Tamron AF 18-270 mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC LD Asph. (IF) MACRO
- very universal focal lengths range,
- efficient image stabilization,
- good image quality in the frame centre in the range of 18-200 mm,
- decent performance at the frame edge in the range of 18-200 mm,
- moderate or low chromatic aberration in the range of 18-200 mm,
- quite well corrected coma,
- good work against bright light.
- slow and not very accurate autofocus,
- weak action of zoom ring and manual focus ring,
- weak performance at 270 mm,
- distinct vignetting in all focal range,
- high distortion.
The Tamron 18-270 mm VC joined the megazoom class and set a new record of the zoom ratio. Elbowing your way in this segment is not easy though, and the standards were set high by the Nikkor 18-200 mm VR and the Sigma 18-200 OS. The Tamron, as it is often happens it the case of the products from this company, fared optically well. There are some combinations of focal lengths and apertures where it performs better than its competitors, and of course sometimes it fares worse. A wider range is its advantage, although the 270 mm focal length often lags behind the most so you should treat is as an addition, allowing you to take a photo in some situations but without the satisfaction of getting an image of the highest quality. Good stabilization is also a strength of the Tamron – it works definitely better than the Sigma’s.
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When we start dealing with the disadvantages, the situation hardly looks rosy anymore. We can forgive the distortion and the vignetting performance because here the laws of physics are insurmountable. A handy but entry-level zoom will always have these flaws. The real slip-up is poor mechanics level in a device costing about 550 $ - here the Tamron lags behind its rivals in a very distinct way. The same can be said about the autofocus, which performance can be only described as weak. Perhaps it’s high time the producer showed us their ultrasonic autofocus motor because otherwise this category might remain the Achilles heel of Tamron’s products. We keep our fingers crossed for success of that undertaking.