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Old 28th of November 2006 (Tue)   #1
cjm
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Default Tamron SP AF 200-500mm f/5-6.3 Di

I just got this very interesting lens, the Tamron SP AF 200-500mm f5-6.3 Di.

My thoughts on this lens is,
  • Very light for such a long lens, weighs about the same as my 70-200 2.8 L.
  • The build is pretty good. Never owned a tamron lens before so not sure if this is standard but it doesn't feel cheap. Feels high quality.
  • The aperture is 5 to 5.6 until 450mm!
  • The color of the shots I took seems to ber very nice.
  • The AF speed in light seems to be fairly fast, in dark not so great (but Canon lenses do that also)
  • Price, like $850 for a Power Zoom lens.
  • It's fun!
This lens does seem to work alright, even at f6.3 in the daylight. When I was using it today for the first time in the day light it was shooting at around 1/1000th sec in ISO400 which I found pretty fast for hand held, even at 500mm. About two thirds (2/3) of the images were keepable and very good. Remember though this is not a Canon L lens and although this lens seems to be sharp, it is nothing to compare to say a 70-200mm L. It is however very comparable to the Sigma Bigma 50-500 lens and has one thing over the bigma which is its weight, very light. The included hood is large enough to keep flare away but is also light and easy to attach/detach.

For its money I think this is a lens to consider and is pretty fun.

So here are some sample images taken with this lens. The Tweety Bird was taken at around 300mm and the Crab Apples were taken at 500mm and both were hand held.

I would love to see images from others with this lens. Please post some if you have this lens.

NOTE (December 10 2011): The sample shots I included were edited from RAW on a PC with an UNCALIBRATED monitor. So the reason they seem a little washed out, is because they are. Its not the lenses fault entirely.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Tam_01.jpg (75.1 KB, 3246 views)
File Type: jpg Tam_02.jpg (83.1 KB, 3216 views)
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Last edited by cjm : 10th of December 2011 (Sat) at 16:40. Reason: Note added to sample shot photos
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Old 28th of November 2006 (Tue)   #2
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Default Re: Tamron SP AF 200-500mm f5-6.3 Di & Sample Images.

Can you share your impressions and images using a 1.4x?
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Old 29th of November 2006 (Wed)   #3
Neilyb
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Default Re: Tamron SP AF 200-500mm f5-6.3 Di & Sample Images.

Any 100% unsharpened crops? I considered this lens for Africa but went with the 70-300 instead.
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Old 7th of December 2006 (Thu)   #4
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Default Re: Tamron SP AF 200-500mm f5-6.3 Di & Sample Images.

I'd love to see more photos from this lens!
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Old 7th of December 2006 (Thu)   #5
cjm
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Default Re: Tamron SP AF 200-500mm f5-6.3 Di & Sample Images.

Here are two more I took today. Both basically straight from the camera except for a slight exposure correction.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 061207-BirdBerry_01.jpg (66.1 KB, 3118 views)
File Type: jpg 061207-Berries_01.jpg (48.0 KB, 3108 views)
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Old 7th of December 2006 (Thu)   #6
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Default Re: Tamron SP AF 200-500mm f5-6.3 Di & Sample Images.

Any 100% crops at 500mm wide open?
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Old 7th of December 2006 (Thu)   #7
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Default Re: Tamron SP AF 200-500mm f5-6.3 Di & Sample Images.

Here is a 100% crop of a clothes pin, handheld at 500mm and the original. ISO is at 800
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 100percentcrop.jpg (71.2 KB, 3104 views)
File Type: jpg clothespin.jpg (53.8 KB, 3108 views)
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- 24-70mm F2.8 L - 70-200mm IS f2.8 L - 100-400 f4.5-5.6 IS L and more...

Last edited by cjm : 7th of December 2006 (Thu) at 17:23.
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Old 28th of December 2007 (Fri)   #8
CountryBoy
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Default Re: Tamron SP AF 200-500mm f5-6.3 Di & Sample Images.

Not to many images in this one. Anymore ?
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Old 28th of December 2007 (Fri)   #9
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Default Re: Tamron SP AF 200-500mm f5-6.3 Di & Sample Images.

I used to have this lens, sold it to an occasional POTN user. I enjoyed it while I had it.
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Old 28th of December 2007 (Fri)   #10
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Default Re: Tamron SP AF 200-500mm f5-6.3 Di & Sample Images.

It is a fun lens but for the amount that it sells for its worth it to spend about $400 dollars more and buy a used 100-400L. I did and the 100-400L is so so SO much better.
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Old 20th of March 2008 (Thu)   #11
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Default Re: Tamron SP AF 200-500mm f5-6.3 Di & Sample Images.

I'd love to see more pics from this lens. It's price is even better now and I see used ones from time to time on B&H. I've just rented one and it should be here next week. Maybe I'll be able to post pics myself. The 100% crop reminds me of the Bigma I rented last summer. I've rented a lot of the popular "affordable" L supertelephotos and some of the 3rd party alternatives too. Sometime this summer I'll be ready to decide. I'm anxious to try the 400 5.6L too. Tried the 300 1.4 with and without TC and wasn't impressed with it. The IS was not very effective. It looked like it might have promise as I was reviewing my screen, but when I got home I was pretty disappointed. I never take a supertelephoto without at least a monopod and a bipod or tripod is the norm for 400 and up when I'm checking IQ so that's not in question here.

I know I'm waking this thread up from a long sleep, but it's linked to a lens IQ photo archive thread so it is destined to get a new life. I hope to bring it to the attention of other users of this lens, cause I'd like to see what people are getting out of it. It has a lot of promise from the stats I've seen. It's quite lightweight and also stores in an area almost as compact as it gets outside of some of the DO zooms. All that makes it ideal for backpackers. Read... ME. Now if I can live with the IQ.

Here's the referring link: http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...d.php?t=141406
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Old 20th of March 2008 (Thu)   #12
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Default Re: Tamron SP AF 200-500mm f5-6.3 Di & Sample Images.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tkoutdoor View Post
I know I'm waking this thread up from a long sleep, but it's linked to a lens IQ photo archive thread so it is destined to get a new life. I hope to bring it to the attention of other users of this lens, cause I'd like to see what people are getting out of it. It has a lot of promise from the stats I've seen. It's quite lightweight and also stores in an area almost as compact as it gets outside of some of the DO zooms. All that makes it ideal for backpackers. Read... ME. Now if I can live with the IQ.

Here's the referring link: http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...d.php?t=141406
That is great! I hope you can add some photos. I personally have not had this lens in more then a year but it was alright. I think the number one thing to remember, this is absolutely a monopod or tripod lens. With the lack of IS it needs more stabilization then anyone can give it. I had fun with it, and got a lot of "Man what a huge lens" comments.
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Old 20th of March 2008 (Thu)   #13
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Default Re: Tamron SP AF 200-500mm f5-6.3 Di & Sample Images.

Oh here was my last image using it (of about 50 images of a large harvest moon)

At 100% it is terrible, at 50% it gets better. It wasn't very sharp so I had to PS it. This could have been casued buy the fact the moon was raising very fast (had to readjust the tripod everyshot!) I wasn't exactly sure how to shoot the moon so it was trial and error or the lens wasn't that great. Probably a little of all three.
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Old 17th of June 2008 (Tue)   #14
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Default Re: Tamron SP AF 200-500mm f5-6.3 Di & Sample Images.

This lens is the least popular lens! No one had any photos to share from it?
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Old 18th of June 2008 (Wed)   #15
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Default Re: f5-6.3 Di & Sample Images.

The Tamron SP AF 200-500mm is one of the most underestimated and overlooked superteles on the market.
Also one of the best in it's class.

I used to own this lens just before getting the 400/5.6L.
Build wise it's not bad at all (especially considering the price), but it's no L lens either.
AF was on the slow side in any situation except full daylight.

Optical performance...
At the time of purchase I could not afford the 100-400L (which I was after in the first place) and my tests suggested it was a bit better than Sigma 50-500 at every setting and focal length.
After using the Tamron for a while and learning how to get the best of I knew that the only upgrade would be a prime lens.
I did a sort of comparison with a friend's 100-400 and the only significant differences were at 400mm wide open. By f/8-f/9 (which I found to be the sweet spot of the Tamron) both were very very close. Slight edge to Canon, but invisible after PP.
The colors and contrast are very good and the bokeh just perfect.

In use...
It was always best at short distances - from 10 to 25 ft. Good but not great at MFD and over 30 ft.. At really long distances f/11 provided the best results at 4-500mm settings.
I've found the IQ to be very uniform across the zoom range, with a very slight sweet spot around 300mm.

The best results were always from tripod or similar supports. With AF it was always best to prefocus, or at least set it to a distance close enough to the subject to avoid hunting.

I'll dig a bit into my archive and I'll post some 100% crops ( I sold the Tamron about a year ago).
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