Tamron 70-300mm review: best budget telephoto lens
I recommend this lens to photographers looking for an inexpensive telephoto lens.
I tested the Nikon mount version on my Nikon D300s DSLR. Tamron also makes this lens for Canon, Pentax, and Sony DSLR cameras. Although many manufacturers such as Canon and Nikon used to produce a lens in this range using the same formula, they soon stopped doing so. However, Tamron continued to improve the optical formula of their lens and the end product is very good.
This lens is a bargain at its asking price of $ 165. I have not come across a lower priced lens in this category. It has amazing optical quality and the build quality is acceptable. I have recommended it to many of my friends, who were looking for an economic goal and many are satisfied.
For the price, the lens offers a lot of great features. It has fast and accurate autofocus functions (albeit a bit noisy). This can be distracting when trying to shoot quietly. However, you can remedy the situation by switching to manual focus. The front element rotates when focusing, so using a polarizing filter is not easy. Since this is a telephoto lens and most people don’t take telephoto landscape photos, I don’t expect this to be a major issue for most users.
When I tested this lens on a cropped sensor DSLR, I found that the sharpness at both the center and edges was good. Only at 300mm does the edge sharpen. I also tested this lens for distortion and chromatic aberration. Both were insignificant.
The zoom ring is a little too tight for my comfort; I had to exert considerable force to rotate it. Surprisingly, the lens spread without any wobble.
In low light, use manual focus, as slow aperture tends to make the lens shift.
This lens can be used with a full-frame camera or a cropped sensor camera. I haven’t had a chance to test this with a full-frame camera, but I can definitely recommend this lens for any cropped sensor camera user looking for an inexpensive telephoto lens.
Please note that this is not a professional lens and I would not recommend this lens for professional photography.