Tam­ron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro £430/$500

NPhoto - - Gear Zone -

What’s good: Class-lead­ing zoom range, ex­tra wide-an­gle per­spec­tive, re­fined han­dling. What’s bad: Not es­pe­cially sharp at some fo­cal lengths, no­tice­able dis­tor­tions and fring­ing. Our ver­dict: It’s the best buy for out­right zoom range with lit­tle sac­ri­fice in im­age qual­ity. With its rea­son­ably com­pact and light­weight yet splash-proof con­struc­tion, re­fined han­dling and class-lead­ing zoom range, the Tam­ron 16-300mm is a very at­trac­tive buy at a com­pet­i­tive price. It also gives you a wider view­ing an­gle than any other Nikon-com­pat­i­ble su­per­zoom lens on the mar­ket. Colour fring­ing is a bit on the high side, but all Nikon DSLRs from the D3 and D300 on­wards (apart from the D60 and D3000) au­to­mat­i­cally cor­rect this if you shoot in JPEG, or process your Raw im­ages in Nikon soft­ware.

Our se­cond-favourite is the Sigma 18-300mm, which is slightly sharper up to fo­cal lengths of 145mm, a bit softer at 200mm, and about equal at 300mm.

The Tam­ron 18-200mm is un­beat­able value, de­liv­er­ing good per­for­mance at a great price. Of the three Nikon lenses on test, the 18-200mm VR is the win­ner, de­spite be­ing rel­a­tively short on reach.

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