Tamron 18-270mm PZD IQ Comparison?

Started 10 months ago | Questions thread
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metal450
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Tamron 18-270mm PZD IQ Comparison?
10 months ago

Hey all,

After waiting way, way too long, I've just replaced my first ever SLR (Nikon D40 + 18-55 kit lens) with the new Canon 100D + Tamron 18-270 PZD. My usage is 100% travel: I'm on the road virtually all the time, so size and weight are of utmost importance. While I'm definitely still a novice, I do have some basic understanding of terminology + concepts - and the optical compromises required to get so much range into a lens as small as this Tamron. However, I wanted to run something by you more experienced shooters...

Basically, even though I was expecting *some* IQ compromise due to it being a superzoom, I was surprised at just how much worse my images are coming out as compared to my old, basic, cheapo Nikon 18-55mm kit lens. I've done a bunch of direct comparison shots and the difference is slightly visible outdoors (strong light), but significant indoors (lowish light). I guess I just wanted to post some samples and ask if this is to be expected, or if it's possible that I got a bad 18-270. Unfortunately the switch from Nikon to Canon means this is my only lens, so I can't isolate the variable of the body, i.e. the only comparison I can do is D40+18-55mm vs 100D+18-270mm.

While I made sure the aperture settings between each pair of photos matched, the rest were set by the camera - i.e. the tests were "point-and-shoot," more or less.

Here is a reference shot with the D40. Pretty nice and crisp:

Nikon) http://files.justin-klein.com/public/dpreview/Test1%20(Manual)%20-%20Couches%20-%20DSC_4746.JPG

The same shot with the same aperture on the 18-270 is *significantly* fuzzier:

Canon) http://files.justin-klein.com/public/dpreview/Test1%20(Manual)%20-%20Couches%20-%20IMG_4990.JPG

Here's another example - again, the old Nikon+18-55 is *way* sharper than the new 100D+18-270. This is so bad it almost looks like a focus issue - though I wasn't able to do any better by trying MF:

Nikon) http://files.justin-klein.com/public/dpreview/Set2%20-%20Livingroom%20-%20DSC_4765.JPG

Canon) http://files.justin-klein.com/public/dpreview/Set2%20-%20Livingroom%20-%20IMG_5154.JPG

Here's one in bright light; the difference is much less apparent:

Nikon) http://files.justin-klein.com/public/dpreview/Set1%20-%20Sunny%20Leaves%20-%20DSC_4758.JPG

Canon) http://files.justin-klein.com/public/dpreview/Set1%20-%20Sunny%20Leaves%20-%20IMG_5013.JPG

But back indoors, even right under a big skylight:

Nikon) http://files.justin-klein.com/public/dpreview/Test1%20(Manual)%20-%20Study%20-%20DSC_4742.JPG

Canon) http://files.justin-klein.com/public/dpreview/Test1%20(Manual)%20-%20Study%20-%20IMG_4984.JPG

Nikon) http://files.justin-klein.com/public/dpreview/Test2%20(Zoom)%20-%20Kitchen%20Clock%20-%20DSC_4751.JPG

Canon) http://files.justin-klein.com/public/dpreview/Test2%20(Zoom)%20-%20Kitchen%20Clock%20-%20IMG_5006.JPG

...and so on. This fuzzy, soft look seems to apply pretty much across the board, unless I'm outside in direct sunlight. I've tried whatever I can think of - manually messing with the ISO/aperture/shutter, VC on/off, etc. Every once in awhile I can get an indoor shot that rivals the D40+18-55, but in general, they seem to be coming out much worse. And of course, with the D40, I'm just picking it up and pressing the shutter button - when I do that with the new setup, results are as above.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. I'm leaving for a year-long trip in 2 weeks, so I'm kind of down to the wire in deciding if I want to commit to this new setup and take it with me, try to exchange the lens for another copy, or just stick with the old D40 until next time around. Maybe I'm just doing something stupid, as I've never worked with any kind of zoom lens before. I'd obviously strongly prefer keeping the upgrade, but am reluctant if it feels like I'm committing to what looks like such degraded quality.

Thanks in advance

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