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Learn Photography & Knowledge base => Gear Reviews & Travel Reports => Topic started by: Prabir on March 22, 2014, 08:22:06 PM

Title: A sneak peek of the monster Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens
Post by: Prabir on March 22, 2014, 08:22:06 PM
Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens

Today being a Saturday, I could spend the day to my liking. I took the opportunity to visit the Tamron Workshop near Camac Street, Kolkata. Binoy (pixelhunter) had already anchored himself from the late morning. I went there after lunch and reached at around 2:45 PM.

The hall was full and the workshop had a large number of participants. The presentations on photographic techniques and there applications with respect to Tamron products were going on.

I had set my sight on the monster. Since the lenses were being packed up for the next workshop away, I had to push one of the Tamron officials to let me have a look at least. He was kind enough to bring one copy to me and let me test it on my 5DMk2 body.

Detailed reviews have already been in circulation in the net. So I wouldn't get into such details. What I am going to write down is entirely my experience with the lens, albeit for a very short time and my gut feelings.

Build

The lens has a very good build and to some extent resembles Sigma 150-500.The barrel is polycarbonate plastic, but doesn't feel cheap in your hands. The zoom ring and the focus ring are well ribbed and reasonably well placed, though the tripod collar might come in the way during manual focussing. The manufacturer declares that the lens is moisture resistant. But for such a lens a digi cabi is a must. Also, like all big lenses the front element needs to be protected with an UV filter. But the 95mm dia (as I saw in the reverse side of the lens cap) filter size is going to burn a hole in one's pocket when one tries buying an UV.

The llens mounted on a 5D/7D body looks quite intimidating and gives one a feeling of carrying heavy armoury.

Handling

The weight of 1.95 kg might look a bit too heavy in the beginning. But the construction of this lens is such that all but 2 of the lenses, the outward LD (Low Dispersion) lenses, are at the long end. Hence most of the weight is contained within the zoom ring area where the left hand will hold the lens. On a heavy body like 5DMk2 or 7D, it feels quite balanced. Once one gets used to this lens, one shouldn't have a problem of handling the lens in the field. I am saying this from my experience with 50D/7D+Canon 400mmf/5.6L experience.

Image Quality and Vibration Compensation

With the very short time I had with the lens, it will be too much at this stage to discuss the image quality issue. The issues have already been discussed in detail in various reviews available in the net. So, I won't copy+past such descriptions. I would like to discuss the results from wildlife perspective once I have more time with this monster.

What I will show here is what I got. I took 3/4 shots with this lens mounted on my 5DMk2 body. Since the area where the workshop was held had sealed glass windows and it was not possible to go out in the open, the shots were taken through the dirty glass windows. In the tests, I pushed the limits to see the worst side of the lens.

The shots were taken in a cloudy afternoon.

#1 - 5DMk2, @600mm, 1/125s, f/6.3, ISO-100, Pattern metering
(http://i1198.photobucket.com/albums/aa454/Prabir-2010/IMG_7878_S_zps5011a01d.jpg)

Here you can see that the VC worked well. The effective FL related limit was 1/600s. The shot was taken many stops down. Also, the shot was taken at the extreme end where one has go at least 1 or 2 stops down from the max aperture of f/6.3. It still worked. Of course, handling this lens in a crop body of Canon one has to think of handling at 1/960s as the limit.

#2 - 5DMk2, @600mm, 1/125s, f/8, ISO-100, Pattern metering
(http://i1198.photobucket.com/albums/aa454/Prabir-2010/IMG_7880_S_zpsf85c2edf.jpg)

Here also you can see that the VC worked well. The effective FL related limit was 1/600s. The shot was taken many stops down. Also, the shot was taken at the extreme end at the max aperture of f/8. It worked ok.

#3 - 5DMk2, @600mm, 1/15s, f/8, ISO-2500, Pattern metering
(http://i1198.photobucket.com/albums/aa454/Prabir-2010/IMG_7890_S_zpsefd915a4.jpg)

Here it was stretched too much. The interior was quite dark. What I liked here is that the resulting contrast was ok. The VC can't arrest the shake at this shutter speed, but still it did try a lot. In other lenses you couldn't have read the words.

Conclusion

I wouldn't draw a conclusion. Its not yet available in the market. The first lot would be available in April 2014.
Its too early for a conclusion as far as I am concerned. Unless I use it in the field, specially for bird photography, I wouldn't dare to say anything, whatever be the reviews published.

Binoy has taken a few photos of me with the monster. He would probably post them tomorrow.

I promise, if I buy this lens, I will publish a detailed review with my experience.

Thanks for your patience.
 

Title: Re: A sneak peek of the monster Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens
Post by: theqca on March 22, 2014, 10:04:54 PM
This is good write-up Prabir...I found the VC bit that you've mentioned along with the photos quite interesting - It seems to really help in terms of the test shots you've taken.

One complaint that I had with the sigma 150-500 was it had to be stopped down and used in bright sunlight and didnt work very well for hand held shooting - it appears to me that this particular Tamron wont suffer from that problem.
Title: Re: A sneak peek of the monster Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens
Post by: PixelHunter on March 22, 2014, 11:25:22 PM
Good write up Prabir da. I shall post the pics tomorrow positively. Today got a bit tangled up..
Title: Re: A sneak peek of the monster Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens
Post by: Prabir on March 22, 2014, 11:49:00 PM
Thanks Ayaz, Binoy.

Ayaz, its too early to compare. If we look at the f-numbers and focal lengths (FL), the apreture pupil is 2.5% more in the 150-600mm lens, which is insignificant. I am talking about D=f/N. In 150-600mm its 95mm as against a calculated value of 95.2mm. In case of 150-500mm lens, the actual filter size is 77mm as against a calculated value of 79.4mm. But there is another point which is not discussed normally, is the actual FL. The actual FL varies from the designated value and in some cases found to be 15-20 mm short. There you lose on the reach.

If proper QC is maintained, the Tamron lens could come out as a surprise package.
The rest will depend on your hands, use of controls and processing skills.


Title: Re: A sneak peek of the monster Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens
Post by: PixelHunter on March 23, 2014, 08:21:02 PM
I am sorry for this delay on my part. Just returned home now and posting the two images that I took of Prabirda holding and using the lens.

(http://i1363.photobucket.com/albums/r719/binoybhushan/Prabirda1_zps16d24b79.jpg) (http://s1363.photobucket.com/user/binoybhushan/media/Prabirda1_zps16d24b79.jpg.html)

(http://i1363.photobucket.com/albums/r719/binoybhushan/Prabirda2_zpscd8b7250.jpg) (http://s1363.photobucket.com/user/binoybhushan/media/Prabirda2_zpscd8b7250.jpg.html)
Title: Re: A sneak peek of the monster Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens
Post by: VivekK on March 23, 2014, 08:49:52 PM
That looks like a Bazooka  8)

I'm going to stick with my 400mm f/5.6
Title: Re: A sneak peek of the monster Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens
Post by: Prabir on March 23, 2014, 08:57:39 PM
Binoy thanks for joining in.
Title: Re: A sneak peek of the monster Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens
Post by: Jasii on March 24, 2014, 11:45:07 AM
Prabir Sir! I just kept looking at your cam holding stance, no tight grip there, it all seems mighty relaxed, as if you caress your beloved ;)

Got to practice this one for sure :)

Rgds,
Title: Re: A sneak peek of the monster Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens
Post by: theqca on March 24, 2014, 12:07:30 PM
This lens looks too big to shoot hand held... I guess the balancing that you mentioned plays a role here..

On a smaller crop sensor camera I think I  may be quite difficult to handle.

Btw.. Imagine this one mounted on a Mirrorless EPL or something :-D
Title: Re: A sneak peek of the monster Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens
Post by: Prabir on March 24, 2014, 12:38:08 PM
It looks bigger after attaching the hood. But what I felt is its manageable if held properly.
Of course, in crop bodies, the 1/FL rule will pose some problems. That's where the VC will come to the rescue I guess. But I still have to try it out to reach a conclusion.
Title: Re: A sneak peek of the monster Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens
Post by: PixelHunter on April 01, 2014, 09:33:37 PM
If you look carefully at the photo I posted, you will see that the above shots were taken from behind a dirty glass pane AND a Grill. So, the sharpness has indeed taken a beating. I guess, to get a proper measure of the sharpness, we need to look at some photos which were taken at a better place..
Title: Re: A sneak peek of the monster Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens
Post by: Madhav Bhakta on April 09, 2014, 09:57:34 PM
I have attached two images shot with this lens.

I got an opportunity to test this lens though for a very short period of time at Tamron Workshop held at Mangalore, Karnataka. Both are shot at 600mm.
Title: Re: A sneak peek of the monster Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens
Post by: Fake ID on March 09, 2015, 06:21:45 PM
Prabir Da, Binoy and Madhavji thanks for all the inputs :)