Thursday, April 21, 2016

Tamron 18-200MM F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC for Nikon, with samples

I'm not one for superzoom lenses.  In fact, I wouldn't normally buy a lens with more than a 4x zoom range.  10x zooms tend to be mushy at both ends with some place decent in the middle of the range.

However, due to the nature of skate parks, I have had some thoughts about the Panasonic 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 Power OIS lens.  Rather than spend US$700 on this lens and be disappointed, I decided to buy a discounted (US$200) Tamron 18-200mm lens.  This Tamron lens just won the "Best Entry DSLR Lens" TIPA award.  (TIPA, like EISA seems to be a group that believes that everyone is a winner, although Tokina didn't win anything.)

Tamron's optical image stabilization has been quite good.  Considering the very small maximum aperture (f/3.5-6.3), it definitely needs OIS.  The Panasonic lens has their best OIS, which doesn't seem completely effective but might be similar, given the focal range.  Considering that the Tamron lens is made for a dSLR, it's surprising that it uses a 62mm filter size while the Panasonic lens uses a 58mm filter size.  That makes the Tamron lens quite compact.

VC/OIS seemed to work while I was walking 
Fairly sharp with unusual shapes

These seem very good examples of what the lens can do but these next images seem to show some of the less great attributes.

Purple fringing seems quite noticeable and there are multiple problems with these photos concerning eye-bending distortion.  They're not awful, especially when not viewed close up, but they can be irritating when thoroughly examined.  It is a lens for convenience.

I consider that this is typically a US$250 lens.  That isn't a lot, so no one should expect a lot.  Of course, if you were using a bridge camera, it might correct all of these little issues automagically and you'd never see any real problem.  Imagine a 60x zoom range.  That is difficult to believe with a bigger sensor.  The Sigma 50-500mm lens is the biggest 10x zoom lens I've seen and you don't really need a crew to handle it, but a tripod helps.

Considering that I have:

Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8
Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8
Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8 fisheye

this Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 seems an odd fit.  I bought the D7200 for wide angle purposes and it has done well for that, even though it isn't possibly as wide as a 135 Format/FX body would be.  It is sufficient.  The Tamron lens adds a bit of reach without much expense, so that I can use the D7200 on its own, to handle a variety of tasks.

If you're interested, What Digital Camera put together a review of the lens for Canon.  Nothing should surprise you.

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