Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD AF Review

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Tamron 18-270 Review

We tested the initial Tamron superzoom in early 2009, citing its convenience and compact size because the main benefits. within the late-2010 refresh of the lens, Tamron has developed a replacement focusing technology exploitation electricity drive, rather than an unhearable ring motor or standard DC motor to drive the focusing components. further changes embody the utilization of rounded diaphragm blades, the utilization of 62mm rather than 72mm filters, and an overall reduction in size and weight. The 18-270mm could be a Di-II lens, that means it had been designed for the reduced size of a subframe (APS-C) digital sensing element.

On a Canon digital body this may equate to constant 35mm field of read of 29-432mm, and on a Nikon digital body this equates to 27-405mm. This lens is not a “constant” lens, in this as you increase the focal distance, each the utmost and minimum aperture sizes decrease. The lens ships with a petal-shaped lens hood, and is out there currently for around US$650. The lens is out there in Nikon and Canon mounts presently, and can be offered in a very non-VC Sony mount in april 2011.

The Tamron 18-270mm PZD (B008) plays a troublesome game of style compromise, turning into a jack-of-all-trades, but master of none. Its performance will be lily-white into 2 categories: camera lens performance (18-70mm) and photograph (100-270mm).

tamron 18-270 nikon

The lens performs best in its camera lens setting, with the optimum setting for sharpness being a toss-up between 35mm or 70mm at ƒ/8. once used wide-open at the broader angles (and affirmative, I acknowledge that technically, 70mm is not at all a ”wide” angle) there’s some light corner shading, more noticeable during this sample within the bottom left and right corners. the middle performs quite well at 18mm, providing its best performance at ƒ/5.6 – not tack-sharp, however near it. during this wider-angle class, stopping down any than ƒ/8 does not turn out considerably cheater results, and diffraction limiting starts degrading results by ƒ/11. Curiously, 50mm stands out slightly with a small degradation in performance, between the 35mm and 70mm marks.

In the photograph class (100mm-270mm) sharpness performance is not quite nearly as good. Wide open at 100mm, we tend to note quite soft performance within the bottom left and right corners (suggesting at least some de-centering during this sample) mixed with fairly smart center performance. Stopping right down to ƒ/8 or ƒ/11 clears up the corner softness quite well, however does not extremely improve central sharpness.

The situation at 200-270mm is interesting; set to 200mm at ƒ/8, we tend to note vital corner softness, once more at all-time low left and right corners. Even at ƒ/11 and ƒ/16 it’s still there. However, at 270mm performance is slightly higher at ƒ/8 and ƒ/11 (while somewhat ugly at ƒ/6.3), suggesting to U.S. that the lens has been specifically optimized to figure best at specific settings at intervals the focal vary. absolutely stopped-down performance is appropriate at 18mm and 35mm, simply slightly soft, across the frame – but at 50mm and longer, it becomes quite blurred so, whereas providing terribly little apertures of ƒ/32-ƒ/40.

Optical Aberration

Tamron handles optical aberration fairly well with this lens, particularly within the mid-range. It’s solely at 18mm and at 200mm and on top of that vital CA will be found within the corners. Readers might need to consult our sample photos for a more visual rationalization.

tamron 18 270 vc pzd review

Shading (”Vignetting”)
Between 35-70mm, corner shading is not a factor with this lens. It’s solely within the wide angle (18mm) and at 100mm and on top of that light deterioration presents a small issue. At 18mm, there is continually a minimum of 1/4EV of corner shading, and if you utilize it wide open at ƒ/3.5, that will increase to 1/2EV. At 100mm, 200mm and 270mm, you get 1/3EV if you utilize the lens wide open.

Predictably, the complex array of lens components that permits such a colossal vary of focal lengths in one lens ends up in some dramatic results for distortion. once utilized in the wide angle configuration, the lens provides uniform barrel distortion up to around 24mm, with dramatic distortion within the corners (1.25%, quite significant). After 24mm, distortion across the frame remains systematically barrel-distorted, however at a moderately low level (around zero.25%, on average) and also the extreme corner distortion turns into the cushion (”squeeze”) vogue. The worst cushion distortion is noted between 35-70mm, wherever the corners show -0.8% cushion distortion. Post-processing would be needed to correct for these effects.

Autofocus Operation
The Tamron 18-270mm uses a brand new optical device motor, the PZD (Piezo Drive). The new motor is well less clamorous compared to the older drive, and it’s well quicker – however it will not be setting any records within the speed department. It takes a few second to travel through the focusing vary. it’s going to be that the multiplied throw vary of the focusing ring (45 degrees rather than a slim 30) offsets a rise in speed. Also, you cannot simply override optical device results by turning the focusing ring; you want to choose manual focus to try to to this.

The original 18-270mm enclosed a macro designation, and had a zero.29x magnification; the new lens solely provides zero.26x magnification. The minimum close-focusing distance remains 49cm (just over nineteen inches).

18 270mm lens for canon tamron 18 270mm for canon

Build Quality and Handling
The original Tamron 18-270mm was already designed to be comparatively light-weight by employing a plastic chassis, however Tamron has managed to shave an extra one hundred ten grams (3 ounces) off the burden during this newer version. The lens mount remains metal and despite the plastic construction there’s no noticeable rattling or flexing. the main focus ring is mounted close to the front of the lens, and also the giant zoom ring is found nearer to the lens mount. each rings use a pleasant rubber ridged pattern that’s well dampened and simple to grip.

The reduction in weight is probably going accomplished a minimum of partially by atiny low style concession; the utmost aperture size is slightly diminished when put next to the previous version of the lens. as an example, on the new lens at 35mm, the utmost aperture setting is ƒ/4.5, whereas on the recent lens it absolutely was ƒ/4. It’s most likely not abundant that’ll need obtaining adjusted to (it’s solely a third-of-a-stop change) however it’s price noting.

The lens is fairly uncomplicated to use; if you’ve got used the initial 18-270mm, the new lens presents no surprises. There area unit solely 2 controls to talk of: one switch to modify or disable the lens’ autofocus operation, and another switch to activate or deactivate the vibration management feature. A distance scale is indicated on the lens, in feet and meters; no depth-of-field scale is gift, and neither is there an infrared index.

The zoom perform of the lens is controlled by the larger of the 2 rings on the lens, rotating around ninety degrees to increase the lens through its entire vary of focal lengths. The ring is created of a tricky rubber, with recessed ridges, and could be a comfy one 1/8 inches wide. The zoom ring is nicely cammed and simple to show – easier than the initial version, it is also worthy to notice. Zooming dead set 270mm adds three inches to the lens’ total length, going from a compacted length of three 1/2 inches to virtually double that, or six 1/2 inches. Zoom creep isn’t an element with this lens, however, it may become therefore over time, therefore Tamron has enclosed a zoom lock switch to lock the lens at 18mm.


The focus ring of the lens, placed close to the front of the lens, could be a quarter-inch wide, composed of a deeply ridged rubber. there is not lots of travel for the needs of manual focusing – around forty five degrees. Not great, but higher than the initial lens that had simply thirty degrees of travel. The ring offers little or no resistance although, therefore you’ll notice obtaining the precise purpose of manual focus alittle tough. There are hard stops at either finish of the focusing spectrum, and also the lens can focus past time. The front part doesn’t rotate throughout focus operations, creating life slightly easier for filter users. The lens uses 62mm filters.

Tamron employs its Vibration Compensation (VC) technology throughout this lens, claiming an improvement of four stops in hand-holding stabilization. Tamron suggests disabling VC once taking long exposures. We’ll have our own IS check offered for this lens shortly. The enclosed DA18 petal-shaped lens hood reverses onto the lens for storage. The hood is ribbed on the inside, and once mounted, adds virtually one.5 inches to the length of the lens.

tamron 18 270

As you’ll see within the alternatives section, the makers have accomplished that they can not afford to ignore the travel zoom market, and there’s lots of selection for all camera brands. Tamron leads the pack with reach, although not by much; the particular distinction between 200mm, 250mm and 270mm isn’t an entire ton to put in writing home regarding. The 18-270mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 PZD is, for the foremost half, an improvement on the initial lens, especially regarding autofocus performance. It’s currently considerably quicker and far quieter. However, there is not abundant with reference to improved lens performance, therefore it’s most likely a style story regarding maintaining an existing level of quality.

If you were discomposed by the optical device performance of the recent 18-270mm, it’s well worth the upgrade; if you’re probing for completely the foremost exposure reach at intervals the littlest typical package, it’s definitely worth the sale. but i would not rule out different alternatives, particularly if you would like the simplest performance for sharpness or different quality indicators.

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