I usually don’t publish much about the gear we use. Don’t get me wrong, I love my ‘stuff’. I also don’t agree with the old argument a good photographer will make great shots regardless of the equipment. Just try getting a good Alligator image with an Instamatic.
I think it’s a balance between the right gear and knowing how to use it. Having the most expensive equipment isn’t necessary, but a bad lens will not take a good photo.
I have been using the Tamron 18-400 for about 3 months. Long enough to know the good and the bad. And like most people I read everything I could before making the purchase, maybe even more than most. I have been a known critic of Tamron lens. We have had several, different focal lengths and price points. Ultimately replaced them all.
I have added this article to the site to provide a few ‘in the field’ samples of what the lens is capable of. These shots were taken at the far end of the lens range. All between 380-400 mm. The farthest reach should be considered the weakest point in any long zoom lens.
The huge range from wide angle to long zoom is a great selling point. But one size fits all never works. Not here either. At 18 – 25 mm this is no better than any ordinary kit lens. Use this lens from anywhere in the middle, maybe up to 380 mm and it will do just fine.
This will never replace a super zoom Sigma, Canon, or Nikon lens. It’s reach is not as long and the glass not as good. It will also cost 1/3 of those lens.
Personnaly I think the real value here is the size and weight. This is a small lens and very light for what it is. For many serious nature photographers these are the important features. I have had numerous conversations about heavy equipment and how hard it is to use on a continuous basis.
I now keep this lens with me all the time. I can trade off with a big heavy lens, get wide shots without swapping out, and even have extra space in my back pack.
However !! This lens has a long range and if you lose focus when shooting a moving subject may take longer to get focus back. It searches from 18 mm up until it finds the target. Birds in flight, fast moving, are harder to catch and keep…especially in low light.
My final thought is this particular Tamron works as advertised and fits a niche that many photographers have, for a very good price. Costs and tech specs are available at most retailers online.