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Tamron 150-600MM F/5-6.3 DI VC USD

884479
Review Date: Aug 28, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Low CA, Silent/reliable/relatively fast AF, Very sharp at 150-500mm (similar to the Canon 100-400 at overlapping ranges), Decent at 600mm f/6.3 (much better than other 500mm zooms full out), Good sharpness at 600mm f7.1, Great resolution at 600mm f/8-9. Very effective (3 stops) VC/IS.
Cons:
a little soft wide open at 600mm, focuses slower than prime lenses, VC/IS needs to be off for moving subjects, large and heavy (but it is a 600mm lens).

Tamron 150-600mm Review (after 6 months)

I wrote a fairly lengthy review over at my site for the new(ish) Tamron 150-600mm lens. I am really enjoying the lens but it does need some careful use and time to get used to it. Having a 600mm lens is opening up new opportunities for my photography.

http://www.sheridanphoto.com/?page_id=1537

Here is the conclusion from the review:

This lens is not a 600mm f4 replacement. This lens is not going to work well handheld and in poor light. This lens is not small or light. This lens is well constructed and good performing glass that has a few limitations. Optically it works best ether at 500mm and below or stopped down at 600mm. The VC works well (3 stops) but it is no replacement for a tripod/monopod and it needs to be turned off for panning. The focus mechanism operates fast and reliably compared to similar zoom lenses, but not as well as high priced, faster primes. There are no other lenses like it available today (mid 2014), so if you want the best performing super telephoto zoom available this is the ticket (as long as you can deal with the size and weight). While not perfect the Tamron 150-600mm does offer a lot of bang for your buck. As long as you keep your expectations in check and purchase with the knowledge that there will be a learning curve you will not be disappointed.

Jay


 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM

ef70-200lisusm
Review Date: Jun 21, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: optically and mechanically about as good as it gets, better than many primes.
Cons:
The only draw backs are high price and its a little softness at is closest focusing distance.

This zoom produces the sharpest and most beautiful images of any of the 6 lenses that I own or have used (includes a several primes). Optically, the only weakness I have found is right at the minimum focus distance, where it is not as sharp as farther away. So this Canon does not make a great macro substitute. The lens is solidly constructed out of polycarbonate and metal with full weather sealing. It has the latest 4-stop IS, very fast USM focus and even a useful focus limiter. When combined with a 1.4x converter there is only a tiny drop in image quality and the focus slows a bit, but the 100-280mm lens is still better than most other options out there (like the Canon 70-300 IS). Despite all the positives I only use this lens once in a while as it falls into a less utilized set of focal lengths. The 70-200mm range is too short for most of the wildlife I do, but is often a bit long for typical landscape images. Other photographers I know who do not specialize in nature photography use this lens more than any other so YMMV. When I do use this lens though it never disappoints.

See my much longer analysis along with some accompanying images over at my website:

http://www.sheridanphoto.com/?page_id=1535

Jay


 
Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

ef300mmf_4_1_
Review Date: May 10, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: sharp & contrasty, fairly fast & reliable focus, Ok IS, close focus, solid build, great for macro, compact and light for what it is.
Cons:
Old IS only good for 2 stops, not super crisp when focused near infinity

This is my favorite and most used lens that I own. With a 1.6x crop body it makes an excellent wildlife lens, similar to a 500mm f4. It handles like a dream, is built like a tank & has all the feature boxes ticked (IS, focus limiter, sliding hood, USM). There is one problem ITS OLD, because it was engineered 17 years ago it has only 2 stop IS & optically could improve (very good on it's own & decent with 1.4x).

See my much longer review on my website: http://www.sheridanphoto.com/?page_id=1531

Jay