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Hands-On Review: Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 SP Di VC USD for Canon

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Tamron’s brand-new 150-600mm f/5-6.3 SP Di VC USD has generated a lot of attention with its release. This is mainly because it offers Canon, Nikon, and Sony shooters access to the super-telephoto zoom. This lens replaces Tamron’s 200-500mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD and provides photographers with just a little more reach for better accessibility to wildlife, sports, and other distant subjects. It’s compatible with both full-frame and APS-C camera systems, with the latter resulting in a focal-length equivalence of approximately 240-960mm on Canon and 225-900mm on Nikon and Sony cameras. Buyers can get an impressive, high-performance lens that really stands out in its class.


Handling

This is a large lens, although that can be a subjective observation. Anyone accustomed to shooting with similar super-telephoto zooms won’t notice much difference. At slightly more than 4 pounds, its weight is comparable to Sigma’s 50-500mm f/4.5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM and it's about a pound heavier than Canon’s popular EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM. Compacted, it’s a little more than 10” in length. Extended to the longest end of the zoom range, and with the hood attached, it measures more than 17”. An included removable tripod collar is quite useful for anyone who doesn’t have the desire or ability to shoot handheld. While it’s certainly possible to shoot this way, it’ll get tiresome quickly if you don’t have the strength and stamina—you’ll need to mount it on a tripod and prevent additional shake from fatigue. The large detachable hood works well to suppress flare, though Tamron’s eBAND and BBAR coatings do a great job of minimizing these issues even without it.

The filter thread is a considerable 95mm, which makes for a very large front element. The downside here is that 95mm filters can get expensive, and you might not be able to double their use for much else in your kit. The front cap is a center-pinch type piece that stays securely in place and doesn’t pop off with a slight bump or jostle, a benefit to those trekking out for nature photography. There’s a handy zoom-lock lever on the barrel, and it leaves little option about whether or not to engage it—without it, the lens does creep. The ribbed zoom and focus rings are large and easy to grip, which makes manual focus incredibly smooth. The lens seems to be relatively durable as well, and after shooting for three days straight in a sub-zero wind chill, never faltered. Overall, it feels comfortable and sturdy in the hand, delivering across the board as both ergonomically and visually pleasing.

Performance

The 150-600mm f/5-6.3 was tested with a Canon 5D Mark II, and definitely proved to be an impressive piece of glass. The speed of its AF system (an Ultrasonic Silent Drive motor) is easily comparable with those equipped with Canon and Nikon’s high-end glass, kicking into action in a snap. It’s incredibly smooth, silent, and fast every time.

ISO 1250 | 600mm | f/6.3 | 1/160 sec. | Handheld with VC on

伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频The lens is very efficient at finding an established focal point, something that can be tricky with super telephoto, and doesn’t cause you to miss out on a shot due to hunting for focus. There’s also a focus limiter switch, which further expedites the process, if need be. The only issue was accuracy, which suffered just slightly with moving subjects. Even at fairly high shutter speeds, subjects in motion were more susceptible to blurriness. Stationary shots were consistent in their clarity, throughout. Overall, AF could use a few improvements, but remains pretty solid for a lens of this type.

ISO 500 | 600mm | f/6.3 | 1/250 sec. | Handheld with VC on

Image sharpness in general is notably stronger at the wider ends of the zoom range, primarily between 150-300mm. At 500-600mm, softness can occur. A tripod does help to minimize this. Handheld shooting at the long end of the zoom becomes a little harder to do, especially if you lack the aforementioned arm strength. Vibration Compensation is very useful here, and definitely makes a difference in the details when you have no other option but to handhold the lens. It also helps to stabilize what you see in the viewfinder, so you end up less shaky when trying to compose. As a note, Tamron’s Sony-compatible version of this lens does not include VC, and relies instead on in-camera image stabilization.  

ISO 250 | 600mm | f/7.1 | 1/320 sec. | Handheld with VC on

Background bokeh is beautiful. This lens houses a circular 9-bladed aperture, and it yields stunning, painterly elements of defocus when shooting at shallow depth of field. Of course, the 150-600mm tops off at speeds between f/5 and f/6.3, depending on where you are in the zoom range. Like a lot of lenses, its maximum aperture is not quite its sharpest.

ISO 500 | 600mm | f/6.3 | 1/400 sec. | Handheld with VC on

Around f/8-f/10, there’s a notable jump in clarity. Considering that it seems to need a lot of light, especially for action shots, this can be a bit of a handicap. To really capture crisp subject matter in motion, especially at the longer end of the zoom, a fast shutter speed is optimal—and necessary.

 

    ISO 125 | 600mm | f/10 | 1/100 sec. | Handheld with VC on                                                   ISO 125 | 150mm | f/10 | 1/100 sec. | Hand-held with VC on

Some slight chromatic aberration and fringing was evident from time to time, though it was very minimal and easy to overlook without close inspection. Pin-cushion distortion, a common issue in telephoto photography, was barely, if ever, noticed. When magnified on a computer monitor, image sharpness pleasantly and consistently retained its integrity from corner to corner of the frame. The colors remained true and rich, even when out shooting in a bleak winter environment, and would undoubtedly do well capturing bright foliage or birds.

ISO 125 | 600mm | f/10 | 1/320 sec. | Handheld with VC on

©Images by Amanda Bellucco Photography

Conclusion

While it’s not without flaws, the 150-600mm f/5-6.3 SP Di VC USD’s amazing range is going to be pretty hard to beat. All things considered, it exceeds expectations. It looks solid, feels solid, and performs with a great deal of heart. For nature photography in particular, this lens is really going to make a name for itself. Given the chance, it just might surprise you. Looking for a reliable super telephoto zoom? In this case, Tamron’s got the answer.

伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频Watch this hands-on review of the Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Format Compatibility 35mm Film / Full-Frame Digital Sensor
Camera Mounts Canon EF, Nikon F, and Sony A
Focal Length 150-600mm
APS-C Equivalent Focal Length Canon: 240-960mm
Nikon: 225-900mm
Sony: 225-900mm
Maximum Aperture f/5.0-6.3
Minimum Aperture f/32-40
Angle of View 16° 25' - 4° 8'
Minimum Focus Distance 8.86' (2.7 m)
Maximum Reproduction Ratio 1:05
Lens Construction 20 elements in 13 groups
Aperture Blades 9
Tripod Collar Yes, removable
Image Stabilization Canon, Nikon: Yes, Vibration Compensation
Sony: No
Autofocus Ultrasonic Silent Drive Motor
Filter Thread 95mm
Dimensions 4.2 x 10.2" (10.6 x 25.8 cm)
Weight 4.3 lb (1.95 kg)

158 Comments

I have a Nikon d3400.   Is the Tamron 150-600mm compatible?  Is this my best option for shooting wild life and sports?

伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频Yes, it has a Nikon F mount (or Canon EF mount) so it's built for full-frame DSLRs.  I used to shoot wildlife with a Soligor GS 400mm f6.3 on a Minolta SRT201 35mm SLR.   Given the crop factor of APS-C cameras, (1.6 for Canon EOS 70D for example, a 150-600mm lens is effectively a 240-960 mm lens to a 35mm full-frame.  I bought a Tamron Di VC USD SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 with 62mm filter thread,(eff. 112-480mm on a crop-sensor camera) obviously designed for Nikon and adapted to Canon and others. 

伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频Think about the weight (mass) and how stable your shooting position will be at the end of the day (often when the action happens).  For me, lighter weight and lower exposure capability are a consideration, since I'm often moving and compensating for movement at both ends of the lens.  

伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频Hi Pam, Charles makes some very good points. Yes, it will work (and maybe if you want to upgrade to full-frame later it's a worthwhile investment), but it is larger than it needs to be. The lenses Charles recommended are good (a 70-300mm is a great pick), but for that much reach you will want to go for the 150-600mm. If you want some more detailed picks, let us know what kind of sports or wildlife you are looking to photograph.

Does Tamron 150-600 mm G2 is compatible with Canon 700d ?

Thanks for the great review, request your help on -how to tune the Tamron 150-600 mm lens for canon 7D mark II. first, is the tuning or dot tuning required, If yes -what's the process. How to use Tamron with Canon 7D MII for best clarity with low noise or distortion

伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频Regards, Raghu

Hi Raghu - 

Please watch and listen carefully to this video developed by the inventor of the Dot-Tune method,  Bob Atkins:  

伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频Is the Tamron 150-600 a  "parafocal" lens.  I want to use it for 4K video and am curious.  I mostly shoot manual focus so it is important not have to refocus when zooming

No, this is not a parfocal lens, as you zoom the focus will need to be adjusted. 

Thanks for the great review. I was able to grab one of these from your used dept. at a awesome price savings.I really hope it lives up to your review. I presently shoot with a 170-500mm Sigma so this will give me a little more reach. I've really become interested in nature and bird photography, especially eagles, osprey, heron, and butterflys, so hopefully this will help get me to the next step. 

Is the tamron 150-600mm G2 compatible w/ the canon 80D.

Yes, the  will be compatible with the Canon 80D. 

伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频I am so sorry but this reivew of this lens is horrible - Self stocking or self back patting is borring and without prupose.

Give its strong points, for god sake.  

伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频so bad i can not go in to tall the reasons why this shoudl never be seen by anyone again.

伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频Must be a boring day for you to waste your time posting assinine trivial comments loke this...........

Larry is a remarkable on-camera presenter. Convinced me. I purchases. 

I am a novice photographer with a Canon 70D camera.  I am preparing to shoot the solar eclipse next month.  I have begun reserach on a lens of this type and think this is my best price to performance option for the solar elipse.  I do have concern that the solar filter may be more expensive.  Can you offer any input I might need to complete the decision? 

伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频The 150-600 looks like a useful tool.  I only shoot manual, and have no need for autofocus or autoaperture on my Sony A7S, although VC is probably a useful feature at this focal length.  I don't have any interest in acquiring A-mount gear; is there an adapter for Canon or Nikon that would support VC for an A7S and this lens?

This is, perhaps, the most difficult lens to zoom. I have never had such a tight zoom in ANY LENS that I have owned. The quality is not the issue it is however the inablitliy to zoom the lens quickly!

I want to use the Tamron AFA011S700 SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD Zoom Lens for Sony Alpha Cameras. The package I looked at contains Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens for Sony + Sony LAEA3 A-Mount to E-mount Lens Adaptor + Sony 64GB MC + 95mm UV Protector + Battery/Charger + 59" Tripod + Silicone Band + Large Lens Pouch. will this work with my Sony a6300 e mount?

The LA-EA3 is designed for use specifically with Sony lenses. While you could use the Tamron 150-600mm lens with the adapter, we would not be able to guarantee the functionality of the auto functions. From all accounts, autofocus can be hit or miss with this combination.

伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频I am wondering if this Tamron lens 250-600 works with the Canon EOS 60d, will I need any adapter? Also what is the Country of Mfg.

Thanks

Oooops fat finger 150-600

The Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens for Canon will be compatible with the Canon 60D. You would not need an adapter. According to the information in our system, provided to us by Tamron, this lens is currently being made in China.

伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频I am looking for some help I bought this lens for Christmas and have been enjoying it to the fullest. Today I am finding it difficult ot turn the lens to zoom in and out. Any suggestions on what might be going on and what I should do. Thank you.

Just solved my own problem...did not know I had a zoom lock feature. Sometimes what seems like a problem becomes a pleasent surprise.  

is there a teleconverter compatible with the tamron 150-600 lens for the sony a 77?

Unfortunately there is not currently a teleconverter that will support the 150-600mm lens with a Sony A-Mount camera.

伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频Would this lens work well with my D7100? I am planning to get one for a safari trip.

Hi RRG - 

The lens discussed in the article is for CANON cameras.  You would use this lens with your Nikon D7100:

Spanning a versatile and long-reaching focal length range, the Nikon F-mount SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 from Tamron is a 4x zoom covering telephoto to super telephoto perspectives. Complementing the long reach is an optimized optical design that features three low dispersion (LD) glass elements to reduce chromatic aberrations and color fringing throughout the zoom range. eBAND and BBAR coatings have also been applied to reduce ghosting and flare when working in strong, backlit lighting conditions.

Beyond its optical attributes, the G2 version of this lens also incorporates a FLEX ZOOM LOCK mechanism to permit locking the zoom position at any focal length position to prevent accidental zoom extension. Conventional zoom lock is also featured to prevent barrel extension during transport. Suiting handheld shooting situations, Vibration Compensation (VC) is a 4.5-stop-effective image stabilization mechanism that helps to reduce the appearance of camera shake for sharper results when working with slower shutter speeds. A ring-type Ultrasonic Silent Drive (USD) autofocus motor delivers notably quick and accurate focusing performance to suit working with fast-moving subjects, and full-time manual focus is also supported for fine-tuned control. Benefitting its use outdoors, the lens also features a moisture-resistant construction along with a fluorine-coated front element to guard against dirt, dust, moisture, and smudging from affecting image quality. The ergonomic and durable metal construction of the lens also incorporates textured focus and zoom rings, and a removable, rotating tripod collar with an Arca-type compatible foot is supplied to better enable shooting from tripods and monopods.

伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频Is this available in Sony E mount?

Unfortunately, Tamron is not offering the 150-600mm G2 in an E-mount at this time. 

Does the Vibration Control (VC) on this lens work in Video mode on Canon DSLRs?

伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频Vibration Compensation*

The VC will function during video.

Can you direct me to some of the sample images as seen in the 150-600mm video?

Hi David,

伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频I am sorry, but we do not have access to those images as the video was produced through our partnership with Kelby Media.

Thanks!

Can you please tell me which Teleconverter is appropiate for "Tamron SP 150-600mm F5-6.3 Di VC USD伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频" I am using it with my Nikon D7000 and would like to increase my reach to 2X.

For the original 150-600mm lens, you would need to look for a third party teleconverter.  You could look at the Kenko TelePlus MC7 AF 2.0X DGX Teleconverter.  Keep in mind that will lose autofocus using a teleconverter with the 150-600mm lens.

I have the new Tamrom 150-600 G2 and love it. I'm thinking about purchasing one of the telconverters. Shooting birds, I'd like to get as much reach as possible, particularly for waterfowl out on lakes. What are your thoughts on the 2x compared to 1.4x???

伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频If you are looking to get the most reach possible with your new Tamron 150-600mm, then the 2X teleconverter would likely be the best option.  Autofocus won’t be possible when using either teleconverter, so that wouldn’t be a factor in deciding between them.  You would get better results going with the 2X, than shooting with the 1.4X and cropping.  So, if the maximum amount of reach is your main objective, the 2X would be the best option. 

Is this a good lens for sports action photography?

伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频The Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 SP Di VC USD would be an excellent option for sports and action, especially if you won’t be close to the action.

伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频I hav this lens and love it  on my Nikon Dx I would like to upgrade to an fx Nikon would my lense work or would I have to upgrade the lens to an fx model

伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频This lens is designed for use with Full Frame (FX) Sized Sensor cameras, no need to upgrade the lens. 

Hi,

Please don't laugh if I ask this question, but does this lens works with Canon 700D as well?

Yes, the  will be fully compatible with the Canon 700D (T5i). 

伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频WILL THE TAMRON 150 TO 600 mm Tele work on a Canon 80D ?

The Tamron 150-600mm lens for Canon will be compatible with the Canon 80D, yes.  Any compatibility issues should have been resolved by now.  If you do encounter issues,  you could send the lens into Tamron to get the firmware updated.

伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频I just purchased the Tamron 150-600mm lens for my 5dMKIII. Is a Canon 2X teleconverter compatible with the Tamron lens?

Thank you

Unfortunately, none of the Canon extenders would be compatible with the Tamron 150-600mm lens.  The Canon extenders are only compatible with a select number of Canon’s pro-level telephoto lenses.  They are not compatible with lenses from other manufacturers.  While there are other brand teleconverter伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频s on the market that could work with the 150-600mm lens, autofocus would not be retained.

Ok..I have a Canon 2 x teleconverter and it fits, but I have not had an opportunity to go out shooting.  Can you explan what you mean that it is not compatible.  Does that just mean certain features won't work?  Does it just not give you the "extra reach"?  Or will it damage my lens in some way?

The Canon extenders are not designed to work with third party lenses.  They are only designed to work with certain Canon lenses.  While you might have been able to physically fit the extender on a third party lens, I wouldn’t risk the combination.  There is no telling whether or not you might damage the lens or extender. 

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