Tamron 70-300 f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro Test Shots

2008-03-24
I had my first chance to test a used copy of Tamron 70-300 Di Macro that I bought it used from Pentaxforums marketplace. The lens that I got is almost like new and I just tested the lens with K10D over a past weekend. It is sad and unsettled that I have returned my K10D for a defect found in the shutter with no spring load. With inputs from others, it may be my inexperience with K10D shutter. 

All test shots are done in bright mode with the wrong adjustment on +2 to contrast and saturation and hence the high contrast and saturation on the test shots. 

Tamron 70-300 Di LD Macro Test shots

Tamron 70-300 Di LD Macro Test shots

Tamron 70-300 Di LD Macro Test shots

Tamron 70-300 Di LD Macro Test shots
Tamron 70-300 Di LD Macro Test shotsI am quite happy with the purchase and the lens perform well for me especially for the longer range that I can use in the zoo. It will compete with my Pentax DA 50-200 for sure. Purple fringing are seen in a couple of shots with high contrast and I am told to use a smaller aperture to minimize purple fringe with this lens.


Impressions & Notes:

  • An absolute bargain to buy this consumer tele zoom lens. I bought mine used for about $90 and I have a great liking for the great value that this lens brings to my amateur photos
  • The best thing about this zoom is Sharp pictures.
  • Color and contrast are reasonable to good in my experience
  • Sharpness, color and contrast can fair well compared to Pentax DA 50-200 in the same range
  • Lens is lightweight and very portable as a walk around zoom. That is right, I can use this long zoom for hiking and walk around, very similar to the style of photos that I do with Pentax DA 50-200 f/4.0-5.6 and don't feel the burden to change lens
  • Besides sharpness, the next best thing about this lens is the 1:2 close focusing capability. Close up on flowers and bugs are well beyond the $90 calls for. Some of my close up with this lens compete well with my prime macro lens with the similar 1:2 magnification
  • Close focus or Macro works in the range of 180mm to 300mm with a switch.
  • Since minimum focusing distance is about three feet, this zoom works well with bugs in giving an ample distance farther away from bug.
  • Portraits with this zoom is surprisingly well
  • The biggest gripe is on more occurrences with PF/CA. My copy is no exception but I used the following to guard against PF/CA
    • PF/CA happens more often in bigger aperture as in f/5.6 in 300mm
    • I use f/8.0 as the guiding aperture to go agains PF/CA
    • I use higher ISO to make up the light for wide open aperture
    • I pay attention to high contrast areas as in backlit branches, I change angles for multiple shots
    • PF/CA happen worse and lot more often with Tamron 1.4x TC unfortunately
  • Overall I am very satisfied with this inexpensive zoom and I push it to its limits with use of TC to reach up to 420mm and 510mm with Tamron 1.4x TC and Promaster 1.7x TC.
  • Sometimes I do struggle in collapsing the lens from Macro. What I do is to switch to manual focus (MF) and turn the focusing ring pass the 'Macro distance' in the long end and retract the zoom to normal zoom position. And then I change from MF back to AF.C for next shooting.
  • A high value lens in my book for recommendation with only caveat on PF/CA

Related:

11 comments:

tmphillips said...

Thanks for all the good info here. What do you mean by "bright mode"?

Hin Man said...

Thanks for the comment. The bright mode that I refer to is one of the two image tone available on K10D and K100D: Bright (some refer as vivid color) & Natural. The default image tone on K100D is "bright" mode but on K10D, the default is "natural" mode.

A.M.D.A. said...

Great lens overview, and some nice photographs!

I appreciate your sharing the info. :-)

Heero Zeero said...

Mister Hin, I need to talk to you about this lens. I recently purchased one and would like to ask you some questions about it. If you have spare time, please email me at michaelgruet@gmail.com. I'd really appreciate it if you can! Thanks!

Doron said...

Great review! thanks!
Is there any "bright mode" on the k200d too?
and how is the tamron compering to the sigma apo 70-300mm?

thanks again!

Hin Man said...

Doron, thanks for the visit and comment. I think the "bright mode" is the default in K100D and perhaps K200D. Check on Image Tone to be sure. As for Sigma 70-300mm, it is a better lens in terms of Purple Fringe control. In terms of sharpness and values, I think both are very close. I assume the build on Sigma is a bit better. Both do good in casual close up.

Dennis said...

I have the Tamron LD 75-300mm f/4-5.6. Someone on eBay didn't know how to spell Tamron so relatively few people saw it. It's absolutely mint and I was the only bidder. I got it for $20.00! He sent the wrong hood. The only one I could find is silver so it looks kind of weird but I don't care.

I took it on a cruise to Alaska in 2006 and got some stunning images using it on the *ist DL.

tokyoso said...

Do you notice any purple fringing with this lens?

Hin Man said...

yes, a lot of PF are seen with the lens, one need to stop down to at least f/8.0 and avoid contrast areas. It is a cheap and sharp lens but it comes with PF unfortunately. A better lens will be the Pentax DA 55-300mm.

Anonymous said...

Dropped here by chance - as I was looking for some reviews on Carl Zeiss Sonnar 135. Anyways very nice lens - I love taking pictures of the moon and Jupiter with that, and usually on Jupiter you can catch its moons (i got 3 once). PF/CA is a serious issue - but I never looked for ways to exterminate it. Now ill try with F8. Nice work btw

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