Tamron Lenses-Are they any good?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by David Lewis, Sep 1, 2003.

  1. David Lewis

    David Lewis Guest


    I am looking at upgrading to either Nikon D100 or Canon 10D.My 'friendly'
    retailer suggested the Tamron 28-300 lens instead of more expensive
    Nikon/Canon lenses. Now I know the the lens is the most important thing
    after the photographer ( with the camera coming in third) so has anyone had
    experience with these lenses.Quality?Value for money?

    Thanks in advance
    David Lewis, Sep 1, 2003
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  2. David Lewis


    I own that exact Tamron. Well, it's pretty much "you get what you pay". The
    photos aren't that sharp at the zoom end (do keep in mind that it's 480 mm
    equivalent) but for that price I don't think you can get such a versatile
    lens anywhere. The strong sides are it's light weigh and amazingly compact
    body. If you like to straw around like myself and need a long zoom range
    lens, you'll be probably happy with this one. Of course, there are much
    better solutions packed in 2 or 3 separate lenses, but then the prices are
    skyhigh too and not to mention the brag with exchanging lenses and inviting
    the dust inside the body.
    BUNTOVNIK, Sep 1, 2003
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  3. David Lewis

    Joseph Brown Guest

    retailer suggested the Tamron 28-300 lens instead of more expensive

    I have a K-mount Tamron 28-200 for my Pentax ME Super. The main advantage
    is that it offers a great zoom range. I really mean it. You can go from wide
    to an exteme closeup with only one lens. It's also inexpensive. The
    advantages really stop stop here.

    This lens produces lots of artifacts and distortions around the edges of the
    frame. This lens is also dark. f4-5.6. The focus ring, on a hot day will
    unglue itself from the lens assembly. This suggests that it's of a cheap
    construction. Colors are FLAT, lacking of real contrast. Looks like the
    snapshot was taken from a point-and-shoot recyclable camera. Don't take me
    wrong, under the right conditions and lighting, you may be able to take some
    wonderful photos with it. If it wasn't for it's zoom range, I would't have
    it. I just love it's zoom range.

    For personal use or for family vacation its' ok. But for professional use,
    just forget it. It won't cut it. You get what you pay for.
    Joseph Brown, Sep 1, 2003
  4. David Lewis

    David Lewis Guest

    Thanks to Drazen and Joseph for above replies.Pretty much what I anticipated
    although actually not quite as bad as I expected. BTW Drazen what did you
    use to produce the images on your website..nice one!
    David Lewis, Sep 1, 2003
  5. David Lewis

    Ron Marino Guest

    I have a Tamron 24-135 and I am very happy with its performance. For the
    price there is nothing that comes close. If you have the money, you may
    want to purchase a lens that is somewhat faster.
    Ron Marino, Sep 1, 2003
  6. David Lewis


    No problem David, glad I could be of help. Photos on my web are a mix of
    various cameras, starting from Olympus point n shoot idiot cam C-1, C-220,
    Nikon 990, Fuji s602 (...) to my current EOS 10d. I'm curently using the
    Tamron lens, since I still have no money for buying expensive glass. If
    you're interested into this lens because of the zoom range, I suggest you
    also take a look at the new Sigma lens 50-500 mm (!).
    BUNTOVNIK, Sep 1, 2003
  7. The mark-up on off brand lenses is much higher than that of brand
    named lenses and they will try hard to sell you one whenever possible.
    Even going to the extreme of telling people off-brand lenses are
    And strangely enough there are many many people out there that believe

    I would not depend on any advice from this retailer and I would avoid
    shopping there in the future if it was me.
    Try B&H.

    And I would not buy an off brand lens either.
    Any pro will tell you lenses are important.

    If you are going to use off brand lenses then I suggest an off brand
    camera body.
    Or better yet just buy a point and shoot.

    Larry Miracle, Sep 1, 2003
  8. David Lewis

    David Lewis Guest

    Thanks for 'heads up'
    David Lewis, Sep 1, 2003
  9. David Lewis

    David Lewis Guest

    OK and thanks
    David Lewis, Sep 1, 2003
  10. David Lewis

    David Lewis Guest

    I agree.For my part this is a multipronged approach.I have thoroughly
    researched the cameras and now I am starting with the lenses.I do like to
    canvass peoples experience that have used the product and for obvious
    reasons (notwitstanding the potential for bias).
    The problem is that sometimes you don't get what you paid for! Either you
    buy the "no frills" product and it turns out to be an expensive mistake OR
    you pay a price premium for the brand name.Of course occasionally you get a
    bargain , 90% of brand name quality for 50% of price.
    By OEM do you mean other companies able to produce Nikon or Canon lenses
    under license? What are these brand names?

    David Lewis, Sep 2, 2003
  11. David Lewis

    Chris Hoopes Guest

    I have the Tamron 28-300 AF-D (185D) on my D100 most of the time. It works
    well, and the pictures are acceptable. I like the ability to not have to
    change lenses and give opportunity for dust to get to the sensor. If I have
    an important shoot, I switch to my 28-105. I am also on a budget and saving
    up for better glass. Until then, the 28-300 does well for me.
    Chris Hoopes, Sep 3, 2003
  12. David Lewis

    w6dkn Guest

    OEM = Original Equipment Manufacturer

    <<< Dan >>>
    w6dkn, Sep 6, 2003
  13. David Lewis

    David Lewis Guest

    Yes but the name is misleading.Some "OEM's" source the product from the true
    OEM and then re-badge it with or without modifications,some good some not
    good.You can for example get a very crappy version of XP sold as OEM or you
    can get a "full Retail OEM" version which is the same as original product
    minus the warranty. In video cards you can buy a number of cards say based
    on a ATI card and manufactured completely by third party operators. The long
    and short of it is you have to know the type and/or brand of OEM.
    David Lewis, Sep 6, 2003
  14. It's not that easy

    In general, Tamron has some very fine lenses:
    SP 28-74 XR DI
    SP 90 Macro

    to take but two examples

    If you really want a 28-300 lens, the Tamron is not a bad choice.
    Especially the 28-300 XR model (new).

    In general, however, you should reconsider the whole digital SLR thing
    or at least get a cheap one like the 300D or a second hand Canon
    D30/D60. If you're into 28-300 lenses, you are unlikely to be the
    audience for a digital SLR and you may be better off and happier with
    a Sony 828 or similar.

    just my 2 cents
    Bernhard Mayer, Sep 6, 2003
  15. David Lewis

    David Lewis Guest

    Thanks for reply...... Why and what combination of lenses do you recommend?
    David Lewis, Sep 6, 2003
  16. David Lewis

    w6dkn Guest

    Granted, but you also need to know whether you are talking about
    cameras or computers... :>)

    In other words, if the lens is for a Nikon body, either it says Nikkor
    on it (OEM) or it doesn't (third party)...

    w6dkn, Sep 7, 2003
  17. David Lewis

    David Lewis Guest

    OK I see what you mean. When I hear "OEM" I associate it with a potentially
    watered down (or improved ) version of the "Brand Name" version,or at least
    it doesn't come in the retail box and you may somehow be lacking
    something.You appear to be using OEM as synonymous with Retail Brand
    Name...and in this case I have no doubt you are correct.I now also
    understand your former comments RE you might as well pay the extra 20% for
    the "OEM" lens.
    Thanks for input.
    David Lewis, Sep 7, 2003
  18. David Lewis

    David Lewis Guest

    Neil,Hi again :)
    It's not listed in their catalogue...they have 28-105 and 28-135.
    Makes good sense
    David Lewis, Sep 8, 2003
  19. David Lewis

    Call me Jeff Guest

    The term "Original Equipment Manufacturer" (OEM) must be interpreted
    in context. One could start an interesting argument by asking
    questions like...

    "Is Nikon an OEM?"
    "Is Nikkor an OEM?"

    ....when the products are MADE IN CHINA. (Poverty level factory
    workers in a communist suppressed country where "work or die" replaces
    the idea of "pride in workmanship".)

    Is Tamron an OEM manufacturer or are they an OEM reseller?
    Call me Jeff, Sep 28, 2003
  20. David Lewis

    Mike Graham Guest

    I just bought one a few days ago, if you're talking about the current
    ED-glass one. The one that I have is the
    AF28-300mm Ultra Zoom XR F3.5-6.3 LD Aspherical (IF) Macro
    lens. Quite a mouthful. :cool: I won't claim that it is the finest lens on
    earth, but it's not too shabby at all. I had another query about the
    current quality of the lens so I did some testing, and here is what I have
    found to be the case with my lens:
    At 100mm zoom (all zoom number 'as read on the lens', i.e. not 35mm
    equiv.) it's crispy-clear right to the corners.
    At 200mm zoom the corners are degraded a bit. Basically if you draw a
    circle centered in the image with the radius of that circle being equal to
    the longer dimension of the image then that is your 'crispy-clean' zone.
    At 300mm zoom the crispy zone is down to a circle with a diameter the same
    as the shorter dimension of the image, so the corners are weak and the sides
    (in landscape mode) are degrading.
    I have a small jpeg that I made up to show the difference between the
    center of the image and an outer corner at 300mm. It shows a dramatic
    difference when the two details are shown side by side, but when I look at
    the full image at 8x10 I'd have a hard time picking out the problem,
    especially since the problem areas are liable to get cropped off when doing
    an 8x10. I'd love to see an equivalent detail shot like the one that I
    made, but shot with other similar lenses.

    What I like about the lens is that it does the job for a LOT of shooting.
    I've used it for wildlife super-zoom closeups (I live in the boonies so it's
    easy for me to get wildlife shots), macro shots (it's not the best macro
    lens on the planet, but it works), and just today I took the niece and
    nephew to "Pumpkin Days" (yes, it's as exciting as it sounds. :cool: and did a
    lot of mixed shooting, and I really liked shooting it, and it did just fine
    in the cloudy conditions. If you're only going to have one lens for most of
    your mixed shooting then it's a good lens to pick, for the money. I haven't
    had trouble with it not being able to focus in low light, and I even took
    some shots inside "The Black Hole" (haunted house thingie) at Pumpkin Days.
    We're talking *pitch* *black* with glowing stuff here and there under black
    light. My camera has an AF-assist light, so no doubt that made a
    difference. It certainly made a difference for *me*... I used it as a
    flashlight to get the heck back *out* of there.
    The lens has internal focus, so the end of the lens doesn't turn when it
    focuses or zooms. This means that if you use a cokin filter system you
    don't have to worry about your filters spinning away as you zoom, etc. Even
    if you don't use Cokin it's nice to not have your polarizer turning on you
    when you adjust your focus.
    The drawbacks? There are drawbacks. The lens has a 'droop' habit. It
    will extend to full zoom from its own weight when you have the camera
    hanging around your neck. Because of this there is a switch to lock it at
    28mm zoom. When you go to use the camera it's easy to forget to switch it
    off again, and you find yourself not being able to zoom until you flip the
    switch. I'm sure this is something I will get used to... I'm not too
    terribly worried about it. The biggest drawback is that it lacks the cachet
    of a 'real' Nikon lens.

    Mike Graham | Metalworker, rustic, part-time zealot.
    mike 'at' metalmangler.com |
    <http://www.metalmangler.com>| Caledon, Ontario, Canada

    Lousy photographer with a really nice camera - Olympus C3020Zoom.
    When that's broken I can use my Nikon D100 :cool:
    Mike Graham, Sep 29, 2003
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