Did the title confuse you? There are a lot of abbreviations up there.
First let me say that Tamron supplied me with this lens for my Canon camera to runs some tests and write about my experience. They gave me no guidance and my words and thoughts are my own. If it sucks, I’ll tell you (and likely Tamron will never send me another lens, but that’s life and I’m ok with it).
This lens doesn’t suck. It’s also not a professional lens and likely will not be a lens I use often as I have professional Canon lenses for my work photos.
That being said, I believe this lens has a market that might fit many of you reading this. It has a price point of $550 (that’s an Amazon link with a $100 rebate) and that fits many budgets when considering this lens takes the place of potentially two or three. It’s also a great travel lens as it is small and has a large zoom.
What do all those abbreviations mean? Di is a type of lens specially built for smaller sensor cameras (known as ‘cropped’ as compared to ‘full frame’. It’s likely you have one of these cameras.). II means this is the second generation of this lens. VC stands for Vibration Compensation and helps stabilize the lens especially when zoomed all the way out. It helps make pictures clearer. PZD is the Piezo Drive technology used for the focus setup, which helps keep the lens quieter and faster than the standard models. Last, AF is good old Auto Focus.
While the lens isn’t perfect, it performed like a champ over six weeks in Asia through three countries and then another two weeks in Peru. This was not a long term trial but it did give me a variety of shooting situations and different lighting to test out the lens. I will have a full review of the lens on Digital Photography School in a week or two, but let me give you some highlights:
- The small compact size was helpful in not standing out as a pro and gathering too much attention. The lens is discreet for the amount of zoom if embodies.
- The lens is light and easy to carry on long days.
- Focus is decent and it has a lock switch so the lens doesn’t drop down when transported.
- Images, I felt, were great. Again, it’s not a $2000 lens, it’s $600, which is a price point where you should start getting quality optics. This lens delivers in that context.
- The huge range is great in the field if you only want one lens on a trip.
As I will be giving a full review later on, let me leave you with some images taken with the camera while on the Asia leg of the trip.