Please comment briefly on your experience with high ratio zoom lenses, specifically above 3X.

Editor's picture
Tamron has recently announced the development of an 18-270mm zoom for digital cameras with APS-C sensors. This is an amazing 15X range. In the past, this type of zoom ratio was considered quite high. As zoom design and construction has improved, have you found yourself using high ratios zooms, or do you still consider 3X the maximum for your work?
Please comment briefly on your experience with high ratio zoom lenses, specifically above 3X.
a) I tend to be conservative and stick with shorter zoom ratios.
79% (308 votes)
b) My experience is that zoom quality is such these days that I am comfortable working with quite high focal length ratios.
9% (37 votes)
c) I like an “all-in-one” lens and believe that having one lens that covers all the focal length ranges I might use is the best
12% (45 votes)
Total votes: 390
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Tom O'Connell's picture

I use the Nikon 18-200 as a travel lens. It isn't the ultimate at every focal length, but it is quite good and you can leave a camera under the seat of your car that will then "get" most shots you come across... and it fits in a post 9-11 travel kit

Rick Fleming's picture

Zooms are fine in good light but indoors where I do most of my work fast primes are much sharper, Maybe it's just me ?

Ron Fraass's picture

Bought a 24-135 to cover my daughter's wedding. Great shots. Nikon 80-400 VR is fabulous. Still keep fixed and smaller ratio zooms for low light situations.

Ed Frazee's picture

My 12X Leica lens is the only lens that I need or want.

L.  MacIntosh's picture

I like my 17-85mm eos lens for a walk around lens and tend to stay to lens that !

Joe Coyle's picture

I've been using cameras with built-in shake reduction (Pentax) and been very successful using high focal length Tamron lenses (18-200 and 18-250). If the quality of this lens is the same, I can see no reason not to use it every day.

Brian's picture

I wouldn't touch that lens with a ten foot pole. There is too much distortion in their 18-200 let alone a 18-270. Get out of here, are you crazy? Yes, I know, you can fix it in Photoshop. I'm sorry, I'd rather spend my time shooting rather than editing. Heck, I still consider prime the maximum "zoom" for most of my work. Use a different lens or your feet to zoom. Only when I am shooting sports do I find a reason to use any sort of zoom - and I'm sure the 18-270 will have a lot of distortion on either side. It's just no worth it for the extra reach. Good for the people who don't care and don't even need a DSLR to begin with, but not good for people who care a lot about their shots.

Robert Bond's picture

Have used film cameras with 8:1 [28-200] for many years,and it is quite satisfactory for general non-critical use.

John Hicks's picture

I use an 18-200mm for vacation shooting. When I want the best quality I use shorter ratio zooms or fixed focal length.

Jan Klaasen's picture

I have the 18-250mm Tamron and it's an amazing lens for travelling.

Robert MacLeay's picture

Something which makes me much more comfortable with using cheaper zooms is lens-distortion-correction software.

eeleeljr's picture

I'm using Tamron's AF 28-300 f/3.5-6.3 XR Di LD (IF) VC lens and find it to be a sharp all around zoom lens staying on my Canon 40D most of the time.

Chris Christian's picture

Any Zoom lens is some sort of a compromise. I believe that the professional level zooms, albiet expensive, are worth the expense given their capabilities and optical performance. The "all-in-one" lenses certaintly have their place, especially the well made (expensive) ones, but not for most critical work.

Ken Richmond's picture

I am currently shooting with a 18-250mm Pentax zoom on my K20d. I have had extremely good results. Due to its close focusing at .75m it is virtually a macro at 250mm.I am an amateur photographer.

Mark 's picture

We still use primes for all of our shooting. The only exception is family get-togethers where convenience outweighs image quality.

Boyd van der Laan's picture

I have used some of the high ratio zooms and been very unhappy with them. Too soft with distortion. They aren't there yet!

Bill's picture

I have recently purchased the Nikon 18-200mm vr and my never take it off the camera, except that I have two camera bodies and sometimes need it on both.

Jon Goulden's picture

I own the Canon 28-300mm to use when I can only bring one lens.

Pete's picture

My favorite lens is my Canon 35-350mm L, and the lens I use the most is my Canon 28-135mm IS. Both of these lens have a high zoom ratio and I utilize the entire range. For times when they are too slow I use a 70-200mm f2.8, and when I need a wider lens I pull out the 18-55mm. My next purchase will be a wide angle f2.8 zoom.

Edward's picture

I am very happy with the Nikon 18-200mm VR.

Rikki Meloche's picture

Buying fixed length lens can get expensive and heavy, I do wedding photography were I can't miss a shot because I have to keep changing lens.