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Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di VC LD Aspherical IF Macro AF

 
Lens Reviews / Tamron Lenses i Not yet tested
28-300mm $849
average price
image of Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di VC LD Aspherical IF Macro AF

(From Tamron lens literature) Tamron announces the AF28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di VC LD Aspherical (IF) Macro zoom lens, a high power zoom lens designed for DSLR cameras with full-size image sensors (Model A20), now equipped with a Vibration Compensation (VC) mechanism. The AF28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di VC is the ultimate high power zoom lens that covers everything from wide-angle to telephoto and Macro.

Tamron has incorporated a Vibration Compensator-an anti-shake mechanism developed by Tamron-into this highly versatile zoom lens. The new AF28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di VC LD Aspherical (IF) Macro zoom lens offers the convenience, comfort and versatility of a high power zoom lens and the capability to reduce hand-shake blur on DSLR cameras using either APS-C size or full-size format imagers.

When the AF28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di VC is used with a full-size format SLR camera, it covers a tremendous focal length range from 28mm in wide angle to 300mm ultra telephoto. When mounted on a DSLR with an APS-C sized imager, the lens covers a 43mm wide angle to 465mm ultra telephoto(*) (full size format equivalent, in a diagonal angle of view of 5.33 degrees).

(*) The ratio Tamron uses to convert from full size format to APS-C focal length is 1.55X.

MAIN FEATURES

VC (Vibration Compensation) Mechanism Reduces Hand-shake
The proprietary VC (Vibration Compensation) mechanism developed by Tamron features a triaxial configuration using three pairs of driving coils and slide balls around the compensator group of the lens' optical system. Since the compensator lenses are supported with rolling friction of the balls, the response performance is enhanced and the construction is simple, which results in the compactness of the lens. The lens incorporates a highly accurate gyro sensor for detecting hand-shake, which, combined with a 32-bit RISC CPU, offers comfortable anti-vibration effects.

Outstanding Design Realizing High Zoom Power, VC Mechanism and Compactness
The AF28-300mm F/3.5-6.5 XR Di VC integrates optical technologies that Tamron has accumulated as the pioneer and leader of high power zoom lenses in order to realize the desired compactness even while incorporating the VC mechanism. The optical system uses a number of lens elements made from special optical glass materials including XR (high refraction index) glass elements, GM (glass-molded) elements, hybrid aspherical elements, LD (low dispersion) glass elements to compensate for on-axis and lateral chromatic aberrations and AD (anomalous dispersion) glass element. The lens offers high contrast, high resolution performance and flatness of the image field as a one-does-it-all zoom lens designed to match the characteristics of DSLR cameras.

Revolutionary MFD of 19.3" (0.49m) Throughout Zoom Range Provides 1:3 Macro Magnification Ratio
The AF28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di VC Macro boasts an MFD (minimum focusing distance) of 19.3" (0.49m) over the entire zoom range, a top-class close focusing capability among high power zoom lenses for full-size format SLR cameras, which provides the remarkable maximum Macro magnification ratio of 1:3 at the 300mm telephoto end.

Internal Surface Coatings Minimize Ghosting and Flare
Through the use of "Internal Surface Coatings" (i.e., multiple-layer coatings on cemented surfaces of plural elements) and multiple-layer coatings to prevent reflections from lens surfaces, ghosting and flare due to reflections that occur when light enters through the front element as well as reflections caused by the imager itself are reduced to the absolute minimum.

Ultra-High Zoom Power, yet Lightweight and Compact Design Thanks to New Mechanical Devices
Tamron has reviewed the roles that respective barrel parts play in order to achieve the high power, compactness and light weight. As a result, dimensional increases are confined to a mere 0.7" (17.8mm) in overall length and about 5mm in diameter, when compared with the existing AF28-300mm (Model A061), despite the incorporation of the VC mechanism.

Zoom Lock Mechanism for Enhanced Portability
The zoom lock prevents unwanted barrel extension when carrying the lens/camera combination over the shoulder.

Flower-shaped Lens Hood
A flower-shaped lens hood is included as a standard accessory. The special hood provides optimum shading of superfluous light rays that enter from the rectangular frame outside the image field.

Note: The Nikon version features a built-in AF motor for use with all Nikon DSLRs including D40, D40x and D60.

Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di VC LD Aspherical IF Macro AF User Reviews

6.9/10 average of 12 reviews Build Quality 7.3/10 Image Quality 7.3/10
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by (3 reviews)
    Size, weight, VC, convenience,
    not 'tack' sharp at 300mm wide open

    I am a realist and read a lot about this lens prior to purchase. I have a 5DII and 6 lenses - 3 of which were expensive. It is all in a large now heavy camera bag. I stopped taking the 5DII out because of the weight and taking 2 or more lenses. I was taking a Sony NEX instead.
    Love the 5DII had it 4 years now, after a lot of time pondering I took the plunge and bought a nearly new Tamron 28-300mm VC.

    I am very pleased with it. Pictures up to 200mm a very nice especially stopped down a little which I do anyway as I usually shoot in Aperture mode.
    At the 300mm end it is not sharp at 6.3 but improves after that and my lense is fine at F8 and beyond. When taking in distance there are more issues such at haze etc to be concerned about at that focal length.

    Using the lens on the 5DII also means that when I review my shots viewed at about 40% image size equates to an A2 print on my computer screen. Also showing pics on my TV which is big screen the pics look good.

    I have done a couple of A2 prints now and to me they look great plenty of detail and sharpness.

    As stated the size of the lens, wight great VC all as I had hoped.

    What it has done for me has got me out using the 5DII again rather than other cameras.

    As a bonus the 5DII recognises the lens and does in camera peripheral illumination so in jpg it sorts out any vignetting!

    What I did read is that due to manufacturing tolerances there are differing degrees of lens quality I guess I am fortunate and mine is fine. I did try an old non VC version about 5 or 6 years ago on my old 5D but it was a lemon and was returned.

    The VC is very good but not silent and you actually see the image stop moving about in your viewfinder.

    Focus is quick enough but slows down a little as light drops off.

    For me personally I love the lens, it does what it says on the tin and I have no issues with the images viewed on computer, TV or printed up to A2.

    I am a cured 200% pixel peeper though!

    reviewed September 25th, 2013 (purchased for $400)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by (5 reviews)
    Compact and lightweight, excellent zoom range, SQF is great, VC outstanding.
    Full frame it has some light fall off, but on APS-C not a problem.

    At the time I purchased this lens I was using a Canon 18-200mm IS. I Chose to buy this lens and give up the Canon for several reasons. One, I needed a little more reach, even though I gave up a little on the wide end, since I do mostly wildlife this wasn't a problem. Two, reading the reviews, especially from Popular Photography, the SQF was slightly better with the Tamron, especially for larger prints. The Canon might have an edge in construction, but that is very slight, if at all. I've been shooting with it now for about six months and love it. It is easy to use, excellent vibration control, as good as the Canon. The auto focus is just a tiny bit slower, but not an issue. The only thing I wish it had was a HSM motor. Other than that, I have no complaints.

    reviewed May 29th, 2011 (purchased for $549)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by (1 reviews)
    Zoom Range, VC, Macro Capabilities
    Auto Focus a bit slow at times

    I do not know why this lens is getting bad reviews. It is well constructed (very tight lens, much better than my Canon 28-135 USM IS lens). I wonder if people are not taking the time to learn how to shoot well with this lens. I went out for a couple weekends and practiced shooting with it, trying varying f-stops etc and was able to get some extremely sharp shots. F6.3-F8.0 seems to be the best setting throughout the range. I was also able to get a lot of great macro shots (good bokeh).

    For a single walkaround lens this one fits the bill very well.

    reviewed July 16th, 2010 (purchased for $449)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by (1 reviews)
    incredible range, light, great walk around lens
    soft at both ends

    I really enjoy this lens. It is a great lens for putting on the camera and going out for the day.

    reviewed April 5th, 2009 (purchased for $600)
  • 3 out of 10 points and not recommended by (5 reviews)
    VC works very well
    Unsharp, quality issues, bad AF in low light

    I buyed this lens for a full frame Nikon D700.

    The first one had an issue right out of the box : the zoom ring moved once from 28 to 300 mm, and when I wanted to zoom back, it stopped at 70 mm, and it was not possible to go back to wide angle.
    So I returned it and got another one.
    This one had an optical issue : pictures taken between 28 and 50 mm where consistently unscharp in the right quarter, even at f8 or f11. On the left side they were OK.
    On the long end (over 200 mm) photos went not sharp even in the center. I tried the AF fine-tune on the D700, but it didn't help. So I sent it back.
    I was fool enough to buy a third one.
    It had the same issue than the second one at the wide end, but this time on the left side of the photos.
    On the tele end, the photos went as unsharp as with the second lens.

    And as described in different reviews, the AF has problems at the tele end when there is not a lot of light, with frequent hunting (sometimes it's impossible to lock the AF) or blurry photos.

    The VC works very well, but that's not a big help when the lens is optically weak.
    So I returned also this third lens.

    I have now a Nikkor 24-85 mm f3,5-4,5G AF-S ED IF lens on the camera and I'm very happy with it (see my review of this lens)

    reviewed February 24th, 2009 (purchased for $600)
  • 1 out of 10 points and not recommended by (2 reviews)
    Great zoom range, compact, affordable
    Terrible autofocus mechanism - hunts and often will not focus

    Do yourself a huge favor and buy the non-VC version of this lens. It is cheaper (under $300 with the current $50 rebate from Tamron) and, if your camera model is compatable with the autofocus mechanism (entry model Nikon DSLRs apparently do not have the needed autofocus motor on board) it focuses just fine. Read my review of the non-VC version of this lens elsewhere on this site.

    As for this lens, I made a huge mistake a few months ago by buying it. Its auto-focusing capabilities on my Nikon D3 are terrible. After missing several easy shots at my daughter's graduation due to the lens not focusing (instead, it hunted back and forth, or locked out of focus), I returned the lens to the store -- where I learned from the store's manager that other shooters had returned their Tamron VC 28-300mm lenses too. Another of my fellow journalists returned his for the same reason. He is still peeved that he blew an opportunity to get a $300 Nikon rebate on a combination D300 camera and lens purchase, because he chose to buy just the camera body and the Tamron VC lens instead. I just convinced him to buy the non-VC version of this lens.

    reviewed November 30th, 2008
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by (2 reviews)
    cost, weight, image stabilisation, convenience, IQ, full frame
    AF speed, Nikon "issues"

    I bought the Nikon version, for use on the full frame D700. It replaced the Nikon 18-200/VR as my 'stay on the camera' lens when I acquired the full frame D700.

    Sharpness of the Tamron seems to keep up with the Nikon 18-200/VR - it seems quite sharp, indeed.

    Tamron's VC image stabilisation is perhaps a full stop better than the VR in the Nikon 18-200/VR. I loved the performance of the Nikon lens (especially the VR), but the Tamron's image stabilisation leaves the Nikon 18-200/VR in the dust.

    Now the bad news...

    1. The D700 AF (occasionally) hunts and coughs and sputters with this lens. I can't explain the reasons for this, but you'll not want to use this lens for sports action or birds in flight. Most of the time AF performance is OK, but it's not 100% - maybe 95%.

    2. Some vignetting (probably only a concern on FF/FX bodies). Not a big deal.

    3. On my D700, I occasionally see a lock-up problem. The D700 will indicate aperture of F/0, shutter release works - but images are completely black. According to Tamron service, this indicates communication failure between the lens and the body. This occurs maybe once every 300-400 shutter-clicks, and then power-cycling the body is required to restore normal operation. Tamron service could not duplicate the problem (I sent them my D700 for a week, to see if the problem was body-related, but no luck).

    UPDATE: The lens was replaced by Tamron USA with another copy, and I've seen no re-occurrence of the lockup problem.

    In short, in spite of this lens' flaws, it's the best option for a 'walk-around' lens on a FF/FX body. I don't regret buying it, and it is the lens I use most often because of its IQ and range.

    reviewed November 2nd, 2008 (purchased for $600)
  • 2 out of 10 points and not recommended by (1 reviews)
    VC works well
    Unable to focus on moving objects above 150mm

    I bought this lens to use with my Canon 40D. The lens is adequate when used for immobile objects. It is, however, unable to focus on moving objects at focal lengths above about 150mm. As this accounts for over 50% of my photography, I have found this lens to be quite unsuitable. If you are thinking of sports photography avoid this lens and buy something more capable. This lens does not live up to its very attractive specification. It is seriously flawed and highly over priced.

    reviewed October 18th, 2008 (purchased for $690)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by (2 reviews)
    compact size, excellent sharpness, very effective anti-vibration mechanism
    very slow autofocus, F6.3 at long end

    Got the Nikon version of this lens; I also have the Nikkor 18-200VR but the Tamron's zoom range is more appropriate to the types of shots I make. The Tamron is sharper throughout the range than the Nikon lens and IMO, the VC vibration reduction mechanism of the Tamron is much more effective than the Nikon VR.. The down side however is that the autofocus speed is significantly slower and hunts quite often. This is partially to do with the fact that at the long end, the lens aperture is a tiny F6.3, which presents a challenge to most DSLR autofocus sensors, which are only rated to f5.6..

    What this means is that the lens is not great for fast action situations where you need a lens that just snaps into focus at any arbitrary focal length, but if you can pre-focus and track the action, then the focus will track along effectively, but the image quality is well worth the tradeoff..

    Lastly, the lens is also full-frame, so it is fully compatible with Nikon full-frame FX cameras: the D3 and D700.

    reviewed July 8th, 2008 (purchased for $649)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by (1 reviews)
    Great Color, Color Contrast, Sharpness. Light weight and compact for zoom range.
    Slow at long end. But with the VC, not unusable in bad light, just slow.

    This quickly became my favorite walkaround lens. The ideal lens range for a walkaround for me would be 18-250mm, so I use the Nikon 18-200mm VR and this one, depending upon where I am walking around.
    I love the sharpness of my copy of this lens. The VC is different from the Nikon VR, but very effective. Nikons is very smooth, you usually have no sensation that it is working. The VC snaps into effect, and you know it is working.
    At the 300mm length, my copy is sharper than my Nikon 70-300mm, and much easier to handle with its shorter and lighter build.
    I highly recommend this lens after using it for about 2 months and thousands of pictures.

    reviewed June 30th, 2008 (purchased for $599)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by (1 reviews)
    range/price/small/vc

    very good qality for the cost

    reviewed June 5th, 2008 (purchased for $622)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by (33 reviews)
    light, good zoom range, very cheap compared to the 28-300L
    hm, so far haven't found one yet.

    I've shot this lens with great experiences on a 5D, a D700, a N80 and a D70. In terms of the zoom-range, speed, sharpness, size, weight and cost, there's nothing close on the market in fullframe. I'm not even sure there's anything close on the market for *subframes*.

    It's a metal-barrel lens with rubber rings. If you want a solid lens then this fits the bill. I have bought and sold 2 and now have a 3rd one in Nikon-mount. They are selling on eBay for $350+ in mint condition. I've been watching them for a while, even though it's at least 3x as much as I wanted to spend on a camera-lens, I broke down and bought yet another one at $340. I think they're that good.

    Worst thing you can do is buy one on eBay, not like it and want to sell it, you will probably get your money back out of it and if you actually like it you'll have saved yourself, what, $1750 over a Canon 28-300EF-L IS? Were it not for this lens I would never, ever have bought a fullframe. I'm not carrying a 5-pound lens around just to take pictures or shooting with a prime and 24-135 just doesn't cut it.

    "Seemed soft towards the edges at both extreme focal distances at f/3.5 and 6.3 respectively."

    ...why yes, like most superzooms, most lenses even, it needs to be shot at least a stop down for good sharpness across the frame. Generally F8 or slower.

    That is why Canon, Nikon, Tamron and even Sigma still sell plenty of F4 and F2.8 lenses, which likewise need to be brought-down at least a stop for optimum sharpness across the frame.

    That is the case for just about every lens except for a few specialized primes. Probably the most common disappointment in a DSLR after the occasional misfocus is spending all that money to buy a big, heavy camera and lens, shooting it wide-open like a point & shoot and getting shots that are noticeably soft in the corners. These are not point & shoot lenses that we're talking about here.

    One other thing, I would say that even buying this lens isn't a cure-all even for "walking-around" photography, I'd still check out the Tamron 19-35 and 17-35. For $100 and $200 on eBay they make a great companion for this lens, indeed they will rival the 28-300 for time on your body. The 19-35 is actually smaller and lighter, the 17-35 about the same size & weight as the 28-300 but both are in 77mm vs 62. Still all of the four fit in my jacket pocket with the hood on them.

    reviewed March 9th, 2008 (purchased for $600)