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The Tamron 50-400mm F4.5-6.3 Di III VC VXD boasts an impressive zoom range in a relatively compact package. How does it perform? We took a look.
Trying to usefully review a camera often means trying to put yourself in the shoes of another consumer, with different needs and expectations from my own. So it’s not my intention to seem disingenuous by selecting a product I can’t picture buying for myself.
However, while I can’t imagine buying the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM (mainly because I can’t imagine owning a DSLR again), I have a pretty good idea of how excited the me of a few years ago would have been. That’s why it’s my product of the year.
The reason I like the 18-35mm so much is because it allows APS-C shooters to do things they've not really been able to achieve before. The exciting thing about it for me isn’t so much the fact that it’s a constant F1.8 – cool though that sounds – it’s what this means for photography. It gives you a lens that behaves comparably to a 28-50mm F2.8 on full frame, giving the same control over depth-of-field and similar low-light potential as you'd get with the larger format. The result is I got some photos I rather like with cameras that are within reach or already in the hands of a lot of people.
|Although it's far from being a conventional portrait lens, the 18-35mm gives a fair degree of flexibility, with impressive sharpness when well focused.|
And, while 28-50mm isn't the most flexible zoom range in the world, if you think of it as a collection of primes, including a 28mm, 35mm, 40mm and 50mm equivalent, stuffed into a single tube, then that's really pretty impressive. And it becomes all the more impressive if you were to actually try to go out and find that set of primes that fast for APS-C cameras, because nobody has bothered to make them for you. To come close to completing that set, you'll have to pick the nearest match from lenses designed for full frame, which often means all-out, pro-grade F1.4s, and the price tags that come with them.
When I started at dpreview I was a keen DSLR shooter but, not being committed (or wealthy) enough to buy an EOS 5D, I shot APS-C. And I was hardly alone in that; for much of the last decade, APS-C has been the de-facto standard format for most photographers. More realistically enthusiast-grade full frame cameras have only arrived in the past twelve-or-so months and, at around $2000/GBP1500, they’re still out of the reach of a lot of people.
So, if you want to picture the ‘typical’ keen photographer and you imagine someone shooting with an APS-C DSLR, you’re likely to be right more than 90% of the time. And yet, most of the big manufacturers have never made any great effort to design lenses for these people. Sure, the big manufacturers have a 16-50 or 17-55 F2.8 lens in the lineup, but that’s often the extent of their high-end lenses and their prices are not inconsiderable. Beyond that, APS-C users have historically been rather poorly served (a cynic might note that this paucity of APS-C-intended lenses promotes the plausibly spurious notion of an ’upgrade path’ to full frame).
|The 18-35mm F1.8 gives a touch of depth-of-field control and the ability to get better results in lower light than a more conventional 17-55mm F2.8. The slight focus error in this image could well be mine.|
The 18-35mm F1.8 doesn’t push you into an awkward limbo between two systems – it lets you harness the more of the potential of the camera you’ve already bought, already know how to use and feel at home with. It doesn’t give you the lovely big viewfinder that you get with a full frame camera, but it gives you many of the other advantages.
And, while the 50mm equivalent long end of the zoom leaves it a little short, it’s still a lens that covers the focal length range I shoot with most often. It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of spending money on a nice wide-angle lens or a fast telephoto zoom, only to find you’re still using the built-to-a-budget-of-nearly-nothing kit zoom that came with the camera, most of the time. For the photography I like to do, the 18-35mm paired with a fast 90mm-equiv prime would leave me pretty happy.
|Ranging from wide-angle to just-beyond normal, the 18-35mm covers most of the focal lengths I most often use - almost like a set of F1.8 primes that happen to come in a single tube.|
It’s not perfect – some cameras (particularly Canon, based on our experience with several bodies and several copies of the lens), struggle to focus it well enough to get the most out of it. And yes, that’s a major drawback in a lens. Thankfully, we had a lot more luck with the Nikon-mount version, and it’s on that basis I’ve selected it (though we're seen some complaints from Nikon owners, too).
Ultimately, even if you don’t subscribe to my theory that APS-C users are being taken for granted, there are still a couple of factors that would still make it my product of the year. It’s astonishingly sharp, at every focal length and every aperture, and it’s sensibly priced – often selling for less than most camera makers’ F2.8 APS-C zooms. And, if that’s not enough for you, look at it this way: it’s the fastest consumer zoom in the world.
This is part 4 in a series of articles where DPReview staff will be highlighting their personal standout products of the year.
Feb 28, 2016
Dec 30, 2015
Dec 28, 2015
Dec 23, 2015
We're at the CP+ show in Japan this week and one of the busiest stands belongs to Sigma. Best known for manufacturing lenses, Sigma is showing off its latest camera, the dp2 Quattro. Editor Barnaby Britton sat down with Kazuto Yamaki, CEO of Sigma, for a chat about the Quattro, as well as the challenges of the modern photography industry and what it's like being the head of a family business.
Before Christmas, we asked you to vote for your favorite cameras and lenses in five categories. We announced the category winners earlier this year and created a final poll to find what - in your opinion - was the single standout product of 2013. Click through for a reminder of the category winners and to find out which of the winning products was your choice for 2013 product of the year!
Last month you voted for the best gear in five categories, and now's your chance to let us know which of the winning products was the most impressive. The poll stays open until the end of this month, and if you haven't voted yet this is your chance! Click through for a look at the 2013 category winners from our five classes, and a chance to cast your vote.
Last month you voted for the best gear in five categories, and now's your chance to let us know which of the winning products was the most impressive. With almost 30,000 votes cast already we know that you've got plenty of opinions about which cameras and lenses stood out, but we want more! We want to know which one you thought was the absolute best. Click through for a look at the category winners from our five classes, and a chance to cast your vote!
The results are in! Before Christmas, we asked you to vote for your favorite gear in five categories. Best lens, best DSLR / SLT, best fixed-lens compact camera, best mirrorless interchangeable lens camera and best enthusiast zoom compact. Now, with almost 30,000 votes cast since December 18th the results are in! Click through to take a look at the category winners and runners-up.
The Tamron 50-400mm F4.5-6.3 Di III VC VXD boasts an impressive zoom range in a relatively compact package. How does it perform? We took a look.
What’s the best camera for around $2000? These capable cameras should be solid and well-built, have both speed and focus for capturing fast action and offer professional-level image quality. In this buying guide we’ve rounded up all the current interchangeable lens cameras costing around $2000 and recommended the best.
What's the best camera for shooting landscapes? High resolution, weather-sealed bodies and wide dynamic range are all important. In this buying guide we've rounded-up several great cameras for shooting landscapes, and recommended the best.
If you're looking for the perfect drone for yourself, or to gift someone special, we've gone through all of the options and selected our favorites.
Most modern cameras will shoot video to one degree or another, but these are the ones we’d look at if you plan to shoot some video alongside your photos. We’ve chosen cameras that can take great photos and make it easy to get great looking video, rather than being the ones you’d choose as a committed videographer.
Although a lot of people only upload images to Instagram from their smartphones, the app is much more than just a mobile photography platform. In this guide we've chosen a selection of cameras that make it easy to shoot compelling lifestyle images, ideal for sharing on social media.
|_SDI2370bw by rick decker|
from Crashing Wave
|IMG_750-16662-2 Dusty drive by Jill Hancock|
from Daylight Pictures of Modern Trucks in Action
|2019_0720_163302AA by old shutter bugger|
from In The Style Of EDWARD WESTON's Sitll Lifes
|Winter Days by DaveN01|
|Annas Hummingbird over Mexican Sunflower by Fishchris|
from A Big Year - Birds 2022
Peep some pixels from the hefty 100 megapixel files created by the new Hasselblad X2D 100C, as we prepare our DPReview TV review of the camera.
About 95% of Earth's oceans haven't been observed. Researchers at MIT have built a battery-free, wireless underwater camera that may help scientists explore more of the oceans.
Drone manufacturer DJI has moved its staff into an innovative and masterfully-designed new building in Shenzhen, China. Here is a first look.
We (metaphorically) sat down with Brandon Faith of Baggen Photos to ask him a few questions about what it's like to photograph motorsports events with his Crown Graphic large format camera.
Sony's new 320GB and 640GB 'Tough' CFexpress Type A cards are due out next month and while the 640GB card will offer the most storage of any Type A card to date, it doesn't come cheap.
Adobe's Photoshop and Premiere Elements apps make editing photos and videos easy for users of all skill levels. The latest versions add more editing tools, more AI features and improved performance.
The Sony FX30 is an explicitly video-focused camera, but could its technology herald a refresh of the company's APS-C stills line-up? We have a look at what that might mean.
The lens offers a constant F2.8 aperture through a rather unique focal length range for full-frame camera systems. It’s expected to be available starting October 27, 2022 for $699.
Can AI overcome the physical limitations of smartphone sensors and lenses? A Qualcomm executive thinks so, thanks in large part to improvements in processing power, hardware and artificial intelligence.
We're starting to see cameras offering 'open gate' video recording, so what is this tool and when is it useful?
The Sony FX30 is a 4K/120p-capable Super35 / APS-C cinema camera that wants to take the battle to the likes of Panasonic's GH series.
Sony's FX30 Super35/APS-C Cinema Line camera is effectively a crop-sensor version of the company's full-frame FX3 camera with sensor-based image stabilization, oversampled 4K/60p capture and '16-bit' Raw output and more.
If you've ever wanted to become an action figure, Hasbro is providing you the opportunity with its new 3D-printed Selfie Series action figures.
When you store photos on the cloud, you expect them to remain safe for a long time. However, some Google Photos users were scared over the weekend when they realized that their photo libraries had become corrupted.
DALL-E's Outpainting feature uses AI to expand existing images and artwork. Ad agency Ogilvy Paris has used Outpainting to expand Johannes Vermeer's famous painting, 'The Milkmaid.'
iOS 16.0.2 addresses, amongst other bug fixes, a problem wherein the second-generation sensor-shift image stabilization tech was causing camera shake issues in some third-party apps.
For the past eight years, the Library of Congress has been working on figuring out the subjects in a large collection of film, TV and music photos. Many of the mysteries have been solved. However, 17 photos have eluded the LC's best efforts, and the public's help is needed to help put names to the final unknown faces.
After having to pull the initial firmware update last month due to an issue that caused some units to stop working, Sony has re-released firmware version 1.1 for its a7 IV full-frame mirrorless camera.
Sigma's latest wide Art-badged prime for full frame is capable of some stunning landscapes. Check out a new batch of sample photos in the gallery.
Winners for this year's annual Comedy Pet Photo Awards have been announced.
While visiting the team in Seattle, Chris and Jordan attempt to eat some chowder. It's difficult. Also, this week they are puppets.
Meike has released its first adapter for Nikon Z cameras. The new MK-EFTZ-B adapter allows Nikon Z users to attach Canon EF and EF-S lenses to their cameras, complete with autofocus and automatic exposure functionality.
The Canon 5D Mark II was released in November 2008. Since then, a photographer used theirs to capture nearly 2.3 million images, which is an average of about 450 photos per day if they shot every single day. The camera is still going strong for its new owner.
Capture One for iPad users cvan now connect their camera, wired or wirelessly, to their iPad for quick image transfers without the need for memory cards and readers.
Digital film scanners can be pricey, so Lomo's latest scanners let shooters do it themselves. Whether you have a digital camera, or simply a smartphone, there's a DigitaLIZA that'll work with your kit. But are the results any good? Let's find out.
The Leica Q2 'Dawn' is the same camera on the inside, but features an all-black paint job and a special Japanese-woven fabric wrap produced by Japanese brand, Hosoo.
It's been a while since we've encountered a lens with a normal to super-telephoto range, how do the photos from the Tamron 50-400mm F4.5-6.3 look? Take a gander.
Also new is a built-in screen for checking the battery and shooting mode, as well as a Quick Launch feature for iPhone devices.
Venus Optics' Laowa 58mm F2.8 2x Ultra-Macro APO is available for Canon R, Leica L, Nikon Z and Sony E mount camera systems.
Kubrick had three of the ten Zeiss Planar 50mm F0.7 lenses Zeiss produced re-engineered to work as cinema lenses. Kubrick is most known for using these lenses in a candlelit scene in his Oscar-winning film, Barry Lyndon.