Tamron SP 150-600mm VC USD f5 - 6.3

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richman
Tamron SP 150-600mm VC USD f5 - 6.3

Has anyone tried out this new lens? The Tamron SP 150-600mm f5 6.3 is a light weight quite compact (as far as these go) zoom lens with Tamrons version of Image stabilisation (VC). I have read rather glowing reports from various websites and the local price is $1249-1289.  Seems a good price (not that I can afford it) Might be worth going further into hock for.

The test of the pudding is in the eating so to speak and I would love to hear some non sponsored comments. People who revirewed it are comparing the sharpness to canon's prime 300 L 2.8mm. Obviously being a f5-6.3 it is a slower lens but it sound good for a hand held option with Image stabilisation. 

BabyBirdwatcher
BabyBirdwatcher's picture

Hi Richman,

I am also extremely interested in this lens and am most likely going to buy one (with 15 years worth of life saving's) in september.

All the reveiws and independant test photos look nice and sharp and it has a great focal length

Lachlan
Lachlan's picture

IMHO, a few stops of light aren't that significant. Most lenses are best used stopped down from their maximum aperture anyway, so you just have to compensate a bit with something else. I've heard good things about it too. 

Unfortunately, it isn't made in Pentax mount, so I don't really know anything about it. 

sparrow
sparrow's picture

From most reports it seems to be on a par with the Sigma 150-500mm with a little more reach ,if we go by past offerings from both and look at lenses like the 80-200 f2.8 the Sigma has faster A/F but the Tamron is sharper at 200 and lets not forget that Tamron already have a 200-500mm I haven't used one but I'm told and I've read its sharper at 500mm than the Sigma .

It could be very interesting and I intend to have a look at one as soon as they arrive, who knows it might even start a price war between them or prod Nikon and Canon to offer something a bit more pocket friendly.     "yeh some hope"

rawshorty
rawshorty's picture

It will take a little while for me to get the funds together to get one, but i will be getting one.

I have been a member of a Canon forum for many years and know and trust a lot of people on there.

The results from these people have been very impresive, as Sparrow noted it is on par with the Sigma but 100mm longer.

One problem that they have found is that the A.I. focus does not work properly on the 7D and 1D mk4.

It is a Canon site so i have not seen any comments about Nikon having problems.

I really don't think it could be compared to a prime lens though.

Edit: they also say the VC works very well

Shorty......Canon gear

Canberra

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rawshorty/ 

Lachlan
Lachlan's picture

On one very important aspect, it's waaaay better than a prime lens: It's cheaper. I'd love a 600mm lens- I just don't love the price tag long primes come with. 

Makes me wonder if a consumer supertelephoto prime lens would be possible, as there is still a massive amount of expensive glass in a zoom lens. Many birders use the zooms at the longer end anyway, so if you removed all that redundant glass... Wouldn't it be exactly identical to the zoom lens in most regards (eg, aperture and sharpness), only weigh less and cost less? Sounds great to me!

sparrow
sparrow's picture

If Nikon came up with a good cheaper prime like a 500f5.6 or 600f6.3 I would buy one in a heart beat, but they won't, not when they can get 10k+ for their f4s their still after the pro market even though they have already lost that race to Canon , how many black lenses do you see at sporting events.

sparrow
sparrow's picture

Infact if Canon came up with the same before Nikon it would be the nudge I need to come over to the dark side and go Canon, after using a work colleagues 5DIII for a week it was hard to hand it back to her ,I used her old camera a while back a 1DIII that wasn't a bad piece of kit either .

Lachlan
Lachlan's picture

I don't see why the two can't coexist. A 10k lens is aimed at a totally different target audience, and you'd think any loss in revenue of amateurs not buying the super expensive lenses would be evened out by more people buying the cheaper option. Many people just stick with their superzooms or 300mm lenses because there really is no effective step up... 

ie, for Pentax, you've got a 300mm lens (which I've got) and a 560mm lens which costs 7kish. The only things inbetween are the Sigma 500mm (which costs over 5k anyway) and legacy glass (most of which still commands similar prices to new stuff). If Pentax produced a 500 or 600mm f6.3 lens it would be a fantastic middle ground, and not really compete with either end of the product line. Pros are going to buy the best they can (ie, 560mm), some people would prefer a superzoom (ie, Sigma 50-500), and others would prefer something shorter and faster with crystalline optics (300mm). And then there's others, who don't mind a little bit of a compromise for some extra reach...

Maybe they should bring mirror lenses back?

Galah

Canon people are complaining about issues with tracking in AF-C (or the Canon equivalent). I'd still go with a 300/4 + TC if I were looking around this price range.

timrob
timrob's picture

This link

http://www.andersonstockphotos.com/blog/tamron-150-600mm-lens-field-test/

has a nice Aussie review of the lens,

and this one:

http://www.sumeetmoghe.com/2014/02/field-testing-bigron-aka-tamron-150.html

is also very complimentary.

Significanlty cheaper than a Canon prime, but it seems a very solid lens for us mere mortals of the photographic world.

Tim

Canonguy
Canonguy's picture

Lachlan wrote:

IMHO, a few stops of light aren't that significant. Most lenses are best used stopped down from their maximum aperture anyway, so you just have to compensate a bit with something else. I've heard good things about it too.

A few stops are not significant? Hm. So by the time you stop this cheap Sigma down one stop, you're at f/9. That's significant enough to lose one stop of shutter speed instead. In low light, use ISO1600 or 3200 and see how "insignificant" the average bird photographer thinks their noisy images suddenly become because they cannot gather the light. Especially, when most people tend to think that taking digital photos is just so easy, because they can set the camera to P mode or jpeg mode and the camera does all the work for them.

The reason why you pay big bucks for the good super telephotos is because you CAN use them wide open and that is even with teleconverters. You can. Believe me. I use them all the time and don't see a big deal about stopping down. Albeit with my 2x it helps, but wide open at 1,000mm and f/8 my images are still good enough if I wanted to push it that much. And I have done so.

No manufacturer will replace GOOD quality glass with substandard "make do for the masses" super dooper zoom lenses. They are unfortunately, worlds apart in performance and resolving power. However, for most people the cheaper, more immediately affordable, zooms provide a good alternative that most will be happy with. Anyone serious enough or passionate enough will sooner or later switch to big, expensive, glass. It's that simple. If people say they're too dear or don't want to spend the bucks, then they're not passionate or serious enough about their bird photography and want to do it on the "cheap".

In the end we get what we pay for. yes 
 

sparrow
sparrow's picture

Your right canonguy ,Light is everything, I now own a Bigma and if it dosen't get enough light it just won't work ,I have missed a few shots because it wouldn't focus stopped down or in failing light ,when conditions are ideal its brilliant but how often do we get ideal conditions the tamron will be the same but when they arrive there will be so many Bigmas on eBay you'll get them for peanuts everyone will want the tamron, I have decided to keep the sigma for now until I can buy a Nikon 500f4, I know you saved for a while to get your Canon.

My gripe with Nikon is back in the "olden days" I owned a 600f5.6 MF, it was "so sharp" even wide open and when used with a 1.4 TC on a tripod you couldn't pick the differance (you might now blown up on a computer) why can't they make one in AF or a 500f5.6 AF  I don't expect to get it for the price of the third party zooms half way between or a bit more would nice ,I know it won't happen so I'll keep saving, I have people my wife included that say to me you can get another car or a boat  for that much money ,I don't want a b-------- boat I want a 500f4 lens

Rick N
Rick N's picture

Have to agree. Bought the Sigma 150-500 as a bit of a test knowing I could pass it on to my partner, who is just starting out, if it didn't work out. It will be passed onsmiley

Not that it's a bad lens, especially for the bargain price, but it's too soft above 400mm and AF is too slow wide open. Have gone back to my trusty Nikon 300/4 with 1.4tc till I can afford a really good prime. The major difference I noticed going back to my 300mm was the lack of VR but that's no biggie to me.

Perfect conditions with great light seem to be in very short supply, to me at least, I'm after all the light I can get.

Cheers

rawshorty
rawshorty's picture

I have not used one of the better? primes, but i am sure they would be great to have. I don't think that a 10g plus lens would be crappylaugh

But in saying that, if i had 10g i would take 6 months off work and travel around Aus and take shots with my crappy Sigma any day.

That would be my priority. Each to their ownwink

Shorty......Canon gear

Canberra

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rawshorty/ 

Galah

sparrow wrote:

Your right canonguy ,Light is everything, I now own a Bigma and if it dosen't get enough light it just won't work ,I have missed a few shots because it wouldn't focus stopped down or in failing light ,when conditions are ideal its brilliant but how often do we get ideal conditions the tamron will be the same but when they arrive there will be so many Bigmas on eBay you'll get them for peanuts everyone will want the tamron, I have decided to keep the sigma for now until I can buy a Nikon 500f4, I know you saved for a while to get your Canon.

My gripe with Nikon is back in the "olden days" I owned a 600f5.6 MF, it was "so sharp" even wide open and when used with a 1.4 TC on a tripod you couldn't pick the differance (you might now blown up on a computer) why can't they make one in AF or a 500f5.6 AF  I don't expect to get it for the price of the third party zooms half way between or a bit more would nice ,I know it won't happen so I'll keep saving, I have people my wife included that say to me you can get another car or a boat  for that much money ,I don't want a b-------- boat I want a 500f4 lens

You would be in another league quality wise if you sold the Sigma and bought a Nikon 300/4 + 1.4x tc... which doesn't cost much more. The quality of that lens (including wide open with 1.4x) can be as good as the big teles that cost 10x as much....

Just my humble opinion. :)

Canonguy
Canonguy's picture

Galah wrote:

You would be in another league quality wise if you sold the Sigma and bought a Nikon 300/4 + 1.4x tc... which doesn't cost much more. The quality of that lens (including wide open with 1.4x) can be as good as the big teles that cost 10x as much....

Just my humble opinion. :)

I have seen tons of awesome photos with the Nikon 300/4+1.4x TC combo. You need to remember though, the reason why it is much cheaper than the big super teles (actually the 300/4+1.4x = 420mm, so technically it is a super telephoto lens as well), is that the big lenses give you even more magnification (at a hefty price), which means you can stay further away from a bird to get the same magnification you can achieve with the 300/1.4x combo. What you also should consider is stress on the bird by being too close. Though some birds are way too tame at times.

I'd rather a good prime + tc than a super dooper zoom by a third party manufacturer. You don't need less than 400mm for most bird photography in my opinion. You get MUCH better quality images with a 300/1.4x combo or 300/2x combo, even on an APS-C body that does not autofocus at f/8.

sparrow
sparrow's picture

I 'm going to hang onto the 150-500 for the moment it is a great lens under the right conditiustons, just maybe not for birds .

The combo I'm now using is my trusty old Sigma 300 f4 and 1.4 TC and I use a Nikon 300 f4 a fair bit I have looked at them both and the IQ it about the same the AF takes a hit with the TC but I can live with it untill I get my  Nikon 500 f4 and I will use the TC on it that should put enough distance between the birds and myself.

Galah

sparrow wrote:

 untill I get my  Nikon 500 f4 and I will use the TC on it that should put enough distance between the birds and myself.

It all sounds great... until you try it :)
I can get sharp pics with the 500/4 on its own, but it's another story once I put a tc on... then again, you are probably not a 55kg female like me, so you might have a bit more natural capability to hold it steady for longer than I can.... smiley

Canonguy
Canonguy's picture

Galah,

Hand holding is not easy, even though I can hand hold a 500/4+1.4x TC all day. I am even able to take sharp shots hand holding at 1/60th with this combo, but not all shots are sharp.

A couple of tips are:

Tuck your elbow into your hip, press back of camera firmly against cheek, breathe in and HOLD it as you squeeze the shutter button.

Takes time and practice. Lots of practice. A tripod is also helpful, but I have the cumbersomeness of them.

It's only a little more focal length in theory, but the magnification is a big increase.

Try to shoot at least at a shutter speed of 1/1600th hand holding, especially on a crop sensor like I think yours is (1.5x crop isn't it?).

Multiply the focal length by the crop factor (700 x 1.5 = 1,050mm) then add some more shutter speed to be safe.

Galah

Nikons are 1.5x crop I believe

Tripods are no fun, I agree.. I have got some quite sharp pics of static subjects (water dragon, kangaroos) at about 1/125 handheld (with bare lens).. the VR is amazing. smiley

1/60 is superhuman. So is stacking TC's.

I'll get there with practice hopefully... not to your level of mastery, but I will get there with the 1.4x at least oneday.. just need to eat more baked beans for strength. cheeky

(sorry to original poster for hijacking this thread).

sparrow
sparrow's picture

Hi Galah, I might call myself Sparrow but trust me I'm not built like one ,I use long lenses a fair bit and even though I can hand hold them I usually have them on a monopod this takes a fair bit of practice a well ,most of the long lenses I have used are older ones and I had no real desire to get one of my own for birding I was happy using my much lighter kit .

Then I had the chance to use a new Nikon 500f4vr on a D3s after just a few shots I thought this is ok, I changed to my D7000 and rattled off a few bursts and I was hooked I said " I gotta get me one of these "and have been saving for one ever since.

I only got the Bigma because it didn't cost me anything I swapped a couple of other older lenses for it ,in hindsight I should have put the lenses on eBay and put the money towards the new lens

Galah

Yes, once you've held one it's hard to go back. Same thing happened to me.

I wish you the best of luck in saving for your dream lens. smiley

timrp
timrp's picture

I think I will get this lens for my Nikon d5100. I really need a zoom lens that can autofocus with my camera body because my nikons body does not have a built in autofocus motor so it can't autofocus unless I get a lens with a built in autofocus motor like the Tamron 150-600mm. So this would be an ideal lens for me.

Willskrills
Willskrills's picture

I need a good zoom camera for pretty cheap. Any suggestions

William.S

timrp
timrp's picture

Sigma or kenko 1.4x teleconverter for the lens on it.

rawshorty
rawshorty's picture

Willskrills wrote:

I need a good zoom camera for pretty cheap. Any suggestions

What have you got now?

Are you after a camera and lens or just a lens?

What is cheap? to some it might be $200 and others $2000.

A dollar value is required.

Shorty......Canon gear

Canberra

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rawshorty/ 

sparrow
sparrow's picture

I have used a couple of different super zooms for birds and they take great photos but there a bit slow to use, as long as the bird sits still you'll get some good photos but this seldom happens .

For birds you really want a DSLR ,have a look on eBay you can get some older high end camers for less than the price of a new compact and they still take better photos than some of the newer compacts, stick with the major brands and look for a low shutter count if you can but the higher end cameras are made to last I know of a couple of Nikon D200s that have shutter counts over 200,000 and are still going and the high end Canons are just as good if not better.

saturnv78
saturnv78's picture

I have recently obtained the Tamron 150-600 for my Nikon D7100 and am very happy with it, auto focus when used with the D7100 is very fast and crisp. Here is a pic of a number plate taken from just over 70 metres away and cropped in close to give you an idea of image quality. This pic was taken at 500mm focal length and f6.3 (wide open).

richman

It is interesting to see that Sigma now have two different 150 - 600mm offerings also. I have only seen the Sigma advertising spiels on them but Sigma large zooms have turned out well in the past.

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