 75-300mm, it is still quite manageable to carry around for long periods of time.

The Tamron is certainly a better value, and with a rebate coupon is about $400 US. It also has a 6 yr warranty in the US, much longer than the Sony. I was willing to keep the Tamron and sell the Sony if the Tamron was just as sharp, but it wasn't. So in the end the Tamron was returned and I'm keeping the Sony. But for many (most?) photographers, the Tamron would be the perfect mid to long zoom.
reviewer#9114 date: Jun-9-2011
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:Sony 70-300G
price paid:310 USD (new)
positive:Great build quality
Fast Focusing
negative:No focus limiter
comment:I had the Sony 70-300G for about a week before deciding to return it and purchase this lens. I've found that this lens meets the quality of the Sony in sharpness and speed, and is pretty close in colors. What I like the most is that the lens does not extend when it is attached to my blackrapid strap and I'm walking around. It annoyed me to no end that the Sony G would fully extend as I was walking around, which is one of the reasons I decided to return it.

Overall, I'd say I'm completely satisfied with the ability and quality of this lens.

reviewer#9096 date: Jun-6-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
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:
missing
price paid:449 USD (new)
positive:A lot of lens for a relativly low cost.
Very sharp.
Silent & smooth autofocus.
negative:Autofocus is a little slow, but no more than I expected.
comment:This lens has a good feel to it. Weight and smoothness of the zoom and focus ring has the feel of a more expensive lens. Also, having the focus ring closer and designed with a clutch makes it more functional than some of the cheaper alternatives out there.
The auto focus is a little slow end to end, but whisper quiet... not a problem for me.

I haven't played with this lens enough to be able to say that I love it, but overall I am very happy with the purchase and believe it was well worth the Price of $449 US

Did I mention that it is sharp?
reviewer#9058 date: May-26-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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 70-300 APO
- Minolta 100-300 APO
- Minolta 70-210 f3.5/4.5
- Minolta 500 reflex
- Tokina 70-200 f2,8
price paid:€330,- New
positive:- Accurate AF
- Fast AF
- (near) Silent AF
- Build
- Price/perfomance
negative:- Not quite Minolta colours, but very close
comment:Got the opportunity to try a Sony 70-300 with SSM. Fell in love with the focussing speed. But hated the price. The 70-400 with SSM is the most wanted lens, and worth every penny. But for a lower/medium budget this Tamron is the best that is out there with fast and accurate AF.

I love this one more than the Sony 70-300 SSM. AF is just as fast and accurate. But is has slighty better colours and feels much more like quality equipment; where the Sony feels like.. well.. my first Sony. On top of that: costs only half the money!
reviewer#9053 date: May-25-2011
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
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 100-300 F4, Tamron 70-200,
Minolta 200 F2.8
price paid:390 euro
positive:Sharpness
negative:Relative slow autofocus
comment:Very good lens if you take the price into consideration.
reviewer#9052 date: May-25-2011
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:I've owned the Sony 75-300, and I own the Tamron 70-200 2.8 and the Tamron 200-500. I rank it my third best Tamron lens.
price paid:
missing
positive:Light weight and color rendering. Sharpness is adequate. AF is fast and silent.
negative:Since the lens is so long when fully extended I find it hard to get images without motion blur handheld as I do with other lenses including the Tamron 70-200.
comment:It's a very good lens for the money, but I wouldn't rate it a show stopper lens.

(NOTE....UPON FURTHER REVIEW)

After a full afternoon of working with this lens I wish to update earlier comments. This lens is better than I initially thought. It is super sharp, even at 300 mm if you hold it still. I have therefore come to realize...it is an exceptional value.
reviewer#9040 date: May-21-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
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 'Beercan' 70-210 f4 along with a variety of sigma, sony and minolta primes and zooms.
price paid:440 euro (new)
positive:A lot of lens for the money.
negative:None as yet
comment:This lens won an EISA award and having read a couple of positive reviews decided to buy it - works on both full frame and cropped sensors- on my A700 it equates to (approx) 100mm - 450mm.
Plastic bodied with stainless steel lens mount, it is light and nicely made. The focus ring is smooth and the zoom ring, although a little stiff, works nicely - both have nice rubbery grip rings. The fit and finish is top notch, no play even fully zoomed.
Bokeh is quite good, the aperture is pretty much circular down to about f8. No noticeable vignetting and distortion is not a problem.
Although early days, my first impressions are very good indeed. It is a sharp, useful, hand holdable lens. Well balanced on my A700. Although not a true macro, min focusing is 1.5 metres at all focal lengths. Tamron's 'ultrasonic' focus drive is quick enough and very quiet - almost silent and allows manual adjustment without flicking switches.
Internal focus so polarisers etc. can be used if required.

A review here that sums up my experience with this lens;
http://photo.net/equipment/tamron/70-300di-vc/

Update. Lived with this for a couple of weeks now - my earlier comments still stand, the focus can be a little fussy, but with a direct manual override, tweaking the focus is easy - the lens appears to shine around f8-f16 at all focal lengths - one of the few zooms I have owned which is consistent right across the range. There are perhaps better telephoto zoom lenses, but not at this price.
reviews found: 54    << 1 2

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 54
  • sharpness: 4.49
  • color: 4.37
  • build: 4.35
  • distortion: 4.65
  • flare control: 4.54
  • overall: 4.48

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