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4.5 out of 5 stars549
4.5 out of 5 stars
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Price:£84.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on 27 February 2009
The lens itself feels pretty good build quality and for the money, the optics are good too. As other reviewers have rightly pointed out, it is a little bit soft at the longer focal lengths (200-300mm), with some noticeable cyan fringe chromatic abberations. Lets face it, for £130 (or there about) you are not going to get top quality optics. If you are on a budget, as I was, you will not be disappointed with this lens. Just dont expect to be able to take razor sharp images at longer focal lengths with the clarity of a high quality apochromatic "pro" lens. In relatively low light conditions, you will find that the lens "hunts" so you have to switch to manual focus occasionally (esp if you stop down to f/8-f/11 to sharpen up at longer focal lengths). It maybe a touch noisy during auto-focusing but not too intrusive. The lens barrel rotates during focus so using circular-polarising filters can be a little troublesome but this can be overcome by focusing then switching to MF and adjusting your filter.

Pro's
Good focal length for mid-range nature photography.
Reasonably fast (f/5.6 at 200-300) for a cheap lens
Sharp under 200mm
Light weight
Good build quality

Con's
slightly soft over 200mm (can be rectified by stopping down to around f/8-f/11) or in CS3 post-production
Some noticable cyan chromatic abberation
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on 23 March 2009
This lens:
Does NOT win the title for the best image's sharpness.
Does NOT win the title for the best macro quality.
Does win the race for the best ALL in ONE value lens.

I am totally happy with this lens, its cheap and effective. Its not the best out there as i said- you should not expect a supreme lens with this price any way!-.
Its effective, nice photos, good macro feature, and good built quality.
I would recommended to any one who is a beginner -like me- and want to do some practice on different aspects of photography (macro and telephoto)before moving on to the serious part where you have to pay at least double the amount for only one of the previous features.
All in all:
Image quality: 3.75/5
Focusing: 3.5/5 (noisy and slow)
Macro feature: 3.75/5
Value: 5/5

A Pro? well, you should not be looking at this lens any way!
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on 5 April 2014
This lens is now my primary lens when I do drifting/sports events for a number of reasons, I'll list these reasons towards the end of this review.

The lens for the price is outstanding (£89), the build on it is superb, the lens hood is sturdy enough to take a good few knocks when out on trails or at events.

It will work in the rain, I've had it out in numerous weather conditions and it still works.

When it has been swapped for another lens, it really doesn't take that much room in the bag (I use the Lowepro Vertex 300 AW Photo/ 17" Notebook Backpack for Digital SLR & 6-8 lenses - Black for hiking/sports and the AmazonBasics Backpack for SLR Cameras and Accessories Black backpack for biking) and I can fit it in the 18-55mm space no bother (I reverse the lens hood on it so it takes up less space and to give it some protection from bumps)

The lens hood clips in to place very securely so you know that it won't slide off unlike my Nikon 55-200MM F4 - 5.6G AF-S DX Lens - Black which falls off from time to time.

The macro mode is activated when the lens is in the range of 180mm and 300mm, there is a slider on the lens itself for this, this too is very snug and won't go on by accident.

Macro mode as a distance of 3.1ft for its closest focusing, but I reckon a few extension tubes would increase that.

The grips feel really well made and are easy to use while wearing gloves.

Let me know if this review was useful in your decision or if you have any questions about it.
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on 27 July 2013
Most amateurs think that pros always use pro quality lenses. This is far from the truth - especially for lenses we would not use everyday. This lens could earn you serious money. My review is based on just an afternoon's work at a gliding club shooting gliders and their tow planes- both static and flying, and the gliders being winched launched and of course landing. I particularly wanted to shoot at 300mm handheld and shot at 200 ASA at 400th second in shutter priority mode on a Canon 550D plus battery grip..
I should add that I got my lens second hand on ebay for £62 including postage and the lenshood. The lens is mint so I was not upset when a rear lens cap was not included as it should have been!
The autofocus is not loud and screechy; in fact I did not notice it whilst working. Yes the lens will sometimes hunt a little with a moving object but the amount of keepers I got meant that usually the lens could focus a heck of a lot more rapidly and surely than I could. For a non sports lens this was terrifically good. Some reviewers say the lens is soft at 300mm. Well of course it will not compete with a good quality prime normal lens but I can assure all the doubters that it is more than good enough for photolibraries like alamy which (usually) asks for critically sharp material at least in one plane if you will pardon the pun.
If I could have shot a 500th of a second if the weather had been brighter then I would have got more keepers still. As a pro I can shoot at a 400th and get a good batting average but a 500th shutter speed would have been better if I could have managed it without going up to 400 ASA.
I haven't tried macro and I wish the lens mount was all metal but the lens does mount easily and does not seem to put much strain on whatever plastic is used. The gold contacts are of course metal.
Despite the slow apertures, this is a fine press lens at least in reasonable light. Yes, a Canon 300mm f2.8 is better; even the 300mm f4 would be better but this lens is light enough to live in a camera bag or car boot at all times. You try and carry around a 300mm f2.8 all day long!
Put the camera on a monopod or a tripod if you can and you have a good lens that can reach out to over 400mm (film equivalent) and is more than good enough for newspaper, magazine, or web use.It could earn you a small fortune with one shot...and as for my session with the gliders I got two images good enough for my own web site and I am picky. All in all it is very good value for money, and oh yes, my sample does not rattle. Always a good sign.
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on 31 March 2012
Even alongside lenses costing a lot more, this Tamron 70-300 performs well. OK it's the budget version without the anti-shake bells and whistles, but don't let that deter you. It's really excellent value for the money. I have a Nikon D300 + Nikkor 17-55 and 105 macro, which cost an arm and three legs - this cheap Tamron fills a much needed gap in my selection. I previously tried Tamron's 18-270 (but I might have been unlucky with the particular one which I tried) - at maximum range, the 70-300 out-performs the 18-270 version. Against a cheap Nikon 70-300, this lens exhibited less chromatic aberration. My Nixon lenses are both heavy brutes; this Tamron is refreshingly light to carry around and it also has a macro switch which does not do a bad job either. Unlike other telephotos, I have had no problems with lens creep or brewers droop and if needed, it is totally compatible with full format (FX) Nikon cameras.

Amazon's provided their usual excellent service as always, and even when the dispatch company lost my first lens, Amazon express shipped a replacement which arrived in time for my trip away - very well done Amazon!
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on 28 April 2014
I purchased this lens at the same time as my Nikon D3100 (which came with the 18-55mm kit zoom). I got this lens so that I would have a similar zoom capability with the DSLR as to what I had with my previous Fuji bridge camera. I was worried about the lack of vibration reduction. However as long as you have a good light level, allowing you to us a shutter speed of 1/500s or faster the shake is not an issue, and I have produced some very sharp images. It is worth remembering that if you use a high focal length to picture distant objects that you often get a haze from the air. A better test of the lens is taking smaller objects that are closer, such as birds etc. All in all for the price this is great value.
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Please don't take the Amazon star rating too serious - every lens has its pros and cons that I wouldn't want to squeeze into a single one-dimensional figure...
A quick note about me: I have been into SLR cameras and lenses for more than 20 years - as a hobby in the beginning and professionally later. Maybe because of my technical background I started testing my own lenses quite a while ago. I have a (no longer so) little test lab of my own where I do 6 different image quality tests (after taking a lens out for a while).

The AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD MACRO 1:2 is one of the lowest cost lenses available. It's made of plastics but looks nice and feels pretty solid. It has a very popular focal range but no image stabilizer which is problematic if you'd like to use the long end of the focal range without a tripod. The lens is compatible with both APS-C and full frame type cameras (the effective focal length with APS-C is 112 mm to 480 mm) and has a macro mode that allows close-ups at a magnification of up to 0.50 x. When considering image quality the AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD MACRO 1:2 has its ups and downs. The focal plane is straight as it should be (no "curvature") and corner shadows ("vignetting") are minor. Distortion is well under control but only if the lens is set to 70 mm and that's also where the lens is most capable of producing sharp images. At other focal lengthes it requires high f-stops to gain sharpness. Another obvious weakness of this lens are the color fringes ("chromatic aberrations") that occur both in sharp parts of the image ("transverse CA") and in out-of-focus parts of the image ("axial CA").

Though the AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD MACRO 1:2 certainly doesn't excel at image quality it's not totally bad or unuseable and I've seen lenses that are a lot worse and cost much more. So you'd definitely not buy this lens for its image quality but to extend your focal range at an acceptable image quality, a compact size and a very affordable price.

A much more detailed review of this lens together with all test shots, sample images and technical data is available on my website LensTests_com.
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on 22 July 2013
I'm just getting started with my photography but I decided to buy this lens to add to the 18-55mm that the camera came with.

I can't fault the macro ability of this lens, the shots have come out crystal clear and I can get incredibly close to the subject. Using it as a telephoto lens works equally as well, and it comes with a crown to fight glare.

Although I don't have the Nikon equivalent of this lens I can't see what the extra £200 price tag would add as the photos have come out perfect so far, I would definitely recommend this.
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on 30 November 2011
Once I'd chosen the dSLR that was best for me, which after much consideration turned out to be the K-r, I had to choose between getting the body with two kit lenses (18-55mm and 50-200mm) or just the 18-55mm kit and a budget long zoom.
Checking out all the reviews for the Sigma 70-300mm (non-APO) and this Tamron 70-300mm, since they were so similarly priced and within budget, I settled on the Tammy for a couple of reasons:
1) The sample photos (here on Amazon, and on Pentaxforums) seemed to demonstrate that through the lower focal lengths there was more sharpness from the Tammy. While the long end looked soft on both lenses, the Sigma seemed to just win out, but only just (I'm referring to the standard Sigma 70-300mm: the pricier APO coated Sigma lens wins by a greater margin, but it should since you're paying for it).
2) The macro functionality was my main reason for not choosing to spend a bit extra on the clearly superior optics of the Pentax 55-300mm. While both the Sigma and the Tammy had long macro ability, the macro shots I saw from the Tammy appeared to have a lot more "pop", and looked far sharper with what seemed like better DoF control.

While this lens definitely does suffer from CA (purple fringing mostly), some pretty wild flaring at times, and can be very tough to focus in lower light when at the long end, these difficulties are not at all insurmountable, and the strengths of the lens: the surprisingly good long macro performance, long portrait capability and excellent depth of field control (with smooth, pleasing bokeh being easy to get) well outweigh the limitations.

I spent the afternoon yesterday walking around with only this lens on the front of my K-r, and had some good fun getting to know what its limitations were, and how to get good shots out of it.

While this Tammy doesn't exactly ooze class, it is a great starter lens, and certainly worth considering for its macro capabilities alone. Take a look at some of the samples here, and on various review sites, and I don't think you'll find a better overall option at this price. That said, if you don't shoot macro, I would suggest buying the Pentax DAL 55-300mm, based on the sample images I've seen.

In the future, I'll be looking to upgrade to Pentax DA 55-300mm coupled with a Raynox DCR 150 (or for big bucks, the 300mm prime) and also the Tammy 90mm f2.8 macro. Until that day comes, however, my 18-55mm is nicely accompanied by this useful value zoom and fine macro lens all-in-one, and will do me just fine.
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on 20 January 2012
After reading many reviews on lenses i went for the tamron over the sigma apo. i tested the tamron over 200 shots and was suprised at how sharp the images turned out. Generally for good hand held shots you want to be at f-7 to f-11 and from 1/400th of a second upwards shutter speed for max sharpness. its usable right up to 300mm at these settings.I have seen purple fringing in 3 shots at max focal lenght but nothing like as bad as some people say online at just over 1% of shots taken i can live with that. taking every thing into account this lens is a real bargain.
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