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Photographers: Anyone Using the Tamron 18-400mm?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: August 04, 2020 08:15AM
I'm considering buying the Tamron 18-400mm 'superzoom' for my new Canon Rebel SL3. Reviews are all over the map, though I've seen owners on DPreview forums saying they like it. Just wondering if any here have tried it, and what they think.

I'm aware of the compromises a compact long-zoom lens makes. But most reviewers say the lens is pretty sharp in the center for all of its range, not so much at the borders at long focal lengths.

For a few years I was using a Rebel T2i and a Tamron 18-270mm, but was having autofocus problems with the lens. It's too old for Tamron's 'Tap-in' lens calibration tool. I'm also thinking I could use the Tamron 18-400 in place of my SX-50 for the range of birds, bugs, flowers, and scenery that appeals to me on walks and in the canoe. I was thinking of replacing the latter anyway, as I hate its EVF and button placement (often hitting wrong ones). The 18-400 Tamron on the APS-C sensor Canon might have enough reach to make a small-sensor superzoom upgrade (SX-70? Panasonic SZ82 or SZ300?) unnecessary.

It's rather expensive ($649 new); Adorama offers it for list price but includes the Tap-in Console, which sells for $59, so that amounts to a discount:

[www.adorama.com]

Tempting to try it. . .

/Mr Lynn



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Re: Photographers: Anyone Using the Tamron 18-400mm?
Posted by: datbeme
Date: August 04, 2020 11:29AM
I don't have any experience with that lens. Based on what you describe, it might be a good solution...if you aren't too picky. It's your lackluster experience with the 18-270 that would worry me.

I also have a Tamron 18-270 (Nikon) that I have seldom used because I have other lenses that I prefer for different use cases within that range. That's not saying it's not a decent all around lens, but if I don't need that much of a zoom range in one package, I feel like I'm "settling." Two friends are perfectly happy with the same lens, but they are less critical than I am. The 3.5-6.3 aperture narrows to f5 at 50mm and f6 at 100mm, and I assume I'm sacrificing sharpness at anything over 200mm.

My suggestion would be to subscribe to Adorama VIP360 for $49 for a year. This gives you a 60 day return window with FREE return shipping. Then buy and test the lens. You are spending $49 for piece of mind, and if you don't like it, you shouldn't feely guilty about returning it. I suppose this could be abused if someone treated it as a rental, but I think this is perfectly appropriate in a case like yours.

A few years ago, I had second thoughts after buying a lens, and I spent ~$50 to return it because of the insurance. When I bought a different lens instead, I felt a lot more confident subscribing to VIP360 first. I didn't end up needing it, but it sure eased my mind in purchasing an expensive lens.
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Re: Photographers: Anyone Using the Tamron 18-400mm?
Posted by: pRICE cUBE
Date: August 04, 2020 12:24PM
I don't have direct experience with the 18-400. I have owned two 16-300mm PZD models and the several Tamron lenses. I think the two things tow consider is that it is a bit bigger than most all in one type lenses. I find that the little extra wide I get with the 16-300mm is nice. Depends on where your priority is regarding that little extra bit of wide angle.



Ways to improve web conference image and sound quality. [forums.macresource.com]


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Re: Photographers: Anyone Using the Tamron 18-400mm?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: August 04, 2020 01:27PM
Quote
pRICE cUBE
I don't have direct experience with the 18-400. I have owned two 16-300mm PZD models and the several Tamron lenses. I think the two things tow consider is that it is a bit bigger than most all in one type lenses. I find that the little extra wide I get with the 16-300mm is nice. Depends on where your priority is regarding that little extra bit of wide angle.

I'm more interested in the extra reach than a little more wide.

/Mr Lynn
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Re: Photographers: Anyone Using the Tamron 18-400mm?
Posted by: pRICE cUBE
Date: August 04, 2020 05:49PM
Quote
mrlynn
Quote
pRICE cUBE
I don't have direct experience with the 18-400. I have owned two 16-300mm PZD models and the several Tamron lenses. I think the two things tow consider is that it is a bit bigger than most all in one type lenses. I find that the little extra wide I get with the 16-300mm is nice. Depends on where your priority is regarding that little extra bit of wide angle.

I'm more interested in the extra reach than a little more wide.

/Mr Lynn

Reviews look good. If I didn’t want that extra bit of wide at the end, the 18-400 would be my walk around lens.



Ways to improve web conference image and sound quality. [forums.macresource.com]


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Re: Photographers: Anyone Using the Tamron 18-400mm?
Posted by: Sam3
Date: August 05, 2020 05:25AM
Quote
pRICE cUBE
Quote
mrlynn
Quote
pRICE cUBE
I don't have direct experience with the 18-400. I have owned two 16-300mm PZD models and the several Tamron lenses. I think the two things tow consider is that it is a bit bigger than most all in one type lenses. I find that the little extra wide I get with the 16-300mm is nice. Depends on where your priority is regarding that little extra bit of wide angle.

I'm more interested in the extra reach than a little more wide.

/Mr Lynn

Reviews look good. If I didn’t want that extra bit of wide at the end, the 18-400 would be my walk around lens.

I second that. I've had both the 18-270 and the 16-300 and liked them both. Daughter unit uses the 16-300 on a Canon 7Dmk2 now and loves it.



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Re: Photographers: Anyone Using the Tamron 18-400mm?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: August 05, 2020 07:24AM
the 18-270 is my partner's travel lens on a Rebel. Light combo compared to my 5Dm2



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Re: Photographers: Anyone Using the Tamron 18-400mm?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: August 05, 2020 09:37AM
Quote
pRICE cUBE
Quote
mrlynn
Quote
pRICE cUBE
I don't have direct experience with the 18-400. I have owned two 16-300mm PZD models and the several Tamron lenses. I think the two things tow consider is that it is a bit bigger than most all in one type lenses. I find that the little extra wide I get with the 16-300mm is nice. Depends on where your priority is regarding that little extra bit of wide angle.

I'm more interested in the extra reach than a little more wide.

/Mr Lynn

Reviews look good. If I didn’t want that extra bit of wide at the end, the 18-400 would be my walk around lens.

Well, there's Ken Rockwell's assessment:

Quote

While this Tamron lens isn't that sharp and has slow autofocus that moves a ring on the outside of the lens as it focuses and has no instant manual focus override, it does have extremely close macro focusing. This 18-400mm does everything, but it doesn't do anything particularly well. . .

No, it's not as sharp in the laboratory as Nikon or Canon's lenses, but as you can see above, if it lets you get a shot you wouldn't otherwise have gotten due to it's huge zoom range, who cares? It certainly makes saleable images.
[kenrockwell.com]

Versus this one from PhotoReview:

Quote

Conclusion
All zoom lenses involve some degree of compromise, usually in speed and optical performance. The longer the zoom range, the more compromises one should expect so it was gratifying to find the performance of the review lens better than anticipated, given its 22.2x zoom range. No lens of this type can be seen as perfect – or even close to perfection.

Judged subjectively, central sharpness ranged from acceptable to excellent across the zoom range, with confirmation coming via our Imatest tests. Photographers who don’t require edge-to-edge sharpness at wide-to-medium apertures should have little to complain about in this respect.

Apart from chromatic aberration (which should be correctable in modern cameras), most other aberrations were handled quite well and distortion, though moderate, is easily corrected in modern cameras. The small amount of vignetting we found should have little or no impact on most shots.

Mechanically, the lens performed exactly as it we expected it to, providing smooth and controllable zooming, very little zoom creep and the ability to fine tune focusing manually. Autofocusing was almost silent and the in-built stabilisation provided a reliable couple of f-stops of shutter speed compensation.

Combine these advantages with weather protection and a physical size that is both compact and light and Tamron’s 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD lens has a lot going for it. Even though it’s a relatively pricey lens, for the money and the convenience it provides, it qualifies for our Editor’s Choice award.
[www.photoreview.com.au]

A user on the DPreview Forums called 'alpineguy' writes (in a thread I started):

Quote

I have been using the Tamron 18-400mm for a year and a half on my Canon 80D and have been very happy with the lens. It matches my photographic style very well. I did use the Tamron Tap-In to tweak the focus, but the process was not tedious and worth the small effort to maximize the output of the lens. I tend to multitask with my camera. I shoot landscapes, closeups of flowers, birds and animals, and the usual shots of people. I found I was missing many shots because I frequently had the wrong lens on my camera when a situation I wanted to capture appeared. This Tamron lens has truly functioned as a great tool for the way I use the camera. My successful capture rate has increased significantly with the lens. Yes, the lens may not be quite as sharp as a much more expensive prime or zoom lens, but my budget is limited and perhaps my style of use doesn't match everyone's. I knew the limitations that these less expensive superzooms have, so I have not been disappointed with the lens.
[www.dpreview.com]

His style practically mirrors mine, but I do fret about the lack of 'sharpness'. I guess the question is whether I'd end up with sharper images with a small-sensor bridge camera than I would with this lens on an APS-C camera. I'm inclined to try it. I'm old-school enough to really prefer the optical viewfinder of a DSLR.

/Mr Lynn

UPDATE 6Aug20: Pulled the trigger today So we shall see (literally)!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/06/2020 07:21PM by mrlynn.
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Re: Photographers: Anyone Using the Tamron 18-400mm?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: September 08, 2020 09:09PM
UPDATE (or Downdate, more exactly):

I returned the lens last week. It just seemed to require more care and feeding than I was prepared to give it, being more of a snapshot guy and less of a dedicated photographer.

The story in more detail is here:

[www.dpreview.com]

I'm heading for a bridge camera, the Panasonic FZ300, which will supplement my Rebel SL3.

/Mr Lynn
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