LensTip.com

Lens review

Tamron AF 18-200 mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF)

12 January 2011
Arkadiusz Olech

11. Summary

Pros:
  • compact dimensions for such a wide focal lengths range,
  • good image quality in the frame centre for the 18-100 mm range,
  • negligible chromatic aberration in the middle of the range,
  • low vignetting in the 35-200 mm range,
  • slight astigmatism in the 50-200 mm range,
  • very good work against bright light,
  • universal focal lengths range.

Cons:

  • average quality of materials used in the housing,
  • lens very slow at 200 mm,
  • weak image quality at 200 mm and near maximum relative aperture for other focal lengths,
  • very high chromatic aberration at both ends of the range,
  • distinct distortion at 18 mm,
  • significant vignetting at 18 mm,
  • high astigmatism at 18 mm,
  • low autofocus accuracy.

I admit I am not a fan of megazoom lenses – they are, in my opinion, in contradiction with the very idea of using reflex cameras. Staying within one and the same company line-up, if you want to cover the focal range of the Tamron, tested here, it’s enough to buy two lenses with 17-50 f/2.8 and 55-200 f/4.0-5.6 parameters. We will have to pay additionally something about 300 $ but instead we get a much better fastness, an incomparably better image quality in the 17-50 mm range and a bit better in the 55-200 mm range. In my opinion the game is worth the candle, especially that the f/6.3 aperture at 200 mm is very slow and the image quality- very weak; we are forced to use f/11-16 apertures in order to get a satisfactory quality of photos. When you join such aperture values with the 200 mm focal length, which simply forces us to use exposure times at the level of 1/250 of a second and shorter, you limit the usage of the 200 mm focal length to sunny days only. Of course the situation changes when you take a tripod with you but I would prefer having two lenses than a tripod and one lens only.


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To be completely honest I have to admit the Tamron 18-200 mm in several places surprised us very nicely, putting e.g. the Nikkor 18-135 mm in its place. Although the Tamron is not as sharp as the Nikkor in the frame centre, it features a wider aperture range, it corrects the vignetting much better and the distortion – significantly better and its work against bright light is beyond reproach.


Sample shots:

Tamron AF 18-200 mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF) - Summary Tamron AF 18-200 mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF) - Summary Tamron AF 18-200 mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF) - Summary
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 18 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/200 s, ISO 200
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 5.3 MB
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 200 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/320 s, ISO 200
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 4.1 MB
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 35 mm, f/4.0, exp. 1/60 s, ISO 200
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 2.4 MB
Tamron AF 18-200 mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF) - Summary Tamron AF 18-200 mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF) - Summary Tamron AF 18-200 mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF) - Summary
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 70 mm, f/5.0, exp. 1/60 s, ISO 200
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 2.4 MB
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 18 mm, f/3.5, exp. 1/400 s, ISO 100
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 3.1 MB
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 200 mm, f/6.3, exp. 1/100 s, ISO 100
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 2.6 MB



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