Did I get screwed over? Tamron 16-300mm

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hersh23 New Member • Posts: 21
Did I get screwed over? Tamron 16-300mm

So some backstory. A couple months ago unfortunately I had a LOT of my camera gear stolen from my car, including a Nikon D500, Nikon 35mm 1.8 Lens and a Tamron 16-300mm. It's been a huge kick to the heart since then.

Luckily I never got rid of my Nikon D3300, so I am currently using that to take pictures with the kit lenses (18-55, 55-200mm), but I am desperate to have my old equipment back. Police reports have been filed but nothing as of yet.

Recently I purchased a 35mm 1.8 and it works great! I still don't have a D500 again, but I DID find someone on Craigslist (please hold back any ridicule. Lol) selling the same 16-300 lens that I was using at a much more affordable price!!! I'm not swimming in money, hence why it hurt so much that someone stole my gear that I had saved up for for a long time. Buying a new 16-300 is out of the question but buying the one I found on CL was doable!

After some back and forth chatter with the seller, I drove 2 hours (told you I was desperate) and after a 20 minute discussion about photography (he is switching over toa full-frame camera, hence why he is selling some of his equipment), I purchased the lens after taking a couple sample shots with my D3300. I was happy!

That was last week. A couple days ago there was a car show going on where I live and I decided to take some shots with my newly acquired lens. Though that's where the problems begin.

It seems that the lens is VERY inconsistent with sharpness! I never had a problem with wide shots with the lens I had that got stolen (there might be some softness at 300mm, so I tried to not shoot that much zoomed in). But a LOT of the shots I took of the car show are a bit out of focus! Extremely disappointing!

So I went out and took some comparison shots. Same settings except a shot with the 16-300mm at 16mm, and the same shot with the kit 18-55mm Nikon lens at 18mm and here are some examples of what I'm talking about. It's not too noticeable when wide, but definitely notable if you were to zoom in to look at details:

Shot at 16mm. Focus on that black spot on the post.

Shot at 18mm. Focus on that black spot on the post.

Cropped 16mm Shot.

Cropped 18mm Shot

16mm Shot . Focused on "Plate" seen on Zoomed shot

18mm Shot . Focused on "Plate" seen on Zoomed shot

16mm Cropped

18mm Cropped

Here's a couple shots I took from that car show that made me notice this problem

Edited but shot at 16mm

Cropped version. Some fuzziness going on on the front grill even though thats where I was focused! Shot at 16mm, ISO 400, f4.0, 1/320 Shutter

And these are continuous shots from a flaming classic Chevy. I zoomed in to show that even though these are continuous and one right after the other, one is a little out of focus while the other is tack sharp, I was in AF-Single:

Cropped. In Focus. Shot at 22mm F4.5 1/250

Cropped. Slightly out of Focus. Shot at 22mm F4.5 1/250

So what gives? As I said, with the lens I used to have, this was never an issue. Yet with the lens I purchased off someone, it's a constant issue. Not 100% of the time. More like 85-90%.
According to the seller, he only used the lens one time. Sold it to me in its original packaging and with whatever paperwork came with the lens. no receipt though. Obviously I'm screwed with the seller. But is this something that can be fixed? Perhaps some setting I'm forgetting about since it's been 2 months since my stuff got stolen and I used a 16-300? Maybe the manufacturer can do something even though I don't have the damn receipt?
Please refrain from any ridicule about me buying a lens I found for sale on Craigslist and how I should have bought new instead. Perhaps I jumped the gun in making this purchase but like all of you, I love photography. My equipment IS my baby and I've been empty inside without a lot of it. So it was my goal that, with the limited spending money I have, to try to recuperate as much as I can. 
Any help/opinions is greatly appreciated.

Nikon D3300 Nikon D500
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