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61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow - it CAN be done for this kind of money!
I'd been trying to get some decent results out of a Canon 70-300 non-L IS for the last 2 years but it really isn't that nice a lens at 300mm, and the colours have a nasty yellow tinge that's hard to remove in post processing as well. Maybe using L lenses has spoiled me for that one and I expected too much?

Anyway, I read good things about the Tamron, was doing...
Published on 13 April 2012 by D. Harden

versus
17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great lens - but grey import, beware.
Despite specifically avoiding the cheaper Amazon partners from Germany etc and ordering from Amazon themselves, this lens was a grey import. There was no guarantee card in the box and when I went to register it on the Tamron website using the lens serial number it said that the lens would have no warranty of any type and certainly not their 5 year warranty. Beware.
Published on 13 Feb 2012 by Ianc


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61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow - it CAN be done for this kind of money!, 13 April 2012
By 
D. Harden (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Tamron SP AF 70-300 F/4-5.6 Di VC USD Lens for Canon (Accessory)
I'd been trying to get some decent results out of a Canon 70-300 non-L IS for the last 2 years but it really isn't that nice a lens at 300mm, and the colours have a nasty yellow tinge that's hard to remove in post processing as well. Maybe using L lenses has spoiled me for that one and I expected too much?

Anyway, I read good things about the Tamron, was doing some kit upgrading and decided to give this a go. I've now tried it on a 7D, 50D and 20D and it has worked impeccably, with no adjustment required, on all three bodies. Colours and contrast are very good indeed. Not just for the price, but for a 70-300 zoom in general!

The good: AF is fast and quiet - very similar in performance to a USM L lens, and streets ahead of Canon's 70-300 IS (non L). Full time manual focusing is implemented too - you can turn the AF ring at any time without having to disengage the AF mechanism. Focusing is also internal - nothing rotates on the lens body. There's a distance scale too, which the Canon doesn't have. Image resolution is impressive at all focal lengths. 300mm is perhaps slightly less sharp than 250mm down is but it's not like most other "consumer" 70-300 models - this time the 300mm images are actually very good, even at f5.6. In fact stopping down, whilst it does improve sharpness, doesn't make a huge difference. Chromatic Aberrations are very well controlled. I've seen minor fringing on some highlight edges but it's very thin indeed. The "bokeh" (i hate that term but it's the one people know) is very nice indeed and so natural looking you take it for granted. By comparison, backgrounds from the Canon model are "jittery" and messy. VC works well and also doesn't need switching to mode 2 for panning like the Canon does. I managed to get a usable shot at 1/8s in testing. This wouldn't be 100% repeatable but 1/30 is easily achievable for the steady of hand. It's well balanced - it's VERY easy to hand hold this lens on any of my bodies. It just seems to sit "right". Finally, the price: brilliant and I'm still not sure how they've done it! (not complaining, mind)

The "bad": The AF ring is close to the camera body. This CAN result in out of focus shots if you accidentally catch it. However it's actually nicer to hold further down the barrel so hasn't been an issue for me yet. VC can jerk a bit on engage and disengage, and can sometimes sway a little if you hold it too steady! It's something that happens occasionally rather than all the time though. AF can be a bit uncertain at the "lock on" stage. Initially I thought it was the VC jumping a bit but it's actually the AF shunting slightly. Again, doesn't always happen and is more likely in low light - just be aware of it really.

On a few of my lenses i've had to use the Microadjust of the 7D and 50D to get AF to be spot on. I was worried that the Tamron may be problematic given it's price and might cause issues on the 20D (which my son uses - this lens is mainly for him). It has needed 0 adjustment on either of the bodies that can do it and has proved on many test shots now taken to be dead on with the 20D. I've also tried it with a Kenko 1.4x converter and results were much better than I was expecting. More testing to do with that combo yet though....

If you buy one of these and results aren't what you expected (ie soft images) there are a few things that might be wrong. 1: Your technique MAY be off - 300mm requires careful handling. 2: AF may be out of adjustment - try MA if the camera supports it or send it back for a replacement / fix. It really should be good at 300! 3: There may be a build error (ie misalignment)in your lens. Again, send it back for replacement or adjustment. It looks like I got a good one at first try, thankfully, but lenses do suffer build variations - check it out thoroughly on receiving it!

For the record, the Canon 70-300 isn't horrible, in fact it's quite sharp under 200mm and the 300mm end is OK if the subject is fairly close. But it really doesn't get close to the Tamron on any level, in my experience, and I have no hesitation in recommending anyone considering a lens of this type to either stump up for the Canon 70-300 "L" (over 1000) or get this for a third of the price but with performance that is almost in the same league as the "L".
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great lens AND 5 yr warranty!, 18 Feb 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Tamron SP AF 70-300 F/4-5.6 Di VC USD Lens for Canon (Accessory)
Can't argue with this lens, it does what it's supposed to, and it does it admirably.
What i would like to point out is about the warranty issues other buyers have mentioned.
This lens IS eligable for the extended 5 year warranty.
When i tried to apply online it said my lens was sourced from another country and i couldnt complete the form.
I found out it was also sourced from France, but all was not lost.
I rang Tamron and explained, and was told it was eligable for the 5 yr warranty and it was just a problem with the online form.
What you have to do is go to the Tamron website, click the 5yr warranty link and scroll down until you get to the download form link near the bottom of the page, print it out, fill it in, and send it off and your lens is covered!
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Lens for Nikon D7000, 25 Jan 2011
First, the lens is certainly not unobtrusive - people will look at you if it's attached to a camera round your neck. You may get used to the loss of anonymity/embarrassment, but I haven't yet. You may even get a twitcher speak to you, as happened to me, though I feel he just wanted to make me feel inadequate with his huge 150-500 zoom.

The lens is also heavy, but not quite as heavy as it looks.

It can be used on full-frame (FX) cameras, but I've only tried it on APS-C (DX) cameras.

In the couple of weeks since I've had it I've swapped between a D80 and a D7000, so I'll review the optical performance against each camera. And yes, the performance is different. I'll only review it at the long (300mm) end, as this is what the majority of people are most interested in. As you'd expect, the lens seems a little better at the short end.

On the D80: for subjects at long distances, I was amazed at how sharp it was fully open (F5.6), and it was even a little sharper at F11. However, closer in was much less impressive. Between 5m-20m, a critical distance for pictures of small birds, it was soft at F5.6 and still fairly soft at F11. Very disappointing.

On the D7000: I did some test shots, and found it was back-focusing. I dialed this out using the D7000 lens micro adjust feature (-7, but this is a compromise as it doesn't behave completely consistently at all distances), and the lens is performing much better. Its distance performance is again excellent at all apertures. Its near performance still doesn't match its performance towards infinity, but it is now very good. However, I still don't trust it to consistently focus with complete accuracy on closer shots at F5.6. It's best to keep it at F11, where it's excellent.

VC (the Tamron version of VR) really is fantastic. When it locks on, the image is pretty much frozen in your viewfinder. Much better than my Nikon 55-200.

The lens focuses pretty quickly. I'm getting a much better hit rate for birds in flight than I got using the Nikon 55-200 VR. If you're thinking of upgrading from the Nikon 55-200 (like me) the focusing speed alone means you should.

Images are very snappy - colourful and contrasty.

I'm finding it hard to rate this sample of the lens. On the D80, for bird pictures I'd give it 3*, but 5* if you wanted to take pictures of aircraft. It's undoubtedly 5* on the D7000 after adjustment. It's imperfect, but I think it's still very good for the price.

5 year guarantee: If you live in the UK check that the lens is from an official UK stockist. I queried the Tamron website before purchasing, who forwarded the query to Intro 2020. I quote 'Tamron lenses purchased from official UK Tamron stockists are eligible for a 5 year warranty, which is supplied by Intro 2020'.

UPDATE

I've had the lens for a little over 3 months now, and I'm very pleased with it - I've taken lots of sharp shots at 300mm at distances of 2-20m (on the D7000). The in-camera micro adjustment has resolved the back-focusing on this sample. It's my favourite home turf walk-about lens.

The lens comes with a very large lens hood, which can be attached to the lens in reverse for storage. But you can't operate the zoom with the hood reversed because it's so massive. I just leave the hood at home now, as I've not had any flair issues. Well, except when I was pointing at the sun at sunset, and the hood wouldn't have fixed that.

The VC on this lens is much more impressive in tests than actual use, and I hardly use it now. It takes a second or so to settle, and then clonks in with a shudder. Unless the subject is motionless, it's far more likely to ruin an image than to help. I also think that this technology is being made redundant by improved high ISO performance.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the Nikon equivalent?, 23 Aug 2011
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I have used this lens extensively over the past few days and I would have to say I am impressed. It is sharp across the entire focal length range and yes I have been pixel peeping. The focus is fast enough for my needs in most situations and minimum focus distance is usefully close. Focus can sometimes hunt in low light and low contrast situations, but this does not happen often. The only minor niggle becomes evident when using the lens at full range over a long distance, (about a mile). IQ tends to suffer some at greater distances but in my experience, most zooms do so I can't complain. All in all, a good buy and I would recommend it wholeheartedly.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great value product, 4 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Tamron SP AF 70-300 F/4-5.6 Di VC USD Lens for Canon (Accessory)
I am very much a beginner at photography and recently bought a canon 600D camera with canon's basic lens and also a Tamron 70 - 300 telephoto lens for use capturing images of wildlife. The original lens I purchased did not have VC and I immediately regreted the decision - hand held shots were disappointing. I very quickly upgraded to this lens and the improvement is instantly obvious with very pleasing photos. I am not qualified or experienced enough to talk about whether the lens is "soft" at full focal length or to give any other objective comments - simply that it appears to be an excellent lens for the money and has so far made me very happy with my choice!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Value for Money, 4 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Tamron SP AF 70-300 F/4-5.6 Di VC USD Lens for Canon (Accessory)
I have been using this lens extensively over the past year and it has served me very well. Good optical quality, fast and silent focusing with consistent results. Build is very good, the lens hood is great and attaches with no fuss, has a nice centre pinch cap so you don't have to remove the hood to take it off. You won't be able to better it without spending double the money. I am dropping a star because when the light drops off the images don't seem as vibrant and require a bit more work in post processing to add some 'pop'. Don't let that deter you though, for it's intended use it is spot on, good job Tamron. 5 year warranty as well, eat that Canon!
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the Nikon...., 30 July 2011
By 
Tim Kidner "Hucklebrook Hound" (Salisbury, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This Anniversary SP (Superior Performance) Tamron zoom finally gets into my gadget bag. It's optically more consistently good than the Nikkor 70-300 VR that it is obviously pitched against. I personally much prefer the handling of the Tamron to that of the Nikon.

However, whilst the AF is often as quick as the Nikon's SWM, the VC does make a fair bit more noise, with a gentle clunk and almost inaudible whirr during. That said, it is a whole lot quieter in this respect than their (Tamron) 28-300mm model, which presumably is an older and more primitive design.

It is a smart looking zoom, with small embellishments in gold livery. It's slightly smaller than the Nikon and usefully accepts smaller 62mm filters, compared to 67mm. My main bugbear, handling wise with the Nikon was the almost non-existent manual focus ring, so unnaturally close to the camera body, I'd have to actually take my eye away from the viewfinder and physically look for it. Tamron's, while still being in the now normal 'G' series position, like the Nikon, is much wider and once found, is easy to familiarise with again after.

Zooming is fairly stiff but smooth, with a reassuring rubberised grip. I've used it both on my usual semi-pro full-frame (FX) Nikon D700 and a newly acquired used second body D200, which is the more usual DX format and the focal length on that equates to about 105-400mm, a very useful range for everyday telephoto shooting. The overall handling was excellent with both and some pro portraits I took at maximum aperture in an overcast garden provided me with clear, clean images with a natural and satisfying bokeh.

The VC, as we've come to expect these days, visibly locks the subject in the viewfinder, which can appear a little odd if you hold it there. You feel yourself move, or feel you should be! 1/60 sec is easily achievable at 300mm in non-windy situations. I used a Sigma 1.4x teleconverter (the EX DG apo) with the lens, on the D200, a focal length around 560mm and a shutter speed of 1/125 and the results were very impressive (& proves that this converter is compatible with the Tamron, though Sigma would argue that and there are some AF issues close up. See my review of that on Amazon for an update on the quality I found using it with this lens.

Image quality seems to be as detailed as the Nikkor, but maybe without the aggressive contrast that gave extra bite to the Nikon, up to about 240mm. From thereon, however, as many noticed, including myself, the Nikon's 300mm image didn't quite pass the test; good contrast but detail that just wasn't as good as its predecessor, their venerable and extremely popular 'D' series that the VR 'G' replaces. Many would use such lenses at 300mm and the Tamron is better. The sharpness won't take your eye out but has decent, fine detail, whereas the Nikon didn't. I've read magazine reports since that suggest that the Nikkor is better optically, for sports and wildlife, where the centre is of paramount importance - and may be cropped further. And that the Tamron is better all round and for travel, scenery and landscapes. I still know which I prefer, though.

The pincushion distortion (lines at the edge of the frame bend inwards, the opposite of barrel distortion) of the new Nikon is dreadful, quite noticeable even in the viewfinder and if you're after long reach architectural shots, you may even be put off from using it at all (I was). Those that tell you that you can indeed correct this in Photoshop, that is true. But only in the advanced and expensive CS version of that software. And that once corrected, image space has been 'stolen' after cropping. Unless one started out with a RAW or TIFF file, you end up with huge PSD (Photoshop files). Even the Tamron 28-300mm that I briefly used fares better in that respect at the long end.

Tamron's distortion figures are much more in line with the old D series Nikon. You won't notice it in real life and I can happily use it for architectural shots. Some test reports liken it to be on a par with prime (fixed focal) lenses in this respect.

Is this Tamron a better buy than the Nikon?

Well it is generally a little cheaper but still serious money. Whereas the Nikon is now their bog standard enthusiast lens and feels reasonably well made, it does seem made to a not particularly generous budget. In theory, an independent lens of similar spec and price should be better as their profit margin per unit is less and a brand name has to be kept advertised to keep up the marque's reputation.

The Tamron feels just that bit nicer; the grip, the handling and the finish all lead to a pleasing product. It might not immediately get you taking better photos, but a confident and relaxed snapper is far more likely to be able to react to the unexpected - and capture it. I picked mine up and used it happily in moments and am confident enough to use it at the aperture and zoom setting that my photograph at the time calls for. Neither of which I could honestly say about the Nikon.

I could also say that I wish I'd bought this before the Nikon. I know many are very happy with their Nikon equivalent; I wasn't and now almost forgotten having used it. I also know that the Tamron is one of my three main lenses, whereas that Nikon would always give me a reason of doubt. A sense of doubt in the product will invariably lead to doubt in one's abilities as a photographer - and that can never be a good thing.

If you're after a decent case for it, then Tamrac's MX5380 is what I use and is a perfect fit.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tamron SP AF 70-300 F/4-5.6 Di VC USD Lens for Canon, 17 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Tamron SP AF 70-300 F/4-5.6 Di VC USD Lens for Canon (Accessory)
Gobsmacked! I don't do a massive amount of photography and what I do is just for fun and family really but I have been tarting around with a second hand 20 yr old non-IS lens in 70-210 f4 for ages, well this product has immediately proved to me that if you buy a reasonably decent bit of kit in the first place you'll get better images. OK this is no L series lens price-wise but, and it's a proper but, this must come close to the best quality you can get for the price. I'm very impressed as you can no doubt tell. Mind you given the overall dimensions with it on, I probably won't use the included hood (which is a nice touch including it in the price agreed) unless I really need to.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tamron 70-300 - a belter of a lens!, 2 Aug 2011
By 
Snappy (Lincolnshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tamron SP AF 70-300 F/4-5.6 Di VC USD Lens for Canon (Accessory)
When it comes to lenses, I am very picky, and only use Canon 'L' glass. The downside of that is weight, and for a forthcoming trip to Italy, I wanted to travel light, and this lens weighs only 765gm compared to my usual Canon 70-200L IS at 1.77kg - considerable saving.

Before purchase, I'd done lots of research, read many reports, and was swayed by the marginally better performance at the 300mm lens that the Canon equivalent in that price band.

And so far, I am not disappointed. I use a 5D Mk 2 and a 7D and fine-tuned the focus micro adjustment to get the best from this lens out of the box - an exercise well worth the time and effort.

On both cameras, the lens handles well, focuses quickly and silently. Looking at the results I was impressed - good tonal range, no discernable colour shift, accurate focusing and when stopped down a good depth of field. In short, the quality difference from L series is hard to tell, and images are good enough for publication. I once owned a Sigma 70-300APO lens but its results were variable, whereas there is more consistency from the Tamron.

I've one grumble in that the focusing ring is close to where the left hand holds the lens, so as it's got full time manual focusing, care is needed not to knock a subject off-focus.

I had looked at buying Canon's recently launched 70-300L lens but while it is also a cracking lens, the Tamron is a third of the price, and my own view is that the quality difference does not justify the average [] price tag for the Canon lens.

It's a belting lens for the price and has the benefit of image stabilisation too. Question is, do I sell the 70-200L ???????
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Tamron canon combination., 6 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Tamron SP AF 70-300 F/4-5.6 Di VC USD Lens for Canon (Accessory)
An excellent lens, works beautifully on 700D Canon, auto focus and image stabilisation are superb. It is a heavier than you would expect type of lens but it does pack a lot in. The real test is the quality of the photographs, they are great even if I do say so.
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