the zoom ring at the front of the lens while still maintaining a
steady grip on the barrel. But because of its light weight—and
excellent Vc—i was able to get sharply focused handheld shots
even at 1/20th sec (at 100mm) and 1/60th (at 400mm)—a real
feat for someone like me who hates to shoot below 1/125th at
any focal length.
The zoom and focus rings turn smoothly and without any
play. on the lens barrel you’ll find two switches: one for af/
mf (with a focus limiter) as well as two Vc settings, including
one for panning. There’s also a switch that locks the lens at
100mm to prevent creep. although i didn’t experience any
creep during testing, this may occur after long-term use of
the zoom, so it’s a good feature to have.
WHAT WE LIKED
in addition to its weight and price, the Tamron 100-
400mm lens delivered on image quality with generally sharp
images throughout the frame regardless of focal length and
aperture. excellent vibration compensation up to four stops
is another big plus, especially for photographers who want to
take advantage of the lens’s extended focal range.
autofocus was sufficiently fast for static subjects or even
slowly soaring birds overhead. The lens lock, a focus limiter,
and standard and panning image stabilization modes are useful
features. We also appreciate its compatibility with Tamron’s $59
TaP-in console and the availability of two teleconverters.
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE
at f/4. 5-6. 3, the lens is slow, which is understandable
given its weight and price. at full zoom, the lens is extended
so far out that it was difficult to reach the zoom ring and keep
a good grip on the barrel. The lightweight lens hood feels
flimsy. and no tripod foot is included, so you’ll have to shell
out another $129 if you want the mount.
HOW IT COMPARES
if you want a slightly faster 100-400mm zoom for your
canon dSlr, you’ll have to pay more than twice as much
($2,049) for the canon ef 100-400mm f/4. 5-5.6l iS ii USm. The
canon lens is heavier but you’ll also get a tripod mount, three
iS modes (standard, panning and during exposure) as well as
one or two other features you won’t find on the Tamron model.
for the same price, you can check out the Sigma 100-400mm
f5-6.3 dg oS HSm | c, which is a little smaller but not lighter; it’s
available for canon, nikon and Sigma mounts. The closest nikon
comes to a 100-400mm is its af-S niKKor 80-400mm f/4. 5-5. 6
g ed Vr. But like the canon branded lens, you’re going to pay
more than twice as much ($2,300) as the Tamron or Sigma.
The Tamron 100-400mm lens is a great value for the
money, and given Tamron’s excellent image stabilization,
the lens should perform well for wedding and portrait
photographers—even if you have to shoot at f/6.3. The lens
produces soft bokeh for portraits, and if you need the extra
focal range for special shots, you’ll have it. i’m very impressed
with the glass this company has produced at a price that fits
even the most modest budgets.