This is a sponsored review from BlogHer and Tamron.
It’s kind of funny that I am participating in this BlogHer Review program because I’m not very good at reviewing things. I’ve never been into reviewing movies, music, or restaurants. I’m no good at assigning star ratings – thumb up or down is more my style. I really like something or I don’t – end of story.
But because of my interest in photography, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to review this Tamron lens - AF18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC (Vibration Compensation) LD Aspherical (IF) Macro. I’ve never used a Tamron lens before, but I’ve been hearing a lot about this one because the zoom range (15x) is absolutely incredible. I’m calling it a Mega-zoom, although I’m pretty sure that’s not the technical term for it because I’m not good with technical terms. For those of you who are, here are a few specs:
Focal Length: 18-270mm
Maximum Aperture: F/3.5-6.3
Minimum Focus Distance: 0.49m (19.3″)
Weight: 550g (19.5 oz.)
The lens retails for $629.00 and is designed for Canon or Nikon Di II DSLR cameras.
Since I’m not sure how to properly go about a lens review, I’m just going to show you some photos I took with it over the weekend.
When I first took the lens from the box, I was surprise at how compact and light it was. The build didn’t feel cheap, but it was definitely lighter than I was expecting. After attaching it to my Canon 30D, I started looking around the room for a decent subject. My cat Thumbelina was the first thing I saw. She was way across the room, but I managed to get a nice closeup of her face with the lens extended all the way to 270mm. The room was fairly dark, so I used the on-camera flash. The autofocus was a bit slow, but it certainly worked.
Next I went over to a friend’s house to carve pumpkins. I took this next photo in the dark with the ISO bumped up to 1600. I didn’t have a tripod, so I switched on the Vibration Compensation and tried to hold the camera as steady as possible. The VC worked wonders and I managed to get a decent handheld shot of Emma and her pumpkin in the dark. Of course it would have been much better if I had used a tripod in this instance, but how many of us actually carry a tripod around all the time?
The following morning, I decided to drive up to the mountains to see if I could find some autumn colors. Unfortunately I mostly just ran into clouds and rain, but still managed to jump out and snap a couple shots when the rain let up.
Luckily, the next day brought beautiful weather so I went back up to the mountains to try again. I decided to try to show what 15x zoom actually looks like, so first I took this wide shot of a meadow a cabin in the distance at 18mm.
Then standing in the same spot, I zoomed all the way to 270mm and focused on the cabin.
I decided to try the same thing in a vertical shot. This first image was taken at a wide 18mm:
The next one is taken from the same spot, but zoomed all the way to 270mm. The focus is on part of the fence that can be seen on the right side of the above image, just where the road bends to the left.
I had a great time wandering around with my camera, not having to worry about changing lenses – this one lens definitely covered all my needs!
Although I was very happy with this lens for travel, there was one more thing I needed to do before I make a decision about whether to recommend this as a great all-purpose lens. Food photography! I made some Pumpkin Whoopie pies and set everything up my standard nighttime food photography lighting. The only change I made was to use the Tamron lens in place of my standard food photography lens.
I have to say that I was really impressed with how the photo came out. I even took some with my Canon lens to compare and was shocked when I slightly preferred the photo taken with the Tamron.
Although I’ve only had a couple of days to play around with it, I feel confident in recommending this Tamron AF18-270mm as a solid all-purpose lens.
Things I love about the lens:
- Zoom range – this really is an all-purpose lens.
- Compact size and weight – was really shocked that Tamron was able to fit so much performance into such a compact package.
- Vibration Compensation – it actually works!
Things that I didn’t love about this lens:
- Autofocus is slow.
- The zoom is a bit sticky – sometimes to the point where it’s almost a struggle to turn the zoom ring.
Now for the exciting part – I am giving one of these lenses away! There are a couple ways to enter the drawing. For the first entry, leave one comment on this post telling me what/who you most love to photograph or your favorite place to take photos. Please read the official sweepstakes rules.
For a second entry you may:
- Tweet about this post including a link to it (and put your tweet url in a separate comment below).
- Blog about this post including a link to it (and put your post url in a separate comment below).
- Read the official rules for an alternate form of entry.
For even more chances to win, check out the lens reviews from other bloggers – we are each giving away a lens and you may enter to win on their sites as well. Check out the review roundup for six other chances to win!