90d and Tamron 150-600 - sharpness issue or wrong expectations

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
JasonTheBirder Senior Member • Posts: 1,363
Re: 90d and Tamron 150-600 - sharpness issue or wrong expectations

Duckman21 wrote:

JasonTheBirder wrote:

Duckman21 wrote:

This lens is hit or miss wide open at 600mm. It can be quite sharp on some occasions, but more often than not it appears hazy and soft. Your first image is consistent with how most of my f6.3 600mm images look even if objects are in focus. Stop it down to f8 or f9 if you want more sharpness (be sure to bring down the shutter speed if possible). Note that you will lose depth of field and it doesn't do anything about heat/atmospheric haze which this lens seems sensitive to at the longer focal lengths.

I think this is good advice. I never shoot mine wide open, but my gut feeling is that this lens peaks in sharpness at f/7.1, so I usually just leave it there unless I need more depth of field, or the subject is really far away and the focus point is too big for the bird. (I use it on a Nikon, but it's the same idea.)

I find f7.1 good for some situations but in others it seems to still be soft compared to f8. For flying birds I typically use f8-f9, f11 for more distant scoping (though diffraction starts to set in).

Are you shooting APS-C or full-frame? I read some reviews saying this lens is much sharper on full-frame.

The Nikon D500, so with a fairly small pixel pitch, but not as small as the 90D as with the OP. I find the lens decently sharp, though absolutely not as sharp as the 500PF. I think also for distance shots it is a little hard for a DSLR to nail focus all the time. I think the focus point is just too big and the bird too small, though at those distances I am more just looking for a record shot rather than creating art. I also set it at f/8 for flight, which compensates for a little misfocus but the D500 is pretty accurate usually.

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