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FORUMS Gear Reviews Lens Reviews 
Thread started 03 May 2018 (Thursday) 19:40
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TOGGLE RATINGS BETWEEN ALL AND Mike Photo (showing now: Mike Photo)
Overall Rating5.5
Overall Image Quality6.5
Value for Money7.5
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Suitability to Intended Use7.5
Got What I Expected8
Ownership Status: "have borrowed"

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List all reviews of Tamron 18-400mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD

Tamron 18-400mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD, reviewed by Mike Photo

Mike ­ Photo
Senior Member
528 posts
Gallery: 1 photo
Likes: 38
Joined Apr 2006
Location: Boston, Ma
May 03, 2018 19:40 |  #1

So Tamron sent me their new super telephoto lens 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD to test out and I wanted to share some of my thoughts with the community.

I wrote out a full in-depth review discussing image quality, build, and with more examples etc... over at (external link) So please head over there and check it out if you're looking for an affordable and versatile all in one APS-C lens.

This new lens like all Tamron's newest lenses shares a much improved overall design aesthetic. Has a minimum focusing distance of 17", and a magnification ratio of 1:2.9. Not to mention vibration compensation and compatibility with Tamron's new TAP-In USB console.

I’d say this lens is for anyone who is looking for something better for family photos while traveling or at sporting events. Anyone looking to get past the 200mm range for a decent price for the occasional wildlife or shot of the Moon. Someone who is looking to upgrade from a kit lens or get more variety of shots while out shooting. If you're pixel peeping and looking for the sharpest details at 400mm than you might be disappointed, and I’m willing to bet you already knew that. However, if you're the photographer that doesn't need the best of the best but would rather have one lens to capture all those epic adventures while still enjoying being in the moment. This lens is probably for you.

What I Liked

  • Vibration Compensation (VC) especially at 400mm
  • TAP-In USB Console compatible
  • Overall design aesthetic
  • Insane 18-400mm range
  • Overall image quality in real-world usage

What I Didn't Like

  • Variable aperture is always a disappointment but for its range, I think it's reasonable
  • No true weather sealing
  • Although easily fixed the pincushion distortion amount was surprising

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Instagram (external link)
Bodies:Canon 7D mII, Canon 7D(Gripped)
Lenses: Canon 70-200 L, Canon 50 1.4, Canon EF-S 18-55 3.5-5.6 II(reversed element for macro), Sigma Art 18-35 1.8, Tamron 24-70 2.8

my very own Lightrules moment
18,134 posts
Gallery: 44 photos
Likes: 1241
Joined Mar 2009
Location: Issaquah, WA USA
May 04, 2018 11:47 |  #2

Nice, Mike. I've been using one for a general travel lens for several months and basically concur with all points. As an enthusiast level hobby shooter, used to the results from the 'L' series zooms, I am mildly disappointed in the final results from the perspective of "I know what I *could* have had"...but, that is pretty well offset by not having lugged 8lbs of lenses around when I was just wandering/visiting a place without specific results planned for the outing/trip.

The one thing I sort of feel is missing there is the speed/perf of servo focusing with this lens; it's *slow*, especially compared any of Canon's USM lenses I've seen. And it is jerky, for lack of a better word, when adjusting during servo focus, making it quite difficult to track a subject that is moving to/from the camera at any signficant angle. This is probably the most disappointing thing I've found with this lens (for me, paired with a 7DII) in the time I've owned it.

Otherwise, no surprises from it being a superzoom other than happily outperforming any of the previous 18-200(250/270)s that I've attempted to add to the kit for small kit travel purposes. I imagine this one will live in the kit for quite a while.

- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (external link) (7D MkII/5D IV, Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, Canon 24-105L f/4 IS, Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS MkII, Canon 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS I/II)
"The easiest way to improve your photos is to adjust the loose nut between the shutter release and the ground."

Cream of the Crop
6,425 posts
Likes: 14808
Joined Jan 2009
Location: SoCal
May 05, 2018 10:18 |  #3

Thank you for the review. I am very tempted to get this lens as a one lens solution to an upcoming tourist-type trip to Seattle. The idea of not having to carry a backpack full of lenses around, all day, is very appealing.

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Tamron 18-400mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD, reviewed by Mike Photo
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