February 21, 2018, 01:10:08 AM

Author Topic: To superzoom or not to superzoom: trial of Tamron 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 DI-II VC HL  (Read 7912 times)

PCM-madison

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I previously owned the Tamron AF 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC LD superzoom lens, and I enjoyed using it on my Canon 30D. As I acquired better lenses and upgraded to a camera with a higher density sensor, I became less satisfied with it, used it rarely, and ended up selling it. However, I missed the flexibility of an all-in-one superzoom, especially for travel. I recently purchased the Tamron 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 DI-II VC HLD Zoom Lens from my local camera shop. I have 10 days to decide whether to keep it or return it. What do Canon Rumors members think about superzooms? So far, I have been impressed enough with my new lens that I am likely to keep it. Here is a photo taken under challenging light conditions near sunset: Canon EOS M5 + EF to EF-M adaptor + Tamron 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 DI-II VC HLD Zoom Lens, 400mm, 1/250 sec, F6.3, ISO 1000.

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Mt Spokane Photography

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I think its fine, photos will be decent but not fantastic.

The intended audience is a user who can not or does not want to spend the huge amount of money that it would take to get setup with a 1D MK II and 500 or 600mm L.

I can see a lot of potential used for the lens due to its smaller size and light weight.  The wide zoom range means you can carry it around on a bright day without having to change lenses to get a wide variety of shots.

So far, I can't bring myself to consider buying one, but then, I have 400mm covered

picturefan

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"I think its fine, photos will be decent but not fantastic." +1

I think there isn`t much more to say, but:
1) there is nearly no other way to photograph "seriously" if you`re around with wife, family, friends. You`re quicker, get more situations done, no lens changing, don`t have to carry a dozen of other lenses. Every picture you take is better than none...
2) if you`re not zooming out to 400mm all the time, the lens will get the job done. Not 100%-pixel-peep-perfect, but probably no one of your friends will see any difference.
3) Qualitywise, it is on par with all the kit-lenses. If you will keep weight down, that`s the way to go. And, it is kind of weather-sealed. Besides L-lenses, none of the others are!

I also bought one, learned to use it, and it is becoming one of most used lenses (see above). When high quality is (really) needed, I use other equipment, use the L-lenses, tripod...

How is your experience with M5? I`m thinking about pairing it with the superuzoom also? Is it noticeable lighter and smaller, compared to a small rebel? Is it as fast as a rebel? Qualitiy, af-performance?

Don Haines

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I am considering getting one myself....

For hiking, it would be a one lens solution.... and the less weight the better!

In the kayak, changing lenses is at best problematic, and at worse ends with a splash, followed by a sobbing sound... You REALLY don't want to change lenses in a kayak....

Image quality will be nowhere near as good as an L prime, but there are many cases where the L prime is impractical and many more cases where it is unaffordable.
The best camera is the one in your hands

PCM-madison

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Picturefan - regarding my experience with the M5 so far. I like it overall, and I will use it in similar situations to the superzoom - times when I'm mainly engaged in activities other than photography like hiking, cycling, travel, etc. when  a large camera and bag full of lenses is not appropriate. I read several reviews before buying it, and I find most of what those reviews say is true. The things that surprised me: it feels much smaller than I expected. I have previously owned a Rebel XT and an original M. It is much smaller than a Rebel XT. The original M was obviously smaller, but it had few external controls and basically felt like a point and shoot camera. The M5 has all of the controls of a full sized DSLR packed into a very small body. The downside of this is that when you wrap your hand around the grip it is easy to accidentally engage some of the controls. For example, I've accidentally activated the video button several times. The AF is much better than the original M, especially with EF-M lenses. I've had mixed experience using EF lenses with the adaptor. I would characterize the M5 AF with the 18-400mm as slow but accurate. I have been pleasantly surprised by the battery life. My style of shooting must be very economical on the battery because I have taken >1400 shots on a single charge.

unfocused

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I appreciate this post. On a recent trip to Glacier National Park, both my wife and I were both lugging around 100-400 IIs. (I had to buy myself a replacement, after she appropriated my first one.) Having a do-it-all zoom that is acceptably sharp would have been very welcome. I'm intrigued by both this lens and the Sigma C 100-400 f6.3.

picturefan

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For hiking-wildlife purpose (long hikes, all kinds of weather etc.), I've got a two lens combo: superzoom + 100-400L. This is a good compromise in quality vs. lightweight. Weather resistant and very acceptable sharpness up to medium telephoto range and the tack sharp L-zoom.
I've never regreted buying these two lenses nor missed anything during a trip (filters, converter, nifty-fifty etc. included). From wideangle, panorama, macro up to animals, nearly all is possible. For sure, some primes, 16-35 and 24-70 may also suit very well, but price and weight do sometimes make them my "second choice" for hiking and travelling.

pcm: interesting comment, thanx. do you also know the 80D? would you treat it for an M5/6? Some say these cameras are very similar...
« Last Edit: October 03, 2017, 03:59:14 PM by picturefan »

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Random Orbits

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I appreciate this post. On a recent trip to Glacier National Park, both my wife and I were both lugging around 100-400 IIs. (I had to buy myself a replacement, after she appropriated my first one.) Having a do-it-all zoom that is acceptably sharp would have been very welcome. I'm intrigued by both this lens and the Sigma C 100-400 f6.3.

I had also used a 100-400 II when visiting Glacier, Rocky Mountain, Yellowstone and other NPs this summer, and even though it is heavy, I was glad I brought it.  Got some pics of big horn sheep, goats, marmots, bears, ospreys, bison.  With a 1.4x III, it got me range close to 10x binoculars (which my wife and kids used).

PCM-madison

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Picturefan- I have not used an 80D. My other crop body is a 7D mark ii. For the EF lenses that I have tried on my M5, most have focused well enough to work for static and slow moving subjects (accurate but somewhat slow). All of the EF lenses that I have tried on both cameras have much faster AF and better AI servo tracking with the 7D mark ii.

picturefan

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Same situation here - 7DII crop and going FF also, but in need of a smaller body for travelling.
That said, there is the rumor about new FF-mirrorless coming 2018. So fine, but, when using the tammy superzoom, it makes more sense using a good mirrorless crop body paired with a FF body. Travel and hiking gear vs.  FF for "passionate" photography  ;)
How will you decide? Keep the tammy?

AlanF

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 The image of the duck is no sharper than I can get on a G3 X with its 220mm lens and a 1" sensor. Instead of getting a superzoom lens, a superzoom compact is an alternative.
5D IV, 5DS R, 400mm DO II, 1.4xTC III, 2xTC III, EF 1.8 STM,  EF 24-105, 100-400 II, EF-S 15-85, Sigma 150-600mm C, EOS-M5 15-45, f/2 22, 11-22, Samyang 8mm f/2.8 fisheye: sold 7D II, EOS-M, Powershot G3 X,  Sigma 10-20, EF 300/2.8 II, 70-200/4 IS.

picturefan

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when thinking about alternatives: g3x is about the same price as the lens, without the comfort of an dslr. I also tried this, quality is really fine, but for me, i prefer possibilities of dslr.
other: there are smaller superzooms like tammy 16-300 or sigma 18-300 in the same league as 18-400, but much cheaper. I guess quality is about the same...

bholliman

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Good discussion!  I purchased a couple of super zooms back in 2011 when I first started with a Canon 550D/T2i.  My first lens upgrades after my kit lens were an EF-S 18-135 followed by an 18-200.  I quickly decided to give up the flexibility and convenience of the super zooms in quest of better image quality and performance and haven't really reconsidered one for my DSLR.

That said, I have decided to go the superzoom route with my M5.  I tried pretty much all limited EF-M lens options and settled on the EF-M 18-150 and 22 as my primary carry around lenses. 

"I think its fine, photos will be decent but not fantastic." +1

I think there isn`t much more to say, but:
1) there is nearly no other way to photograph "seriously" if you`re around with wife, family, friends. You`re quicker, get more situations done, no lens changing, don`t have to carry a dozen of other lenses. Every picture you take is better than none...

We have 3 young children, so carrying a bunch of DSLR gear around for family outings just isn't an option.  I've found the M5 + 18-150 (22 f/2 for lower light situations) to be a nearly perfect camera for these occasions.  Its very light and small and the super zoom provides enough flexibility for nearly any situation or type of photo.  The image quality is good - not great, and I'm OK with that.

How is your experience with M5? I`m thinking about pairing it with the superuzoom also? Is it noticeable lighter and smaller, compared to a small rebel? Is it as fast as a rebel? Qualitiy, af-performance?

I love my M5, but I don't use it much with longer/heavier lenses.  The 150mm of the EF-M 18-150 is about as long as I go with mine.  I sometimes pair it with my 50mm STM or 35mm f/2 IS, but for the super tele stuff, I always go to my 5DsR.  I've tried the M5 with my 24-70 f/2.8 II, 70-200, 100-400 II and 300 f/2.8.  It performs well for stationary subjects like perched birds and portraits, but the autofocus just isn't good enough for running kids or birds in flight.  Not sure I would recommend using an 18-400 with the M5, it would struggle with longer shots.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2017, 09:03:02 AM by bholliman »
5DsR, EF Lenses: 35mm f/2IS, Tamron 85mm f/1.8 VC, 300mm f/2.8L II IS, 16-35mm f/4L IS, 24-70mm f/2.8LII, 70-200mm f/2.8LII
M5, EF-M lenses: 22mm f/2, 18-150mm
https://www.flickr.com/photos/68928679@N05

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Quirkz

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We have 3 young children, so carrying a bunch of DSLR gear around for family outings just isn't an option.  I've found the M5 + 18-150 (22 f/2 for lower light situations) to be a nearly perfect camera for these occasions.  Its very light and small and the super zoom provides enough flexibility for nearly any situation or type of photo.  The image quality is good - not great, and I'm OK with that.


I'd go so far as to say the 18-150 is 'surprisingly good', and not just good.  Especially given it's compact size and weight. I'm liking mine.

I also have the 28-300L on my 5Div that I'm currently deciding whether to sell.

picturefan

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Don't know much about EF-M. Personally, I don't like to invest in another lens system. The benefit of EF is its versatility for APSC and FF. Common superzooms fit well with APSC. APSC is still widespread, don't know if mirrorless will take its place...

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