The versatility of the Tamron 18-250mm lens is evident in both close
focusing and when gathering in distant subjects. The crisp edges
and edge contrast are both shown in this shot of an old pickup truck
in Taos, New Mexico. Exposure with a Canon 30D at ISO 200 was f/13
at 1/320 sec at the 18mm focal length. Without moving from the shooting
distance this classic Chevy emblem was captured along with the wonderful
patina of this old desert truck. Exposure was unchanged but lens
was racked out to frame the logo.
All Photos © 2006, Grace Schaub, All Rights Reserved
And while particulars are proprietary, Tamron tells us that the lens uses
an optical system that is designed to "confine the changing angles of
incidence of light rays reaching the imager within a certain scope over the
entire image field by considering the effects of variance due to zooming."
That mouthful means that the lens is designed for digital from the ground up
and not just as an adapted 35mm design.
Another plus of this lens, and why it becomes increasingly obvious why we dub
it an "all-in-one" is its close-focusing ability, which is 17.7"
throughout the entire focal length range. When racked out to the maximum focal
length this means no more need to position yourself to avoid casting a shadow
when doing close-ups, although depth of field at the max range is necessarily
Don't try this at home, but the shot was made directly into
sunrise to capture this amazing scene, and coincidentally check
for flare. Exposure at ISO 1000 was f/22 at 1/2500 sec at 39mm focal
length. The blazing light did not cause any glare or streaks in
the image, a testament to excellent coating and ghosting control.
The fit and finish are quite good, with a bit of gold banding to give it an
upscale look and metal mount in all fittings. There's also a zoom lock
mechanism to avoid the dreaded "zoom creep" when carrying the lens.
Rubber patterns and grip on the zoom and focus ring finish off the nice look
and feel of the lens.
The 18-250mm focal length range is amazing to work with in the field,
as it covers the bases and then some. These two shots were made
at the extreme ends of that range. Both were shot at ISO 200. The
valley floor was exposed at f/8 at 1/1000 sec; the wide view at
f/8 at 1/1600 sec.
Overall the new Tamron 18-250mm is a phenomenal piece of design and engineering.
It delivers a very wide focal length range in a very compact package. While
the lens more than doubles in size extension when zoomed out to the max, it
fits very handily in a fanny or sling pack when on the move. And image quality
in various lighting and shooting conditions was excellent. Although that narrow
maximum aperture at the longer focal lengths might give you pause, there's
no question that the price is right for such a versatile lens. I wouldn't
hesitate to take it along on a casual trip or vacation.
For fun a shot was made at night in the old Taos Plaza. Edges are
crisp and full moon and hotel sign fail to create flare, showing
the even greater versatility of this lens as an all day and night
traveling companion. Camera was propped up on the roof of a car
and exposure at ISO 1250 was f/5 at 1/6 sec. All shots were made
with the Canon 30D.
For more information, contact Tamron Lenses USA, Inc., 10 Austin Blvd., Commack,
NY 11725; (800) 827-8880; www.tamron.com.