Tamron 150-600mm Finally Arrived, Initial Thoughts

Gear Reviews July 24th 2014 3:24 PM 18 Comments

Well, to say that it took a while to get this lens after requesting it is an understatement, but alas, the lens has finally arrived. I have taken the time to take the lens out a bit so I can share some more thoughts on it than just its appearance and build quality.

Initial Thoughts On The Build

IMG_4053First off, the lens is not quite as large as I was expecting it to be, but at the same time, it is a very sizable lens. My initial thoughts on its build quality are somewhat mixed -it seems solidly built, with high quality plastics, but aside from the lens mount, not much on this lens appears to be metal. That helps to keep the weight down, but I wouldn’t expect this lens to take much of a beating. For $1000, I am not sure they could do much better though.

The barrel extends from this lens quite a bit, so balancing it on a tripod or monopod may get tricky unless you are holding it the whole time. The buttons and focus/zoom rings on the lens seem to be well made, and easy to use. No complaints there. Overall in the build quality department, the lens is solid, but not extremely solid. Take care of it and it will take care of you – not a lens to get if you are rough with your gear.

I have the lens for a month, so if any issues crop up, I can amend this in the final review, but for now, I am happy with the overall build of the lens.

A Closer Look At The Tamron 150-600mm

  •  Before  After
  •  Before  After
  •  Before  After
  •  Before  After
  •  Before  After
  •  Before  After
  •  Before  After
  •  Before  After

Some Quick Performance and IQ Thoughts

I have not had a ton of time with the lens yet, so I won’t have a lot of examples here or any final thoughts, but here are a few things have stood out to me that I think are worth sharing.

Tamron 150-600mm @ 150mm on the EOS M

Tamron 150-600mm @ 150mm on the EOS M

First off, the lens is barely useable at 600mm as far as sharpness goes. If you REALLY need the shot at that range, you can make it work with some extra sharpness in post, but really I wouldn’t use this lens past 500mm.

Tamron 150-600mm @ 600mm on the EOS M

Tamron 150-600mm @ 600mm on the EOS M

I was actually impressed with this lens in the AF department. Even on my EOS-M, the AF was pretty quick and very accurate. It only really had trouble with fast moving sports – but that had more to do with the EOS M than this lens. If you are a sports or wildlife photographer and are looking for a cheaper lens for when the F/2.8′s are not needed, this could be a great option for you.

 

Tamron 150-600mm @ 428mm on the EOS M

Tamron 150-600mm @ 428mm on the EOS M

As always, these initial thoughts posts are not meant to be full reviews, just some quick observations about the lens soon after I receive it. If you are interested in getting your hands on this lens you can find it over on B&H for just $1069.

If you have any questions about the lens or want me to specifically touch on any areas of the lens in the final review, please leave a comment below.

Advertisement
Anthony Thurston

About

Anthony Thurston is a portrait and sports photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area as well as a senior writer here at SLR Lounge. You can check out some of his work on his Website. You may also connect with him via Email, Google Plus, or Facebook.

18 Comments

  1. Rambo Estrada

    Would be awesome if you could let us know how it goes on a DSLR?

    2
    • Zeralda LaGrange

      Hi Rambo

      I have this lens and have used it for the past couple of months on both my Canon 7D and Canon 40D and i have had great results. I am very impressed with the sharpness and quality of photos. I’m primarily a nature/wildlife photographer. My only real complaint is that i have to use the tripod more often than I normally do due to the weight but that could be because I have small hands. :) Hope this was somewhat helpful.

      7
    • Anthony Thurston

      The EOS M is equivalent to just about any Canon APS-C DSLR, but yes I will also talk about how it works on a DSLR.

      3
  2. Thomas Pettersson

    tamron 150-600 @600mm
    https://scontent-a-fra.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/t31.0-8/s960x960/10256759_618242651606954_1172653637848891564_o.jpg

    0
  3. Phil Bautista

    Cnsdering you are using an EOS-M, which has a smaller sensor than even an APS-C, the fact that it isn’t sharp at 600mm is a sorry failing of the lens. That said, other reviews of this lens have mentioned similar findings but are quite happy with it overall in spite of that shortcoming.

    0
    • Anthony Thurston

      Sorry Phil you are wrong, the EOS-M has the SAME EXACT sized sensor as other Canon crop bodies. Not sure where you are getting that information.

      4
    • Phil Bautista

      My bad Tony. I had it confused with the Nikon 1′s CX sensor, which is even smaller than a micro four thirds sensor.

      2
    • Matthew Saville

      Besides, if the sensor WERE smaller than 1.6x, then that would only be more understandable, NOT a “sorry failing”. Because it would mean that you were trying to resolve far more than, say, a full-frame camera body of similar resolution. That’s how resolution and sensor size works.

      =Matt=

      1
    • Phil Bautista

      Sorry Matt but from my understanding, a smaller sensor would make use of a smaller area of the lens, usually the center (which should be the sharpest). But I’m not an engineer and have been wrong before so what do I know.

      1
    • Matthew Saville

      Yes, you’re correct, the corner issues that might plague a full-frame camera would not plague a crop sensor camera. HOWEVER corner issues aren’t usually that big of a problem on these longer telephoto lenses; usually they’re quite flat when it comes to MTF readouts.

      What I was referring to was the actual resolving power of the lens. Take a 24 megapixel full-frame camera, and a 24 megapixel crop sensor camera, and mount them on the same lens. Pixel-per-pixel, the crop sensor is going to “see more” of what the lens is capable of resolving. Therefore, it is going to be more demanding of that lens, and could potentially “out-resolve” the lens if you try and cram too many megapixels into too small a sensor.

      =Matt=

      1
  4. Emilio Savov

    A Tamron 150-600mm on an Canon EOS-M …… I’m sorry but I don’t get it. I’m an old fashioned guy, to me a DSLR is a DSLR, and Canon EOS-M is a toy for when you’re ain’t got what to do.
    I’ll try to test the 150-600mm at 600mm on an old Nikon D300 and see what results will I get.

    1
    • Anthony Thurston

      What is not to get? The EOS-M is what I had available at the time of shooting. Specifically with the moon shots it provided me an opportunity to get some more reach. The M has the exact same sensor as the 60D (or any of Canon’s other APS-C DSLRs from that generation), it provides the same image quality at a fraction of the size. You may see a “Toy”, but I see a valuable tool that saves me weight and space. In the end I fail to see how what camera I used it on is even relevant other than to note sensor size and AF performance.

      5
  5. Rui Pinto

    Anthony, people like to criticize :) You are right about your review. Totally agree.

    3
  6. MARTIN MIANO

    Good review and I personally think the lens does really great esp with both the sports shots and moon shots …at 1000$ one has bang for your buck right there

    2
  7. Austin Swenson

    This sounds like a ridiculously good range to focus in and out of, but that’s got to be more of a tripod lens, especially for longer focal lengths, even with VR right?

    1
    • Phil Bautista

      From the youtube reviews I’ve seen, it’s manageable even hand held. Still soft at 600mm though.

      0
  8. Tom Bogan

    Would love to see some landscape examples of this lens. Also how is the lens flare?

    2
  9. Jeff Morrison

    I have this great lens….

    0

Leave a reply

Advertisement