Just posted: Tamron 18-270mm F3.5-6.3 sample gallery. We've borrowed a Canon-mount version of Tamron's latest comparatively-compact DSLR superzoom lens and taken the opportunity to shoot with it in a variety of situations. The Tamron 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD, to give it its full name, is an image-stabilized 15x zoom for APS-C sensor cameras, available in Canon, Nikon and Sony mounts. Despite the impressive zoom range, when un-extended the lens is a mere 3.5" (89mm) long, making it an appealing travel and general-use lens for DSLR owners. This latest version is one of the first to include Tamron's piezoelectric autofocus drive motor.

Just to put it in perspective, the 18-270mm offers a 29-432mm equivalent zoom range when mounted on a Canon APS-C DSLR (27-405mm equiv. on Nikon or Sony). In the real-world, this gives the following effect (both shots taken from the same point):

18mm (29mm equiv, Canon 7D) 270mm (432mm equiv, Canon 7D)

Simon: I've spent the last few weeks using the 18-270mm mounted on a Canon EOS 7D as my main walkaround camera, and - on the few sunny days we've had here in Seattle - captured around a thousand exposures. In use this versatile lens is impressive: focus is snappy and is almost completely silent, you can get surprisingly close, and the image stabilization helps keep things sharp at the long end. Although at a pixel level the results betray the optical compromises involved, I see little to complain about at normal viewing magnifications (something you can hopefully judge for yourself using this gallery of raw converted images). More importantly, the value of a single, small and light lens covering such a huge range more than makes up for the slighty fussy bokeh, visible CA, and distortion at the wide end.

Click here to view the Tamron 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Sample gallery
(All pictures shot using Canon EOS 7D, converted from raw).