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Tamron AF 18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II LD Review RSS Feed

Tamron AF 18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II LD

Reviews Views Date of last review
26 104,259 Fri November 5, 2021
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
92% of reviewers $410.89 8.50
Tamron AF 18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II LD

Aspherical (IF)
Weight: 430g (15.2oz)
Length: 84.3mm (3.3in)
Filter Diameter: 62mm
Min. Focus: 0.45m (17.7in)
Max. Magnification: 1:3.5 (at f=250mm MFD 0.45m)
Diagonal FOV: 7533'-623'
Horizontal FOV:
Horizontal FOV on Digital: 6536'-519'
Vertical FOV: 4621'-319'
Min. Aperture: F/22
Optical Construction: 13/16
Diaphragm Blade Number: 7
Diameter: 74.4mm (2.9in)
Price History:

Add Review of Tamron AF 18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II LD
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New Member

Registered: June, 2009
Location: Denver,CO
Posts: 22
Lens Review Date: November 5, 2021 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $120.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Zoom Range - IQ
Cons: Zoom creep, (does have lock)
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: Pentax KP   

Here are a couple of samples shot the other day (11/3/21)

Registered: February, 2019
Posts: 2,015
Lens Review Date: December 30, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Focal length versatility
Cons: Noisy focus (auto and manual), Zoom creep
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-S2   

Sometimes I am taken in an event where I don't know if I will be close or far from the subjects, and of course changing lenses on the fly is not an option, then the Tamron 18-250 is the natural option. It is a 14* zoom, a wide angle, normal lens, short and long telephoto in one lens.

It is quite heavy though, and suffer from zoom creep ; if you bend over, or if you just carry your camera around your neck, the Tamron will extend up to 250mm and strain your neck. Fortunately, there is a zoom lock. Unfortunately, the zoom lock only works at 18mm.

It's not a silent lens. Screw-driven autofocus is noiser than usual, and manual focus is almost as noisy. But focus is internal ; the front element will not move, nor rotate while focusing. A good point, that allows faster autofocus as well.

Image quality is good, up to very good, and I don't remember spotting chromatic aberration with this one.

The Macro label is a joke, though. This lens only allows up to 1:3.5 magnification at 250mm (F6.3 maximum aperture), and even if it is better than nothing, I believe there are better lenses for that, even the Tamron 70-300.

Overall a good lens when you don't know which focal length you will need. Versatile and, more surprisingly considering it's a superzoom, good image quality and no strong flaw to report.
New Member

Registered: January, 2010
Posts: 23
Lens Review Date: March 27, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, versatile, convenience, close up capability
Cons: Less sharp at tele end but which all-in-one has it? Do not have VC
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 6    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: Sony 5N   

This viewing resolution on this website is lower for some reason. The actual images are much sharper. One of my favorite goto lens for travel.

Junior Member

Registered: June, 2012
Posts: 25
Lens Review Date: November 15, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Zome range, versatile
Cons: Lens creep (can be fixed with a lens-band)
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5   

Great sharp, versatile, all-round lens.

I bought the lens, used, a few years back and has hardly been separated from the camera since!

Site Supporter

Registered: April, 2011
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 11
Lens Review Date: September 23, 2012 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Wide range
Cons: Lens creep, lack of sharpness
Sharpness: 6    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 8   

I've had this lens for almost a year, and have very mixed feelings about it.
I shoot a lot of events and its wide range helps me get photos that I would miss if I had to constantly move to get closer to or farther from the subject/s. These pictures are usually used by the customer for their website or as records of the event.
The image quality I get with the 18-250 is sufficient for this kind of use. But if I had to make prints of any size, I would be using a different lens because of its lack of sharpness. This seems to be the case whether I use AF or MF. I've mounted my K-5 onto a tripod, and gotten the same results. I don't know if it is an incompatibility between the lens and my K-5, my camera, or the lens itself.
I have a Tamron 70-300mm, and have gotten good pictures with it. Even when shooting at 300mm in the 1:2 macro mode. Which leads me to think something might be wrong with the lens itself.
I don't know if any one knows of a way of checking this out by oneself, as the lens is out of warranty, and I don't know if Tamron will work on a lens this old.
The AF is not particularly fast, but sufficient. It does have occasion to hunt for focus, and even in lighting conditions when you would least expect it.
I don't know if the new 18-270mm that Pentax has just announced would be that much of an improvement. Looking at the reviews posted on B&H of the versions that have been made by Tamron for Canon and Nikon, it seems that sharpness is not a strong point for these cameras, either.
New Member

Registered: September, 2010
Posts: 3
Lens Review Date: July 14, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: IQ, versitility
Cons: hunts in low light. Serious lens creep.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 4    Value: 9   

I was looking for an all-round lens to get back into photography after many years away. I haven't been disappointed.

The greatest pro is the IQ and flexibility. I find the pictures to be sharp with little distortion, reasonable bokeh. Not bad for a 12x zoom. Looking at some of the negative reviews, I guess Tamron must have had a quality control problem, so maybe you need to be lucky when buying this lens.

The lens does hunt in low light, but what did I expect? The biggest annoyance, which is why I gave a 4 in handling, is serious lens creep. This lens must be locked when not in use unless you want it fully extended.
Senior Member

Registered: June, 2009
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 242

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 12, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $365.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Convenience; Overall IQ; Size
Cons: Zoom creep...
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10   

This lens is no slouch when it comes to IQ. Yes it gets softer at the extreme, and it does need some stopping down here and there to get that IQ, but that is no different than the 18-55 kit lenses. I have owned the original 18-55 and now the 18-55 WR and I would rate this lens better than the original 18-55 and equal to or better than the 18-55 WR with regards to IQ. Zoom creep exists and that it why the put the lock on the lens. The rubber band is also another option to fix it if it bothers you that much. I don't find it an issue with normal shooting. The only time it bugs me is when using a tripod at a downward angle and being unable to keep the zoom at a specific focal length easily or without holding it.

It's annoying when people complain that this lens is too slow. Imagine how big a constant F/2.8 lens would be. It would likely not be a practical lens to carry around. Yes there are often times I wish the 18-250 would go to F/2.8...especially at the long end...but you need to keep in mind what this lens does for the size and cost that it is.

I can't stress enough how great this lens is when you add up everything it can do. It's got a 1:3ish macro ability which is better than a lot of lenses and a very usefull feature to have. I suggest anyone looking into this lens to check out some of the tests at sites such as People complain that the IQ drops at the long end....but my copy seems acceptable. The fact that this lens does 18-250 quite well is just an amazing piece of work. To top it off, it's quite a small lens all things considered. Stack this lens up beside a 18-55 kit lens and a 55-300 or 70-300 and it's just amazing that it almost covered the same range as both those lenses.

In the end, it's similar to the kit lenses. The IQ can be quite amazing when you remember to stop it down to the apertures where it's best at. In this case, it's most often f5.6 or f8.

Macro ability (hand held & cropped slightly) @ 230mm F/8

Macro ability magnified by Raynox DCR-150 (hand held) @ 250mm F/8

These last two show the quality and range of this lens.

Landscape (hand held) @ 18mm F/8 (uncropped)

Max zoom (hand held) @ 250mm F/8 (uncropped)
Veteran Member

Registered: April, 2010
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Posts: 807
Lens Review Date: August 10, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Zoom range, IQ, convenience
Cons: Zoom creep
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9   

This lens is very good in bright light, or a cloudy day with a camera capable of good high iso performance.
With mine, AF is quieter than a lot of other lenses, and quite accurate.

Really it's versatile enough for everyday shooting, including birding, portraits, and street shooting.

I use a rubber band to prevent the zoom creep, it looks quirky, but works quite well.
New Member

Registered: July, 2011
Posts: 8
Lens Review Date: July 29, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $550.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Range, IQ
Cons: Sharpness at edges (wide), IQ at >200mm, not so fast (zoomed in)

For a step up on the kit lens, this is an excellent all-round lens. The zoom range is very long, and therefore it is very useful as walk around lens. This great feature has also some disadvantages:
1) at the wide angle, the image corners are less sharp, and darker
2) at the wide angle, a normal-size filter will cut of even more light (I had to turn a a ultra-thin CPL filter)
3) in the very tele (200 mms +), the image is not really sharp - not even on a tripod
4) at higher zoom levels, the aperture value reduces, hence longer shutter times are required, leading to too long shutter times for hand-held photography.

Having said all these disadvantages: this is the lens I grab when I can take 1 lens on a holiday trip!
Junior Member

Registered: May, 2011
Location: Lisboa
Posts: 46
Lens Review Date: May 29, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, Zoom Range, IQ
Cons: Vigneting, Distortion, Slow AF Focus

Altought i consider that the lens has negative aspects, if we're going to consider the Zoom Range, Image Quality and Price... this lens is superb.

No wonder Pentax Rebranded it

Great for all around and vacations.
Ideal for those who do not need fast glass lenses, this way they don't even need to change lenses.
Senior Member

Registered: February, 2010
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 293
Lens Review Date: April 8, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: light weight, great zoom range
Cons: too slow at the long end

Bought this lens with my K10D because it was all they had in a Pentax mount. Used almost exclusively for the first 2 years. The only draw back which made me look for another lens was it's speed in low light.
Dropped it on the gym floor when it rolled out of my bag. Thought I lost it for sure. The aperture now will cut out without warning but just touching the focus ring brings it back. I was concerned that the IQ might have been affected but a simple comparison test with with my DA* 50-135 shows no appreciable degradation. So, other than the lack of WR and a slow aperture, its IQ is nearly as good as the pro grade lenses.
New Member

Registered: September, 2010
Location: Charlottesville, Va.
Posts: 3
Lens Review Date: January 18, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Convenience, good overall quality
Cons: zoom creep, can't replace prime lens

I've permanently replaced the kit 18-55 lens that came with my k-x and I've been really happy with this lens for most situations. That said, when I put my 50mm prime on I realize that I'm giving up some quality for the flexibility.

Registered: August, 2008
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Posts: 11,172
Lens Review Date: August 21, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Versatility (zoom range + macro) & optical performance
Cons: some vignetting, not very fast

This lens has been called the "undisputed king of superzooms".

I like it a lot for its versatility. Having 18mm at the low end of the focal range is great. The 10mm difference compared to a zoom that starts with 28mm is dramatic. In comparison, 50mm more or less at the end of the focal range do not matter that much. In many tests the Tamron 18-250mm has been found to be a great improvement over the Tamron 18-200. (Note that there is (now discontinued) rebadged Pentax version of the 18-250mm lens. The lenses are mainly believed to be identical modulo cosmetics. It has been conjectured that only the Pentax version is supported by the K-7's lens correction but I'm not aware of any authoritative proof.)

With body shake reduction activated, I found that I could take tack sharp shots even at 250mm without a tripod, with proper holding techniques.

I love its close focus ability of 45cm throughout the entire zoom range. Strictly speaking its not a true macro (1:1 magnification factor) as its magnification factor is "just" 1:3.5. This is due to the fact that changing the focus also changes the effective focal length. Bob Atkins reckons that the effective focal length of the 18-250mm is ~125mm at its close focus distance of 45cm. (See his Tamron 18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 AF Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) Macro Review for his findings on this matter.) Still you can make some great macro shots with it with an incredibly low barrel distortion of just 0.01%. I've heard one person moan about focus influencing focal length -- a common side effect with internal focus lenses -- but frankly I couldn't care less. I get maximum zoom for objects that are far away, plus great macro capability. A 300mm telephoto with a close focusing distance of just 150cm gives less magnification.

An advantage of the internal focusing system (IF) is that you can use a polarising filter, which won't turn when you are changing the focus.

Like many modern designs from Tamron/Sigma, the 18-250mm optimises the centre sharpness in favour of better average across the field performance. That means that you'll get excellent centre sharpness but corners won't be near up to that level, in particular not with higher apertures. I believe this is a good decision as you'll get the chance to get great IQ for where it matters. Often things that happen in the corners are not important and will not be in the plane of focus anyhow. If you want to take landscape pictures that are sharp from corner to corner, near to far, then you'll need much more expensive lenses or, best, a view camera. For a print size up to 8x10, the 18-250mm will deliver A/A+ performance in almost all focal length and aperture settings and even with 11x14 prints you'll only get down to a B with some settings. (Source: PopPhoto Review of the Tamron 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II Macro)

At this price point and the very high zoom range, there are obviously some downsides:

You'll observe vignetting across the whole zoom range unless you stop down the lens sufficiently.

The lens isn't fast to begin with (f/3.5-6.3) and the need to stop it down in order to avoid vignetting / increase corner performance doesn't make it faster. However, with body shake reduction and very good low light performance from my K100D I've always been a very happy user so far. Even low light indoor shots worked well for me. I have never tried a prime yet so I don't have the comparison but on an absolute level, I'm more than happy.

The barrel distortion at 18mm is quite high but in normal scenes you'll only really notice it by comparison with a corrected version. This, and some CA (chromatic aberration) can be easily corrected with post processing (e.g. Photo Laboratory or Raw Therapee).

My copy initially didn't suffer from zoom creep; now it does. The barrel will extend on its own when you point it downwards and shake it a bit.

Conclusion: For specific applications (corner to corner sharpness, 1:1 macro, available light shooting, etc.) you'll obviously find specialist lenses that will outperform the 18-250mm. However, they will also be much more expensive and you'll have to be prepared to change lenses all the time. This is not only cumbersome and may make you not take a shot sometimes, but also increases the risk of getting dust/pollen on your sensor when changing lenses outdoors. In terms of versatility I think the 18-250 is hard to beat and it provides remarkable optical performance, not only with respect to its zoom range, but also in absolute terms. If your print sizes are 11x14 and lower, I believe you'll be very happy with this lens all the time. Used within certain parameters, it will provide outstanding performance for even bigger print sizes.

After having used this lens for longer, I love it even more than in the beginning for its versatility and quality. Given that vignetting can be addressed in post-processing, it really only (sometimes) limits you regarding DOF control and shutter speeds. But the sharpness is staggering for a superzoom like this.

18-250mm, f/3.5- 6.3.
16 elements in 13 groups.
Two LD (low dispersion) elements, one AD (anomolous dispersion) element, two hybrid aspherical elements.
Internal focusing.
Focusing turns 55 degrees counterclockwise.
Close focusing distance: 45cm.
Weight: 450g
Filter size: 62mm.
Zoom lock at 18mm to prevent zoom creep while carrying.
Petal-shaped lens hood included

Also see

Many user testimonies can be found here:
Senior Member

Registered: February, 2008
Location: Mount Shasta
Posts: 185
Lens Review Date: July 6, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $475.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: All in one, one lens solution. Very good IQ. Low weight for range.
Cons: Slightly soft at long end. Easily correctable with software.

As a newspaper reporter and photojournalist, this is my main walkaround, do everything lens. I keep trying to find something to replace it, but it just isn't out there. Low light is good on the Kx.
Inactive Account

Registered: February, 2010
Location: Adelaide South Australia
Posts: 37
Lens Review Date: April 16, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: A great all round lens
Cons: expected negatives are that its slow

i have in a short time purchased a large number of lenses. A lot of them primes. This lens is my walk around zoom and its great. Some times you just dont have the time and need to use your primes. I just couldnt be happier with this zoom. When i first received it i was expecting much less from this lens. Its simply a first class walk around do all lens.
Add Review of Tamron AF 18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II LD

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