First impressions of Tamron 18-200

Started Dec 24, 2011 | Discussions
RicksAstro
RicksAstro Veteran Member • Posts: 3,852
First impressions of Tamron 18-200

Have had a day to play around a little with the Tamron 18-200 and compare it to the Sony 18-200. I'll upload some pictures later...Christmas, you know

The build quality is great. Every bit as good as the Sony. It looks significantly smaller and better proportioned with the 5N, even though it's dimensions don't suggest it. It's smaller diameter is what really makes it look less obnoxious. I really hate the way the Sony 18-200 looks, but the Tarmon looks nice IMO.

IQ: At 18mm, the center sharpness is similar to the Sony if not a tiny bit less sharp. The corners are significantly sharper, though. It does have quite a bit more lateral CA (which is easily correctable) and purple/blue fringing at high contrast areas than the Sony.

At 200, the situation is similar. Generally the Sony center is slightly sharper at it's best, but the VR of the Tamron seems to be a little more consistently effective for lower shutter speeds. Same situation with CA on the Tamron. Also, the Tamron can sometimes exhibit a kind of CA even at the center of the image which is not correctable. I possibly attribute this to VR, as sometimes it's there, sometimes not. You have to be looking at 100% at very high contrast areas to notice. The Sony can do this a little as well.

Note that the camera will correct the lateral CA in JPG for the Sony and does not (nor probably ever will) for the Tamron...a big factor if you're a JPG shooter. I shoot RAW, so have to correct both.

OSS/VR - this one's a tough one...The Tamron has more "snap" effect to the VR. When it lock in, it seems to stay better. The Sony can drift a little more. Both effective, but I'd give a slight advantage for stills to the Tamron.

For Video, the "snap" effect of the Tamron is slightly less desirable than Sony's active OSS, making slightly less smooth camera holding. Both are quite silent for focusing and VR/OSS while recording

I'm still undecided for now. If it weren't for the looks/size, I'd say the Sony is a better overall lens for general still and video use. They are both a compromise. Since I bought the Sony used, I actually paid more for the Tamron.

I'll decide in the next week or so, and will post some full res pictures soon.

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El Matadurr
El Matadurr Veteran Member • Posts: 5,018
Re: First impressions of Tamron 18-200

From what you are saying, the Tamron is a solid performer at its current price. Once it inevitably drops in price (as all Tamron lenses do) to around the 500-600 mark, it'll be a no-brainer over the Sony when bought brand new.

About the in-camera corrections on CA's, so the Sony will actually discriminate when it senses a non-first party lens and won't correct any lens problems? Does this apply to the anti-vingetting and anti-distortion functions? This is dis-heartening, as I'm planning on using a legacy tokina 80-200 f/2.8 via an adapter on my shipping-sometime-before-next-christmas NEX-7.

If it doesn't work, then it seems that the Tamron is a no-brainer for RAW shooters, while the Sony is good for JPEG's

Looking forward to some comparison photos and other thoughts!

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Pangloss
Pangloss Senior Member • Posts: 2,298
Thanks for your first impressions and comparison

Eagerly awaiting your images!
Merry Xmas and Happy New Year,
Cheers,
--
Andrew
Novice photographer

 Pangloss's gear list:Pangloss's gear list
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RicksAstro
OP RicksAstro Veteran Member • Posts: 3,852
Correction...JPG corrections are applied

After further investigations, JPG corrections are indeed applied including CA, vignetting and distortion. Looking at the EXIF, it's reporting the same as the Sony 18-200, so it is applying those same corrections. I amde an invalid assumption that they were not applied, as I was concentrating on RAW.

Looking at the JPGs this time, It seems to do a decent job on correctiong the Tamron's images. CA looks pretty decent on the JPGs. Probably more obvious than the Sony since it is quite a bit sharper at the edges through the various f-stops. I think that's also why the blue/purple CA is more obvious as well on the Tamron...the edges are harder and more distinct.

The Tamron has a little more barrel distortion than the Sony at 18mm. The JPG correction takes care of most of it, but there's still a little left.

El Matadurr wrote:

From what you are saying, the Tamron is a solid performer at its current price. Once it inevitably drops in price (as all Tamron lenses do) to around the 500-600 mark, it'll be a no-brainer over the Sony when bought brand new.

About the in-camera corrections on CA's, so the Sony will actually discriminate when it senses a non-first party lens and won't correct any lens problems? Does this apply to the anti-vingetting and anti-distortion functions? This is dis-heartening, as I'm planning on using a legacy tokina 80-200 f/2.8 via an adapter on my shipping-sometime-before-next-christmas NEX-7.

If it doesn't work, then it seems that the Tamron is a no-brainer for RAW shooters, while the Sony is good for JPEG's

Looking forward to some comparison photos and other thoughts!

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Jens_G Contributing Member • Posts: 709
Sounds good...

Can't wait for more offerings from Tamron, specifically a compact 17-50/2.8

Or even a 17-35/2.8 (if the smaller focal range would mean it's at least as compact as the kit 18-55).

robert614 Senior Member • Posts: 1,603
Re: Correction...JPG corrections are applied

Thanks for your impressions.Do you think the camera is applying the sony 18-200 correction profile to the tamron pics?I doubt the nex-5n had tamron lens information built in.This might explain the not quite perfect corrections on the JPEGs you're seeing.I have the sony already but am interested in the tamron for nex-7 because of the black color and slightly slimmer dimensions.I look forward to seeing some examples.Thanks in advance,Happy Holidays!

robert614 Senior Member • Posts: 1,603
Re: Correction...JPG corrections are applied

Sorry,I just reread your post.You already said the camera is reading the tamron as the sony lens.Disregard my other post.I would still like to see some comparison shots when you have time.Thanks again.Merry Christmas!

Lng0004 Senior Member • Posts: 2,602
Re: First impressions of Tamron 18-200

I don't think the in-camera corrections will work with any legacy lens.

El Matadurr wrote:

From what you are saying, the Tamron is a solid performer at its current price. Once it inevitably drops in price (as all Tamron lenses do) to around the 500-600 mark, it'll be a no-brainer over the Sony when bought brand new.

About the in-camera corrections on CA's, so the Sony will actually discriminate when it senses a non-first party lens and won't correct any lens problems? Does this apply to the anti-vingetting and anti-distortion functions? This is dis-heartening, as I'm planning on using a legacy tokina 80-200 f/2.8 via an adapter on my shipping-sometime-before-next-christmas NEX-7.

If it doesn't work, then it seems that the Tamron is a no-brainer for RAW shooters, while the Sony is good for JPEG's

Looking forward to some comparison photos and other thoughts!

Eigenmeat Contributing Member • Posts: 520
Re: First impressions of Tamron 18-200

Damn if the Tammy is significantly better than the Sony at 18mm, I don't see much point of going for the Sony aside for video use.

All in all, the Tammy seems very decent so far. I might get it with the NEX7 once price drops abit as an ultimate travel cam.
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RicksAstro
OP RicksAstro Veteran Member • Posts: 3,852
Re: First impressions of Tamron 18-200

It reports itself as a Sony 18-200 and the camera applies those corrections, which isn't perfect but helps some.

Lng0004 wrote:
I don't think the in-camera corrections will work with any legacy lens.

El Matadurr wrote:

From what you are saying, the Tamron is a solid performer at its current price. Once it inevitably drops in price (as all Tamron lenses do) to around the 500-600 mark, it'll be a no-brainer over the Sony when bought brand new.

About the in-camera corrections on CA's, so the Sony will actually discriminate when it senses a non-first party lens and won't correct any lens problems? Does this apply to the anti-vingetting and anti-distortion functions? This is dis-heartening, as I'm planning on using a legacy tokina 80-200 f/2.8 via an adapter on my shipping-sometime-before-next-christmas NEX-7.

If it doesn't work, then it seems that the Tamron is a no-brainer for RAW shooters, while the Sony is good for JPEG's

Looking forward to some comparison photos and other thoughts!

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Henry Richardson Forum Pro • Posts: 15,928
Re: First impressions of Tamron 18-200

Thanks for the info! The smaller size/weight would probably tip the balance in the direction of the Tamron for me considering what you have said about the 2 lenses. The Sony was designed more for the VG10/VG20 for video use according to things I read when it came out so the lens size/weight is less of an issue with those video cameras.

The current Tamron price is quite high though so it will be interesting to see how much it drops in a few months. I noticed yesterday that the Tamron 18-270mm VC PZD lens (DSLR lens) which until recently was being sold at Amazon for $600-650 (price constantly changing, up and down and up) is now $470 ($570 - $100 rebate). If I wasn't in Japan I would order that one today.

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toxotis700
toxotis700 Contributing Member • Posts: 667
Re: First impressions of Tamron 18-200

I had Sony 18-200, good lens but not for me !
It was too slow to focus, especially above 50mm... how is the Temron ?
I am only interested in focus speed , photo and video.

loph Regular Member • Posts: 302
Re: First impressions of Tamron 18-200

Thank you so much.
I was waiting for a post like this for a while.
I have the NEX-7 and the sony 18-200mm lens and they are mismatched together.
I ordered the Tamron .I'm glad that you impression is positive about the Tamron.

I shoot too much video,so is the VR is useless in video mode or just less effective.
Thanks.

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Lng0004 Senior Member • Posts: 2,602
Re: First impressions of Tamron 18-200

Rick, I was replying to El Matadurr's question regarding his Tokina lens.

RicksAstro wrote:

It reports itself as a Sony 18-200 and the camera applies those corrections, which isn't perfect but helps some.

Lng0004 wrote:
I don't think the in-camera corrections will work with any legacy lens.

El Matadurr wrote:

From what you are saying, the Tamron is a solid performer at its current price. Once it inevitably drops in price (as all Tamron lenses do) to around the 500-600 mark, it'll be a no-brainer over the Sony when bought brand new.

About the in-camera corrections on CA's, so the Sony will actually discriminate when it senses a non-first party lens and won't correct any lens problems? Does this apply to the anti-vingetting and anti-distortion functions? This is dis-heartening, as I'm planning on using a legacy tokina 80-200 f/2.8 via an adapter on my shipping-sometime-before-next-christmas NEX-7.

If it doesn't work, then it seems that the Tamron is a no-brainer for RAW shooters, while the Sony is good for JPEG's

Looking forward to some comparison photos and other thoughts!

RicksAstro
OP RicksAstro Veteran Member • Posts: 3,852
Re: First impressions of Tamron 18-200

Maybe I'm misunderstanding your post, but the Tokina reports itself as a Sony 18-200 and the in-camera corrections are indeed applied as if it were the Sony.

Lng0004 wrote:
Rick, I was replying to El Matadurr's question regarding his Tokina lens.

RicksAstro wrote:

It reports itself as a Sony 18-200 and the camera applies those corrections, which isn't perfect but helps some.

Lng0004 wrote:
I don't think the in-camera corrections will work with any legacy lens.

El Matadurr wrote:

From what you are saying, the Tamron is a solid performer at its current price. Once it inevitably drops in price (as all Tamron lenses do) to around the 500-600 mark, it'll be a no-brainer over the Sony when bought brand new.

About the in-camera corrections on CA's, so the Sony will actually discriminate when it senses a non-first party lens and won't correct any lens problems? Does this apply to the anti-vingetting and anti-distortion functions? This is dis-heartening, as I'm planning on using a legacy tokina 80-200 f/2.8 via an adapter on my shipping-sometime-before-next-christmas NEX-7.

If it doesn't work, then it seems that the Tamron is a no-brainer for RAW shooters, while the Sony is good for JPEG's

Looking forward to some comparison photos and other thoughts!

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Lng0004 Senior Member • Posts: 2,602
Re: First impressions of Tamron 18-200

He was asking about using a TOKINA (not the Tamron) 80-200mm... I'm confused

RicksAstro
OP RicksAstro Veteran Member • Posts: 3,852
samples

I've uploaded some OOC JPG samples, untouched, full resolution. Camera correction was on and treated this lens like a Sony 18-200. These aren't meant to be artistic, only a test meant to show faults and strengths.

First, wide open at 18mm:
Tamron:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/24398625/tam51DSC00373.JPG
Sony:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/24398625/sony51DSC00403.JPG

Next, wide open at 200mm:
Tamron:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/24398625/tam51DSC00387.JPG
Sony:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/24398625/sony51DSC00415.JPG

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Pangloss
Pangloss Senior Member • Posts: 2,298
Thanks again! Excellent test images, btw!

Pixel-peeping I reach the same conclusions as you did. Tough choice!
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Novice photographer

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RicksAstro
OP RicksAstro Veteran Member • Posts: 3,852
focus breathing

One thing I noticed, especially indoors at 18mm, is that when the focus jogs a little on the Tamron, the entire image "breathes", growing larger and smaller. Not atypical for zooms, but the Sony does not do this at all...the image stays solid when focusing.

May be an issue for video, less so for stills.

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El Matadurr
El Matadurr Veteran Member • Posts: 5,018
Re: Correction...JPG corrections are applied

RicksAstro wrote:

After further investigations, JPG corrections are indeed applied including CA, vignetting and distortion. Looking at the EXIF, it's reporting the same as the Sony 18-200, so it is applying those same corrections. I amde an invalid assumption that they were not applied, as I was concentrating on RAW.

Looking at the JPGs this time, It seems to do a decent job on correctiong the Tamron's images. CA looks pretty decent on the JPGs. Probably more obvious than the Sony since it is quite a bit sharper at the edges through the various f-stops. I think that's also why the blue/purple CA is more obvious as well on the Tamron...the edges are harder and more distinct.

The Tamron has a little more barrel distortion than the Sony at 18mm. The JPG correction takes care of most of it, but there's still a little left.

Hey! Good to hear there! and on the barrel distortion being still a tad there, I believe I could deal with that...

 El Matadurr's gear list:El Matadurr's gear list
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