The Vacation Superzooms!

Started Feb 18, 2012 | Discussions thread
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ScottKim2012
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The Vacation Superzooms!
Feb 18, 2012

Hi Everyone,

My name's Scott and I'm a first time poster but long time lurker. I'm hoping I can offer something of value for my first post by way of experience with the popular superzooms that almost everyone is familiar with.

Just so you understand that I'm not talking out my @ss I do currently own all the 18-250 superzooms.

My first superzoom was the Tamron 18-250 and this is the lens that I have the most experience with. Overall it is a great lens with plenty of sharpness (when you stop it down a bit), in fact some of the pictures I've taken with this lens rivals the sharpness from my 70-300 G lens. The limitation of this lens requires that I shoot at least f/8 and with this lens I'm almost always in aperture priority at f/8. My experience with the Tamron has been so good that I decided to get a backup superzoom in case something happened to this one but maybe something a bit higher quality.

When the Sigma 18-250 came out it seemed to have everything, silent focusing, optical stabilization, same lock at 18mm and a big 72mm filter size (I assumed it had better control of vignetting). It seemed to be an upgrade to the Tamron. My experience with it has been mixed, it is not as consistently sharp as the Tamron especially at the long end (250mm) but below say 135mm it is just as sharp. The Sigma however has much less distortion than the Tamron, especially at 18mm, and much better bokeh but the biggest advantage is that it produces pictures with a certain quality which I find very appealing. I don't quite know what it is, maybe the color or contrast but when I process pictures from the Sigma it has a certain "thick" quality to it. It's this quality that keeps me from getting rid of it.

The Sony 18-250, I was not looking to get this lens, I got it used as part of a package deal with some other equipment. My experience with this lens has been very similar to the Tamron 18-250, the biggest difference to the Tamron would be the way it focuses. The focusing on the Sony, because it has a shorter travel, seems to focus by quickly overshooting the target and then goes back and forth in a converging pattern until it locks on compared to the Tamron which seems to focus on the target in one long pass until it locks on. I'm not saying the Sony does this every single time but it is a characteristic I do not generally see in the Tamron.

The Tamron 18-270 PZD is a recent purchase and the one I have the least experience with. I bought it as an upgrade to the Tamron 18-250, it had silent focusing and an extra 20mm on the long end. So far the pictures have been as sharp as the original 18-250 and the silent focusing is great. I did do one informal test with it and that was to see how much difference that extra 20mm made. What I can say is that I could not see ANY difference in zoom between the 18-250 at 250mm and the PZD at 270mm, I mean it was exactly the same! The Sigma at 250mm enlarges more than either the 18-250 or PZD!

So anyways there you have it, my experiences with all the superzooms.

Thanks for reading.

Scott

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