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Tamron 70-300mm F4-5.6 AF Di LD Macro

Sharpness 
 7.4
Aberrations 
 5.7
Bokeh 
 7.6
Autofocus 
 6.7
Handling 
 7.7
Value 
 8.8
Reviews Views Date of last review
58 181,265 Fri November 24, 2017
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
90% of reviewers $140.18 7.39
Tamron 70-300mm F4-5.6 AF Di LD Macro
supersize


Description:

Compact tele-zoom lens with macro 1:2 function. A Macro Switchover mechanism allows a minimum focus distance of 0.95m within the focal length range of 180-300mm. This allows for a maximum magnification ratio of 1:2.


Tamron AF 70-300mm F4-5.6 Di LD Macro
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
No
Diaphragm
Automatic, 9 blades
Optics
13 elements, 9 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F4
Min. Aperture
F32
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
No
Min. Focus
95 cm
Max. Magnification
0.5x
Filter Size
62 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 23-5.5 ° / 19.5-4.6 °
Full frame: 34-8 ° / 29-7 °
Hood
Included
Case
Lens Cap
Included
Coating
Multi-coated
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
76.6x117 mm (3x4.6 in.)
Weight
435 g (15.3 oz.)
Production Years
(in production)
Pricing
USD current price
Engraved Name
Tamron AF 70-300mm F4-5.6 Di LD Macro
Product Code
A17
Reviews
User reviews

Buy Lens: Buy the Tamron 70-300mm F4-5.6 AF Di LD Macro
Price: $199
Mount Type: Pentax KAF2/KAF (screwdrive AF)
Price History:



Add Review of Tamron 70-300mm F4-5.6 AF Di LD Macro Buy the Tamron 70-300mm F4-5.6 AF Di LD Macro
Author:
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New Member

Registered: February, 2017
Location: Plymouth, Devon. UK
Posts: 3
Lens Review Date: November 24, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros:
Cons:
New or Used: New   

I am an enthusiast but all I look for is a faithful reproduction of what I see.

Normally I use a Sigma 18-200 walk around lens but was lacking a high end telephoto.
The Tamron 70-300 Li LD Macro could not suit me better given my very meagre budget.($60 off Ebay)
Granted there are better lenses out there but for what I want, this suits me perfectly.
Budget
Range
Macro

Yep. I like it a lot.
   
New Member

Registered: September, 2017
Posts: 13
Lens Review Date: September 3, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.75 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Reach, Low Cost, Aperture Ring
Cons: Purple Fringing
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 5    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-50, K-5II   

I have a Quantaray rebrand of this Tamron. EXIF confirms that it is this Tamron.

I find that I use this lens or my 50mm f1.7 for most of my walking-around photography.

The Tamron is faster than the kit 50-200 at 70mm and has longer reach. The purple fringing is a real problem wide open, particularly in bright sunlight with high contrast areas. If you step it down the fringing vanishes.

The lens was cheap on eBay at $40.75, including a bunch of filters and the $12.75 shipping charge. At that price there isn't much that would make it a bad deal.

I purchased a Tamron lens hood separately. The hood is reversible for storage and definitely helps restore some contrast. The lens is 8" long at full extension, but stores handily at 4.5"

The "Macro" function claims to be 1:2. It just about is, on APS-C. At maximum macro it shoots an image 46mm wide on my K-50.

The aperture ring comes in really handy when using macro extension tubes.

AF is OK except in low light.

The first pictures in this post were shot on a K-50. The later ones (starting with the second update) were shot on a K-5II. The lens is quieter and quicker to focus on the K-5II. I like it even better on that body.

Picture with fringing (magnify the boat):

Catamaran And Palm Tree

Picture with no fringing:

Gray Iguana Closeup

On a extension tubes:

Green Iguana, Brown Dock

Update
As time passes, I'm loving this lens more and more. The following images were taken using this Tamron mounted on a Simga 1.4x Teleconverter:


Gator Breath


Pond Apple


Purple Gallinule Strikes


Green Heron Eating Small Fish


Lily Pad

Second Update, on K-5II
The next two were shot with the lens directly on the body (no TC) and with zero post-processing.


Door To The Sea


Rum Runner Glass

This one is shot using a Sigma 1.4x Teleconverter:

Macro Mesh Undershirt

I have several "better" lenses, but I keep coming back to this Tamron.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2015
Location: Hampshire
Posts: 867

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 2, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Value for money, good "learner" lens
Cons: Quite a few.
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K20D   

On a tight budget but want an AF zoom to 300mm?
New to DSLR photography and need to get better without plunging into the deep end?
This could be a good buy and is 450mm on APSC).
I bought my K100D Super bundled with this lens. Early use was pleasing (my use of long lenses to 300mm with film had not been at all pleasing).
The Pentax 55-300mm is probably better in almost every aspect but not necessarily by much.
I recommend this lens because;
It doesn't cost a lot and it's direct competitor in the budget market the Sigma 70-300mm is not really any better in my view.
The Pentax DA is more sought after and if you are shopping for used it can cost 2 or more times a Tamron, even as much as a new Tamron!
It has a pseudo macro mode!
As has been reported in the other reviews, you will need to narrow the FL and aperture parameters to get better images, from 100-200mm the Tamron is better, 300mm can provide pleasing images though.
Stopped down a couple is best.
Don't be surprised if the AF is noisy and alerts living subjects.
Learn to avoid or PP aberrations inherent in this lens.
I have learned a bit about my ignorance from using this lens, now I try not to let SR compensate for my wobbly shooting.
I have found TAV mode to be a great help, choosing an aperture and speed and letting the camera sort the ISO.
I have invested in a monopod as I am too lazy to cart around a tripod.
Choosing to use spot metering, single point AF when they are needed.
Don't dismiss this lens after reading the poor reviews it can be a good buy.
   
New Member

Registered: April, 2017
Posts: 8
Lens Review Date: April 27, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $140.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: good IQ, consistent up to 200mm
Cons: noisy, bad IQ at 300mm, some colour aberrations
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 7    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-50   

My sample of this Tamron is good and performs rather consistently from 70mm to 200mm.
It is a bit weak at 70mm though, where Pentax zoom lenses are usually best at the lowest end of the range.
My quick test that puts the two against each other (ad against an old Cosina) is here:

http://www.rustichelli.net/Hobbies/Photography/LensTests/Zoom-for-Pentax-K-g...group-test.php

...but please, also read the second part of the test (link from the first), which is maybe more interesting.
   
Junior Member

Registered: June, 2015
Location: Százhalombatta, Hungary
Posts: 37
Lens Review Date: March 10, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $102.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Good colors, decent sharpness, build quality
Cons: Chromatic aberrations, no focusing motor, no quick-shift
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: PENTAX K10D   

I just got myself this lens used, for about $100. (30000 HUF) I guess this lens is quite underrated by all means. I also used to have the Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro and overall, I would rate this lens better than its' Sigma counterpart. I sold the Sigma. Why? It was right about useless at 300mm. This one is better. Why? It's got better color and sharpness, than the sigma, as well as better build quality. Overall I would say that if you're in a dilemma between the two, choose this one! Of course if you can afford the HD PENTAX 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED WR, grab that one. That's even better, with more decent build quality and contrast. Though the Tamron doesn't suffer in this regard either. Where this lens sucks however is Chromatic Aberrations. This is a well known fact. But it can be removed in post processing quite well. Another reason to grab this Tamron would be that it also works on film SLRs too, because it has an aperture ring. The zoom ring is smooth but stiff enough to prevent lens creep and the focusing ring is easy to use with a 90° turn.

Just don't expect professional results from a budget oriented telephoto lens and you won't be disappointed! You get a nice telephoto/pseudo-macro lens for your money with a nice reach. Just use it in good lightning or bump the ISO up.

I've made a few test shots with it on the way home:
Test Image #1
Test Image #2

Edit:
After taking this lens out in the field, I can only say better and better things about it. Does it hunt? Yes. Does it have some chromatic aberrations? Yes. Is it noisy screwdrive? Yes. However it's far-far-far sharper and has much better resolution than the Sigma. It's handling is much better, build quality is quite good compared to both the Sigma 70-300 or the Pentax 50-200 (non-kit) lenses. It's very usable at 300mm! It's main drawback perhaps is the fact that it has a rotating front element. Other than that I'm quite satisfied with this lens. Now I've been using this with a Tiffen Skylight 1A filter. I've been thinking that either I have a good copy of this lens, or the filter somehow mitigates the chromatic aberrations, because I could barely see any and the little I have is easily corrected in post, without much of a hassle.
The lens also features 9 aperture blades, which make for a nice bokeh.
I've been thinking that those underrating this lens must be people who simply have no idea how it use it properly... that or they have worse copies.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2016
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Posts: 50

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 11, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros: Amazing bang for buck
Cons: Softer beyond 250mm
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 3    Handling: 7    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-S2   

I firmly believe that I am limited more by skill than equipment Therefore while I blew my budget on awesome wide angle and kit lenses, I wanted a long one for the rare shots I see but can't get done with 18-135mm. Sure I love landscapes, but what if I see a bear the next time I'm hiking in Sequoia NP? This fits the bill!!

First the downside - autofocus is pretty noisy and hunts a bit. As others note, it starts to soften around 250mm depending on how picky you are.

Upside - for used/new lens in the $90-160 range, this is pretty damn good. Very light too, if you go on long hikes with this, you'll be thankful.

I've spent most of my time in photography with manual film lenses so I honestly didn't have trouble switching to manual focus when trying to frame fast moving birds (you will probably miss some good shots if you wait for AF in this scenario, or piss off a bear with the noise). A plane landing or isolating landscape, perfect.

I also had to shoot wide open in the evening by the beach trying to spot birds, but that's a worst case scenario and I was still surprised by what it could do for the price of a few bar tabs. On a sunny day or with a tripod to allow better stopping down, pretty competitive.

Basically, if birds and wildlife are all you want to take pictures of, this is obviously not the lens you should be buying. But for long shots on occasion or screwing around in a garden with flowers, perfect. If you understand photography and know the limitations of stopping it etc. for peak sharpness, you'll be very happy.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2014
Location: Nagoya
Posts: 577
Lens Review Date: October 12, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $120.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Price, overall image quality, relatively lightweight, close focus capability
Cons: Plasticky, but for the price you can't really complain

I can't help but feel that those who had a terrible time with this lens either had terrible copies of it or were trying to push it to do things it can't do. I personally have not had problems with excessive aberrations and fringing - certainly, it beats the popular Pentax 18-135 by miles in this regard. I'm sure that if you use it near wide open and point it at some backlit branches, it will fringe. But I took it out and did some architecture shots the other day, and fringing on high contrast lines was minimal and very easily corrected.
Peak sharpness - which is good - seems to come at f9 throughout the focal range, and I haven't found keeping to f9 to be much of a problem with the K-S2's great high ISO performance. Come back to f5.6 or f6.3, and you can get some very nice subject isolation and bokeh - if you have the working room, this lens can take perfectly acceptable portraits at 200mm. The macro function is genuinely useful if you have the room to use it - it can get very close and remains sharp.

Negative points, if you can call them that, are the fact that it feels fairly cheap - but it is more than just fairly cheap, and despite the plastic, feels tightly put together - and that the screwdrive AF is noisy. But I bought this lens understanding that. If you understand what to expect from this lens, and use it as you should use a tele zoom, it is genuinely capable.
   
Forum Member

Registered: August, 2014
Posts: 59
Lens Review Date: August 30, 2016 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $65.00 | Rating: 1 

 
Pros: Cheap, good bokeh, Perfet for Non-pros and those that don't know photography
Cons: Very soft, slow focus, Missed shots, weird Vignetting on the lenses
Sharpness: 1    Aberrations: 1    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 1    Handling: 6    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentex K3   

This is the WORST lens I have ever owned. DO NOT BUY IT!
If you don't care about quality, need cheap and just need something it will work fine. Does not work well in cloudy, low light condisions, only gives shap images when it is clear, sunny blue skies.

The focus hunts bad and you will end up with a lot of missed shots, it gives a very weird vingetting on the lens which I HATE. The aberrations are aweful and the sharpness is not there. Very soft on all aspects on the camera. ( I do know my settings ) Even on the sweet spots it was not sharp enough.

The handling is great, easy to use, quite noisy, the value of it was phenominal for what you could get with it.

I was really upset about the sharpness. I tried it at all angles on all different MM and it just never performed to what I liked it.
I tend to be very picky about my shots and I need a lens that can perform on all weather conditions.
This is NOT it.

Just a cheapy, kit telephoto lens meant for those that do not know anything about photography and just need a lens of that focal length.
For amatures and pros, its a must stay away from!

DO NOT BUY IT! You will be sorry
   
Senior Member

Registered: May, 2012
Location: Sunshine Coast
Posts: 113

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 14, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $170.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Cheap, sturdy, and (mostly) sharp
Cons: a bit plasticy, a bit soft at the 300 end, not WR.
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 5    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K5   

I bought this for a trip to the US because it was cheap and by purchasing this with the Tamron 90 mm Macro I pushed my purchases into the range where I could claim my tax back because I was travelling overseas. However It really is a pretty nice cheap lens, I took it with me because with the crop factor it is close to a 450 mm lens on my K5. The finish is plain, it looks a bit plasticy, but actually feels quite solid and well built in the hand, and works well on my K5. It is surprisingly sharp at everything but the very end wide open, which is not bad for such a cheap lens. Compared to my Pentax 55-300 it feels a maybe little bit cheaper build wise, and maybe not quite as sharp wide open, but really there isn't much in it, and I prefer the Tamron colours. I haven't seen much of the purple fringing that seems to plague some versions, but since I'm an old fart, maybe I'm just half blind too.

The autofocus I found to be fine in bright light, but in overcast or dim conditions tends to hunt a bit. Once it locks on however the focus is sharp.
The focus ring actually works quite well in manual focus, and the zoom is tight and not subject to creep at all, maybe a little bit too tight, but I'll wait for it to wear in before being too critical.
The macro bonus works, it's not real macro, but still useful none the less, but you have to remember the magic trick to back out once you have finished with macro or else the switch won't release. If you forget and this happens it is just as easy to to hit manual focus on the camera and focus out that way,
All my Pentax day 2016 photos were taken with this lens so if you look over there you can see what it is capable of.

Would I buy it again, yes, would I recommend, yes, it's great value for money, take it on a trip to the end of the earth, it will reward you with quite respectable photos, and if it gets lost or broken, you are not out for a fortune! And since this is an old full frame design, it has a proper aperture ring and is compatible with film camers and the new K1 of course!
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2016
Location: Montreal
Posts: 4

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 17, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: cheap, light, sharp
Cons: slow, noisy, plastic, CA
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-7   

It was my first telephoto lens and I was positively surprised by the photo quality. The macro function (proxy) is really not bad, you can use it.

It's a perfect lens to start and learn. :-)
   
Junior Member

Registered: May, 2014
Posts: 29

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 14, 2015 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $180.00 | Rating: 5 

 
Pros: pretty sharp, decent build quality for the cost
Cons: horrible CA
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 4    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 7    Value: 7    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K3   

As a novice photographer I wanted a cheap telephoto lens to compliment my excellent Tamron 18-70 zoom and my Pentax 35mm macro lens. I had been using a old SMC Takumar 200mm lens with an adapter ring, which gave ok results but was not that convenient. I spotted this Tamron budget lens and hoped it would be ok as a general use tele. I already had a similar Sigma lens for my Nikon camera, which was decent enough although not stellar, due to the cost.

As a positive, this lens is quite sharp. Much sharper than I had imagined. It real reaches out and would be a very nice and useable lens apart from it's major drawback Chromatic Aberration.

I'm no camera expert but I do have a bit of experience with telescopes and their optics. All wavelengths of light do not focus at the same point. Cheaper glass tends to show up purple of green fringing depending on the focus point. High contrast points of light such as stars tend to show up any imperfections in a telescope. Therefore many scopes feature exotic glass and have superior coatings to try and eliminate this effect. Some decent camera lenses show up this CA when used for astrophotography. This may not be noticed in terrestrial every day use.

This Tamron 300 was not going to be for astronomy but just as an everyday telephoto. I was very surprised though to see such bad CA on everyday shots. Yes it can be removed but it's hassle and can leave artefacts. I really hate the idea of having to suffice with a cheap lens like this.

It's unfortunately noticeable on pretty much ever image I take. At most F stops. Stopping it down does help. The purple CA gives images a sort of 3d relief effect. One you see it, you will not be satisfied with many of the shots taken through this lens.

I have sent the lens back and have ordered the Pentax 300 HD lens, which seems to get good marks on the CA front. My humble advice is to do yourself a favour and spend a bit more cash. You really do get what you pay for, at least in this case.
   
Forum Member

Registered: October, 2013
Posts: 94

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 18, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $10.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Cheap, nice feel to it, sharp, nice colours
Cons: None at the price
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K30   

One of the cheapest lens you can buy, and it does the job fine unless you're very picky or shooting professionally. It's sharp enough, and AF is fine in most situations. The "macro" is a bit Micky-Mouse but nevertheless does give some decent close-up shots.

I've used some much more expensive 300mm lenses from Canon and Olympus and of course they out-perform this one. But they cost four or five times as much and are very heavy, and they are not four times as good.

If you want a long lens for wildlife, then probably best to look elsewhere, unless the wildlife is a tortoise. But for occasional use, for a trip to the zoo, pets, portraits or candids, this lens is perfectly adequate.

This lens is cheap because it's plastic and mass-produced. I'm sure there are variations in quality, too. But for the price it represents excellent value for money and I think the performance will surprise a lot of people.

Don't buy it if you're looking to be a NG contributor. But if you occasionally want some extra reach, and don't want to spend a lot or want something very light weight, then this lens is for you.
   
Forum Member

Registered: December, 2009
Location: Sherbrooke, QC
Posts: 89

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 1, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $125.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Price, 1:2 macro from 180mm to 300mm
Cons: Purple Fringing, soft at 300mm, AF hunts
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 5    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-5   

I recently tried this lens based on reviews and price. I knew a little bit what to expect from it, and thought it would be ok for general shooting, but the softness and purple fringing at 300mm make it a little less desirable for my taste.

Sharpness from 70mm to 200mm is very good, even wide open, but after that it gets so-so. At 300mm and f/11 sharpness is better, but purple fringing is still there. I know it can be correct in post processing, but I like to shoot and be out there instead of going through lots of computer use.

Autofocus hunts sometimes, more than my other lenses.

I can compare with 2 other lenses that I use to have in the past, namely the Pentax DA 55-300mm and DA* 300mm. The DA* is in another league, and the 55-300mm is cleary better than this Tamron lens.

But, for the price and excellent Tamron warranty, I think it is still a excellent buy for people on a budget (like me).
   
Forum Member

Registered: February, 2014
Location: Zagreb
Posts: 73

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 23, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Best cheap telephoto, reasonably sharp, macro mode a nice bonus
Cons: Heavy, AF hunts in low light, CA in some cases
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 8    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-500   

This is an odd lens; On the one hand it has very good sharpness (better than both the Sigma 70-300mm and the Pentax 50-200mm), a focal length very useful for portraits and a nice macro mode. On the other hand, however, it's AF is simply awful (even worse in macro mode) and it picks up CA almost everywhere. You can also forget about using it in low light.
If you can deal with it's shortcomings and work around them, the lens will reward you with some amazing picures and IQ well above it's price range.
All in all, for the price, It's a great starter telephoto lens and I'd recommend it.

Here are a few shots taken with the macro mode:

]



For more examples, check out my Flickr Page
   
Forum Member

Registered: February, 2014
Location: Warsaw
Posts: 76

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 30, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $120.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Decent sharp wide open, good IQ, chep, macro
Cons: Slow focusing
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-500   

From at least few sources I have heard that this lens offers the best sharpness of all budget 300mm zooms at long end. So I bought one to check it out. Comparing it to other three cheap zooms I have owned it is one of the sharpest. I can compare it to Sigma 75-300mm DL macro, and it is better than FAJ 75-300 and F 100-300. In general all lenses I have owned are very similar. In centre of image all are almost the same but the Tamron is indeed the best but not by much. It offers good sharpness through whole image. While both FAJ and F has some problems with sharpness in the corners.
The thing that surprised me the most is IQ wide open which, is really good (as for 300mm budget zoom) images are pretty sharp and clear.
I gave it 8 for sharpness but only because it is the sharpest budget 300mm zoom I have owned. Of course if you have used good quality 300mm prime it will disappoint you but as cheap 300mm zoom it is good.

From my experience and many reviews I have read conclusion is as follows, all "reasonably priced" 300mm zooms are very similar, and each copy may work differently. For some Tamron is better than Sigma for other Pentax is better and the other way around...
Unfortunately there is no one simple answer and you will have to check it by yourself.

PS.
I like this lens, my copy is really nice and the more I use it the more I like it. Lens is sharp to 230-240 mm above is quite soft. Unlike like my other 300mm lens this one is useful full open.





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