Full video and image samples below.

Summary: An impressive range with little image quality loss vs the kit lens from Canon (and Nikon) but increased chromatic aberration and limited maximum aperture across the range. Those valuing convenience above image quality may want to consider this lens. A nice bonus of great image stabilization (VS) and macro like capabilities make this a fun lens for travel and family snapshots. Just be warned that in low light you will need that VS at the longer focal lengths.

Tamron 16-300 Tested on a Canon 70D

Tamron 16-300 Pros:

  • Huge range- no one else offers 16mm to 300mm and does it better than many of the 18-200 lenses currently on the market.
  • Decent image quality
  • Good Vibration control
  • Macro capabilities – it is not a macro lens but does let you get close and coupled with the VC you can get good handheld shots
  • Focus sound is near silent similar to the STM lenses but. .

Tamron 16-300 Cons:

  • Focus was slower than STM lenses and more likely to get confused.
  • Increased chromatic aberration (purple/magenta fringe seen at the edge of high contrast areas) common in lenses like this and cheaper lens
  • Slow apertures  – meaning as you zoom you will find that you need lots of light or will have a very slow shutter speed to compare. At 100mm the 16-300 maximum aperture is f/5.6. The 70-300 IS USM offers f/4.5. at 200mm the Tamron has hit f/6.3 and the 70-300 provides f/5.
  • Zooming presents uneven friction (sticky spots as you rotate the lens) these seemed to decrease during testing but I worry long term about lens creep – the lens zooming as it hangs by your side.

Support my work and reviews – Buy the Tamron 16-300 from B&H $629.00

Tamron 16-300 Image Samples (watch the video for more comparisons)

See the tree on the hill? Rollover to see that at 300mm, Serious Zoom!

Way up on the hill is a small rock outcrop – rollover the image to see 300mm view- No cropping, no moving

Rollover to see the difference between 18mm(Canon 18mm with the 18-135 STM) and 16mm(Tamron 16-300)

 

Screenshot 2014-06-17 17.54.21
At 70mm the Canon 18-135 STM shows better detail. At 100 and above though the Tamron did better
Screenshot 2014-06-17 17.53.44
My copy of the 18-135 STM is quite soft in the corners and the Tamron does a better job here. This may just be my copy of the Canon 18-135 STM.

 

5349_300 mm1-200 sec at f - 6.3ISO 1250
Tamron 16-300 at 1/200 sec f/6.3 at ISO 1250
5352_300 mm1-200 sec at f - 6.3ISO 2500
Tamron 16-300 at 1/200 sec f/6.3 at ISO 2500
5366_300 mm1-250 sec at f - 6.3ISO 800
Tamron 16-300 at 300mm 1/250 sec at f/6.3 ISO 800

5450_300 mm1-800 sec at f - 6.3ISO 320

5491_57 mm1-1250 sec at f - 5.0ISO 320
57mm at 1/1250 f/5 ISO 320.
5500_50 mm1-200 sec at f - 5.0ISO 640
Portrait with the Tamron – quality was better than the 18-135 kit lens at 50mm f/5.0
5483_200 mm1-200 sec at f - 6.3ISO 320
Another macro example – some crazy barbed wire 200mm at 1/200 of a second f/6.3
A portrait at 300mm f/7.1
A portrait at 300mm f/7.1

 

Support my work and reviews – Buy the Tamron 16-300 from B&H $629.00

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