Tamron 70-300mm

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Merlin5 Regular Member • Posts: 289
Tamron 70-300mm

Hi chaps. I have a Tamron 70-300mm f4-5.6 Di VC USD. I don't know if my question should be here or in the beginners forum.

When I take photos of small birds like finches or sparrows in my garden, they never come out tack sharp. I'm taking these photos at 300mm focal length about 23 feet away from the birds. After I've taken a shot and look at the image I took on the LCD screen, it will look 'ok' but once I press the magnify button on the camera, there's no sharpness or proper definition to the bird's eyes, feathers, etc. You can see it all in reasonable detail but it's all basically blurry. It's really annoying me. I've tried so many combinations in manual, Av, Tv of fast shutter speeds, high ISO, different apertures, etc. Nothing makes them any better. I'm pulling my hair trying to get photos like I see others getting. I've watched youtube videos of  bird photos taken with 300mm lens and they look amazing. And I'm thinking, why can't I get those.

Either the lens isn't that great, or the way I'm taking photos (more likely me) or maybe 23 feet is too far for 300mm? The magnify button on my camera gives me 15 presses to get to maximum magnification. At maximum magnification for small bird images taken from 23 feet away, should my image still look sharp?

I took a photo today of the small gold padlock on my garden shed from about 25 feet away. Same thing, there's no sharpness.

Could the lens need calibrating or should I just give up photography now?

I've taken shots both handheld using the VC and on a tripod.

I have once taken a good photo of a goldfinch with this lens, but had to use more sharpening than I imagine I'm supposed to.

 Merlin5's gear list:Merlin5's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Sony a6600 Tamron SP 70-300mm F4-5.6 Di VC USD Canon EF 50mm F1.8 STM Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN (E/EF-M mounts) +1 more
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