I had heard much about how Tamron had improved the new generation two of their 150-600mm lens. I had owned the original version since it came out a couple of years ago. I decided to make the upgrade, so I opened the box with much anticipation. It appeared to be visually pretty much like the old one. But on closer inspection, I saw that the tripod ring is removable. Also, the zoom lens can be locked any position’
I took it out into the field to see how it performed. Wow!! First the auto-focus seems to be much faster and the improved VC, Tamron’s version of image stabilization is advertised to be about four and half stops better without it. What impressed me most is the improved resolution and sharpness. The top photo is the original of a House Sparrow straight from the camera with no post processing at all, except for me adding my copyright. I had the lens attached to my Canon 7D Mark II. No tripod was used, but I had the camera resting on a bean-bag on the sill of my Ford Escape. The same set-up was used for all of the images in this post.
Chipping Sparrow, female – original and un-retouched. 1/1000 sec. @ f6.3, ISO 320.
This is the same image, cropped about 50-60%. No post processing at all. I can not see any loss of sharpness or resolution.
Chipping Sparrow, female – cropped and un-retouched.
Here is another. A Yellow-rumped Warbler. Cropped, but no other post-processing. Notice the high ISO of 5000.
Yellow-rumped Warbler – 1/1600 sec. @ f7.1, ISO 5000.
So, as you can understand, I am as happy as a gopher in soft dirt. I was very happy with first version and I had used it for two years. But it was rare for me to be able to crop a photo and not have to do some post-processing. One more thing before I forget, the lens was extended all the way to 600mm. No loss of resolution, but that was true of the original version of this lens. For my bird photography, I am zoomed to the full 600mm most of the time.
Here are several more images from the past week or so, many of them on very overcast and damp days. And before you ask, yes, most of them have been post-processed. I can’t get lucky all the time.
Eastern Phoebe – 1/1000 sec. @f6.3, +0.3 EV, ISO 640.
Here was a real challenge. In the brush at Spring Creek Park, early in the morning. We could barely see this Hermit Thrush. The new lens managed to focus in the low light. Here is the original.
Hermit Thrush – original – 1/800 sec, @ f6.3, + 1.0 EV, ISO 6400
Here is the the cropped and processed image. I used Topaz DeNoise to remove any noise from using the high ISO of 6400.
Hermit Thrush after post-processing.
This handsome devil was perched atop a telephone, about 200 yards away. He was probably digesting his breakfast that he got at the local Carrion CarryOut.
Turkey Vulture – 1/1000 sec. @ f6.3, ISO 320.
Another high ISO image, this American Gold finch gave me a fit, trying to get him in focus back in the deep brush, as he continually moved around.
American Goldfinch – 1/1000 sec. @ f7.1, ISO 5000.
This Northern Cardinal brightened the morning.
Northern Cardinal – 1/1600 sec. @ f7.1, -0.3 EV, ISO 640.
This juvenile White-crowned Sparrow was trying to stay hidden, without sucess, in the twigs.
White-crowned Sparrow, juvenile – 1/1600 sec. @ f6.3, ISO 640.
Ya gotta love the Vermilion Flycatchers. They are little cuties.
Vermilion Flycatcher, female. 1/1250 sec. @ f7.1, ISO 250.
One of the most difficult raptors to photograph is the American Kestrel. Very elusive, always on the move and hard to get close to. This image from about 120 yards.
American Kestrel – 1/1000 sec. @ f7.1, ISO 160.
After using this lens for about a week now, I am thoroughly happy with it. I can’t wait to get out and shoot some more photos. I hope you enjoyed these images. Please click on any photo to see some very nice enlargements.
Until the next post, Happy Birding and Happy Shooting.
Comments are appreciated.