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

18_250mm
Review Date: Jan 4, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: range, sharpness, CA, flare, contract, close range performance (macro 1:3.5), size, little vignetting.
Cons:
zoom creep, hopefully VC will come in the future for Canon and Nikon versions, slow AF, barrel distortion at 18mm.

At $500 a 18-250mm lens...what would you expect? I expected a pretty mediocre lens. However, this lens does a lot and with only few compromises. AF is a little on the slow side, but very accurate. Adding Tamron's vibration Control would be a great feature for the Nikon and Canon versions. There is some barrel distortion at 18mm, so for wide angle architecture photos it may not always be suitable, otherwise it is fine. I must say this lens is very sharp, crisp and has little CA. Flowers come out beautiful with the 1:3.5 ratio. All this in a small package and very good price!! Cameras with built-in image stabilizers such as Pentax and Sony will have sharp photos even under low light conditions despite the f/3.5-6.3 max aperture (compared to f/1.4 primes). Is it a professional grade lens? No, it is not wise to soak it in the rain or drop it on concrete. Metal Canon L series lenses, for example, would do better under extreme conditions, at a much higher price.

I'd say this is a great amateur lens, capable of producing great photos!!


 
Tamron 200-500MM F/5-6.3 Di LD (IF)

200500mm
Review Date: Oct 25, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Good Sharpness, Light Weight, Good Color, Nice Focal Range
Cons:
No Focus Limiter, No Image Stabilizer, OK Maximum Aperture

This is a very sharp lens from 200 to 400mm, and even a little sharper stopped down to f/7.1. Your images should be very sharp when you use a tripod and remote. If that is not the case you may have a bad copy that should be exchanged. From 400 to 500mm you lose a bit of contrast, but still very good IQ. No image stabilizer means you need a tripod a lot of the time. Iíve taken handheld photos in the woods on a sunny day though, and probably would have been OK under light cloudy conditions. The auto focus is little on the slower side, making it difficult to catch flying birds. Overall I am quite satisfied with this lens.