12/12/2014 - POSTED IN


  • ADDED: 12/12/2014
  • DURATION: 02:51


It was too tempting to pass up, a used lens for only £119, (Sterling) a Superzoom of 18-250mm. On my Super 35mm camera that would would equal, in photography terms 27-375mm.

That’s a very appealing Focal length. The big question is would the zoom perform. The lens manufacturer is Tamron, so much glass at so little cost – how good could it be?

I’ve a particular need for the 28-380mm range in my work. I invested a lot of money in the Sony SCL-Z18X140 FZ mount lens a couple of years ago. This is a power zoom, built specifically for the Sony PMW-F3 with a zoom range of 18-252mm. This retails for £6500 ex-vat, and is large, heavy, and good quality all rolled into one. I shot with this lens (and many others) for more than year with the Sony PMW-F3. I still have my F3’s – the big power zoom I sold recently for a good price!

I sold it because it was too big and bulky. I can can get comparable results from high quality Nikon zooms, which I live by, and these also much faster apertures: Nikon 17-35mm F2.8, Nikon 28-70 F2.8, Nikon 80-200mm F2.8.

The Nikon zooms perform great, however, with these comes the inconvenience of having to change lenses!

The aperture range on the Sony monster zoom is T3.9/T6.8

The aperture range on the Tamron zoom is F3.5/6F6.3

One costs £6500 ex-vat; the other I can have used for £119.

I buy the lens – for fun . I spend £119 on a Tamron superzoom just to see what I get.

On seeing the results, my gut feeling is the Tamron will be useful for many things, particularly run and gun, event coverage type of work. Of course, the high quality Nikon glass is what I live by, however, for certain situations where a super zoom to wide is needed, the Tamron will fit the bill. Yes it is soft on the long end of the lens, though the centre remains sharp. The trick is to shoot with a lot of light and open the lens up 2 to 3 stops from wide open. I’ll pump gain in on the F3 to help me achieve this. With the big sensor a little gain goes a long way.

Then in post perhaps add a little sharpening, correct the images to make them look nice, and you’ll never know what lens the images were shot with.

Note: the current Tamron is 18-270mm; Sigma also make an 18-250mm lenses which is another one I’d like to check out.

Got to love your lenses!



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