October 01, 2014, 06:20:18 AM

Author Topic: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD  (Read 4018 times)

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Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
« 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


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Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
« on: March 06, 2014, 02:50:32 AM »

Plainsman

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Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
« Reply #1 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.

AlanF

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Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
« Reply #2 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

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

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

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

(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.
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Aichbus

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Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
« Reply #3 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

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.

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Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
« Reply #4 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.

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traveller

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Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
« Reply #5 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

AlanF

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Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
« Reply #6 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

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
5D III, 70D, Powershot SX50, 300/2.8 II, 1.4xTC III, 2xTC III, 70-200/4 IS, 24-105, 15-85, Sigma 10-20, Tamron 150-600.

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Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2014, 08:35:45 AM »

Lee Jay

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Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
« Reply #7 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.

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Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
« Reply #8 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).
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AlanF

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Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
« Reply #9 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.
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Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
« Reply #10 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.

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Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
« Reply #11 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.

iowapipe

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Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
« Reply #12 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).
« Last Edit: March 06, 2014, 12:31:09 PM by iowapipe »

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Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2014, 12:25:25 PM »

yellowkamper

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Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
« Reply #13 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

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Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
« Reply #14 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?
« Last Edit: March 06, 2014, 04:03:15 PM by lux »
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Re: Review: Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2014, 03:55:00 PM »