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Gear Talk => Lenses => Topic started by: Canon Rumors on March 06, 2014, 02:50:32 AM

Title: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
Post by: Canon Rumors on March 06, 2014, 02:50:32 AM

Bryan over at The-Digital-Picture has completed his review of the Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD supertelephoto zoom lens. I do not recall another lens by Tamron receiving so many reviews and so quickly. Like the previous reviews, this one gives the Tamron a very good score, but also outlines a few of its weaknesses.


As we’ve mentioned before, the price will make this lens extremely attractive to a lot of photographers out there.


Says Bryan

“This highly anticipated lens has been a very fun lens to evaluate. While autofocus performance and over-500mm image quality get my vote for this lens’ weaknesses, the Tamron 150-600 still has a great deal going for it. The Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens is defined by attractive image quality over a great focal length range with a relatively compact, light, reasonably well-built design that includes Vibration Control and a very attractive price.”


Tamron 150-600 f/5.6.3 VC $1069 | Read the full review


cr


Title: Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
Post by: Plainsman on March 06, 2014, 03:42:16 AM
Bryan makes the same mistake as many other reviewers by measuring the focal length at close range.
At close range zooms "loose" focal length more rapidly than primes.
If he had only focussed say on something at a couple of hundred metres I am sure that the 570 he calculated would be much closer to the 600 of the prime he was checking against.
Anyway thanks Bryan for your review and very useful iso 12233 crops. For the money this is an exceptional lens if you get a good one.
Title: Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
Post by: AlanF on March 06, 2014, 06:28:34 AM
Plainsman, you are right. He measured at only 10 meters. Lensrentals measured at longer distances and found close to 600mm. In general, the review is done with Bryan’s usual thoroughness and is in broad agreement with the lengthy CR review threads.  He does say that Tamron could have stopped at 500mm and not continued to 600mm, as the 500mm rezzed up would be as good. I take issue with this point, and use his own data to explain why.

He is right that the Tammy is excellent at 500mm.  Wide open its centre holds up well against the incredible 500mm L f/4 II, and stopping down to f/8 improves the corners – see:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=929&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=4&API=2&LensComp=745&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0 (http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=929&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=4&API=2&LensComp=745&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0)

The lens at 600mm is best used at f/8.  The corners at 600mm are soft, but the centre is very good. There is a significant improvement of the corners at f/11.

However, the centre at 600mm and f/8 is similar to 500mm and f/8, though the corners are much worse – see:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=929&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=5&API=2&LensComp=929&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=4&APIComp=2 (http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=929&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=5&API=2&LensComp=929&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=4&APIComp=2)

So rezzing up the centre at 500mm won't be as good as using the true 600mm image.

The centre at 600mm and f/8 holds up well against very expensive opposition For example, the centre at 600mm and f/8 is similar to the Canon megabuck 200-400 L at 560mm at f/5.6 – see:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=929&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=5&API=2&LensComp=764&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=5&APIComp=3 (http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=929&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=5&API=2&LensComp=764&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=5&APIComp=3)

The centre at 600mm and f/8 is similar to the 300 f/2.8 II + 2xTC III at 600mm at f/5.6 - see

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=929&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=5&API=2&LensComp=739&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=2&APIComp=2 (http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=929&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=5&API=2&LensComp=739&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=2&APIComp=2)

(which is my other combination for 600mm hand held portability). The centre at 600mm is pretty respectable.

So, if you want the whole frame to be sharp or you are taking birds in flight and tracking them, and they also wander from the centre, it is better to use 500mm. But, if you are shooting small subjects far away and you can locate them in the centre, you get 44% more sharp pixels on the image, and 600mm is worthwhile. I think Tamron did the right thing by including 600mm.
Title: Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
Post by: Aichbus on March 06, 2014, 07:00:00 AM
The Tamron seems to be a very good deal if you want the flexibility. If you shoot birds or wildlife in the center of the frame, you can also buy it for reach. If however you need the reach AND a good corner performance, you are far better off with the EF 5.6 400 L + 1.4x Extender:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=929&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=5&API=2&LensComp=278&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=3&APIComp=1 (http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=929&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=5&API=2&LensComp=278&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=3&APIComp=1)

Look at the corner sharpness of the 400 L + 1.4!

For those  who already own the extender, the 400 L alone is about the same investment as the 150-600.
Title: Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
Post by: TrabimanUK on March 06, 2014, 07:47:06 AM
I had a play with one on Monday at the Photography Show. 

Yes, it is heavy, but no more than a 70-200 2.8II. 

Yes the focus hunts a little, but not notcably more than than the 100-400.

Unfortunately they weren't doing a special "show" price, so there was no incentive to buy one, tempting as it was, as I don't need one for a few months.

I was impressed at the image quality - more than sharp enough for my needs.  Hpoing it drops about £100, and then it'll be a no-brainer.

Title: Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
Post by: traveller on March 06, 2014, 08:16:42 AM
This Tamron is looking like a great lens, if used within its limitations. I think that Canon is going to have a battle on its hands to persuade me to buy a $2300 (£1900) replacement for the 100-400L (price based upon Nikon AF-S 80-400mm f4.5-5.6G ED VR).

To be honest, for that sort of money I would want an EF 100-500mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM, with superior AF performance and the sort of resolution that this Tamron has at 300-400mm across most of its focal length range. Too tall an order Canon?  :D
Title: Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
Post by: AlanF on March 06, 2014, 08:35:45 AM
The Tamron seems to be a very good deal if you want the flexibility. If you shoot birds or wildlife in the center of the frame, you can also buy it for reach. If however you need the reach AND a good corner performance, you are far better off with the EF 5.6 400 L + 1.4x Extender:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=929&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=5&API=2&LensComp=278&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=3&APIComp=1 (http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=929&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=5&API=2&LensComp=278&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=3&APIComp=1)

Look at the corner sharpness of the 400 L + 1.4!

For those  who already own the extender, the 400 L alone is about the same investment as the 150-600.

The Canon 400 f/5.6 L is remarkably good with the extender. Even more remarkable is that the Tamron at 400mm and f/5.6 is hardly worse than the 400 prime.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=929&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=3&API=0&LensComp=278&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0 (http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=929&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=3&API=0&LensComp=278&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0)
Title: Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
Post by: Lee Jay on March 06, 2014, 09:20:42 AM
I sure wish someone would test this thing on a high-pixel-density sensor like the 7D or 70D, instead of the full-frame cameras.
Title: Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
Post by: neuroanatomist on March 06, 2014, 09:32:15 AM
Bryan makes the same mistake as many other reviewers by measuring the focal length at close range.
At close range zooms "loose" focal length more rapidly than primes.
If he had only focussed say on something at a couple of hundred metres I am sure that the 570 he calculated would be much closer to the 600 of the prime he was checking against.

I'm not sure it was a 'mistake'.  One would hope that testing at or close to infinity focus would yield a result of 600mm, within a reasonable rounding error - that's how the focal length sepcification is defined.  A 600mm lens at 200 m frames an area of 12 x 8 m - most of us shooting with 600mm lenses don't shoot houses from 1/8-mile away.  What a typical user would care about is the effective focal length at a typical subject distance (and a 600mm lens at 10 m is a 'typical' scenario for birds, for example).
Title: Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
Post by: AlanF on March 06, 2014, 10:45:46 AM
I sure wish someone would test this thing on a high-pixel-density sensor like the 7D or 70D, instead of the full-frame cameras.
It has been done by dxomark.  It has links to it on lots of bodies, which you can find.  Basically, it is significantly better than the 100-400 on FF and slightly better on crop.  The lens is much better on FF.
Title: Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
Post by: NancyP on March 06, 2014, 11:34:54 AM
This is really tempting, but I think that I will hang onto my 400mm f/5.6L. I have learned to deal with the lack of image stabilization, and for me the snappy AF of the Canon is reason enough to pass on the Tamron. I would tell the beginner bird photographer to go for the Tamron, because it really does take some time to learn to frame fast and to pan accurately on the center point for AI servo with a fixed FL supertelephoto without IS. I have learned good technique, but it was a painful process, and the beginner might find the Tamron a lot more rewarding early on. The other thing about the 400mm f/5.6L is that it is a featherweight and easy to take along, Just In Case.
Title: Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
Post by: mackguyver on March 06, 2014, 11:48:23 AM
This is really tempting, but I think that I will hang onto my 400mm f/5.6L. I have learned to deal with the lack of image stabilization, and for me the snappy AF of the Canon is reason enough to pass on the Tamron. I would tell the beginner bird photographer to go for the Tamron, because it really does take some time to learn to frame fast and to pan accurately on the center point for AI servo with a fixed FL supertelephoto without IS. I have learned good technique, but it was a painful process, and the beginner might find the Tamron a lot more rewarding early on. The other thing about the 400mm f/5.6L is that it is a featherweight and easy to take along, Just In Case.
You make me miss my 400 f/5.6.  It was a great friend for many years and took many of my best photos :'(  I don't think I would trade it for the Tamron, either, if I still owned it.  The AF is amazing and as good on it as any other L.
Title: Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
Post by: iowapipe on March 06, 2014, 12:25:25 PM
Having had this Tamron for a month now and reading about it in plenty of forums, it is nice to read a review that independently corroborates what testing has shown in skilled hands so far.  Winter weather has made it difficult for people to get out with the lens and do much shooting and comparisons with other lenses/bodies.

I found I also like the lens best when not shooting all the way at 600mm.  MFA on my 5Diii was a startling -17 on both wide and tele ends.  Way out of the norm for the small handful of lenses I own so far.  BUT, as long as it works, I'm certainly OK with it.  The 6 year warranty does provide a certain amount of peace.

Coming at the time when I was wanting to buy my first long lens, it was great timing, the Canon 400mm f/5.6 had been squarely in my sights over the 100-400mm zoom.  Image quality was more important to me, figuring wildlife would be farther away as a rule and I would be resorting to cropping fairly often anyway.  I would enjoy the lighter 400mm, but this Tamron gives me some flexibility for closer shots while retaining good images in the center at a distance.  A new Canon 400mm would run around 30% more, and I would also need to buy a 1.4x extender in addition.

The Tamron has helped me save money and provide comparable quality in the price range I was looking at.   All pluses for me at this stage in my shooting (and income level).
Title: Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
Post by: yellowkamper on March 06, 2014, 02:03:53 PM
I too went to the how at the NEC and tried it out on my 5D3. The review says its soft at the edges at 600mm but what do you use 600mm for I use my 400mm canon for birds and motor racing so soft ate the edges is not a problem included is a full frame I took at the show 4000 iso the other pic is a crop from the same frame.

Robin
Title: Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
Post by: lux on March 06, 2014, 03:55:00 PM
My debate since I don't think I can convince ny wife to let me buy a used 300 2.8 for 3600 is buying a used 100-400 which is a good copy for 1-1.2k or get this lens.  I'm looking to take photos of kids soccer and field hockey.  It sounds like the tamron is as good or better from 200-400 and then obviously much better from 400-600.  It would seem that I should get the tamron instead...unless I can figure out a way to get 300 2.8... Maybe the sigma 300 2.8 I've seen that for 2500 used...arghhh

Any thoughts on this lens and sports?
Title: Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
Post by: Lee Jay on March 06, 2014, 08:52:03 PM
I've decided to wait and see what Canon does with the 100-400L replacement.  It's way, way, way long overdue and I'm pretty happy with my 70-200/2.8L IS II + 2xTC III combo.
Title: Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
Post by: Albi86 on March 07, 2014, 04:56:52 AM
Bryan makes the same mistake as many other reviewers by measuring the focal length at close range.
At close range zooms "loose" focal length more rapidly than primes.
If he had only focussed say on something at a couple of hundred metres I am sure that the 570 he calculated would be much closer to the 600 of the prime he was checking against.

I'm not sure it was a 'mistake'.  One would hope that testing at or close to infinity focus would yield a result of 600mm, within a reasonable rounding error - that's how the focal length sepcification is defined.  A 600mm lens at 200 m frames an area of 12 x 8 m - most of us shooting with 600mm lenses don't shoot houses from 1/8-mile away.  What a typical user would care about is the effective focal length at a typical subject distance (and a 600mm lens at 10 m is a 'typical' scenario for birds, for example).

If for AFMA it is advised to set the target at 25-50x the FL, I would use the same distance for this sort of measurements. That makes 15-30m for a 600mm lens.

I like Bryan's reviews but he is isolated in his suggestion to shoot at 500mm and upres. I find the lens plenty sharp at 600mm f/8 and never found the need or the convenience to do as he suggests. Other users/reviewers seem to be of the same opinion too.

I also have to say that I envy you for shooting birds at a typical distance of 10m. I rarely have the chance to get that close except for ducks, geese and other very tame birds in city parks and the likes. In fact I would say that 20-25m is more like my typical working distance.
Title: Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
Post by: lycan on March 07, 2014, 05:10:46 AM
I too went to the how at the NEC and tried it out on my 5D3. The review says its soft at the edges at 600mm but what do you use 600mm for I use my 400mm canon for birds and motor racing so soft ate the edges is not a problem included is a full frame I took at the show 4000 iso the other pic is a crop from the same frame.

Robin

The exif shows f/5.6 @600mm ???
Title: Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
Post by: neuroanatomist on March 07, 2014, 08:32:48 AM
I also have to say that I envy you for shooting birds at a typical distance of 10m. I rarely have the chance to get that close except for ducks, geese and other very tame birds in city parks and the likes. In fact I would say that 20-25m is more like my typical working distance.

I'm often further away than 10 m, distances of 15-25 m are more common.  But at those distances, I'm shooting with an 840mm or 1200mm lens.  Around 55% of my shots with the 600 II are with the 1.4xIII, and ~30% are with the 2xIII. 
Title: Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
Post by: djenuwine on March 07, 2014, 10:30:09 AM
Hi everybody

Two other reviews :

here (http://www.pixelistes.com/blog/test-du-tamron-150-600-mm-f5-6-3-di-vc-usd)

and here (http://www.thephoblographer.com/2014/03/07/review-tamron-150-600mm-f5-6-3-di-vc-usd/)
Title: Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
Post by: iowapipe on March 07, 2014, 10:57:32 AM
Hi everybody

Two other reviews :

here (http://www.pixelistes.com/blog/test-du-tamron-150-600-mm-f5-6-3-di-vc-usd)

and here (http://www.thephoblographer.com/2014/03/07/review-tamron-150-600mm-f5-6-3-di-vc-usd/)

Thank You for the links.  Reading the one via google translate was fun: a lens having a necklace is a funny image.  :P
Title: Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
Post by: djenuwine on March 07, 2014, 11:26:24 AM
:) I can translate it if you want, i'm the writter for Pixelistes french website. But, i don't want to make advertizing for the website. I'm also a photographer who wants to discover things. So i take my usually nickname "Djenuwine" as i use on Instagram and things like this, and i just put a link to add informations and sample pictures taken with it.
Title: Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
Post by: iowapipe on March 07, 2014, 01:35:14 PM
:) I can translate it if you want, i'm the writter for Pixelistes french website. But, i don't want to make advertizing for the website. I'm also a photographer who wants to discover things. So i take my usually nickname "Djenuwine" as i use on Instagram and things like this, and i just put a link to add informations and sample pictures taken with it.

Thanks for the offer but I don't think there is a need for you to spend extra time.  The google translation did a remarkably fine job and is only a matter of pasting the url.
Title: Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
Post by: AlanF on March 07, 2014, 04:43:55 PM
Hi everybody

and here (http://www.thephoblographer.com/2014/03/07/review-tamron-150-600mm-f5-6-3-di-vc-usd/)

I thought this review was over the top and somewhat uncritical.
Title: Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
Post by: AJ on March 09, 2014, 04:28:02 PM
Interesting.

The Tamron at 400/5.6 looks a lot sharper and contrastier than the Canon 100-400 at 400/5.6
However, the Tamron at 600/8 looks weaker than a Canon 100-400 with a 1.4x TC

So, by inference: will the Tamron at 400 mm with a 1.4x TC attached outperform a Tamron set to 600 mm without the TC?
Title: Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
Post by: candc on March 09, 2014, 05:08:41 PM
Interesting.

The Tamron at 400/5.6 looks a lot sharper and contrastier than the Canon 100-400 at 400/5.6
However, the Tamron at 600/8 looks weaker than a Canon 100-400 with a 1.4x TC

So, by inference: will the Tamron at 400 mm with a 1.4x TC attached outperform a Tamron set to 600 mm without the TC?

i gave it a try, nothing scientific but i have been using the lens for a while so i know what it looks like at 600, with the kenko 300 pro 1.4x at 400  it looks pretty good but not better than the bare lens at 600 and the af does not work very well at all. the lens wont fit on the canon 1.4xiii.
Title: Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
Post by: et31 on March 10, 2014, 03:12:18 PM
I bought a new Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 lens a month ago. I am a professional photographer and am not biased towards or against Tamron vs. Canon, as I own prime L-grade lenses from both companies.  Unfortunately, this lens is not weather sealed, and after using the lens for two weeks outside, the amount of internal dust was atrocious.  Regardless of being meticulous and using a blower at all times, the lens quickly absorbed dust onto the frontal glass element internally, including moisture, via the cork-screw barrel that retracts into the upper chamber.   Closely inspecting the markings on the lens, I saw that it was manufactured in China, as opposed to Tamron's traditional Japan manufacturer, which was a big shock, so quality control has definitely been compromised in order to sell the lens at $1069 :-\.  In the end, the build quality really comes down to the poor engineering design from Tamron.

Additionally, image stabilization for action shots (specifically bird shots) is not reliable.  Even though the proper autofocus point speed and tracking can be adjusted in the Canon 5D Mark III to compensate for the lag, shutter speed has to be at least 1/2000th+ of a second in order to prevent motion blur for hand held action tracking shots (coupled with f/6.3 on a cloudy day and ISO 1000-2000, this creates photos worthy of entry level DSLR bodies and stock lenses - which means not good!). Unlike my Canon 100-400mm f/4-5.6 L lens, which has 2 modes of image stabilization and creates very fast and stable shots, the Tamron 150-600mm lens only has one on/off VC switch with no additional stabilization mode selection settings.  Gimbal shots are naturally improved, but AF adjustment at 15m to infinity is still sluggish when trying to focus on objects 200ft and further (creep still occurs with the limiting switch).   I called Tamron directly, and their technical support team confirmed that their teleconverters are not compatible with this lens as Tamron engineers have officially discontinued all TC's and did not design this lens with the 1.4x or 2x in mind.  Additionally, they confirmed that both converters should not be used with the lens, as unpredictable results can occur and are not guaranteed to work properly. 

Static shots are amazing with very comparable MTF chart optical clarity to Canon, and portability of the lens is great :); nevertheless, I need a telephoto lens that is fast, reliable, and has excellent build quality for shooting Ospreys, Eagles, King Fishers, Herons, etc. while panning for fast track motion.  Sorry everyone, but this lens is not quite the "big white killer" that many individuals thought that it would turn out to be.  I too thought that this was the lens that would allow me to save several thousand dollars; however, I have now returned the Tamron 150-600mm lens for a full refund and consequently have to save up in order to purchase the real Canon 600mm f/4.0 L II (weather sealed, improved pre-set focus ranges, stabilization modes, etc.).  On another note, even though the "Sigmonster" 800mm f/5.6 is less expensive than the Canon 600mm, I am not even going to touch it, given that it too is not weather sealed and that other professional birders have complained that the focus ring breaks over time, has a fragile body shell, and is extremely sluggish to maneuver; being confined to a gimbal for the majority of the time.   In the end, you get what you pay for! :-\