Last November, third party photographic lens maker Tamron announced that it was going to start developing its longest length telephoto lens: a monster that maxes out at 600mm. For comparison, there are astronomical telescopes with shorter focal lengths. The lens, to be officially known as the 150-600 f5-6.3 Di VC USD, started shipping last Friday.
Now, a mere 7 days later, what might be the first review has been posted online by Lensrentals.com founder Roger Cicala.
So, how does the new lens do? Short answer: rather well.
As an item of note: the new Tamron 150-600 was compared against the Canon 100-400L, the Sigma 50-500, and the old Tamron 200-500. was On the MTF resolution charts, the new Tamron more than holds its own against the competition, with the clear loser being the old 200-500 Tamron. Resolution-wise, the playing field is pretty level at the 200 and 400mm settings, those at which all the lenses were tested.
As for 600mm, the new lens does have a resolution fall-off, though Cicala notes that by stopping down, things improve a bit. On the other hand, if you want a 600mm zoom SLR lens, the new Tamron is your only choice.
Overall conclusion? According to Cicala, don't go making a purchase based on resolution tests as, more often than not, technique and environmental conditions play a larger role in making for a good (or bad) picture at such extreme focal lengths. Additionally, the in-hand feel should also be a consideration when making a purchase, too.
However, when it comes to bang for buck, the Tamron 150-600 offers more than the Canon or Sigma.
Overall impression: the Tamron 150-600mm is surely worth a close look.
For more info:
The full test