Tamron 70-300VC vs Canon 55-250STM. Are these results typical?

Started Aug 22, 2017 | Questions thread
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Sammy Yousef
Sammy Yousef Veteran Member • Posts: 4,640
Tamron 70-300VC vs Canon 55-250STM. Are these results typical?

I'm primarily a Nikon shooter but wanted some experience with a second system. So about 3 years ago my wife bought a 600D on sale, and then later when Canon had a really good sale (double cashback with accessories) I bought a couple of 700Ds.

I initially bought the 55-250 STM and although I was really happy with it, I wanted a lens with a higher magnification ratio for small wildlife/birds. So I bought a Tamron 70-300VC. On the Nikon side of the fence I love the 70-300VR and had always wondered if the Tamon was better since at the time there was quite a bit of debate.

Anyway I've never been happy or gotten along with my Tamron. It just seems softer than it should be. Focus isn't terrible but sometimes hunts. I have had one problem focusing on a brown coloured bird when I first got it but I haven't been able to repeat it - it just refused to focus.

I finally got around to direct shootout. All these are 100% crops hand held, VC on with shutter at 1/200th. Auto-ISO may be a factor but note that I was taking one followed by the other. I ended up bumping the sharpness setting on the DSLR with the Tamy up by one to 6. The STM is at sharpness 5. I have to say for sharpness, contrast and colour the STM lens beats the Tammy hands down. Are these results typical? I'm really disappointed. The only thing keeping me from selling the Tammy is I'm not really aware of a lens in my price range that gives that magnification ratio I want. (I was thinking about the 70-300 USM IS II but it also shares the low mag ratio)

Here are my test shots. To view full screen in Chrome hit F11 on the keyboard.


Question is, is this typical?

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My forum postings reflect my own opinions and not those of my employer. I'm not employed in the photo business.

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