Tamron 150-600mm lens review


I ordered this new lens by Tamron back on January 15.  Because of a backlog I finally got it yesterday, Feb 12.  Since it arrived early in the morning, I had time to get it out of the box and head out to try it out.  Basically, I was mostly curious about how it would act at the extreme 600mm.  Most zooms seem to lack quality when racked out at the long end.

I was extremely satisfied with the lens.  First of all, it is only about half the weight of my Canon 500mm prime lens, and I feel that the sharpness compares to that lens.  Not bad since it is about 6,000.00 cheaper.  Also, compared to my 100-400mm zoom, it about the same weight, although I have not weighed it.  With the lens hood, it is about 3 inches longer than the 100-400mm.

The following photo were all hand-held.  As I stated, I was shooting mostly at the extreme 600mm length.

Gadwall - from camera

Northern Shoveler female – orig

Gadwall- cropped and edited

Northern Shoveler female – cropped and edited

Female Northern Shoveler.  Exposure 1/3200 sec. @ f6.3.  Distance about 70 feet, zoomed to 600mm.  Hand-held.

Killdeer - from camera

Killdeer – orig

Killdeer - cropped and edited

Killdeer – cropped and edited

Killdeer.  Exposure:  1/2500 sec. @ f9.  Distance about 45 feet.  Zoomed to 550mm.  Hand-held.

Northern Shoveler - from camera

Northern Shoveler – orig

Northern Shoveler - cropped and edited

Northern Shoveler – cropped and edited

Male Northern Shoveler.  Exposure:  1/2500 sec. @ f7.1.  Distance about 70 feet.  Zoomed to 600mm.  Hand-held.

Osprey - from camera

Osprey – orig

Osprey - cropped and edited

Osprey – cropped and edited

This Osprey was across the river and high in a tree.  I estimated the distance to be about 500 feet.  Exposure:  1/2500 sec. @ f6.3.  Zoomed to 600mm.  Hand-held.

Great Blue Heron - orig

Great Blue Heron – orig

Great Blue Heron - cropped and edited

Great Blue Heron – cropped and edited

Great Blue Heron was across the river near the bank, estimated distance 400 feet.  Exposure:  1/2500 sec. @ f9.  Zoomed to 480mm.  Hand-held.

Eastern Bluebird - orig

Eastern Bluebird – orig

Eastern Bluebird - cropped and edited

Eastern Bluebird – cropped and edited

The Eastern Bluebird was in a tree about 70 feet away.  Exposure was 1/2500 sec. @ f10.  Zoomed to 425mm.  Hand-held.

Yellow-rumped Warbler - original

Yellow-rumped Warbler – original

Yellow-rumped Warbler - cropped and edited

Yellow-rumped Warbler – cropped and edited

Yellow-rumped Warbler.  Distance to subject was about 70 feet.  Exposure:  1/2500 sec. @ f9.  Zoomed to 425mm.  Hand-held.

American Robin - original

American Robin – original

American Robin - cropped and edited.

American Robin – cropped and edited.

The Robin was only about 50 feet away I think.  Exposure was 1/2500 sec. @ f6.3.  Zoomed to 550mm.  Hand -held.

Not all photos were zoomed to the 600mm length, as I sometimes think more about the composition when I look through the view-finder, so I really forgot to check the zoom length.

My own conclusion is that I intend to use this lens instead of my Canon 500mm f4 lens.  It was easy to hand-hold it and the auto-focus is as fast.  The VC (vibration control) is as efficient as the IS (image stablization) in the Canon lens.  As far as the sharpness in the images, I can see no noticeable differences in it and my more expensive L series lenses.  I love the lighter weight, too.

Big Year update:

#94  Brown Creeper

#95   Clay-colored Sparrow

#96   American Robin