Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD £300, $450
Tamr on’s VC lens shifts THINGS up a gear
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.
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.