I decided to buy myself a retirement gift, a lens I normally wouldn’t buy. I had thought of the Canon 28-300 but two things held me back, one is the cost (facing Social Security in 2 months) and the bigger thing is the weight.
I don’t have any telephoto primes but I do have a 10-22, 18-135 STM, 55-250 STM, and a 35mm F/2 and my only white lens a Canon 100-400 with 2x teleconverter. I am happy with all the zoom lens and the 100-400 is really sharp, AND heavy – some years back I carried it for 10 hours at Disney World around my neck (it still hurts ROFL).
In looking at all the lenses out there I decided I would look for a super-telephoto zoom lens, something that I could carry when going places with my wife and not have to carry a camera back and a bevy of lenses, and then having to change them out in the field.
In looking at reviews I decided to try the Tamron 18-400. It is heavier than the STM’s but about half the weight of the 100-400. How would it perform? I made the assumption that it wouldn’t be as sharp as the 100-400 by a long shot but for carrying around my neck potentially for an all day walkabout and being able to cover almost any situation I thought I might run into it seemed like it would fit the bill.
The build quality seems to be very good. The zooming mechanism is fairly tight but I like that since it will probably loosen up over time. The manual focus has a relatively short throw making getting manual focus a bit tough, also the Canon 80D’s viewfinder is not really designed for manual focusing. The autofocus is adequate not super fast but not bad either. The focus is accurate, not complaints on my part. The only image I took with manual focus was of a jet flying overhead at 400mm handheld. In my shooting I didn’t really notice any real optical defects such as vignetting, however on the jet shot there appears to a little in the corners when shooting straight up. It is a slow lens and really needs a nice day to get the best results. Today was totally overcast, the clouds only breaking long enough to shoot the jet.
The zoom range is phenomenal and the sharpness is acceptable. All these shots except for the two shots of my 4x5 B&J were handheld and at f/8, ISO 2000 or 640. The macro will focus down to about 18 inches from the film-plane.
This is not a lens if you are looking for large blowups, it will be a bit soft but for personal photography and sharing better shots with people it is very good and it is "one lens to do it all"
All shots are straight from the camera, large fine, no processing at all.
18mm the white angel is barely seen in the center back of the gravestones, shows the reach of this lens
400mm grackle 15 feet from camera
77mm my late son's gravesite about 6 feet from camera
400mm tripod assisted 5 feet from camera
339mm bee 4 feet from camera