Tamron 18-400mm at the Zoo!

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PhotosByHall Contributing Member • Posts: 545
Tamron 18-400mm at the Zoo!

Hi all

I got a Tamron 18-400 for a very good price a little while back. I had read the reviews, main complaints seemed to be it was soft at the long end.

I bought it primarily for its extremely long reach, as a ratio of price\quality\weight. I use long lenses while travelling for wildlife, street photography etc. I'm more interested in range for this lens, and less in the from 18mm superzoom capabilities - i will be carrying distinct wide lenses when away.

I now have the 55-250, 70-300 and 18-400mm. So i needed a battle of the zooms to see which ones i would get rid of and put the Tamy properly thought its paces shooting stuff in the real world - similar to what I would shoot abroad

The zoo wasn't the best hunting, the light wasn't great (and the tamy gets much sharped stopped down a bit from f6.3) and the more interesting animals (elephants, rhinos) either refused to leave their enclosures or looked like they were sleeping off a hangover (tiger, snow leopard).

Anyway - here's some photos followed by my general conclusion - would be interested in people's opinions on the Tamy 18-400. (these aren't Serengeti-level images, but I had a few i was quite happy with and got to test my lenses in the 'real world')

Shots are processed in LR, as I think my primary objective was to get to shots I was happy with - even if some PP was needed.

So what's my conclusion?

I didn't think the Tamy would be sharp enough for what I wanted it for.

But i was pleasantly suprised at f8 and above and f11 is even better - although its not always feasible to shoot at those apertures - you need good light or high iso.

When you do have to shoot at f6.3, I think its fine if you aren't printing out large. I generally have wildlife stuff printed at 6x4, 8x6 or just use for social media - so its not such a biggie. It is soft at f6.3.

It's a small lens for the reach, and it lets you get very close in terms of macro\close up especially with extension tubes.

IS and AF is a little slower than a native Canon lens, but its just about getting used to its quirks and foibles.

What do people think?

Compare the Meerkat! Shot at f6.3, has been processed in LR

Compare the Meekat II! Same shot at f11. The Tamy noticably sharpens up at f11 - but its not always possible to shoot at that aperture.

Humboldt Penguin. I think this is pretty sharp at f6.3

Again at 6.3

Madagascan Lemur f11


Gecko - shot indoors through glass, only possible thanks to that zoom range.

Prairie dog - f6.3

 PhotosByHall's gear list:PhotosByHall's gear list
Canon EOS 7D Mark II Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Canon EOS M50 Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L USM +4 more
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