Tamron’s AF18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC LD Aspherical (IF) MACRO; A Lens For All Seasons And Reasons Page 2
While reviewing my first batch of JPEGs, I was particularly impressed with the consistency at all apertures, a benefit you don’t get with every all-purpose zoom. During my final review of a thousand photos on a professional monitor, I made the following observations:
Shading (darkening at the corners) is minimal and noticeable only at wide angle focal lengths; even then, the corners are bright by f/5.6, a much better than average result. Contrast seemed a tad low in most of my images, but that was easy to solve by boosting contrast with an in camera override or with Auto Contrast in Photoshop or Elements. While barrel distortion (bowing outward of lines) was visible in the 18-24mm range, this would be a problem only in serious architectural photography. I was pleasantly surprised at the image quality in “macro” focusing, especially at f/11 to f/16, apertures that are useful for adequate depth of field.
Images made at very long focal lengths are a bit soft, though quite acceptable at f/11. After I applied a high level of Smart Sharpen in Photoshop CS4 or Elements 7, these photos made good 8x10” glossies. Image quality was more impressive at shorter focal lengths, particularly 18-200mm. Center sharpness was high at all apertures, and very good at the edges, particularly at f/8 or f/11. After they were optimized for printing, my best photos made for 11x15” prints that look great as wall decor. During the past five years, I have tested a half dozen broad range zooms and found that this one was definitely better than average in the multipurpose category.
The Bottom Line
Far more versatile than an 18-200mm zoom, this Tamron 15x model is not much larger but provides a 29-432mm equivalent on an EOS camera or a 27-405mm equivalent on a Nikon D-SLR. It would be a great companion whenever you don’t want to carry a full camera bag. The Vibration Control system adds definite value. By minimizing the effects of camera shake, the stabilizer allows for using lower ISO levels where digital cameras provide better resolution. If you would appreciate a true “all-in-one” lens, be sure to check out this Tamron 18-270mm VC zoom with maximum versatility, rugged construction, and premium-grade optical formula.
Maximum Aperture: f/3.5-6.3
Construction: 18 elements in 13 groups
Filter Size: 72mm
Dimensions/Weight: 3.8x3.15”; 19.4 oz
Accessories: Lens hood included
Mounts: Canon and Nikon; includes the necessary motor for AF with the D40/D50/D60
Street Price: $600
For more information, contact Tamron USA, Inc. at: www.tamron.com.
A long-time “Shutterbug” contributor, stock photographer Peter K. Burian (www.peterkburian.com) is the author of books such as “Mastering Digital Photography and Imaging” and a series of “Magic Lantern” guides to D-SLR camera systems. He is also an online digital photography course instructor with BetterPhoto.com.