Tamron AF 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Lens

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73% Tried & Tested
The Tamron 18-270mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD is a perfectly competent superzoom that squeezes a huge focal length range into a compact package.”

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Key Features

  • 18-270mm focal length
  • 27-405mm equivalent focal length on APS-C cameras, 28.8-432mm equivalent focal length on Canon APS-C cameras
  • F3.5-6.3 maximum aperture; F22-40 minimum
  • Micromotor-type AF motor without full-time manual focusing
  • Image stabilization
  • 62mm filters
  • 0.49m/19.29" minimum focus
  • Available in Canon EF-S, Nikon F (DX), Sony Alpha (without image stabilization) mounts

Product Description

The 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD is Tamron’s superzoom for APS-C SLRs. It offers one of the longest focal length ranges on the market, and includes both built-in optical image stabilisation a ‘piezodrive’ autofocus motor that’s quiet and reasonably fast. Image quality is best at the wider end. It’s available for Canon and Nikon mounts; a version without image stabilisation is available for Sony cameras.

Specs

Principal specifications
Lens type Zoom lens
Max Format size APS-C / DX
Focal length 18–270 mm
Image stabilisation Yes
Lens mount Canon EF, Nikon F (DX)
Aperture
Maximum aperture F3.5 - F6.3
Minimum aperture F22.0 - F40.0
Aperture ring No
Number of diaphragm blades 7
Optics
Elements 16
Groups 13
Focus
Minimum focus 0.49 m (19.29)
Maximum magnification 0.26×
Autofocus Yes
Motor type Micro-type ultrasonic
Full time manual No
Focus method Internal
Distance scale Yes
DoF scale No
Physical
Weight 450 g (0.99 lb)
Diameter 74 mm (2.93)
Length 88 mm (3.46)
Materials Plastic barrel, metal mount
Sealing No
Colour Black
Zoom method Rotary (extending)
Power zoom No
Zoom lock Yes
Filter thread 62 mm
Hood supplied Yes
Tripod collar No

Reviews

DPReview Conclusion

Score Breakdown
Poor Excellent
Optical Quality
Build Quality
Autofocus
Image Stabilization
Ergonomics and Handling
Value
Tried & Tested
Tried & Tested
73 %
Overall Score

The Tamron 18-270mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD is a perfectly competent superzoom that squeezes a huge focal length range into a compact package. Autofocus is slower than its competitors, however, and image quality is weak at the telephoto end.

Good For

Anyone looking for a compact, lightweight, all-in-one general purpose and travel lens.

Not So Good For

Sports or action work that requires fast autofocus.

User Reviews

3.13248 out of 5 stars
  • matthiasbasler, Dec 18, 2012 GMT:
    For travel photography, but not for professionals

    I own this lans since a year now and have used it for about two weeks in total so far. In short: + Light and small as a typical standard zoom + Not having to change lenses when photographic diverse subjects during travels + Low price tag (... you get what you pay for) + Relatively close distance to subject (0,5m) compared to AF-S Nikkkor 70-300 1:4.5-5.6 KIT zoom lens (>1m!) o Sharpness OK for casual user, but if you are a professional with a 24MP+ camera you probably want something better. - ...

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  • danmelrobs, Nov 8, 2012 GMT:
    Tamron 18-270 VC PZD Lens

    I purchased this lens 8 months ago to replace the original Tamron 18-270. I use the lens on a Canon 60D. What a difference! (The $100 rebate was nice, too!) In actual use, the new lens is smaller and lighter than the original, so it's much easier to use and to carry about than the original. Construction is solid and the lens feels well put together. The PZD system works well, although it sometimes hunts. Lens creep is definitely an issue. The VC system works well, too, and I've ...

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  • shao2, Nov 7, 2012 GMT:
    Not bad for travel lense

    Fred234 put 4 same reviews to low down whole review score. I have used this lense to replace my Nikon kit lenses 18-55mm & 70-200mm for one year. If you use F11 for all photos (F8 for 18mm), you can get nice sharp photos. But you may need to increase your ISO to 800 (most recent camera can handle noise under ISO 800). It is so convenience of this light, small and 62mm filter for old and lazy 35 years SLR experience traveler, like me (no need to change lense and polarize filter). You can got ...

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  • fred234, Oct 31, 2012 GMT:
    VC issue on Nikon D7000

    I measured that, when it works, VC can offer at 3 stops. I succeed to take sharp pictures at 270mm 1/50, but it depends on the distance of the subject. Problems: The VC does not work with the D7000, completely blurring some pictures. I tested it on two D7000, and I got similar results. On a D3100 I got better results. I sent the lens to Tamron. Answer: this lens is perfect. Workaround: use the Quiet mode.

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Questions & Answers

QUESTION

Tamron 18-270mm PZD IQ Comparison?

Hey all, After waiting way, way too long, I've just replaced my first ever SLR (Nikon D40 + 18-55 kit lens) with the new Canon 100D + Tamron 18-270 PZD. My usage is 100% travel: I'm on the road virtually all the time, so size and weight are of utmost importance. While I'm definitely still a novice, I do have some basic understanding of terminology + concepts - and the optical compromises required to get so much range into a lens as small as this Tamron. However, I wanted to run something by you more experienced shooters... Basically, even though I was expecting *some* IQ compromise due to it being a superzoom, I was surprised at just how much worse my images are coming out as compared to my old, basic, cheapo Nikon 18-55mm kit lens. I've done a bunch of direct comparison shots and the difference is slightly visible outdoors (strong light), but significant indoors (lowish light). I guess I just wanted to post some samples and ask if this is to be expected, or if it's possible that I ...

metal450 asked
1 year ago

ANSWERS

First of all, one does not buy a slow aperture superzoom to take dimly lit interiors.  Or, even well lit ones.  That is for primes or possibly variable aperture zooms with a tripod.  I think you are just dealing with camera shake from a slow shutter speed.  Which is why the outside pic is so much better:  better light enables the needed higher shutter speed.  So, I don't think the softness is a function of lens or camera quality at all.  Just light and circumstances.  Superzooms are designed for well lit situations.  If you are going to take a lot of interiors like this, I would suggest getting a 35mm 1.8 or, maybe, a Sigma 17-50 2.8.  In dim lighting, speed, os, a tripod, and a flash are your best friends.  Without the exif, it is hard to draw precise conclusions but I would guess you either got higher shutter speeds with the Nikon kit or you did a better job at hand holding the lighter setup. Continue Reading

Brev00 answered
1 year ago

I didn't have time to check out your pics but... First off, your "cheapo" D40 is/was a classic.  It produced stellar images and it's almost unfair to compare some new camera to it. Second, to decide to get a new camera then go from Nikon to Canon (not that Canon is bad) is just confusing the issue so that you're not really comparing apples to apples. Third, any "superzoom" such as your new Tamron is a package of compromises.  It's main feature is not having to switch lenses while traveling, not having a lens that can do it all competently. Continue Reading

toomanycanons answered
1 year ago

That almost makes it sound like you're saying the D40 should be superior to a newer camera, no? "Almost unfair to compare some new camera to it...?" I know, but what can I do? Just because I bought a Nikon once shouldn't mean I can never go to Canon - and once I do switch, obviously I need to be able to compare the results I'm seeing. The closest to "comparing apples to apples" I can get is shooting the exact same scene with both cameras. If the newer/more expensive setup results in a deterioration...whether I switched brands or not...then, well... Right, I know - as mentioned, I did expect some compromise.  I just didn't expect it to be as severe as I'm observing - thus my question, "is *this* extreme a level of compromise normal, or do I have a dud lens, or am I doing something wrong, etc...?" Continue Reading

metal450 answered
1 year ago

QUESTION

Tele photo lenses, Maximal focal length comparison (Tamron, Canon)

I own Tamron AF 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 VC PZD lens together with Canon 70D, recently I have obtained for tests tele photo kit lens Canon EF-S 55-250 4-5.6 IS II. What puzzles me is that in max focal length of both lenses (Canon 250mm and Tamron 270mm) Canon has managed to get closer to the subject, actually a lot. If I am not missing some EF-S to EF conversion and all numbers written on those lenses are true (Canon 70D with 1.6 crop factor) I don't understand where is the problem. I have created jpg file to demonstrate maximum focal lengths of each lens (also a Canon EF 75-300 4-5.6 III) and Tamron just doesn't get anywhere near to Canon lenses. Need to pick one for Safari, Canon EF-S 55-250 4-5.6 IS II has image stabilization for making videos. 70-300 is for video pretty useless. I am not that rich to buy L lenses or any other expensive ones... http://www.coudy.us/Canon_70D_4x_telephoto_lens.jpg Anyone can explain this?

Coudy asked
5 months ago

ANSWERS

Yes, now it's clearer. You care about the magnification at the long end, at some moderate to long distances to the subject, not close-up photos. Magnification is usually discussed only at the closest distances and that's where the "effective focal length" values collapses and don't appear as they should be from what's written on the lens. Now, magnification depends on two things: focal length (or better angle of view) and distance to the subject. Since you want to shoot at medium to longer distances, you can disregard your close-up test and take the actual specified focal length and compare it directly. 300mm will be closer than 270mm and that one closer than 250mm but the difference is small, roughly 10 to 15%. I would rather go with sharper image of slightly lower value of maximum focal length. And again, for that you rather want to compare in real life world shooting with your camera/lens combination and seeing for yourself :) Continue Reading

jnd answered
4 months ago

I started by mentioning some instances where the word "magnification" could cause confusion in photography. For some reason, you chose 50mm as the standard lens. It's only "standard" on a FF camera. I used 35mm as an example because that would be a standard lens on the OP's camera. You mention the 5.5x crop factor of compact cameras, but there's no logical distinction between that and the 1.5x crop of APS-C. Returning to the original proposition, an individual lens has no "magnification"; you could perhaps invoke 1/f as the "power" of the lens, but that goes in the wrong direction if you want to talk about magnification, which depends on the image being projected onto a sensor, or viewed through an appropriate eye-piece. Continue Reading

LynniePad answered
4 months ago

Go for Sigma 120-400mm. Any of those superzooms with TC will give you inferior results compared to Sigma. And you will retain reliable AF. Not so with any of those superzooms. Continue Reading

SushiEater answered
4 months ago

QUESTION

70D AF problem with Sigma 150-500

Just bought a new 70D body.  My Sigma 105-500 telephoto will not keep an AF lock on subjects; it constantly "hunts" back and forth, in and out of focus, while shooting.  I have tried AI Servo, One Shot, and AI Focus to no avail.  I've played with the focus points, OS on and off, tripod and hand held.  The lens worked flawlessly with the 30D body, so I am at a lost.  Any suggestions? 70D works great with Tamron 18-270 and other lenses.

ACTing OUT asked
7 months ago

ANSWERS

+1 There have been reports of some older 3rd party lenses not playing well with the new Canons. My Sigma 10mm f/2.8 fisheye does extremely well though, however it was just purchased last summer. R2 Continue Reading

R2D2 answered
7 months ago

Most likely the new body has updated software which the sigma doen't understand. Sigma will rechip the lens to work, but this happens sooner or later with third party lenses. James Continue Reading

jbarber answered
7 months ago

Don know answer for this but  70d does real fast AF with 70-300L and it holds the lock as ling as shutter half press Continue Reading

clearzoom answered
7 months ago
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