First impressions of the Tamron 18-270 PZD

Started Jan 10, 2011 | Discussions thread
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PhillipA Veteran Member • Posts: 5,505
First impressions of the Tamron 18-270 PZD

I just received my new Tamron 18-270 VC PZD and have done a quick comparison with the earlier version.

First up I have to say I am very pleased with my original version - considering it sharp at all focal lengths. I have quite a lot of lenses, including half a dozen Ls, and the Tamron still gives good images IMHO.

First of all, the new lens seems much smaller and lighter than the old one - much more than the specifications would indicate. With the 550D it makes a very compact package.

The A/F and VC (IS) are virtually silent on the new lens, whereas the A/F could be heard on the old one (not objectionably so) and the VC took a short while to "kick in". Both these functions seem faster on the new one, but I never found the old one "slow".

There doesn't seem to be any worse vignetting on the new one wide open, despite a reduction in filter size from 72mm to 62.

The new version seems to have a slightly cooler (and more accurate) colour than the first version.

So much for the good news - now for the rest !

The maximum aperture changes from f5.6 to f6.3 at about 160mm focal length on the new one - the old version not until about 220mm.

The biggest disappointment is the image sharpness. The new version definitely is noticeably softer at 270mm than the old one, not quite so much at 200mm, maybe close at 100mm and a bit softer again at 18mm.

Surprisingly the focus seems to be a little more accurate on the new one - at least at short distances
The CA is no better than the first version - which means it is quite noticeable.

These tests are certainly not scientifically carried out - just hand-held in reasonably good light and generally at f8 - the shutter speeds never got too low and I consider the conditions to be similar to those in which you would use this kind of travel lens.

I will look at it further and see how the images sharpen up in P/Shop, but at the moment I think it might be going back. The savings in weight and size don't make up for the reduction in IQ.
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Judge: ' This image may be better in black and white - perhaps even just black! '

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