ALL ABOUT THE LENS
The Lens for All Occasions
Iain Stanley, Photographer / Writer
When you first start out with photography everyone tells you that the most important thing is ‘glass’. “Build your lens collection, man” is what everyone said to me when I first asked what I needed to do to really improve, all those years ago. It’s a very true notion and one that hasn’t changed, but there’s some really big problems with this approach – as your lens collection grows, not only does your bank balance quickly diminish, but you begin to resemble a turtle every time you take your camera bag out for a shoot. Sometimes when I’m lugging all my lenses around I feel like I’m a Nepalese Sherpa slogging the Himalayas. So wouldn’t it be great if you could use one lens that covered almost all of your needs? Enter the Tamron 16-300mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro.
I bought this lens a while back when I was planning a trip through Europe. I didn’t want the weight of all my lenses, nor did I want to worry about a bag full of lenses all the time. I was simply after a single, walk-around lens that offered high quality construction and high quality results. I did the necessary research and came up with this lens. It’s wider than any other comparative lens at 16mm, and equally as long at 300mm. Surprisingly, the weight is not at all bad either, coming in at 540g. I own the Canon L-Series 24-105mm and it’s a great lens, but it feels so much heavier than the Tamron (though in fact is only 670g).
I’m not really a guy who gets too hung up on specs and technical specifics, but for those who do care, here are some headline features about this lens:
- 16-300mm focal length range (approx 24-450mm equivalent)
- Maximum aperture F3.5 – F6.3 / Minimum aperture F22.0 – F40.0
- Swift and quiet PZD ultrasonic-drive auto focus
- Effective VC (Vibration Compensation) in-lens image stabilization
- Compact size (for focal length range)
- APS-C format only, in fittings for Canon, Nikon and Sony DSLRs
- Close focusing to 0.39m, maximum magnification 0.34x
- Weather-resistant build
Of course, the most important thing about any lens is the photos it produces. Here are some examples of shots I have taken recently with this lens.
This was taken near my home in Miyazaki, Japan. The focal length was 22mm, with an aperture of f13, shutter 6 secs and ISO 100. The lens performs best between f8-f13, and 20-200mm in my experience. I have to say that when you are wide-open (at the minimum 16mm) you do get a little bit of chromatic aberration and distortion. It is easily fixable in Lightroom or Photoshop, but it does exist, and it is why I never shoot at 16mm. The same can be said for shooting at the maximum zoom of 300mm. It is not a deal-breaker by any means, but consumers should be aware of this fact. However, crisp focus remains at the center of all shots right through the zoom range.
f/13 | 6 sec | 22mm ISO 100
Photo by Iain Stanley
The main reason for displaying these travel photos is to show you that this is an easy lens to carry around with you all day.
I don’t use a strap with my camera (silly, I know!) and I had no problem whatsoever walking around all day with my Canon 7d in hand, with this Tamron 16-300mm attached. It is also a great lens for sporting events or situations where you can’t get too close.
Photo by Iain Stanley
To conclude, if you want a high-quality, versatile lens that is easy to use, easy to carry, and won’t break the bank, then this could be the perfect lens for you.
Photo by Iain Stanley
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