First post here, but have been visiting this site for a few years now. I'm a happy owner of a Canon 7D and 2 Canon lenses (24-105, and a 60mm EF-S macro), a Sigma (10-20mm f/4-5.6) and the Tamron mentioned in the subject. I've had the Sigma and Tamron for almost a year, and the others for a bit longer. So they're all pretty new, as am I to the photography scene. I've been really happy with my gear except for the Tamron.
After getting it late last year, I initially thought it was pretty impressive, especially for the price. But after using it a while and comparing photos taken with it, to my L series 24-105, I was routinely disappointed with the sharpness I was getting. I took a lot of outdoors, nature photos with it, often of birds and flowers/landscapes. Most of them were OK, but none of them really popped the way my other lens(es) did.
This problem got noticeably worse the first time I did any high speed/action shooting. At the time, I was using a 500D (Rebel T1i) and a 40D. On both bodies, I started getting errors (ERR 01) and had to turn the cameras off and on again, just to continue shooting. Any photos I was able to get were pretty disappointing in terms of sharpness.
So off to the service department for this particular online retailer (DWI) it went. Much to my irritation, they couldn't find anything wrong with it and after a 7 week wait, it came back, with no information regarding a repair of any sort. Strangely, I didn't run into the "ERR 01" though. By this time I'd sold my two older bodies and bought a 7D so perhaps the newer camera helped (though I doubt it).
I was hesitent to use the lens, thinking it'd just let me down again but eventually took it out for a session at a nearby airport. Lots of panning, AI Servo shots later (with VC mostly on to help with the 100 to 200 shutter speed I was using), I realised there was a new problem - an annoying buzzing/knocking sound every time the VC disengaged. The few times I still had the camera to my eye, I noticed the image jumping around like crazy as an added part of the noise.
I had never noticed this issue before in the few months I'd used the lens.
So I made another warranty claim with my online retailer.
A few days later I was having a closer look at the problem and decided to take the lens off the body and give it a gentle shake. To my surprise, I noticed what looked to be the VC lens group, freely rattling around inside the lens body. The action of this "wobble" was so obvious, I decided to take a short video with my iPhone. I posted it up on youtube both to get comments from the public, as well as to document it for the service center I'd be using.
A second video was made through the viewfinder, to show the bouncing and noise, after the VC disengages.
The videos are here:
Wobble with the lens off the body http://youtu.be/0s3XJwx1cIo
Bouncing/noisy VC disengage http://youtu.be/bQRTmV3e43I
After the service guys viewed the videos and a few email exchanges to explain the problem in depth later, to my surprise, the service department declaired this "problem" as normal! Needless to say, I disagree.
So here's my question - can anyone with experience with Tamron VC lenses, tell me if this sort of thing strikes you as "normal" or if you've had similar experiences?
The bottom line with this lens and this experience is that I'm left with a lens I don't trust and one that routinely seems to let me down. It's inconsistent, routinely soft, and based on lots of reviews I've read from others who own and love this lens, it really looks like there's something wrong with it.
Thoughts and comments are greatly appreciated!