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Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 VC Review
  
 
diverhank
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p.12 #1 · p.12 #1 · Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 VC Review


It's disturbing to hear reports of AF problems for BIF. Since 80% of what I shoot is BIF, I was waiting with bated breath for reports on how this lens performs...It's disappointing news for me. I guess I'll stick with the 400mm f/5.6L and the 1.4X for a while longer...

I do appreciate all of you who took the time to test and report. Thank you!



Jan 27, 2014 at 06:54 PM
cameron12x
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p.12 #2 · p.12 #2 · Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 VC Review


diverhank wrote:
It's disturbing to hear reports of AF problems for BIF. Since 80% of what I shoot is BIF, I was waiting with bated breath for reports on how this lens performs...It's disappointing news for me. I guess I'll stick with the 400mm f/5.6L and the 1.4X for a while longer...

I do appreciate all of you who took the time to test and report. Thank you!


I've created a thread dedicated to BIF/Action shooting for the Tamron super tele-zoom. Check it out here:

BIF/Action Shooting Results w/Tamron 150-600mm



Jan 27, 2014 at 08:43 PM
Imagemaster
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p.12 #3 · p.12 #3 · Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 VC Review


I have to say that at first examination, I am impressed with both the quality of the lens, and the images, for a lens of this focal-length range and price.

A very foggy day here, so not great for testing.

For a 50% crop at 600mm, wide-open at 1/200 & handheld, pretty good IMO.

Virginia Rail:





  Canon EOS-1D Mark IV    TAMRON SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD A011 lens    600mm    f/6.3    1/200s    1600 ISO    0.0 EV  




Jan 27, 2014 at 08:53 PM
mitesh
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p.12 #4 · p.12 #4 · Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 VC Review


arbitrage wrote:
So finally the one limitation has seemed to reveal itself in a lot of users. Are there any reports of good ai servo performance for BIF?

I guess I will continue to hold off on this one for now. AF aggravates me even with the very best L primes sometimes so I know that personally I wouldn't be able to deal with the performance many of you are reporting. I guess there are going to be a significant amount of returns and we shall see If a future FW can help if the lens can be updated??


Personally, Geoff, I'm waiting to hear reports from users who are experienced BIF shooters with other lenses- like many of the regular contributors on the N&W forum. Not calling out anyone here, but it is possible that users who are not accustomed to shooting with long lenses haven't set up the camera settings correctly, aren't using proper lens support and/or hand holding technique, or are just expecting too much from the lens. An example might be shooting a bird that's too far away and is small in the frame. A crop would then reveal a soft image. User may look at the OOF and think it's a lens problem, when in reality, no lens would have given a sharp image under those circumstances. That's just a simple example, and there are many factors at play when making sharp images at super tele distances (as you obviously know).



Jan 27, 2014 at 08:55 PM
Pixel Perfect
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p.12 #5 · p.12 #5 · Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 VC Review


Jase1125 wrote:
I picked up one today. From a very quick test, it did seem like it didn't grab focus nearly as well as my 100-400L. I was in single point expanded on a 1dx. I am going to the lake tomorrow so I will have plenty of opportunity to test BIF. Lots of ducks, herons and osprey.


This is a worry as 100-400L is not the gold standard for AF and another review also had a lot of trouble with it grabbing focus too.



Jan 27, 2014 at 09:04 PM
Karl Witt
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p.12 #6 · p.12 #6 · Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 VC Review


There is a great deal of difference shooting BIF at 300 Vs 400 Vs 500 Vs 600

Finding the bird in the viewfinder becomes more difficult as the angle of view narrows. It takes time at any focal length to instinctively point to the target without circling the lens looking for it. Your out of focus shots are more pronounced due to the magnification showing it too.

There probably are not as many BIF shooter that will brag about their keeper rates at 600, more might feel comfortable at 500 and a whole lot more at 400 but to claim pinpoint sharpness on each shot has a lot to do with the ability of the body and the settings chosen.
Eagles and Herons move a whole lot slower that ducks! Little birds that dip and dive are extremely difficult to keep a center point on and will benefit from bodies with expanded point assist.
Sooooo many variables it will take time to come to agreeable conclusions I think that we can honestly agree upon. I have been shunned by poor light so I am personally not drawing any conclusions and hope to try this lens not only on my 5D (poor choice for BIF) body but also on a few other bodies such as a 7D and a 1DMKIII or 1DMKIV body.

Also with each long lens I have owned, 400+ in focal length proper Micro Adjust brought out the best in the lens and for many new users of the Tamron 150-600 this is uncharted territory too.
My choice is to continue to step by step prove out the capabilities of the lens with all the other proper tools it deserves put into place.

One other thing and I mean NO insult by this, if you have not shot a lot of birds, or a lot of BIF, take time to view some of the sharpness that the more experienced are striving for from this lens. Some of the end results will be knowledge of post processing.
This lens is intriguing and we will see how it pans out over time.....
Karl



Jan 27, 2014 at 11:49 PM
Roy Morales
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p.12 #7 · p.12 #7 · Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 VC Review


Back when I bought the 70-200 mk II , the 100-400 was a hit and miss [ AF ] in the store . [ I wanted better than the 135-400 Sigma ]
This is a better lens [ 70-200 ] and rumors are they will be upgrading the 100-400 . Bring it back if you don't like it . They may have , but a year later , I bought the 2 X III .
I expect a learning curve [ @ least for me ] , not slap it on , turn on VC , zoom out to 600 mm and get a great shot .
SS , ISO , limiter switches , not to mention camera settings will need to be played with .



Jan 27, 2014 at 11:50 PM
mitesh
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p.12 #8 · p.12 #8 · Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 VC Review


Karl Witt wrote:
There is a great deal of difference shooting BIF at 300 Vs 400 Vs 500 Vs 600

Finding the bird in the viewfinder becomes more difficult as the angle of view narrows. It takes time at any focal length to instinctively point to the target without circling the lens looking for it. Your out of focus shots are more pronounced due to the magnification showing it too.

There probably are not as many BIF shooter that will brag about their keeper rates at 600, more might feel comfortable at 500 and a whole lot more at 400 but to claim
...Show more

Those are all great points, Karl. I would suggest one addition. An individual who hasn't previously shot with super teles may think to him/herself, "hey, I've got 600mm- I can shoot birds a mile away and get great pics!" That person will be sorely disappointed. Even with long focal lengths, you still need to be close enough to fill a good part of the frame. Personally, I don't shoot unless I can fill at least 1/3 of the frame with the subject. That's not to say big crops can't look good, but if the subject is tiny in the frame, you will often have issues with poor image quality after cropping to enlarge.



Jan 27, 2014 at 11:57 PM
Imagemaster
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p.12 #9 · p.12 #9 · Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 VC Review


Surrounding AF points activated. Would have preferred shooting at 1/2000 sec., but due to poor light had to shoot at 1/1000 sec. at ISO 3200.

Second shot is crop of first shot.




  Canon EOS-1D Mark IV    TAMRON SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD A011 lens    600mm    f/6.3    1/1000s    3200 ISO    +0.7 EV  






  Canon EOS-1D Mark IV    TAMRON SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD A011 lens    600mm    f/6.3    1/1000s    3200 ISO    +0.7 EV  




Jan 28, 2014 at 12:30 AM
Imagemaster
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p.12 #10 · p.12 #10 · Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 VC Review


Roy Morales wrote:
Back when I bought the 70-200 mk II , the 100-400 was a hit and miss [ AF ] in the store . [ I wanted better than the 135-400 Sigma ]
This is a better lens [ 70-200 ] and rumors are they will be upgrading the 100-400 . Bring it back if you don't like it . They may have , but a year later , I bought the 2 X III .
I expect a learning curve [ @ least for me ] , not slap it on , turn on VC , zoom out to
...Show more

The AF of the 100-400 is just fine:





  Canon EOS-1D Mark II    400mm    f/5.6    1/2000s    1600 ISO    +1.0 EV  






  Canon EOS 20D    260mm    f/5.6    1/750s    1600 ISO    -0.5 EV  






  Canon EOS-1D Mark II    360mm    f/8.0    1/4000s    800 ISO    0.0 EV  




Jan 28, 2014 at 12:34 AM
 

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mitesh
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p.12 #11 · p.12 #11 · Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 VC Review


Imagemaster wrote:
Surrounding AF points activated. Would have preferred shooting at 1/2000 sec., but due to poor light had to shoot at 1/1000 sec. at ISO 3200.

Second shot is crop of first shot.


Nicely done, Tony. This illustrates that BIF isn't impossible and Servo AF works adequately... when in the hands of a proficient photographer.



Jan 28, 2014 at 12:35 AM
surfinrobin
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p.12 #12 · p.12 #12 · Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 VC Review


Hi Guys, just wanted to clarify, my issue with the lens isn't BIF's, it's the fact that AI servo doesn't work at all when focused on something mid distance, say about 20 meters, then you go to focus on something in the far distance. If you try to focus on something nearer, it's fine. This is only happens when in the 375-600 range. Lower than that and it'll focus in servo from 3 meters or whatnot to infinity. Take a look at my Flickr stream, last 3 are with this lens. The kestrel is slightly out due , I think, to VR being accidentally left on on the tripod & micro adjustments not yet made. That shot wouldn't highlight the servo issue as it was hovering! Hope this things up. for the record have been shooting with a 120-400 for the last 5 years, so certainly not comparing against 'L' performance.


Jan 28, 2014 at 12:37 AM
surfinrobin
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p.12 #13 · p.12 #13 · Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 VC Review


http://www.flickr.com/photos/7979925@N02/?v=1

Edited on Jan 28, 2014 at 03:59 PM · View previous versions



Jan 28, 2014 at 12:38 AM
mitesh
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p.12 #14 · p.12 #14 · Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 VC Review


surfinrobin wrote:
Hi Guys, just wanted to clarify, my issue with the lens isn't BIF's, it's the fact that AI servo doesn't work at all when focused on something mid distance, say about 20 meters, then you go to focus on something in the far distance. If you try to focus on something nearer, it's fine. This is only happens when in the 375-600 range. Lower than that and it'll focus in servo from 3 meters or whatnot to infinity. Take a look at my Flickr stream, last 3 are with this lens. The kestrel is slightly out due , I think,
...Show more

Robin,

You notice this occurrence at long FLs because of the large defocus range at those FLs. The lens can't find a focal point and just stops looking. I'm assuming you have focus search enabled in camera- is this correct? Did you try to "bump the focus" along, or did you just hold down the AF button? Does the lens exhibit the same refusal to find focus if you switch to one-shot AF?



Jan 28, 2014 at 12:49 AM
surfinrobin
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p.12 #15 · p.12 #15 · Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 VC Review


Great shots, imagemaster. Confirm that this is a great lens and great shots can be had. I was amazed that mine was able to track a gull passing in front of a silhouetted tree at twighlight yesterday, certainly something my Sigma 120-400 would've struggled with! Your ducks are on the right to left plane though, do similar distance from the camera throughout the 'track'. Have you tried a mid distance to far distance track? Would be interested to hear if yours performs the same as mine (& others), or whether it's down to mine (and others) inability to handle such a lens (tongue firmly in cheek)!


Jan 28, 2014 at 12:51 AM
EB-1
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p.12 #16 · p.12 #16 · Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 VC Review


surfinrobin wrote:
Hi Guys, just wanted to clarify, my issue with the lens isn't BIF's, it's the fact that AI servo doesn't work at all when focused on something mid distance, say about 20 meters, then you go to focus on something in the far distance. If you try to focus on something nearer, it's fine. This is only happens when in the 375-600 range. Lower than that and it'll focus in servo from 3 meters or whatnot to infinity. Take a look at my Flickr stream, last 3 are with this lens. The kestrel is slightly out due , I think,
...Show more

Is the issue caused by the variable, slow aperture at the longer FLs?

EBH



Jan 28, 2014 at 12:52 AM
surfinrobin
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p.12 #17 · p.12 #17 · Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 VC Review


Mitesh, you could well be right, although it doesn't sound as though the lens even starts looking. It doesn't 'hunt' as I would expect, it just stays silent. Bump it and yes, it finds focus again straight away. Not tested it yet as it's nighttime here and was raining all day but as soon as I get thechance I'll follow a car down the road to the horizon. If it tracks it, I'm happy and I can live with!


Jan 28, 2014 at 12:58 AM
mitesh
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p.12 #18 · p.12 #18 · Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 VC Review


surfinrobin wrote:
Mitesh, you could well be right, although it doesn't sound as though the lens even starts looking. It doesn't 'hunt' as I would expect, it just stays silent. Bump it and yes, it finds focus again straight away. Not tested it yet as it's nighttime here and was raining all day but as soon as I get thechance I'll follow a car down the road to the horizon. If it tracks it, I'm happy and I can live with!


Sorry for repeating myself, but did you confirm that focus search is enabled in camera?




Jan 28, 2014 at 01:02 AM
surfinrobin
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p.12 #19 · p.12 #19 · Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 VC Review


If you mean 'lens search when Af is impossible', then by default I have it enabled, but did also try it disabled, but no difference.


Jan 28, 2014 at 01:21 AM
Imagemaster
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p.12 #20 · p.12 #20 · Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 VC Review


surfinrobin wrote:
Great shots, imagemaster. Confirm that this is a great lens and great shots can be had. I was amazed that mine was able to track a gull passing in front of a silhouetted tree at twighlight yesterday, certainly something my Sigma 120-400 would've struggled with! Your ducks are on the right to left plane though, do similar distance from the camera throughout the 'track'. Have you tried a mid distance to far distance track? Would be interested to hear if yours performs the same as mine (& others), or whether it's down to mine (and others) inability to handle such
...Show more

Thanks. Did try a Cormorant approaching and departing and tracking seemed okay. Shots were grossly underexposed though, my fault.

Fog should disappear overnight, but will be replaced by rain, so may be days before I can get good shooting conditions.



Jan 28, 2014 at 01:53 AM
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