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  Reviews by: Steve Spangler  

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Tamron 18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF) AF

Review Date: Mar 20, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $499.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Zoom range, size, price
Low light autofocus, slightly soft at 250mm, not a low light lens

This is a neat lens! Great for walk-about, casual-shooting, and travel. Build quality is on par with other Tammy's I have owned. I like Tamron's build quality better than the non-L Canons. The double-telescoping zoom extension is a little unnerving as it comes out so far, and looks a little fragile, so one must definitely must use the zoom lock when walking about.

The 18-250mm has very good image quality at 18mm. I was worried about vignetting, but was really not evident at all when I tested it on the daytime sky. As expected with such a wide zoom range, it's seems a trite soft at maximum magnification compared to my 70-200L, although nothing a little unsharp mask can't take care of. Plus, one has to remember remember that on an APS-sized chip, you're shooting at 400mm. High shutter speeds or a tripod are in order!

The autofocus can hunt in low light and is not the fastest even in good light.

Overall, a pleasant surprise. If you need a compact walk-about, hiking, or casual shooting lens, this is the one. I great third or fourth lens for the experienced shooter, or a versatile starter lens for the beginner who will be shooting in mostly in daylight.