Previous page Next page

Conclusion - Pros

  • Remarkable 15x focal length range
  • Impressive image quality in the normal to short telephoto range
  • Excellent resistance to flare
  • Effective vibration correction system, at least 3 stops benefit
  • Reasonably compact despite the long telephoto range

Conclusion - Cons

  • Slow and occasionally indecisive autofocus
  • Geometric distortion across much of the zoom range
  • Significant chromatic aberration at wideangle and telephoto (especially 270mm)
  • Macro performance rather compromised (very soft at F6.3, focus shifts on stopping down)
  • Uneven zoom action, zoom creep when not locked
  • Slightly sub-par build quality

Overall conclusion

First things first; the AF 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC LD Aspherical (IF) MACRO undoubtedly represents an impressive feat of optical engineering, and Tamron has to be applauded for producing a superzoom that has significantly longer telephoto reach than its direct competitors without further compromising image quality. That's not to say the lens is in any way perfect, indeed it has much the same optical problems as the other superzooms we've tested. At wideangle it shows chromatic aberration and barrel distortion (our test sample also exhibited one distinctly soft corner at wider apertures). In the middle of the zoom range the lens is unexpectedly sharp and shows essentially no chromatic aberration, but suffers from rather high levels of pincushion distortion. And towards the telephoto end, the lens is somewhat soft and shows relatively high levels of chromatic aberration, especially at 270mm (although distortion is low). But overall Tamron has managed to tread a commendably fine line in balancing the various aberrations without letting any of them become too extreme.

The 'Vibration Control' optical image stabilisation system is absolutely essential on this lens, with its extreme telephoto range and slow maximum aperture. Reassuringly it works very well, and belies Tamron's relative lack of experience in this area. It may not have tested quite as well as Canon's 18-200mm IS, but the difference isn't great and is unlikely to result in many more missed shots in actual use. The lens is also impressively compact; despite the extra telephoto range, it's little different in size and weight to competing 18-200mm lenses. On paper at least, this therefore makes the 18-270mm VC a compelling choice for users looking to buy an all-in-one lens; after all if you're going to buy a superzoom, why not go the whole hog and buy the one with the longest reach?

However life's rarely that straightforward, and the 18-270mm demonstrates why the lens that tests sharpest in the lab may not always be the best choice for everyone. Its Achilles' Heel lies in the autofocus, which (not for the first time) is simply much slower than its rivals from Canon or Nikon. To be fair it's perfectly adequate for casual users shooting everyday static (or relatively slow-moving) subjects, but the moment life speeds up the lens is left behind struggling. This means that the Tamron is not the best choice for any subject that requires continuous autofocus such as sports, despite its added reach making it superficially attractive for such applications (the slow maximum aperture at the long end won't help either). Aside from that it has few vices, perhaps the most notable being its propensity to suffer from zoom creep (more of an irritation than a show-stopper).

These minor niggles aside, we were overall quite impressed by the Tamron 18-270mm. Where it's good, it's actually very good indeed, and even where it's weak it's not too far behind the competition. And that remarkable zoom range is a draw in itself; this is a lens which will have you shooting the same subject from the same position at both 18mm and 270mm, just to see how it looks. If you often find yourself shooting things which move then this may not be the ideal choice, but if you're willing to put up with its somewhat sluggish focusing it's a remarkably rewarding lens for the money.

Detail

Rating (out of 10)
Nikon F Mount

Build quality 7.5
Ergonomics & handling 8.0
Features 9.0
Image quality 7.5
Value 7.0

Recommended

Recommended

Want to make sure you don't miss out on any future reviews?
Sign up for our free weekly newsletter!

Enter the 'Nikon SLR Lens Talk' Discussion Forum

Samples Gallery

There are 30 images in the samples gallery. All pictures are shot in RAW and processed using Adobe Camera RAW to bypass the test cameras' automatic chromatic aberration correction in JPEG. Please do not reproduce any of these images on a website or any newsletter / magazine without prior permission (see our copyright page). We make the originals available for private users to download to their own machines for personal examination or printing (in conjunction with this review), we do so in good faith, please don't abuse it.

Unless otherwise noted images taken with no particular settings at full resolution. A reduced size image (within 1024 x 1024 bounds) is provided to be more easily viewed in your browser. As always the original untouched image is available by clicking on this reduced image.

Tamron 18-270mm F3.5-6.3 VC Review samples

30 images • Posted 2nd December 2008 • View album
Sample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photo

 

Previous page Next page

Comments

Total comments: 4
historymaker
By historymaker (3 months ago)

Tamron decline to update my firmware - my lens will not work on my Canon 70D
I just bought a canon 70D body and i love it.
It works great with my sigma lens.
But my Tamron lens 18-270MM F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD lens didn't work with the body.
While filming video the camera shuts down and say "Ensure a lens is attached".
I contact Tamron regarding this issue. They told me that it needs a firmware update and that i should send my lens with proof of purchase.
They send me an estimate to service and update my lens for $218!!!
I talk with the manager, my lens is 4 yrs old and still under the Tamron 6yr warranty. He declined to give me the warranty service and update the firmware on my lens.
At this point i am very disappointed at Tamron and i will never get an other Tamron lens.
This lens is now useless and i can't used it on my Canon 70D Body. Tamron doesn't stand for what it promise. Don't buy a Tamron lens.
#tamronsucks

0 upvotes
GENEZURITA
By GENEZURITA (2 months ago)

WE HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM, I GO TO SETTINGS AND REDUCE MY MOVIE RECORD SIZE TO 640-25, THEN IT WORKS, NOW I CAN USE MY 700D FOR VIDEO.

Comment edited 17 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
hellgap
By hellgap (8 months ago)

I bought this lens and really liked it at first thinking wow what a great all around carry lens with in One month I had dust inside and its really letting me down it looses contact with the connections and then I loose the shot. I should have stayed with canon . I tried to save money but now Im paying for it. sucks to be me

0 upvotes
ron_of_t
By ron_of_t (8 months ago)

Highly recommended, Super sharp and versatile

0 upvotes
Total comments: 4