9 out of 10 points and recommendedVersatility combined with high IQ for its classHeavy enough that it could use a tripod ring
I purchased a Nikon D7000 together with a Tamron 70-300mm VC six weeks ago and am having a ball with the combination. Images are sharp through out the focal length range if you stop down: f/5 at 70mm, f/7.1 at 200mm and f/9 at 300mm for best results. AF is fast and the effectiveness of the Vibration Compensation when used with stationary subjects has to be seen to be believed. Minor quibbles: VC does not work nearly as well when panning moving subjects, the small switches are easy to accidentally flip, the lens is a bit heavy for its class, and there is no tripod ring. I like this Nikon/Tamron pairing so much that I have put together a system around it, adding:reviewed December 27th, 2010 (purchased for $350)
1.) A Manfrotto Long Lens Support so that it can be safely mounted on a tripod. A bit of extra rubber had to be taped to the V shaped rest in order to properly support the lens and the supplied strap would not work with the Tamron in place, but otherwise this accessory provides a solid foundation to shoot from. And….
2.) A Kenko 1.4x teleconverter (a Nikon TC will not work). Images with the lens racked out to 300mm are sharp when the aperture is stopped down to f/10 and show little distortion, CAs, or loss of contrast. AF still functions, but takes a full second before it can lock on, so manual focus is easier to use. And....
3.) A Sunsniper Pro Strap so that I can wear the D7000/Tamron at my side while hiking or shooting at outdoor festivals.
This lens cost just $350 when purchased with a new camera after rebate, but a price in the neighborhood of twice that would be reasonable for the quality it delivers.
10 out of 10 points and recommendedSharpness, lack of distortion, low CAs, fast AF, weather sealing, rugged build quality, fully functional case, state-of-the-art VRPrice, weight, expensive drop-in polarizer not included
After struggling to get good zoo animal and large bird photos with the Nikkor 300mm f/4 AF-S and the Canon 400mm f/5.6L, I finally caved and bought this lens. The quality of both the output and the construction are astonishing. My sample is as sharp wide open as the 300mm f/4 was stopped all the way down to f/9, and it leaves the peak sharpness of the 400mm f/5.6L at any aperture far behind even with a Nikon 1.4x TC added. Center sharpness is first rate from f/2.8 all the way to f/9, and the edges catch up from f/4 to f/9. Now instead of getting recognizable backgrounds I'm seeing bokeh that can only be described as dream-like; with subjects appearing to float on air against a back-drop of swirling color. The focusing speed is so fast that it is easy to keep to the lowest ISO settings in all but dim light or a stiff wind. And the soft-sided carrying case enables transport with a camera attached. What a relief!reviewed July 13th, 2011 (purchased for $5,300)
BTW, claims have been made that none of the long Nikkor pro lenses produce sharp images of distant subjects. That has not been my experience with this model. I did test shots with the TC-14E II of small signage on the side of a rec center that is 1200 feet away through a dirty window and could still easily read “Not responsible for lost or stolen articles.” Now that’s a lens worth having!