First Impressions: Very Good

Started May 20, 2014 | User reviews thread
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ProfessorLarry New Member • Posts: 6
First Impressions: Very Good

I have been watching for tests of this lens but decided to take the plunge and pre-ordered one as an upgrade replacement for my venerable DX AF-S Nikkor 18-200 3.5-5.6 G ED. I wanted the Tamron for its increased zoom range, weather seals (I do a lot of photo support for my wife, a coastal scientist), and better close-up (.39m vs .5m).

First impressions (on a Nikon D7100): (1) The zoom is a tad stiffer than the Nikkor but acceptable. (2) The manual focus ring is noticeably easier and smoother than the Nikkor. (3) The VC (image stabilization) is very good for both hand-held telephoto and macro close-up. (4) Even without the zoom lock on, there is no zoom creep with the camera carried face-down (an extremely annoying aspect of the Nikkor, which always slides open and has no lock). (5) Focusing is fast, quiet, and precise. (6) Judging IQ will take more than a couple dozen trial shots, but at full crop, the images appear to be as good or better than the Nikkor, although noticeably soft compared to a prime lens.

For my purposes, where I keep one lens on my camera almost all the time, I think this is the right lens. Amateur samples on some of the Japanese sites suggest that distortion (barrel and "moustache") might be a little higher than discriminating photographers will tolerate, but acceptable for general photography. The loss of another 1/2 stop on the telephoto end compared to the Nikon is more than made up for by the other gains.

After I really put it through its paces, I'll add an update.

 ProfessorLarry's gear list:ProfessorLarry's gear list
Nikon D5100 Tamron SP AF 60mm F2 Di II LD IF Macro Tamron 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro
Tamron 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro
Lens • Canon EF-S, Nikon F (DX), Sony/Minolta Alpha • B016
Announced: Feb 6, 2014
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Nikon D7100 Tamron 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro
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