Tam­ron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD £300, $450

Tamr on’s VC lens shifts THINGS up a gear

NPhoto - - Gear Zone -

This high-tech of­fer­ing is a to­tally dif­fer­ent propo­si­tion to the older Tam­ron 70-300mm on test. Key up­grades in­clude a whisper-quiet and speedy ring-type ul­tra­sonic au­tofo­cus sys­tem, op­ti­cal sta­bil­i­sa­tion, and much stur­dier build qual­ity. Handling is more re­fined, as the man­ual fo­cus ring doesn’t ro­tate dur­ing au­tofo­cus, and the front el­e­ment nei­ther ex­tends nor ro­tates. The mount­ing plate is metal, but has no weather seal.

Un­like the three Nikon DX lenses on test, the Tam­ron is full-frame com­pat­i­ble. It has a fo­cus dis­tance scale be­neath a view­ing win­dow, whereas the Nikon DX lenses don’t, and the op­ti­cal path in­cludes an LD (Low Dis­per­sion) and an XLD (Ex­tra Low Dis­per­sion) el­e­ment.

Per­for­mance

Au­tofo­cus speed is faster than in the Nikon DX 55-300mm VR, and al­most as quick as in Nikon’s AF-S 70-300mm VR lens. There’s no of­fi­cial rat­ing for the VC (Vi­bra­tion Com­pen­sa­tion) sys­tem, but we found it to be equiv­a­lent to nearly four stops. Im­age qual­ity is very good through­out the zoom range.

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