The TAMRON 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD (Model B008) is quite a controversial lens. I just had to get one to find out for myself what this lens is all about. Follow my blog as I use this lens on a daily basis and discover for yourself if this lens is indeed a diamond in the rough, or if it simply just another average, try to do it all, kit level lens.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Dollars out, the fun starts

This blog was started to record my experience with the Tamron 18-270mm f3.5-6.3 VC PZD, but more about that later :-)

First let me introduce myself.

My name is Andre Serfontein and I am based in New Zealand. I am by no stretch of the imagination a professional photographer, but as you will see from my current equipment list, I am a keen amateur photographer. My induction into photography started at school in the 80s, being head of the photography club at school. Those are fond memories of shooting with my dad's Pentax, developing and printing B&W at the school lab, to developing my own color slides at home.

Photography to me, is about learning and having a lot of fun at the same time. To do this, I believe you do not have to have the greatest and latest of equipment. You do however need to have time to experiment and to learn your equipment.

So let us fast forward to the present.

My current kit includes a Canon 600D, 18-55mm IS II kit lens (possibly the second best bargain buy), 55-250mm IS kit lens and the bargain of all time, the 50mm f1.8 MkII lens. Most of my shooting at this stage is with the 50mm. My interest are not limited and I am very keen to try different things.

Because I take such a wide range of photos including macro photography, landscapes and architecture, I had the need for a lens that will help on the macro and wide angle side. Enter the respected Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5 DC Macro HSM. One thing lead to another including looking at the Canon 15-85mm f3.5-5.6 USM IS as well as the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM, however even though these lenses are amazing, these lenses falls outside the price I was prepared to pay, keeping in mind that over 70% of my photos are taken with my trusty 50mm. I therefore already had a very sharp and fast lens to cover most of my needs.


Back to the Sigma. This is a much cheaper lens compared to the Canons, and would better match my needs. Further investigation brought the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 XR Di II LD non-VC to my attention.  So with my final list compiled I started serious comparison of the lenses to see which one I should get. However the more I compared the Sigma and Tamron to my Canon 18-55mm kit lens, the more I became convinced that the Canon is an outstanding lens especially taking into consideration the price of the lens. Yes, the Sigma and Tamron proved to be sharper than the Canon, but in my testing this was only at certain zoom and f-stop settings. Also, differences were really only visible when pixel-peeping.


So, reading up about the Tamron 17-50mm, I came across several discussions and forum posts about the Tamron 18-270mm VC PZD. This must be one of the most controversial (so to speak) lenses I've ever came across. It is amazing how varying public and professional opinion about this lens is. To say the least, I became very interested in this lens and the more I read up and spent time surfing for as much info as I could about this lens, the more I became intrigued. A small subconscious challenge was starting to form in the back of my mind.


At this stage it was clear that I no longer needed a replacement lens from my kit lenses and I surely had no need in replacing my 50mm. But - now I had a new challenge. I just needed to find out for myself if the PZD really was as bad as some says, or if it is really an ugly duckling you easily fall in love with. I was amazed by what some people were doing with this lens. Pages such as:

So, after taking some test shots with a PZD in the local camera shop, I took the decision to bite the bullet and get on to test/try on a more permanent basis. My intention is to use this lens for  a year. I will deliberately choose to shoot a bit less with my 50mm, and to incorporate the PZD in more of my pics. I will try to record my findings as honestly as I can.


So I hope you will join me on this adventure. Come back frequently, to see what I am up to with this lens.

1 comments:

discreetphoton said...

Thank you Andre, I'm honoured that my work with this lens has motivated you to pick one up. Hope you enjoy it, and good luck with your own project. Thank you for the references.

David.

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