Tamron 70-300mm 1:.0-5.6 Di LD Macro
The Tamron 70-300mm 1: .0-5.6 Di LD Macro is arguably the most affordable telephoto macro zoom lens available. Due to its very reasonable price, the lens is often the choice of beginners who have already tried a DSLR purchased with a standard kit lens and want to expand their "horizons" with a new focal range.
Focal length: 70-300mm
Construction (lenses / groups) 13/9 (14/10)
Maximum Aperture: f / 4-5.6
Aperture blades: 9
Focusing: automatic and manual
Near Focus Limit: 1.5 / 0.95 (Macro) m
Maximum image scale: 1: 4.1 / 1: 2 (Macro)
Depth scale markings: f // 22
Filter thread: 62mm (58mm sigma)
Dimensions: 76.6x116.5mm (Sigma 76.6x122mm)
Weight: 435g (545g)
The lens has a modern design and looks much better than its predecessors. You can see that the designers tried to make the lens more attractive and at the same time cheaper in price.
There are wide rubberized zoom rings and a narrower focus ring. All visible parts of the lens are plastic, but they are made soundly enough, fitted to each other, and do not dangle. The zoom and focus ring moves smoothly for manual zooming and focusing. When zooming, the long trunk of the lens extends, which is further increased by focusing. When focusing, the front lens rotates so that gradient filters cannot be used with the lens.
You can't help comparing it with the SIGMA DG 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6 lens. The characteristics of these lenses are very similar.
Tamron outperforms Sigma in weight (it is lighter by more than 100 g: 435 g versus 545 g) has a slightly shorter length (117 mm versus 122 mm) (in the open position). The body of the Tamron looks more harmonious and aesthetically pleasing - a cylinder of almost the same diameter along its entire length, slightly narrowing at the beginning and the end. On the other hand, Sigma has the form of two cylinders - a larger and a smaller diameter.
Tamron's bayonet mount is unique. Usually, the mount is plastic in cheap whale lenses, and metal is more advanced, and therefore more reliable. But Tamron has a "hybrid" of these two: metal covered with plastic. A thin metal ring with three bayonet lugs covers the top with black plastic. I can say - the designers tried to make it cheap and, at the same time, somehow maintain the mount’s reliability on the lens because the lens is quite large. A very dubious decision because the thin plastic of the mount breaks off even faster than on whales. But the metal remains and performs its function of attaching the lens to the camera. It applies only to lenses on Canon; the same model for Nikons has a completely metal mount.
Bayonet Plastic Damage
An interesting opportunity to “improve” the lens has been described on the Internet. They are converting the lens - cutting the switch lever for normal to macro mode. This lever has a mechanical focus stop function—it kind of splits the focusing ranges. In macro mode, focusing is possible in the range of 0.9 -1.5 m. And in normal mode - from 1.5 to infinity. But in addition to such a breakdown, the macro mode limits the working focal state to 180-300 mm. So by removing the limitation of the lever simply by cutting it down, the user gets a larger focusing range: from 0.9 to infinity, which at the same time means the ability to use the macro mode in the entire working range of focal lengths of the 70-300mm lens. The disadvantages of such a rework are that the range of autofocus operation increases. Therefore, increase the time of focusing (in some cases) - the motor needs to go over the entire extended range to find focus.
Tamron has a feature related to the Macro mode switch that you need to know. Switching to Macro mode from Normal mode is no problem. But for this, you need to set the zoom to a focal value of 180-300mm. When you press the button, autofocus will work and focus on the object located in the Macro mode range - 0.95-1.5m. You're shooting macro and want to go back to normal shooting mode. But the lever will not allow you to do this because you are in the focusing range intended only for macro. To switch back to normal mode, you need to focus on a more distant object, more than 1.5 meters. For this, you can use both autofocus and manual mode. As soon as you get out of the "reserved" for macro distance, the lever will allow you to switch to the normal mode.
Another advantage of the lens is that it fits on both full-frame and cropped DSLRs.
The disadvantages of the lens also include long and loud focusing. Comparative tests show that Tamron's focusing time is sometimes even longer than that of Sigma. If you want to shoot fast-moving subjects, then this lens is not for you. But you can also always switch to manual mode and aim with your hands.
In general, the feeling from the lens is that it is kind of cheap and plastic. In some cases, with intensive use, the diaphragm wires inside the lens become broken; that is the common disease of kit lenses. In such cases, the lens gives an error at all apertures except open ones, and you can only use it at open apertures.
The most affordable 70-300mm zoom lens due to its price (you can purchase a new one for about $ 125) has durability problems. If you are an amateur and plan to use a lens once a month or two, this lens will serve you for many years, and you no need to spend money on more expensive lenses. But if you plan to use this type of zoom intensively several times a week, then it will quickly “wear out” and disappoint you. In this case, I would recommend looking towards more expensive but more reliable lenses.