Interactive Lens Reviews and Opinion.
Digital Camera Reviews

Reviews Views Date of last review
16 298983 1/8/2013
Recommended By Average Purchase
94% of reviewers $172.76
Reader Review Rating Averages
Readers' rating for
Construction Quality
Readers' rating for
Image Quality
Overall Rating

Keywords: Tamron Canon Nikon Minolta Pentax Tele Zoom 35mm Di LD Tested


Registered: January 2013
Posts: 1
Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2 AF review by TheSnore
Review Date: 1/8/2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $158.92| Rating: 7 

Pros: Inexpensive
Cons: Auto Focus noisy and sluggish.

This is a full frame lens and I'm using it on a crop sensor body. I am very pleased with the image quality. Real life isn't tack sharp why should the images we capture be any different? The softness this lens reputedly suffers from is nothing that correctly used software can't sharpen and maybe it's just me but I like the realism the lens captures. One bugbear. Autofocus is incredibly noisy and annoying sluggish. This problem is easily eliminated by switching the lens to Manual and using it the old fashioned way.

Registered: October 2012
Posts: 52
Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2 AF review by dugong5pm
Review Date: 10/12/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $129.00| Rating: 7 

Pros: surprisingly sharp, Macro mode, lightweight
Cons: slow & noisy focus

I bought it for $129 used. Nothing can go wrong for the price. This lens is surprisingly sharp, and it does well in Macro (1:2) too. Handling is good, feels comfort and easy to grip. It also has that solid feel in your hand (doesn't feel cheap). It comes with a nice hood.

The minus side is the focusing mechanism. It has slow focusing (esp. in Macro mode). I prefer using manual override for macro. Sometimes it hunts too much when used in lowlight situation.
Overall, it's a great telezoom for travelling. It's lightweight, sharp & does Macro too. Nice!

Registered: May 2011
Posts: 2
Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2 AF review by iamipa
Review Date: 5/2/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $195.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Light weight, Excellent value for money, Very useful macro capability
Cons: Awkward engagement and disengagement of macro function

I bought this lens about 18 months ago for use on my Nikon D80. Mine is the built in motor version, which focusses a bit slowly, but accurately.

I was immediately impressed with its usefulness as a nature photography lens, being able to photograph birds in flight or at rest, or switch to macro and take excellent photos of insects, small animals, flowers, etc. Being able to then switch to the macro capability is very useful in the field, with the long working distance at the maximum magnification of 1:2 being ideal for photographing nervous insects etc.

The Nikon 70 - 300 VR lense I bought subsequently does a better job of photographing birds (at a much higher cost). I also bought a Nikon 105 VR Micro lense which, while excellent, does not provide the same working distance as the Tamron lense.

The 2 Nikon lenses are also much heavier, more expensive and slower to swap over in the field.

The Tamron lense on the other hand can be converted from zoom telephoto to zoom macro quickly (see below!) before your subject leaves.

Cons: On the negative side, I would say that images taken with the Tamron lense do not have the richness of colour of the Nikon lenses, however this can be adjusted in post processing to the user's taste.
Also, the process for engaging and disengaging the macro function is fiddly and needs some practice to be used comfortably.

Conclusion: Overall, an excellent lense for the beginning photographer on a budget.

Registered: October 2007
Posts: 6
Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2 AF review by Simen1
Review Date: 6/15/2009 Would you recommend the product? No | Total Spent: $217.00| Rating: 4 

Pros: Cheap, light
Cons: Image quality at 200-300mm, build quality, slow AF

Despite its quite big, the weight is low. It feels like hollow plastic. Metal mount is positive.

I bought this much because of the 200-300mm range, but this range disappoints me. Its quite soft and have bothersome CA in this range. At 70-200 its quite good for its price. Always stop it down one aperture for best results.

Auto focus is very slow and hunts for focus a lot in the 200-300mm range. Sometimes it just get stuck at the wrong end of the focus range. I often end up switching to manual focus to get the job done.

Macro mode has quite good image quality but it might be difficult to hand hold the camera steady about 1 meter away. Use manual focus in macro mode.

Reversing the hood from storage position to shooting position can be difficult because it rotates the focus ring and front element.

Spend a little more and get something better. Even if the alternative doesn't go all the way to 300mm.

Registered: January 2009
Posts: 2
Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2 AF review by Bogdan
Review Date: 5/20/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $200.00| Rating: 7 

Pros: max magnification 0.50X (at300mm)
Cons: soft at 300mm, CA at 300mm, focusing speed

The Tamron 70-300 DI macro LD f/4-5.6
Unlike most lenses who have macro in their name and don't really offer that much max. magnification this was
a nice surprise when i heard it's max. magnification was 1:2
The lens is quite sharp till about 200mm and then things get soft when shooting at 300mm i usually use f8
Build quality:
it feels good mounted on the camera really balances things and unlike the kit lens it doesn't
wobble around if you shake it (don't try that too much at home!) the plastic used is quite good the only 2
things i hate about it are for one the rather stiff zoom ring and when it is at 300mm and MFD of 0.95m
then the lens really extends to twice it's size and to me really feels really insecure
Focusing Speed:
Very slow this is not the lens for fast moving subjects but if you do want
to shoot them you need to anticipate their trajectory and focus on the ground fist then press the shutter
button half-way and wait for them to come . It also tends to hunt a lot in dim light i had a lot of problems
here once when shooting at a military event the soldiers where in the shade and after half a hour of shooting it wouldn't
focus on them anymore quite annoying since i had to keep shooting so i used manual focus and ended up
missing some shots and after 2 weeks it broke down for good and wouldn't focus at all i got it repaired
and i am still shooting with it.
Chromatic aberrations:
another big downside of the lens it has massive color fringing in harsh contrast situations especially
noticeable in the winter time this can be a big deal breaker for most buyers but if you only shoot
raw and know to get rid of the color fringing via imaging tools this shouldn't really be a problem for you
it's noticeable at 300 at the rest of the focal lengths it's better controlled
not really a problem cause the hood they supply is quite large thanks to the focal length Smile
not noticeable in real life situations
nothing to report here
being a telephoto lens and also having 9 aperture blades helps a lot and this lens produces pleasantly
smooth bokeh but it doesn't handle that well highlights at the longer end of the zoom

If you want this lens you should really consider the sigma too it's faster not so noisy and handles
color fringing better (the Sigma APO one).

you can find some sample shots of this lens here --->

Registered: April 2009
Posts: 1
Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2 AF review by VanS3n
Review Date: 4/11/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

Pros: sharp image, macro, good quality
Cons: slow AF, hunts in low lighting, soft at 300mm

just got this lens recently...
its the first lens I have invested on aside from the kit lens that came w/ my 400D

so far I find the macro quite handy... you just need to be conscious on how to switch to macro mode and back..

it delivers sharp images at 70mm to 100mm yet it is soft beyond 180mm..

slow AF esp in low lighting, its better to switch to manual focusing .. quite the hassle if your covering indoor events

so far, I guess you just simply can't have everything
and I do find this lens a worthy investment in my part

Registered: March 2009
Posts: 1
Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2 AF review by musorianin
Review Date: 3/26/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 7 

Pros: price, close focus capability
Cons: rotating front element, IQ over 200mm, focus speed

Was fortunate enough to pick this up as a package with Tamron 17-55 f/2.8, so effectively did not pay that much, but even for the average retail price I would say its decent value. I wasn't really expecting to use it that much, just thought it'd be a bit of a bonus with the 17-55 (which is excellent), but I do use it quite a bit and mostly happy with results. Sharpness and contrast seem to drop off at longer focal length (as most already note).

I like the "macro" mode, if its a gimiick, its a useful one--although pity it can't kick in a bit earlier than 180mm. For me, I'm happy to use a tripod for close-up stuff, and unlike others, I have no trouble with the switch. I've had some decend results here with static subjects, and even the odd insect in flight (with lots of light).

Pretty leisurely focus speed: you can attempt some action shots with it, but be prepared for (very) low hit rate. If you've got sufficient light, and its laterally moving, you're be better of in manual focus for this type of thing.

For the price, hard to go that wrong.

Registered: December 2007
Posts: 2
Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2 AF review by phoxhill
Review Date: 2/20/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $190.00| Rating: 7 

Pros: top ratio : quality/price - Macro 1:2
Cons: loss of sharpness at 300mm / very long extended / plastic built

A very usefull lens, sharp between 70 and 260mm but don't forget stopping down while you increase your focal lengh (ex. 70mm sharp at f/5.6 / 135mm sharp at f/7.1 / 200mm sharp at f/11 etc...) to get the maximum out of it !
The macro position is a very nice option to have with a magnification ratio of 1:2

Of course now that Tamron has got its flagship lens (70-200mm f/2.8) it looks a bit cheap but it is 4 times cheaper too.

I bought it with my Pentax K10D kit lens 18-55mm and after one year of practice I still love it.

So...Finally :

What I regret :
- MF ring a bit loose, especially for shooting macro.
- loss of sharpness at the long end of zoom.
- No quickshift system (instant manual access)
- its extention is a bit exagerated.

What I like :
- Sharp in most of its range.
- Real macro capable.
- Versatile.
- Very affordable.
- No light fall off in corners
- CA's well handelled same for distorsion.

Registered: December 2008
Posts: 4
Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2 AF review by tthomsen
Review Date: 12/24/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $160.00| Rating: 7 

Pros: Very good value for it's price, Light and compact, good for traveling
Cons: Strong purple fringing at high contrast edges

My copy has on the Sony DSLR-A300 a center resolution of 1500 to 1800 LPH and corner resolution is typically between 1300 to 1600 LPH, measured in the range of biggest aperture down to F8. One special observation is the good telephoto performance at 300mm and the widest aperture of f5.6: 1650 center, 1550 corner. The worst wide-aperture image quality is at 180mm and f4.5, where the LPH values fall to 1450 center and 1300 corner. Consequently, center resolution is acceptable for a 10MP camera, and corner resolution is just tolerable, with 180mm/f4.5 unsatisfactorily. Here are the focal length/aperture settings that I typically use for my copy:
70mm: f4.0 - f16
100mm: f5.5 - f16
135mm: f5.6 - f16
180mm: f8.0 (only)
300mm: f5.6 (only)

Chromatic aberration is noticeable at the longer focal lengths and in the corners, but is no issue at shorter focal lengths and in the center. The big problem of my copy is strong purple fringing at high contrast edges. Just one other reviewer noted this in this forum, so I assume that this could be a specific problem of my copy. I did not notice any distortion, vignetting or flare that is worth mentioning. Build-quality is acceptable for amateur-use. Focusing is slow at times but always accurate and I noticed occasional hunting at low-light.

Overall the lens is usable through its entire focal length, when you keep a few large aperture values in mind that you might want to avoid because of noticeable corner blur. The purple fringing can be quite disturbing in high-contrast photos and it cost quite an effort to alleviate the effect in Photoshop. However, what makes this lens still very attractive is its low weight and relatively small dimensions, making it a good choice for travellers. Given the very low price of this lens, the image quality is actually quite acceptable.

Registered: April 2008
Posts: 3
Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2 AF review by kjelle
Review Date: 10/28/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $210.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Very good at f8, small and light
Cons: purple fringing, soft at the long end

I use this lens on a Pentax K10D

After reading much reviews i found out that this lens can be veery sharp if you use it the right way and produces very good images.
Mostly i use it at f8 and 70-150 where it is at its best.

Registered: October 2008
Posts: 1
Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2 AF review by mik10d
Review Date: 10/13/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $120.00| Rating: 8 

Pros: 1:2 macro, zoom range, light, good handling, delivers very sharp images, best value for money!!
Cons: CA´s, but only in very contrasty situations, easy to remove in PS

I use this lens on a pentax k10d
It is my first lens beside the 18-55 kit lens.
After reading much reviews i found out myself that this tamron lens is veery sharp and produces very nice crispy images. It is a little bit heavier as the lens kit, but nothing to worry about. The handling is nice, only when fully zoomed its kind of a third leg Smile
I recommend this lens as a 2nd lens to anyone who has just the kit lens. You will be astonished how unsharp the 18-55 kit lens really is, so go and get it, you wont regret it Smile

Registered: April 2008
Posts: 4
Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2 AF review by pancreas
Review Date: 4/11/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

Pros: Lightweight, versatile range, cheap, reasonably good construction
Cons: Image quality deteriorates beyond 200mm when wide open, prone to flare

I got this as a gift since the original owner discovered that it wouldn't autofocus on his D40x. There's some severe chromatic aberration of the purple kind and blurring near its longest focal length, especially at its max aperture. Focusing speed is about on par with other non-AF-S lenses. The macro function is just a gimmick IMO, you need lots of light and a tripod for it to be effective.

I suspect better samples of this lens exist since not every online review I've read about it notes the issues with blurring and chromatic aberration.

When the sun is anywhere in or near the shot I've noticed that flare is really bad also. That's kind of expected for anything below $200. It's still good enough for my casual use anyway.

Registered: January 2008
Posts: 7
Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2 AF review by joekashi
Review Date: 1/26/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $128.00| Rating: 8 

Pros: Cheap, good image quality up to 200 mm or so, not very bulky
Cons: image quality falls off past 200 mm

Very good image quality for an inexpensive lens, better than the Nikon and Canon equivalents. Well worth using. Build quality better than you have a right to expect at this price point and image quality is pretty decent.

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 3
Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2 AF review by rbh8252
Review Date: 4/9/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $179.00| Rating: 7 

Pros: Price/value
Cons: the macro switch, soft at focal lengths > 200mm

was actually looking for something in the 200mm range and decided that for under $200 I would give this lens a try (not much to loose if I didn't like it). As I just recently purchased this lens I haven done much serious work with it yet but I am quite satisfied with the test shots I've taken espically if I stay below 200mm. Even the test shots I took at 300mm (on a bright clear day) weren't all that bad.
For it's macro feature, once you get it into it's macro mode it does take some nice shots (note: a tripod is a must for macro shots at these focal lengths). Then the challange is getting the lens out of macro mode, luckly I was home because I had to go find teh bloody book to figure out how to exit the macro mode.
Bottom line, if you're looking for a lens with a working range of 70-200 with the ocasional foray above 200mm this lens is a good value.

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 1
Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2 AF review by silberma
Review Date: 12/18/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $179.00| Rating: 8 

Pros: Good build, metallic mount
Cons: a bit soft at high focal lenghts and wide apperture

Do you recall the saying when everything else fails read the instruction book. If you do so you will find that you need to set the focusing ring to a 1.5 meters or more to take out of Macro. Furthermore, the zoom needs to be set to between 180 and 300 mm to turn the macro switch on. There is more valuable information if you bother to read the instruction sheet

PS not a bad lens for the money. The Nikkor equivalent costs more and is no better

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 2
Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2 AF review by sjcosh
Review Date: 12/10/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $180.00| Rating: 8 

Pros: light, great DOF
Cons: a little slow, macro button sticks in macro mode

I bought this lens as a starter all purpose zoom, i must say so far its not a bad lens, very light so its great to travel with, sometimes images can be not as sharp as i would like, better sharpness through the middle fstops.

Big con is the macro switch, i have to take the lens of the camera to swith it back from macro to normal as it wont with it on the camera body.


This document copyright © 2009-2015,, all rights reserved.