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Tamron 28-300MM F/3.5-6.3 XR Di LD VC AF

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38 172403 Apr 1, 2012
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82% of reviewers $461.48
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Tamron's Vibration Compensation—Blur-Stopping Power With No Annoying Motion Delay In Your Viewfinder!

Camera shake can ruin your photos, particularly at telephoto or in low light. Tamron's state-of-the-art Vibration Compensation mechanism incorporated into the award-winning 28-300mm zoom gives you blur-free hand-held images for incredible results! Finally, the technology you need in the lens you want. The "Di" design is achieved by applying a new optical design to its coated surfaces, and by further enhancing our already stringent quality control system. Whether you shoot film or digital, the lens provides high image quality for both platforms. When used with APS-C size digital SLR cameras, the lens provides an angle of view equivalent to approximately 44-465mm, covering the standard to ultra telephoto range with no sacrifice of quality or aperture range.

Model A20
Lens Construction (Groups/Elements) 13/18
Angle of View 75°23'-8°15' (APS-C size equivalent)
Type of Zooming Rotation
Diaphragm Blade Number 9
Minimum Aperture F/22 ~ F/40 (28mm-300mm)
Minimum Focus 19.3in.(0.49m) (entire zoom range)
Macro Mag. Ratio 1:3 (at f=300mm, MFD=0.49m)
Filter Diameter ř67
Weight 555g (19.4oz)*
Diameter x Length ř3.06 x 3.9in.
Accessory Flower-shaped Lens hood
Mount Canon - Available, Nikon with Built-In Motor - Available


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Registered: Jan 10, 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 12
Review Date: Apr 1, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $580.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Size, versatility, VC feature, all-in-one lens, quiet, build and optical quality, warranty, small filter size
Could be better from 200-300mm

This has become my walk-around lens for international travels. I am able to get the shot I want while others are busy changing lenses from wide to telephoto and back again. Of course, this is not a premium lens, nor did I pay the price for one; for what is advertised to do, it does it very well. It could be sharper at longer focal lengths, but that is easily fixed in Photoshop, and is typical of even some very expensive zooms. When dust creeps into the lens, Tamron does an excellent job of servicing this product with quick turnaround. (The 6-year warranty is definitely worth it.) I am very pleased with my purchase.

Apr 1, 2012
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Registered: Jul 12, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 3, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Zoom Range, VC, Macro Capabilities
Auto Focus a bit slow at times

I do not know why this lens is getting bad reviews. It is well constructed (very tight lens, much better than my Canon 28-135 USM IS lens). I wonder if people are not taking the time to learn how to shoot well with this lens. I went out for a couple weekends and practiced shooting with it, trying varying f-stops etc and was able to get some extremely sharp shots. F6.3-F8.0 seems to be the best setting throughout the range. I was also able to get a lot of great macro shots (nice bokeh).

For a single walkaround lens this one fits the bill very well.

Aug 3, 2010
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Registered: May 23, 2010
Location: Norway
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 23, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $620.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: size, weight, range, IQ for allround use
a bit noisy, focus not superfast, build quality could be a bit better

I wanted an allround lens for daily/family duty to complement the 50/1.4 and 180/2.8 on my D700, and this lens really fits the bill. I´ve had the 18-200 and 16-85 for my D300 earlier, and this one is not as good as the latter, but better than the 18-200. The VC is also better than the Nikon VR, simply, almost eerily, locking the frame even at the long end.

Surprisingly noisy focus and VC (after using modern nikkors), but acceptable. I feared light falloff but that´s not an issue. Not pinsharp on all focal lenghts, but quite good. Build quality is ok, but could be better, Nikons modern optics better in this respect (although I got tired of the grinding focus noises from both my zoom-nikkors).

Don´t listen too much to people telling you that you need the best optics on the D700 (or that you could have bought something cheaper): With this lens and the D700 on auto iso (I use maximum 6400 which is simply less noisy than 1600 on the DX sized nikon AND canons imho) I have the perfect and flexible tool for allround photography. Lots of opportunities would be lost if I had to change lens, my D300 (auto iso max 1600) would not manage to freeze motion in many conditions.

There is also a positive side to the not so large apertures (but subsequent higher iso instead, which on a D700 is more than acceptable) - Focus placement is not as critical as on the F2.8 - F1.4 lenses. But for low light photography, nothing beats a 50/1.4.

May 23, 2010
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Registered: Oct 30, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 20, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $375.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Light weight, compact, great zoom range with vibration control.
Gets a little soft at the extremes.

I got my wife a Canon Xsi so she could shoot with me. She loves the camera but the kit lens didn't reach out to the focal lengths she wanted. I let her shoot my 100-400 F4.5 L and it was too heavy and long. She tried the 24-105 F4 but it didn't have the reach and range she wanted and it was too heavy. I found this lens on eBay for $375. and figured I would give it a try. She fell in love with the lens and uses it daily. We go birding in kayaks and she can handle the weight comfortably and has gotten some fantastic shots right next to me and my 400 F4 DO on a 5D. The body is plastic but that's why it is lightweight. and the VC works great. Yes, it gets a little soft at 28 to 40 and 250 to 300 but what the heck, she is out there shooting with me with a little compact lightweight lens that gives her some fabulous shots!

Sep 20, 2009
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Registered: Aug 31, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 1094
Review Date: Sep 20, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros: Zoom range; vibration control
Soft beyond 100mm

I really want to like this lens. A single lens providing 28-300mm would be very useful for traveling light. But images in a good part of that range are very soft, bordering on unusable between 200mm and 300mm. There is also very strong CA at that end of the range. Admittedly, most of my lenses are more expensive, but reminding myself of the Tamron's price doesn't help when looking at a shot that is too soft to use.

I bought this lens for traveling light. But after looking at the results, I purchased the Canon 70-300mm DO lens to complement my Canon 24-105/4, and put up with the extra bulk and changing lenses before traveling to the Mediterranean last year.

On the positive side, the vibration control is outstanding. Press the shutter button half-way down and the viewfinder image quietly snaps still. It is better than the IS in any other lens I currently own.

My experience is on a Canon 5D (original) 12mp FF DSLR. I cannot imagine putting this lens on the 5DII or crop sensor camera, where the photo-sites are smaller. It would be a waste of the camera's resolution.

I use mine for snap-shots only now.

Sep 20, 2009
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Registered: Oct 22, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 866
Review Date: Jun 25, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $549.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Versatile travel lens Compact Lightweight VC IQ

Not quite sure why this lens is rated so poorly. I have owned many all purpose zooms from Canon and Nikon and this is probably my favorite.
On my D700 performs quite nicely and the IQ is quite good. I am not a measurebater or shooting professionally so I am extremely happy with lens. For general purpose travel this lens is sufficient if you want to travel light.
Not much of a VR guy but found the VC to come in handy on a recent cruise. Good sharpness at 1/20 of a second.
I own a Nikon 300mm F4 afs and a 500mm afs II F4 and obviously they are better lenses but I don't want to lug them around on a vacation.
I generally don't write reviews but this lens is better than the rating here. Buy it at Amazon and if you don't like it they have a very good return policy.

Jun 25, 2009
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Registered: Aug 4, 2005
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 1
Review Date: Mar 31, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp through most of its range, very good VC, compact, lightweight, adequate built, average AF, adequate macro for close-ups (not true macro but can add close-up filters)
300mm not true 300mm compared to a 70-300mm lens, more like 28-240mm, AF hunts at tele in low light

It's rather unfair that this lens is often compared to lenses more than twice its price. I've had the Canon 28-300mm IS USM L and I can say there's little difference between the two OPTICALLY. (Yes, the Canon has metal body, USM, weather-proofing and white paint on the outside... I know.) For what it has produced (in weddings and events), what I paid for and what convenience it provides, I consider it an excellent investment and you cannot get any better megazoom lens thus far. Not only that, but for a megazoom, it is a major improvement over previous models from Tamron and other brands and can be highly recommended for FF/FX users.

Sure, its AF speed is average (and slow at tele in low-light), but for 89% of the time I've used it, it has focused on what I wanted. Sure, it's slow at the tele end with f6.3 and yet the bokeh is something I enjoy from this lens, creamy and soft. So at 300mm and used at f8 or f11, the results are more than satisfactory. And who is to say that majority of the cases of softness at 300m is not from unsteady users rather than the lens properties? The Canon 28-300mm L is also soft towards 300mm BTW...

The lens is also more 28mm to 240mm, as the difference between 200mm and 300mm seems very short and insignificant. Sharpness also drops off over 200mm. Again, the same can be said for the Canon 28-300mm L, as I've compared that Canon 28-300mm L with a Canon 70-300mm IS USM and wondered why the 300mm on both lenses was different. Again, sharpness on the L version drops off after 200mm, though the Canon is more 28mm to 260mm, and is a monster to carry around.

The lens has a metal mount, solid enough build, excellent vibration compensation, good sharpness thoughout (slightly softer at 300mm), great zoom range on my D700 and comes w/ lens hood. I've taken thousands of pics of which 90% are technically keepers (whether they meet my photographic & artistic standards is another matter!), and this lens is also on my camera 80% of the time. What more could I ask for in such a lens? To me, it's a superb bargain!

Mar 31, 2009
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Registered: Apr 8, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 16
Review Date: Feb 5, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Relatively sharp for a superzoom, huge zoom range, Vibration Compensation works extremely well, lighter and smaller than other (better) lenses.
Ugly bokeh, visible chromatic aberration in the corners, slow f/6.3 at longest focal length, suffers from zoom creep (though a Lock switch prevents this), zooming out to 300mm extends the lens 3" more.

If you're looking for a full-frame superzoom, this Tamron fits the bill. It's not as sharp as my pro-level Nikon zooms, but the sharpness is acceptable -- good in the center wide open, and good throughout the frame stopped down to f/8, though there's chromatic aberration at all focal lengths in high contrast corners. I've seen worse distortion, but this won't be your first choice for architecture. Contrast and color saturation are fine.

I've heard complaints about cameras hunting for focus due to the small apertures of this lens, but my D700 has no trouble at all. In short, this is a fine choice when you want a single, superzoom for full frame cameras.

Drawbacks: Though you can lock the lens at its widest focal length, if you switch off the lock, gravity will zoom the lens out its full length -- very annoying. Finally, its bokeh is especially ugly.

Feb 5, 2009
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Peter Cheuk
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Registered: Nov 29, 2006
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 10, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp, reliable VC, compact, light weight, adequate built, adequate AF, relatively short even at 300mm, good macro

Context: I use it with 5D and shoot RAW. I usually view my photos in my 24-inch iMac monitor. I always use CS3 and noise ninja to edit. When I say "sharp", it is in this context and for my own purpose. Sharp in 24-inch will also look sharp in 30-inch.

Focal length/aperture roughly are: 28-40mm/3.5;
41-50mm/4.2; 51-65mm/4.6; 67-70mm/4.8; 71-85mm/5;
86-100mm/5.2; 101-154mm/5.7; 155-240mm/6;

No VC problem to use 1/60s at 300mm. VC has no noticeable difference from the IS of Canon 28-300 in most travel handhold uses.

Shoot at 300mm smaller than 11 will get sharp shot. For shorter zoom, stop down 1.5-2 gives sharp shots.

AF is fast enough, no hunting, for most travel uses.

IQ deteriorates in low light much faster than L lens. In cloudy days or low night, always incline to overexpose by 1/3 to 2/3 stops so that the RAW is more editable.

For the same level of underexposure, noise is more difficult to clear without damaging the photo compared with same shooting situation of L lens.

Roughly speaking, Tamron's IQ is 70-75% that of Canon 28-300 which is more versatile and can be used very well with Tamron 1.4x and extension tube. (see my review there). Tamron VC suffers from much heavier CA, more serious distortion, also contrast not that good. However, all are correctable in CS3.

Raw generated by Canon 28-300 is much more editable. But its IQ has gone beyond what 24-30 inch apple monitor can fully reveal. Hence, after more editing, Tamron version looks close, 85% in center and 80% in corner, to the Canon in my above viewing context. For bigger viewing size, bigger difference.

The 1.6kg Canon can stand harsh condition due to its built and weather seal. My last very dusty and cold trip in Northern China would have killed the Tamron. Not realistic to change lens. The Canon is brilliant. Faster AF, push-pull allows fast composition.

For purposes of urban landscape, serious snapshot in botanical garden or zoo, travel family travel, remaining inconspicuous, Tamron is absolutely adequate in my viewing and editing context, giving pleasantly sharp photos. For once in life time trip, I would use Canon 28-300.

I give 10 due to its excellent price/utility ratio. Impression on IQ estimate also comes from my general experience of other lens of mine: Canon 70-200 f2.8 and f4 IS, Sigma 50-500, Tamron 200-500, Sigma 150mm, Sigma 12-24, Tamron 28-75, Canon 50 f1.4

Nov 10, 2008
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Registered: Jan 3, 2007
Location: N/A
Posts: 23
Review Date: Sep 29, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $569.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Light, inconspicuous, great value, suberb VC.
Slow, af hunts a little in low light

I am posting this review because of some of the bad raps this lense is getting. My "10" is based on my expectations when I purchased this lense, which it has by far exceeded. I did not expect "L" performance. After all it is not a L lense nor did I pay an L price. I shot a wedding this week and brought it along for a back-up and to try it in these cicumstances. I used it for a walk around during and after the reception on my 5D. The results ( some of which were chosen by the bride and groom for their album ) were remarkable at 28-200mm. I am very satisfied and can't recomend it high enough.

Sep 29, 2008
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Willy P
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Registered: Sep 16, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 8, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp and colorful throughout range, on a Canon DSLR with 1.6 multiplication factor (which means using the more central area of the lens). VC seem very positive.
Slow autofocus.

A great performer as an all-purpose lens. Typically, for long zoom ranges, I prefer to manually focus.

Sep 8, 2008
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Registered: Jan 8, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 4011
Review Date: Sep 6, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $590.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great Color and Contrast for an affordable lens Sharp even wide open across it's range Decent speed to focus in reasonable light with a newer Nikon DSLR
Is certainly slower to focus and can hunt in very low light without focus assist system.

Considering I"m using this lens on a full frame Nikon D700 body not only is my focusing a non issue unless I get into some pretty poor light, but it renders some rich, contrasty and sharp images with little fuss. I found the build on my copy tight with NO slop and droop at all. Even the zoom motion is smooth with no tight or loose spots. This may not be the overall equal to a typical top of the line Nikkor lens, but it for darn sure will render a shot just as sharp, contrasty and color rich as any under a grand. The center is sharp throughout the entire range, but if you want sharp corners indeed stopping down 2 stops is pretty essential. It is fairly easy to get a good bokeh with this lens by using the long end of the range. All in all I think Tamron has a real winner here. I'm sure enjoying it since I simply wanted an equivalent lens to what the 18-200vr gave me on the D300 I sold off for this full frame model. It delivers...that's what matters. Here's a pseudo macro sample of what can be done.

Sep 6, 2008
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Registered: Aug 31, 2008
Location: Japan
Posts: 5
Review Date: Aug 31, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: all-around, +hood
soft, blue-fringing, creeping, noisy & slow focus

Well, this lens is my 1st 3rd party lens, which i bought around 4 months ago.

At first, i thought this could be a walk-around lens, coz of its focal length and quite a light-weight lens, compare with 2lenses u'd bring to get the same focal length.

But then, after i shot plenty of pics, n saw it in my comp, i became frustrated n disappointed coz of the IQ was not as sharp as i expected before.
It's very soft at >200mm --> also cause blue-fringing pic so badly.
For me, i wouldnt use it at 300mm. For 28-100mm is very OK.
For >100-200mm is acceptable.

About the VC, yes it helps u, but not lots. For me, the VC is little bit better than IS of canon 55-250mm.
And though, in my opinion, not to use it in low-light condition (shall to use other lens with f/2.8 or better, even at 28mm)

And this lens is my 2nd copy,after i returned the 1st one,coz of the creeping if on unlocking position. It happens so badly when u bringing it all around.
At first, i didnt know it, i thought it's normal for kinda big n heavy zooms like that. but then,i compared with other copy when i came again to that shop. YES, it was a bad copy of mine!
So, i just returned it n got the new one 1week after.


Aug 31, 2008
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Registered: Feb 27, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 14
Review Date: Aug 23, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Extended zoom range in a small package. Front does not rotate.
Is it really 28-300?? Not compared to my other lenses...

I just bought the VC version of this lens to compare to my Canon 70-300 IS.

Aside from the normal comments I've seen, I have a really big question... Is this really 28-300mm?

In my comparison tests, 300mm on the Tamaron is almost a perfect match for 200mm on the Canon. 300mm on the Canon is obviously more powerful


Canon at 70-300 at 300mm

Tamaron 28-300 at 300mm


Canon at 70-300 200mm (looks a lot like the Tamaron at 300)

Tamaron 28-300 at 208mm (via EXIF)


Tamaron 28-300 at 77mm (via EXIF)

Canon at 70-300 at 70mm

Wide Angle

Tamaron 28-300 at 28mm

Canon 10-22 at 22mm

I don't have my 17-85 lens handy, but my guess is that the Tamaron is actually wider than 28mm.

Granted, it's possible that my Canon 70-300 is significantly longer than advertised (+50%), but to my amature eyes, it appears that the Tamaron is more like 24-200mm. And, I double checked - the lens does say 28-300.

Aug 23, 2008
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Abdullah M
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Registered: Jul 10, 2008
Location: Saudi Arabia
Posts: 64
Review Date: Jul 10, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: $570.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Good zoom range, VC
Soft at 300mm, Slow aperture, Price

This lens is good for person need 28-300 zoom rang, (actually not useful at 300).

The positive side is VC (or Vibration Compensation).
The negative side is soft, blurry images at 300mm.

Also the overall image quality is not good as you expect from lens with this price tag.

Jul 10, 2008
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Anne Bellenger
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Registered: Jan 14, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 24
Review Date: Apr 24, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $379.95 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Light weight, does take sharp images that can be refined in CS3. I'm using it on a Nikon D300. Good walkabout lens. My first Tamron.
Problem with aperture, sent back to Tamron after using 3 times.

I had a bad experience with my pre-VC lens. Was doing bird images, not using Live View, with my Nikon D300. When I started processing, I found 17 black images in the middle of good images. When I checked the EXIF, I found a wierd setting of f/40. No such thing! Talked to Nikon for an hour and their final suggestion was send the lens to Tamron, which I did yesterday. I will be interested to see what they find. Hoping they send a replacement because I'm giving it away. Have an order in for the VC version. I really like this lens in spite of problems. It's good for walkabout because of the light weight and good balance. For the price, it's a good lens.

Apr 24, 2008
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Tamron 28-300MM F/3.5-6.3 XR Di LD VC AF

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
38 172403 Apr 1, 2012
Recommended By Average Price
82% of reviewers $461.48
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating

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