Versatile if not perfect

Started Jan 6, 2017 | User reviews
AdSR
AdSR Regular Member • Posts: 370
Versatile if not perfect

From architecture to portraits, from landscapes to closeups — this lens does a lot of different things rather well. Of course, the extremely wide range of focal lengths comes at a price.

Optical distortions are pronounced, especially in the middle of the range, but they can be corrected in post-processing. Just remember to frame with a margin when taking pictures.

On modern 18-24 MP sensors sharpness is acceptable when the aperture is stopped down about one stop, which would be f/5.6 to f/9 depending on the focal length. The formula for the lazy is to keep it at f/8.

A recurring issue regarding sharpness is shutter shock which seems to show to a different degree, in a slightly unpredictable way. So far I've noticed it the most in photos taken at about 50-70 mm for shutter speeds in the 1/50-1/125 s.

Focusing speed and accuracy is entirely acceptable if you don't need fast action. I've experienced occasional hiccups when testing on different subject but never during an actual shoot.

Image stabilization works mostly well, except for the cases mentioned above where it isn't able to mitigate shutter shock (or perhaps just not enough). It certainly stabilizes well enough for easy auto-focusing even at the maximum focal length.

On the physical side the lens seems very solidly built. The focusing and zoom rings turn smoothly. Zooming friction is a bit uneven, more pronounced at the wide end, but that is not a problem in normal use. The turning range of the zoom ring is sufficient for accurate framing, even if it seems a bit "short" near the wide end.

The lens extends a lot when zoomed in and thus it pumps a lot of air which could result in sucking dust onto the sensor. I can actually feel the flow of air through the battery door and somewhere around the viewfinder in my camera. Even so I suppose I'd get more sensor dust when swapping lenses — and it wouldn't be as fast as zooming.

The lens is surprisingly small for its specs, about the size of a big coffee mug. It is also relatively lightweight. It doesn't seem out of place even on a small, entry-level DSLR.

The lens hood has deep recesses and offers somewhat limited protection against side and corner light because of the lens' widest viewing angle. It clicks well into place when mounted in the working position. When reverse-mounting for storage it clicks very stiffly and is then very hard to remove so I leave it only partially turned.

One technical issue I experienced was that on a very cold day the electric contacts would occasionally be interrupted and the camera wouldn't see the lens. This is a very rare occurrence.

To sum up: If you're looking for an affordable, portable lens that you'll keep on the camera at all times that will allow you to take all kinds of pictures this just might be something for you. If you can't live with "kit quality" or if you do one specific type of photography there may be better suited lenses. I certainly found it fun to use and took with it a few pictures I couldn't with my other lenses.

Tamron 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro
Lens • Canon EF-S, Nikon F (DX), Sony/Minolta Alpha • B016
Announced: Feb 6, 2014
AdSR's score
4.0
Average community score
4.1
Tamron 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro
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Noogy
Noogy Senior Member • Posts: 2,600
Re: Versatile if not perfect

AdSR wrote:

From architecture to portraits, from landscapes to closeups — this lens does a lot of different things rather well. Of course, the extremely wide range of focal lengths comes at a price.

Optical distortions are pronounced, especially in the middle of the range, but they can be corrected in post-processing. Just remember to frame with a margin when taking pictures.

On modern 18-24 MP sensors sharpness is acceptable when the aperture is stopped down about one stop, which would be f/5.6 to f/9 depending on the focal length. The formula for the lazy is to keep it at f/8.

A recurring issue regarding sharpness is shutter shock which seems to show to a different degree, in a slightly unpredictable way. So far I've noticed it the most in photos taken at about 50-70 mm for shutter speeds in the 1/50-1/125 s.

Focusing speed and accuracy is entirely acceptable if you don't need fast action. I've experienced occasional hiccups when testing on different subject but never during an actual shoot.

Image stabilization works mostly well, except for the cases mentioned above where it isn't able to mitigate shutter shock (or perhaps just not enough). It certainly stabilizes well enough for easy auto-focusing even at the maximum focal length.

On the physical side the lens seems very solidly built. The focusing and zoom rings turn smoothly. Zooming friction is a bit uneven, more pronounced at the wide end, but that is not a problem in normal use. The turning range of the zoom ring is sufficient for accurate framing, even if it seems a bit "short" near the wide end.

The lens extends a lot when zoomed in and thus it pumps a lot of air which could result in sucking dust onto the sensor. I can actually feel the flow of air through the battery door and somewhere around the viewfinder in my camera. Even so I suppose I'd get more sensor dust when swapping lenses — and it wouldn't be as fast as zooming.

The lens is surprisingly small for its specs, about the size of a big coffee mug. It is also relatively lightweight. It doesn't seem out of place even on a small, entry-level DSLR.

The lens hood has deep recesses and offers somewhat limited protection against side and corner light because of the lens' widest viewing angle. It clicks well into place when mounted in the working position. When reverse-mounting for storage it clicks very stiffly and is then very hard to remove so I leave it only partially turned.

One technical issue I experienced was that on a very cold day the electric contacts would occasionally be interrupted and the camera wouldn't see the lens. This is a very rare occurrence.

To sum up: If you're looking for an affordable, portable lens that you'll keep on the camera at all times that will allow you to take all kinds of pictures this just might be something for you. If you can't live with "kit quality" or if you do one specific type of photography there may be better suited lenses. I certainly found it fun to use and took with it a few pictures I couldn't with my other lenses.

I agree with most of your points. This lens has the versatility and portability that makes it my everyday go-to glass for my 80D. It may be a bit slower in focusing than my other tele lenses, but certainly not bad.

One thing I would like to add - it tends to be soft at 300mm, even at f/9 and up. As against my 70-300mm Tamron, this len's image at the end of its zoom is mushy and can only be corrected at post.

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