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10-08-2009, 06:17 PM   #1
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Bang for your buck? Tamron 70-300mm

Hi all! I have spent countless hours reading all the brilliant info this forum provides since buying a Pentax K100DS. If you want a laugh, prior to jumping into the Pentax and SLR realm, my previous camera was a Toshiba PDR-3300!

Back to topic however. I know that the Tamron 70-300mm has been around for quite some time and has been discusses thoroughly here and elsewhere. The more I have been using my Tamron 70-300mm AF 4-5.6 "Macro 1:2", the more I think that there must be very few lenses in existence that can give you such value for your money!

The macro capability is great at 1:2 it is one of the closest focusing zooms you can have. Getting the 1:2 magnification from a decent distance away is a positive if you are trying to photograph subjects that will run away on you if you get too close. Also, search these forums, and there are a number of great 1:1 or better macro shots taken with this lens using the Raynox 150 or 250.

Photozone and other lens reviews show that it has quite a decent level of IQ as well compared to the Pentax 50-200mm and 55-300mm lenses.

For $125, it is tough to think of another AF zoom lens that can match this one for it's performance.

Despite my amateur skill level, I am able to take close up's, hand held:

And get shots from a distance for situations (ie. water, or tricky subjects) as well:

10-08-2009, 08:37 PM   #2
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I agree that it's a great value lens. I chose the Sigma version, which is essentially the same optically. I try to stay below 250mm, because I find that any longer and it gets pretty soft. For about $150, it's a steal!
10-08-2009, 09:23 PM   #3
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I don't think there's any doubt Tamron's 70-300 is excellent value, surpassed in IQ perhaps only by the DA 55-300, which is significantly more expensive.

Tamron's got great glass formulae for even their budget lenses.
10-09-2009, 03:14 AM   #4
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Unfortunately my copy is faulty :-( Soft like hell.
Lenses inside are pressed and glued inside plastic. So, no repairs are possible.

10-09-2009, 06:57 AM   #5
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That is my line too about the lens -- best value lens and gives you the best bang for your buck. I also bought it used and in marketplace.

QuoteOriginally posted by moved from another thread:
QuoteOriginally posted by rmtschanz Quote
. I'm also considering the Tamron 70-300mm DI for it's AF, or even considering an external teleconverter with the SMC-F 70-210, such as the Olympus TCON-14B.
I have the notorious purple fringing famous Tamron 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro, I love that lens and I paid about $90 for a used copy in Marketplace. It is still the best value lens that I have bought. It is probably one of the lightest zoom that goes into 300mm. Others complain about the PF and most of the complaint are valid. I dealt with the PF/CA with the Tamron zoom in careful shooting avoiding contrasty area consciously when appropriate and shoot mostly stopped down to f/8.0 in good lighting. The lens has 1:2 close up in 180mm to 300mm. It serves me in traveling, casual close up, the duck-aholic lens, portraits, candid, tele and the 420mm, 510mm, 600mm with use of TC in 1.4x, 1.7x and 2.0x TC.

Recent duck-aholic and green photos with Tamron 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro and Pentax K20D with a 62mm 1A filter.

in macro setting
PF in lower left in branch
doesn't bother me (reads: no time to fix it in PP)

duck-aholic picture with mallard pair

duck-aholic picture with mallard pair

candid portrait

Tamron 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro


Last edited by hinman; 10-10-2009 at 05:06 PM.
10-10-2009, 10:08 AM   #6
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Hin, if you didn't say what lens you used, I would have thought those images were taken with a Pentax DA* 200 x f2.8.
10-10-2009, 01:22 PM   #7
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Did you know there is a Tammy Club in here?

10-10-2009, 05:05 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ahab Quote
Hin, if you didn't say what lens you used, I would have thought those images were taken with a Pentax DA* 200 x f2.8.
Ahab, thank you so much for the encouragement and kind comments. I think everyone should have at least one single cheapo lens and try to defy the negative and pessimistic views on the lens from others. I don't care how valuable a negative aspect of a review can help one, it is up to the individual photographer to partner greatly with the tool. Knowing its weakness, it is up to the photographer to make the best of a lens that the majority shy away due to poor review and bad stigma associated with the lens.

The Tamron is notorious in PF/CA and I am not denying the facts and many can attest to the Purple monster pictures and softness on the tele side past certain focal zoom length like 260mm. But as photographers, we need to use the lens for what it is good for and not to stumble onto what it is bad for. It is more fun to produce good pictures on a cheapo lens than those costing 3 times more and with marginally better images. By all means, I am NOT suggesting to buy all the cheapo lens, I am suggesting the contrarion thinking in getting at least one cheapo lens and treat it like your secret weapon to debunk the myths and the common naysayer, RH trashy like thinking on a product. Yes, I have a teenager mindset to defy logic and I am wrong most of the time. And that is how I learn things the hard way by walking the path instead of following the masses with negative mindsets and brain washing schemes from the gurus with big marketing budgets. My $90 lens has given me more pride and fun than the much more expensive lens and the pride that I have in my secret weapon is priceless.

I recently wrote about Pentax 1 Lens choices where I describe how I approach 1 lens concept in vacation and traveling and my Tamron 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro is my go-to zoom lens when I want 2 zooms in traveling. If I ever have enough fund, I would upgrade it to the better zoom lens such as Pentax DA 55-300mm, or try out the 18-250mm lens and hopefully a new lens to come if there is a 18-270mm from Tamron on Pentax mount.


Last edited by hinman; 10-10-2009 at 05:12 PM.
10-10-2009, 08:25 PM   #9
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I have one too; the Quanteray version. I purchased it new for $75 at a Ritz that was closing. Talk about a bargain AND bang for my buck! It is pretty much permanantly attached to my K100DS. This combo is AWESOME as it is EXTREMELY lightweight and a blast to use. It does not do very well for flying birds as AF is quite long. For that I switch to MF. I LOVE this lens and it is my telephoto travel lens as well. I even bring along my Quanteray 2x TC I bought for $25 at the same Ritz along for that extra reach in bright light.
10-10-2009, 08:44 PM   #10
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I've been pleasantly surprised at how well the Tammy does in many situations. I know about the fringing, and will always snap a couple images at around 180mm before maxing the zoom.
I'm going to keep an eye open for a DA 55-300 at a good price, but that lens doesn't seem to pop up at value frequently!

Last edited by TER-OR; 10-10-2009 at 08:48 PM. Reason: adding photo

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