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Tamron AF 28-300mm F3.5-6.3 LD Aspherical IF Marco

Reviews Views Date of last review
4 39,578 Thu April 17, 2014
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $147.50 8.25
Tamron AF 28-300mm F3.5-6.3 LD Aspherical IF Marco

Model: 185DP
Filter Size:72mm
Minimum Focus Distance: 0.61m at f=200mm
Max Mag. Ratio: 1:3.7 at f=240mm
Aperture: F3.5-6.3
Angle of View: 75-8 (35mm film)
Construction: 15 elements in 13 groups
Length 94.6mm
Diameter: 80.4mm
Weight: 590g
Year introduced:1999
Price History:

Add Review of Tamron AF 28-300mm F3.5-6.3 LD Aspherical IF Marco
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New Member

Registered: May, 2013
Location: Toronto
Posts: 5

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 17, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $130.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Good walk-around lens. Decent IQ. Good value.
Cons: Soft wide open and at 300mm. On the heavy side.
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-30   

This lens is exactly what I was looking for (apart from the weight, but this is a minor gripe for me). You can shoot from 28mm to 300mm, which is ideal for travels, outdoors and special occasions.

It's pretty sharp up to about 200mm and softens quite a bit at 300, but stopping it down to F/11 sharpens it up. At focal lengths of up to 200mm, F/9 seems to be the sweetest spot for this copy. It's reasonably sharp and detailed for most of the range with good color and contrast (I like it more than Sigma's).

Build quality is good - with a metal lens mount and metal extension tube. Zoom lock can only be switched at 28mm, but my copy doesn't creep that much anyway. Focus ring is the typical short-throw type, common to hyperzoom AF lenses, but it works ok.

The biggest gripe could be that it hunts in low light situations, but honestly, I wasn't expecting anything stellar in this regard, so I just stick to shooting in good light condition with this one and switch to fast prime lens indoors or in poor light.

All in all, it delivers about as much as you can reasonably ask of any hyperzoom lens. And with that said, I can absolutely recommend this lens if you can find it for a good price.
Veteran Member

Registered: November, 2009
Location: Iowa
Posts: 2,269

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 2, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $85.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Versatile, sharp up to 200mm, relatively minor PF
Cons: Zoom is a bit stiff, zoom creep (but there is a zoom lock), IF shortens focal length at closer distances, Soft at 300mm
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 7    Value: 10   

I bought this lens used from another forum member, and I gotta say, the bang-to-buck ratio is quite good on this one. Though many prefer a wider-angle superzoom more in the 18-250 range, this one is preferable for me, because my shooting gravitates more toward the tele end.

This lens is pretty sharp up to 200mm, and while it does soften up a lot at 300mm, stopping it down to f11 sharpens it up a bit. You're much better off sticking to 200mm or lower for the best IQ. At focal lengths of up to 200mm, f8 seems to be the sweet spot. Comparing it with my Tamron SP 60-300mm Model 23A (an exceptionally sharp and well-regarded MF zoom), the 60-300 murders the 28-300 at the long end. Up to about 200mm, the difference is less noticeable. The 28-300 has a bit less PF than the 60-300, so that's one advantage. As long as lighting is adequate (or you have a camera with excellent high-ISO performance, like the K-x) and you stop it down a bit, it's capable of taking sharp, nicely saturated photos with good detail, even when viewed at full resolution.

Build quality on this lens is good, with a metal lens mount. The rear part of the lens housing is a good quality plastic, with the two zoom extensions on the front made of metal. A zoom lock you can switch in only at 28mm takes care of zoom creep. (creep isn't a big deal to me, anyway.) Focus ring is the typical short-throw variety common to AF lenses, and it works smoothly. The zoom ring works well too, but due to the extreme excursion range of the lens when zooming, it's a little stiff in the middle. Holding the lens facing upward while zooming to the long end takes a little effort, as does zooming to the short end while the lens is pointing down. This is due to the weight of the lens parts being moved, and isn't a defect. It's not a big deal, and doesn't detract from the enjoyment of using this lens. There's also a supplied "twist & lock" petal type lens hood supplied with the lens.

Something else to keep in mind with this or any other IF (internal focus) superzoom: Because of the way IF works, the stated maximum focal length (in this case, 300mm) is only 300mm at infinity. The closer you are to your subject, the less magnification you get. According to my tests with this lens vs. a non-IF zoom, at a distance of 10 feet from the subject, this lens is more like a 28-190mm lens, which is a lot less than 300mm. I'm not a fan of IF for this reason, but I don't know of any AF superzooms that aren't IF. So you're kinda stuck.

To sum it up, for a walkaround, daylight-use lens with a little extra range on the long end, this lens does a good job. Sure, it's not as sharp as a good prime or even an excellent zoom with less focal range, but you can't expect it to be. It does however, deliver about as much as you can reasonably ask of any hyperzoom. It's reasonably sharp and detailed through most of the range with good color and contrast. And though the fringe monster rears it's purple head once in awhile, it's less fringy than many zooms. Since I've bought it, I've gotten plenty of great photos with it.

Here's a demo pic I snagged of my sister-in-law with this lens at 128mm.

If ratings of "7" sound lukewarm, consider this: To me, "10" is killer IQ with a superb prime lens. My ratings hover around a "7" with this lens, which I consider excellent for a hyperzoom. I wouldn't expect more from any hyperzoom.
Inactive Account

Registered: January, 2011
Location: Minahasa, North Celebes (Sulawesi)
Posts: 585

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 24, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $175.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Generous FL, Much cheaper than "digital" all-round, nice color rendering and bokeh
Cons: This lens delivers what it is supposed to do, don't ask for more
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9   

18-200 or 18-250 is today's standard when it comes to "all-round" lens, but I prefer the 28-300 range because of the "added length" due to 1.5x crop factor, and off course because this lens is cheaper. This lens is only a bit bigger than the 28-200 version, so still compact. Wonderful color rendering and bokeh. Reasonable sharpness in all focal range, small bit of "glow" at the widest aperture, gone when stepped down one click.

Handheld @300mm F8 -Cropped

Handheld @300mm -Cropped +- 100%






All in all, this award-winning lens is not a disappointment.
Senior Member

Registered: November, 2007
Location: Bay area, CA
Posts: 192

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 2, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Versatile range. FF glass so corner softness is less relevant in digital camera
Cons: Soft wide open. Soft at 300mm. Very sharp when tuned to optimum f-stop. Not for pixel peeper.

The specification of this lens is impressive: big zoom, relatively good f-stop. It is a very good budget ultrazoom lens at half the price of the new crop of lens.
Sharpness sweet spot is: 28mm: f5.6; 50mm:f6.7; 240mm: f11; 300mm is really a stretch. Given the small f-stop, the focus tend to hunt a lot in low light, so it's best for outdoor pictures. I've been able use it as a decent portrait lens. I would say the quality is on par with Pentax FA-J series but with more versatile range. It can produce very sharp print when tuned to the sweet spot., i would not push it further than that. The lens seem to be suitable for portrait photos at 50 - 180 zoom range, juse set it around f5.6- f8 and you'll get really nice sharp pictures with pleasing bokeh. The 28mm wide angle is no longer that useful with the new digital sensor.
I have compared this against the lengendary sigma 70-200 f2.8. Clearly it's not in the same ball park wide open, but seem to catch up on sharpness at f8 thru f11 at comparable focal range. That makes this lens an exellent value for general use. Plus you get the extra zoom when you need it in a pinch.

Pro: cheap, versatile enough for use. Metal mount construction (for Pentax mount) is solid, making it a good choice (others have rated this lens poorly on Canikon mounts since the plastic contacts tend to get damage)

Con: the 3 barrel zoom set up creep quite abit for this heavy glass, require you to lock in. Extreme ends (300mm wide open) is really soft.
Add Review of Tamron AF 28-300mm F3.5-6.3 LD Aspherical IF Marco

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