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

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20 27851 Jan 14, 2015
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65% of reviewers $1,087.71
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Focal Length: 150-600mm
Maximum Aperture: F/5-6.3
Angle of view (diagonal): 1625 - 48 (for full frame format): 1038 - 240 (for APS-C format)
Lens Construction: 20 elements in 13 groups
Minimum Focus Distance: 106.3 in (2.7m)
Maximum Magnification Ratio: 1:5
Filter Size: 95mm
Maximum Diameter: 105.6mm
Length (5): 10.1 in (257.8mm)
Weight: 68.8 oz (1,951 g)
No. of Diaphragm Blades: 9 (circular diaphragm) (6)
Minimum Aperture: F/32-40
Standard Accessories: Lens hood, detachable tripod mount
Compatible Mounts: Canon, Nikon, Sony(7)


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Registered: Jun 22, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2953
Review Date: Jan 14, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,095.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Fairly light weight, good IQ, incredible reach for an incredibly low price.
Construction is a bit on the flimsy side, slow focusing and slow aperture.

I bought this lens as a replacement for my 100-400, as a lens for bird and wildlife photography locally. I can't say I am surprised by how it performed, as it performed about how I expected, but I am satisfied. The lens is a bit slow focusing---though not that much slower than my 100-400 VI. It's also a bit slow at f6.3, but again I knew that going in.
It's not an easy lens to hand-hold, particularly on a crop camera, but it's definitely doable in good light. The lens can be used in dimmer light, but you really need a tripod. The VC isn't good enough to take shots at under 1/800s or so hand-held at least in my experience.
It's not incredibly sharp wide-open, but is very nice if you stop it down to f7.1 or better yet, f8. I tend to do most of my wildlife and bird photography at around f7.1 anyway, so I didn't find this a handicap.
In sum, this lens has its limitations but it can get you high-quality images if you do your part.

Jan 14, 2015
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angel manguel
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Registered: Feb 8, 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 1970
Review Date: Nov 11, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,069.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Price, size and weight.
You get what you pay for. Tack sharp with my D800e and D3x until you reach 500-600 the it is a little soft. Still darn good but my Nikon 600 prime leaves it waaaaay back in the dust. But then look at the difference in price?!?

Wanted a lens that I could travel with by air that would not consume all of my allowable weight and space in the cabin. This fits the bill. Hand holding is a piece of cake. The focus worked hot damn on my Nikon bodies at all focal lengths. This lens represents excellent value at a modest price.

UPDATE: Took this lens on a recent trip to Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands. I shot in excess of 20,000 images of BIF just with this lens!! My technique sucked the first week and most were throwaways. By week three, with all that practice, most images were keepers in terms of the technical aspects - focus and exposure. I have kept only the very best of the 20,000+ images (about 100) and all are tack sharp. I got better at BIF and the lens performed admirably for me. Big bonus was that, given the focal length and the proximity to the wildlife, I was able to use this lens in many more scenarios than a prime telephoto could have or would have been used. A terrific lens at a fabulous price. What's not to like?

Nov 11, 2014
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Registered: Mar 4, 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 1052
Review Date: Oct 20, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,069.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Good build quality, VR performs well, sharp, good BIF tracking after firmware update, great value for price.
Zoom locks only at 150mm or 400mm

I purchased the Tamron 150-600 from a local dealer the day it was released. The lens performs extremely admirably for the price, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for an affordable birding or wildlife lens. On my 6D it is very sharp wide open until about 450mm or so, very sharp at f/7.1 up to about 500-550mm, and at f/8 at 600mm. Sure, the aperture isn't the fastest, but with the 6D, I can boost the ISO to make up for it. Highly recommended.

Oct 20, 2014
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Registered: Aug 13, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 74
Review Date: Oct 8, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,069.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great build quality, fast autofocus, sharp, effective image stabilization.
Focus limiter range should be around 8 meters to infinity instead of 15 meters. Hood could be a little more robust.

I bought this lens out of curiosity, fully expecting that I might have to return it. I ended up being blown away by it's performance when coupled with my Nikon D7100. In my opinion it's very sharp wide open up to 450mm, then stopped down to f7.1 up to about 550mm, then after that, it's quite sharp stopped down just to f8. If it had cost around $1500, I would have rated it a nine, but I think this level of performance at $1069 deserves a 10.

Oct 8, 2014
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Registered: Sep 8, 2014
Location: South Africa
Posts: 1
Review Date: Sep 8, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: price, 600mm reach, build quality
filter size, heavy, no carry case supplied
Sep 8, 2014
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Registered: Sep 8, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 92
Review Date: Sep 1, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,069.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, well built, VR works great, auto focus works great.
Heavy, not really a hand hold use lens

I have had this lens since June 2014 and each day I use it I'm more impressed. It has taken a while to get use to shooting at 600mm, but now that I have I'm in love. It focuses very fast for a zoom lens, (much faster than my Nikon 80-400), I've also noticed it focuses on small critical areas more accuratly than my Nikon, (IE: small birds buried in tree branches etc.) Yes it is F-6.3, but with the new low noise digital cameras, I don't see this as a problem. I use it at ISO 400-1000 on my Nikon D7000 and D7100 and the result are fantastic. Of course if I have good light I can reduce the ISO for even better noise results. It also focuses very quite, does not hunt as much as my Nikon and the VR works very well. I must use it with a monopod to get consistent excellent results, although I have occassionally had good results handheld. Good long lens technique is a must and until that is learned you will be disappointed in this lens...but that will be the photographers fault not the lens. My conclusion...great lens at a great price.

Sep 1, 2014
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Registered: Dec 20, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 50
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.
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.

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.


Aug 28, 2014
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Registered: Jul 30, 2014
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 30, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: It is light and has extra reach at 600mm.
Not every store has a 95mm filter.

I just bought this lens for Canon mount last week and went to the zoo to take some pictures of animals. Pictures of animals that do not move that much, were sharp even at 600mm when it is taken with a tripod and cable release. Bear in mind, that I shoot only at ISO 100mm.

Without sufficient light to achieve 1/range mm speed, objects particularly those that move frequently will be blurred. The lock release was good. Once it is locked, the lens does not extend when you are carrying it on the shoulder. Since this does not overdo the pull and push of the lens, it does not makes the lens too "loose".

Surprisingly, the USD drive was fast, smooth and quiet. It was much more quiet than Sigma 170-500mm that I used to own 8 year ago. Also, I did not experience the lack of focussing as mentioned by the other reviewers when using this lens even at 600mm. It appears that the lack of focussing has been resolved.

Taking pictures using long range lens is far more complicated that the short range lens. Any slight movement by the object will render the pictures blurred. You will need to adjust the way you take pictures and have a stable tripod and release cable.

If you need to take fast objects, this is not the lens for you. You will need a prime lens with at least F4.

Jul 30, 2014
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Registered: Mar 16, 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 640
Review Date: Jul 6, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,099.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Of course price. It is light and has 600mm.
It is not an "L" lens. It is not even in consumer Canon quality level.

Of course you buy this lens because of price and want 600mm. And for that reason, it is a buy. But if you are expecting Canon quality, you are going to be disappointed. This lens is never going to take the abuse that a Canon L lens will. But it doesn't cost what an "L" does.

I want to live will it for a while but right out of the box, my copy is working well.

It's focus is fast and silent on my 1D Mk IV. It is spot on, too.

Just the few shots I have taken from my deck, show is is reasonably sharp but starts to show difficulties at 100%.

Who buys a 100mm f5? So I don't know how much benefit that is going to be as most people will use this lens on the long end. But I guess it's nice to be able to frame shots and this zoom range is huge.

An update review after I use it for some time

Update from today. 07/06/2014
I spent all day today with the 150-600mm on my 1D MkIV.
The lens worked without a hitch all day. It was 91 degrees and 90% humidity. The results were very good but you must remember to use 400-800 ISO because the lens is so slow.
This lens is going to take more careful handling as compared to my "L" series. i am more pleased than at first. More later.

Jul 6, 2014
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Registered: May 23, 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 2568
Review Date: Jun 13, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,069.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: The range, colors, tonal quality, bokeh, relatively very lightweight (the weight of a 70-200), sharp
None so far

Ok, let's be serious here- a $1000 lens that has a 600mm range, keeps F5 for a good portion of the range, is only several pounds, focuses quietly and accurately, with sharpness of your subject and out of focus elements fading out nicely. What is there not to like? Some of these reviews are trying to go in with expectations that are unreal. I would be more critical if I was paying $3000-4000 like the competition costs. The Sigma 150-500 and the previous 200-500 are a different league, not worthy of comparison, and you lose a lot of light because the variable aperture increases so fast on those lenses. This lens should be nicknamed the little-ma for it's relative size (don't expect prime, but maybe the smallest lens over 300mm I've ever seen). Sounds like some copy variance, but I got one that is spot on, I mean an amazing keep rate and I'm seriously in love with the colors and rendering. And, I have an extra $2000-3000 in my pocket.

Jun 13, 2014
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Kris Reiswig
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Registered: Jan 13, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 820
Review Date: Jun 5, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,069.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Amazing range, super sharp, very nice colors
Takes a lot of practice, especially over 500mm, fairly long mfd.

I've had this lens since release day. I have taken several thousand photos with it and it has been a winner with me. I have a 70D and a 6D and I gravitate towards using it with the 6D. There is just something about how the files look.

I did not buy this lens for birding, so I totally understand the comments and issues that it has with tracking. For me, it has opened up a new world, taking photos between 450-600mm. It is a great way to see the world.

I have owned the 400mm 5.6, 100-400mm and now the Tamron.

Jun 5, 2014
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[ X ]

Registered: Feb 7, 2014
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 9
Review Date: May 5, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Price, build quality, sharpness, weight (for the range), performance
After 4 months of usage on my 1D3 and recently 7D, None.

I have used this lens for 4 months now, first one in the UK according to Park Cameras. I had a 1D3 when I bought this lens and have recently added a 7D for that extra bit of reach. Initially I had some issues with the 1D3 in Ai-servo mode but I saved my settings as a file on my memory card then reset the camera to Canon defaults and worked from there. Currently I have no issues with this lens on that camera at all. It works fine in Ai-servo mode now although I personally find it better in Lo mode at 5 fps rather than Hi at 10 fps.

As the 7D is new so was at default anyway I used as near the 1D3 settings as I could and again it is not giving me any issues on moving targets. I have not tried it as yet with BIF's but although most of my photography is wildlife, BIF's are certainly not.

It took a while for me to learn this lens and I concede that there may be some compromise in camera/lens settings but when you find its optimum performance it is worth every penny imho.

May 5, 2014
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Registered: Jul 27, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 146
Review Date: Apr 10, 2014 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,069.00 | Rating: 4 

Pros: Build quality Ergonomics Convenience Price Image stabilization Relative weight
Poor performance with action/BIFs on both 7D & 5DMK3 Tamron's non-acknowledgement of consistent issues noted in Canon forum

I owned this lens for about two weeks in March. During this time I tested it for both static subjects and moving subjects in excellent light with my 7D and 5DMK3 bodies. I have several years experience shooting sports and birds with the Canon 100-400mm L and the Sigma Bigma (50-500mm) lenses.

The Tamron was a very mixed bag. I enjoyed the feel-in-hand, the weight was reasonable considering the focal range, the quality of materials was very good, and the price was a bargain--if--you are OK with it not functioning very well on BIFs. After at least 1000 shots I found that it would not lock on a moving bird in the 400-600mm range with either camera. Whereas a few minutes prior it would provide very acceptable results on an easy-to-focus static Great Blue Heron or a sparrow. I grew too frustrated and returned the lens during the allowable window.

That I have seen some great BIF results from others, makes me wonder if the quality variation is vast among copies. I've also considered purchasing another copy, because this lens' focal range at this price point is valuable.


Apr 10, 2014
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Registered: Oct 28, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 277
Review Date: Mar 24, 2014 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,069.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Size, weight.
Would not focus properly with my 7D

Retuned lens because it would not focus properly on my Canon 7D. required constant pressing of the shutter button to keep focus on moving target.
Worked well on static targets and was quite good when on a tripod on static objects.

Mar 24, 2014
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Registered: Jan 2, 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 2269
Review Date: Mar 23, 2014 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,069.00 | Rating: 4 

Pros: Price!! Size and weight is amazing for this zoom range. Build quality good. Overall image quality is good, even at 600mm. Image stabilization seems adequate. Did I mention price?? Yes, but I'll state it again.
Autofocus servo does not function properly with two of my Canon camera bodies, the 7D and the MkIV. A relatively slow lens at f/6.3, but for the money, not so bad!

At this price I did not expect perfection, but I did expect it to function as advertised. It does not. The autofocus servo function did not work properly on my 7D and 1D Mark IV. From what I've read, I'm not alone in having this experience. In my brief time with this lens, the autofocus servo did appear to function properly on the 5D Mark III, but it was a bit sluggish--as one would expect for a lens that is f/6.3.

These are serious, unacceptable flaws in my judgment. Therefore, I can't recommend this lens at the present time. However, if Tamron corrects these flaws, this lens would represent surprisingly high quality at an excellent price and be stiff competition for other telephoto zooms. The lens already represents a breakthrough for a zoom lens reaching 600mm because of its size, weight, and price!

Mar 23, 2014
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Kathy White
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Registered: Apr 30, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 2498
Review Date: Mar 23, 2014 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,069.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Loved the size, weight, and build.
Doesn't work properly with 1DIV or 7D in Al Servo.

I wanted to love this lens. I was disappointed with the tracking when using my 1DIV or 7D with Al Servo. I was also disappointed with the AF abilities of the copy I had even on static objects from 400 to 600mm. Most of the images I took with it were soft, even when stopped down and in good light. Images taken at less than 400mm in good light were sharp.

If there had been just the issue of AF on static objects with mine, I would have just kept it and sent it in to Tamron for the AF to be adjusted. The Al Servo issue on 2 out of 3 of my bodies, and those being my primary bodies for wildlife were a deal breaker for me so it was returned.

If Tamron fixes the issues so that it'll work properly on all my bodies, I may rebuy.

Mar 23, 2014
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Tamron 150-600MM F/5-6.3 DI VC USD

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
20 27851 Jan 14, 2015
Recommended By Average Price
65% of reviewers $1,087.71
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating


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