Tamron 70-300 (A017) review

This is one of the cheapest available 300mm zoom. Many people confuses reviews of SP70-300VCUSD (Model A005) which is costlier and faster autofocus with this one and regret.

Main reason I bought this lens was taking some bird pics, understand and learn to use DSLR (DSLT). Hence getting additional range at minimal cost was clear deciding factor. I selected this lens over a versatile 18-200 for any longer range is an advantage for birding. 

Since I use sony with Inbody SteadyShot lens stabilization was not needed. Combining this lens with a 20mpx A58 I am able to spot birds at quite a distance. (Spotting pics might not be a good photographs since they are cropped too much) 


Performance till now is it is sharp in good light condition and satisfactory for my requirement at f/6.3 to f/11 range. Though as mentioned on sites like SLRGear that at 300mm it is softer here are my results for anyone to judge its sharpness.

I suggest you should judge the sharpness only with stand mounted shots while most of these are handheld.  My suggested settings are using F6.3 to F11. 


Autofocus is slower as compared sony SAM lens but really did not had much issue adjusting with it (As if I had an option!). In low light my cam hunts for focus it might be camera issue. However the focus accuracy is spot on. Also once focused focus tracking is commendable.

Many might feel that slower AF is a big concern but I was able to click good amount of BIFs with this lens


Macro mode (mode works between 180 and 300) does not give THE 1:1 macro but is useful (1:2) as it reduces the focus distance. With 180 to 300mm you are at a reasonable distance from the subject also I use it handheld so if it were 1:1 I might not be able to use it this effectively considering even smaller DOF. I could use this mode for smaller object at close distance. Not the REAL macro but result are here for you to evaluate.

I also used this mode for creative shorter distance shots.


Though 35/50mm are real portrait lens. I like to shoot portrait from this lens at 150~180mm as it creates a better isolation from background. Some portraits from this lens are here. 

Birds & BIFs: 

Last but not the least, THIS was main purpose for having a 300mm. After I got hang of steadying my hands while clicking images started comming out sharp. There are many clicks you can review for this use case.  


Being longish zoom this is not a very usefull landscape lens. I clicked few while it is mounted. I like to take sunset with this. Also at f11/f16 larger DOF gives good sharpness in the photograph. Being a Zoom is its real limitation for this use case.

If on a tight budget and desperately in need of longer range this lens will not disappoint you. All in all this is a good value for money.


devjyoti_bagh said...

excellent review


Thanks for your review (and the photos) it is genuinely helpful