Thursday 7 November 2013

Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD first looks and compares to other options

A new monster telephoto zoom lens has been announced for Canon, Nikon and Sony shooters. It is the Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD lens that is an upgrade from their existing Tamron SP AF200-500mm F/5-6.3 Di. It is the first lens for non-professional photographers to reach 600mm for a price that is expect to be under $2000.

This is great news and anyone that is considering buying a super telephoto zoom lens should wait until we can see what this monster can do unless you are in real need for a super telephoto zoom lens or you just don't need the 600mm reach compared to the 400mm reach that you get from many other similar lenses. Lets take a look on how this monster lens compares on the paper with the other lenses:
Product Zoom range Max aperture Min aperture Elements/Groups Weight Size Filter
Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD 150-600mm f/5-6.3 f/32-40 20/13 1951g 106x258mm 95mm
Tamron SP AF200-500mm F/5-6.3 Di 200-500mm f/5-6.3 f/32-40 13/10 1237g 94x226mm 86mm
AF-S Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 f/32-40 20/12 1590g 97x203mm 77mm
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 f/32-40 17/14 1380g 91x188mm 77mm
Sony 70-400mm f/4-5.6 SAL-70400G2 70-400mm f/4-5.6 f/22-32 18/12 1500g 95x196mm 77mm

Looking at the above list there are a couple of things that jumps out:
  • The new Tamron is a lot bigger than the previous version. To big?
  • The lens construction of the new Tamron is on the level with Sony, Canon and Nikon, where it previous were lacking behind on this front
  • The Tamron has gotten a Vibration control which is important with zoom lenses, but remember that a lot of the time you already have it mounted on a tripod or monopod.
It is possible to put an 1.4x extender on the Sony, Canon and Nikon zoom lens, but that will get you a 110-560mm lens with a maximum aperture of 6.3-8, so even here you get an advantage with the new Tamron lens.

One important factor that is going to decide if this lens will be a hit is the autofocus speed. It needs to be fast, so you don't miss the shoot. The image quality doesn't have to be top notch, but on a good to great level. If these two factors are in order it is bond to be a great hit.

I really look forward to the reviews and hopefully comparison with some of the above lenses. Eventually I am going to buy a super zoom lens and the competition just got tougher today. Thank you Tamron.

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