I recently got my hands on the new Tamron 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC, thanks to the Tamron India team. I have been using the world’s lightest 18-200mm interchangeable lens (for APS-C DSLR cameras) for the past two weeks, so i thought of sharing my experience with this lens by writing a review post.
The Tamron 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC lens is the successor to the existing lens with the similar focal length, with advancements such as much improved AF system, Vibration Compensation (also known as image stabilization), better chromatic aberration control, zoom-lock feature and moisture resistance. The lens also features round shaped seven blade aperture which produces round bokeh.
To start with, this all-purpose lens for APS-C camera bodies by Tamron is a great pick for those of you who are looking for a light and affordable lens which can be used to click anything from landscapes to portraits and from wildlife to street photography. Let’s see how this lens stands with the features mentioned on the official Tamron website.
A megazoom lens allows the photographer to capture a larger area, covering from wide-angle to telephoto range. Yes, this lens does fall under this category as it provides a focal length range of 18-200mm, equivalent to 28-310mm on APS-C bodies. While travelling, all you have to do is pack this 400g lens mounted on your camera, no need to carry multiple lenses. In a way, this lens is a combo of two lenses: 18-55mm and 55-200mm/55-250mm.
I would rate this feature 9/10.
I tested the Tamron 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC lens by mounting it on the Canon 550D. The images displayed below shows how this lens can cover wide range of focal length.
Vibration Compensation (VC)
Tamron claims that this lens can help you capture sharp handheld photos even at a focal length of 200mm. I put the lens to test and found that to a certain extent this lens does click average sharp images when at 200mm with a negligible shake. Getting VC at this cost is itself a great thing and i don’t think any other all-purpose lens is providing image stabilization feature at INR 17,900.
I would rate this feature 8/10.
Sharing some sample images clicked handheld at 200mm. (all images are straight out of the camera)
New high-performance AF drive module
As claimed by Tamron, the newly designed autofocus drive module with optimal DC motor-gear train integration makes AF faster, quieter and more precise. While clicking photos on AI SERVO mode, i found that the AF was faster and averagely precise, but at this price tag you can not ask for more. The focus motor is quiet and you can hardly feel the lens changing the focus.
I would rate this feature 7/10.
These photos were clicked on AI SERVO mode, at some instances, the lens did miss the focus 2/10 times but the focus was spot-on 8/10 times.
Chromatic aberrations are well controlled, though i observed minor purple fringing at the edges, which can be overcome by increase the aperture value by 1-2 stops.
The focus lock feature lets you lock the focus of the lens at 18mm, in case you do not want to change the focal length thoughtout your shoot.
You must have seen vignetting in the images above, but that is the case with a majority of lenses at higher focal length, didn’t find it to be on a higher side.
If you are for an all-purpose lens which is light and easy to carry and is less expensive as well, then the Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC is a great option to go for. The Canon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens and Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II both would cost you INR 45,995 and INR 47,950 respectively, which costs almost triple in comparison to the INR 17,900 Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC. This lens worth upgrading if you are planning to move on from your 18-55mm kit lens and have a budget of around INR 17,900. There are few drawbacks of this lens as well, such as high degree of distortion and minor chromatic aberration. Being a megazoom lens (as Tamron categorises this lens as) there would be minor compromises made here and there to be able to offer the lens to you at INR 17,900. All in all, this is a must buy lens if you are a frequent traveller or like packing your camera bag light.
To know more about the Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC lens, check out the official Tamron website.
Sharing some clicks captured using the Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC: