More on Tamron 150-600mm zoom lens


I have been using this Tamron 150-600mm zoom lens for about four days now and I am getting more used to it.  Again, try as I might, I can’t find anything to dislike about it.  I have noticed on some forums that a couple of users had trouble panning and keeping flying birds in focus.  As you can see from a couple of pictures of the Ring-billed Gull, that there is no problem.  At least with my setup.  Perhaps it is the fault of those owners’ cameras.

Another thing that zoom purchasers fear, including myself, that there is considerable fall-off when zoomed to the extreme end of the lens.  So far, I have taken several images when zoomed out the full extent and I have found no noticeable deterioration of the quality.  Here are several photographs that I took today, just driving through a local park.  They have been edited and cropped as I do normally.  They were all hand-held, from the driver’s side of my car.

American White Pelican

American White Pelican – 1/1000 sec. @ f6.3, ISO 200

Easy work here with the Pelican.  About only fifty feet away, placidly floating on the calm waters, just inviting me to photograph him.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet – 1/500 sec. @ f6.3, ISO 2000

The little Kinglet gave me the most problem.  It never stayed in one place longer than two seconds.  I was about twenty feet away and he was moving constantly in the brush.  In this image, I really never got it in super good focus, but I loved the pose anyway.

North American Cardinal

North American Cardinal – 1/1000 sec. @ f6.3, ISO 500

No problem with focus here with the Cardinal, but harsh shadows came into play that I had to work with during editing.

Spotted Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpiper – 1/1250 sec.  @ f6.3, ISO 200

For this Sandpiper, I did get out of the car.  He was moving along the shoreline pretty fast and I didn’t want to collide with a tree.  I was more interested in getting a useful image to use for identification, than I was for esthetic purpose.  Trying to ID Sandpipers usually drive me up the wall, as they are all so similar.

Ring-billed Gull

Ring-billed Gull

Ring-billed Gull

Ring-billed Gull – 1/1250 @ f6.3, ISO 200

Photographing this Gull was the most fun.  There were several.  In fact, these images were probably two different individuals.  I parked along the bank of the river, and just used my camera out the driver’s side window.  As they flew by, I just acquired the bird in the lens and held the shutter button down.  By the way, I had never photographed a gull before.

Enjoy the photos, because I had a heck of a good time getting them.  Click on any of them to see enlargements.

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28 thoughts on “More on Tamron 150-600mm zoom lens

  1. G’day Bob,

    Finally got the chance, courtesy of a local dealer, to try this lens on the Nikon – did some comparisons (in a very rudimentary way) with my Nikkor 70-300mm and I have to say (and never thought I would) that image quality at comparable focal lengths on subjects at up to 100 metres is about even – maybe the Tamron is just a shade better but in the very uncontrolled environment I was in you would be hard pressed to pick the difference.
    However, at long distance, say 500-1000 metres (closer to 1000) the Tamron @ 300mm has it all over the Nikkor and if you wind both of them back to 270mm which is closer to the sweet spot for the Nikkor, the Tamron wins hands down. The IQ @ 600mm over the same distance on the Tamron is also excellent
    All shots were hand-held @ anywhere from 1/2500s to 1/4000s braced against an electricity pole (i.e. no mon or tripod) and I am inclined to think that the VR/IS on the Tamron is a lot better. Also the Tamron is extremely quick to focus in comparison.
    Bottom line – can’t wait to get hold of my copy and try it out on a few flying objects.
    Cheers from Downunder!

    • Thanks, Jim, for that great review. This is what I have been trying to tell other people, but they are having a hard time believing. Now you know why I put my Canon L Series 500mm f4 IS in the closet. This Tamron performs on the same level, and is a lot more mobile for me. I, too, lean against a tree or pole if I don’t have my monopod or tripod handy. Although, at times I have hand held it with no other means of support and got fine images as long as I had quick shutter speeds. As for flying birds, as long as I can acquire the subject and get that focus point on it, the camera locks on and does a great job of tracking it. I have had no problems at all with the lens. I hope you get yours soon. BTW, it may be a rumor, but I have heard that on new orders for the Nikon, (not sure about the Canon), they have raised the price to somewhere around $1,600.00.

      • For those Nikon fans who are interested, Nikon released a News Flash recently indicating that the price in the U.S. would remain at $1069.00. I’m anxiously awaiting arrival of my order from B&H, no news yet, but expect something soon.

  2. Great shots, great to see you having fun with the new lens! And welcome to the world of Ring-Billed Gulls…I don’t know how many you have, but we have so many up here they tend to get ignored. However now you know how much fun they are to photograph – especially because they tend to circle back around and give you another chance. Good work! 🙂

  3. Tracking flying birds is a CHORE with my camera fully zoomed. I must always switch to manual focus to help it out. I can’t believe the shots you get from your roving bird blind! Incredible.

    • The best way for me to track birds, is to acquire the bird in the viewfinder before I fully zoom. Then I zoom and focus, then track the bird as I pan. Confusing?? It takes practice, but I know that you could master it. When you visit, I’ll have you doing it like you have done it all your life. But many thanks for your great compliments, Shannon.

  4. Glad you took some shots of birds in flight. I too have read where folks were having problems focusing on a moving target. You don’t seem to have that problem. Now I’m ready to order. Thanks for these reviews. Tamron should thank you too!

    • Thanks for the comment, Rob. Like I said, no problems at all yet, and I really don’t expect any now. I wonder if those other users were just a bit in-experienced. Hard to say. I should get my check from Tamron any day……… Kidding!! 🙂

  5. Seeing is believing, Bob. You and the Tamron are off to a great start, I love a success story!
    A nice display of talent here, as usual!

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