Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD MACRO 1:2 (for Canon)
 

Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD MACRO 1:2 (for Canon)

This review covers


PAGE 2

» Image Quality «


PAGE 3

» Sample Pictures «

» Conclusion «

» Further Information «


Table of contents

Image Qualityhide all test shotsshow all test shots

Note: the test shots for each of the image quality tests can be compared directly amongst all tested lenses. Within the test box click on "Choose lens to compare with..." to add a lens to the comparison. Then use your mouse to hover over the lens thumbnails. If all those test shots are a little too overwhelming consider clicking on "hide all test shots" above this paragraph.

Sharpness / Resolution

The AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD MACRO 1:2's sharpness depends a lot on the focal length and aperture used. At 70 mm or 100 mm and maximum aperture the corners show a lot of blur while the center of the image is quite OK. Use an f-stop of f/6.3 or higher and you'll get acceptable sharpness throughout the image. But the telephoto part of the focal range is a lot worse - you'll want to use f/11 or higher to remove some of the blurriness.

-Test shots

Full FrameAPS-C    tested with 5D Mark II
Sharpness / Resolution

Distortion

Distortion is very well controlled at 70 mm but increases dramatically as you change the focal length to anything else. It is pretty bad at 135 mm and though it gets a little better at 300 mm it is still pronounced. Depending on what you do with the lens you might not worry about distortion in the telephoto range. But in the portrait range between 70 mm and 135 mm I would certainly try to use 70 mm all the time. Otherwise the pincushion distortion will make a person look bigger in landscape orientation or slimmer in portrait orientation.

If you use the lens with an APS-C camera you will not have to worry about distortion. It's quite good for all focal lengths when used with an APS-C camera.

-Test shots

Full FrameAPS-C    tested with 5D Mark II
Distortion
Aperture:
Irrelevant

Crop from top of image (downsized)

Crop from bottom of image (downsized)

Best case: the line between the black and white boxes is completely straight in both test shot crops

Color Errors Transverse Chromatic Aberrations

At 70 mm and 100 mm there are only slight color fringes visible in focused parts of the image (switch to f/8 to show only this type of fringe). The longer focal lengths however show quite dramatic color fringes that will easily be visible in the final image. The performance in this test is pretty weak but bear in mind that postprocessing can handle this type of color fringe pretty well and the effect is less pronounced towards the center of the image.

-Test shots

Full FrameAPS-C    tested with 5D Mark II
Color Errors

Crop from lower image border
(in landscape orientation)

Color errors in focused parts of the image (upscaled)

 

Best case: no color fringes

Crop from left image border
(in landscape orientation)

Beauty of blurred image parts Bokeh and Axial CA

The aperture of the AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD MACRO 1:2 uses 9 blades to create a shape that's evenly round. That's a very good performance and will make out-of-focus parts of the image look smooth. Unfortunately the lens also expresses very pronounced color fringes in those blurred parts of the image and this type of color fringe is not easily removed in postprocessing. At really high f-stops the fringes are a little better.

-Test shots

Full FrameAPS-C    tested with 5D Mark II
Beauty of blurred image parts

The way blurred parts of the image look depends on several things such as focal length, aperture setting, aperture shape, distance to the background, distance between foreground and background as well as the texture and dynamic range of the background. With so many things to consider it's very difficult to compare different lenses. Moreover the beauty of blurred image parts is also a matter of personal taste.

In general blurred image parts should be as uniformly blurred as possible and ideally not show any artifacts. Out of the above mentioned criteria only the shape of the aperture cannot be influenced by the photographer and thus this test will show you the shape you are dealing with (left test image). To minimize artifacts there should be no bright line around the edge of the aperture shape. To get uniform blur the aperture should be as circular as possible (which depends on the number of aperture blades used and their individual shape). Furthermore there should be no color fringes in out-of-focus areas of the image (middle and right test shots).

Aperture Shape

Number of aperture blades:  9
Type: not specified
Best case: circular and evenly bright

Color errors in out-of-focus areas of the image (upscaled)

before focal plane

behind focal plane

Crops from the center of the image
Best case: no color fringes in out-of-focus areas

Curvature of the focal plane Field Curvature

The AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD MACRO 1:2 does not express any relevant curvature of the focal plane.

-Test shots

Full FrameAPS-C    tested with 5D Mark II
Curvature of the focal plane

Crop from the corner of the image
focused at the image corner

 

Best case:
no difference

Crop from the corner of the image
focused at the image center

Corner Shadow Vignetting

Though some corner shadow can be seen in the test shots it is minor and will likely not be noticed on actual photographs. The performance is even better if the lens is used with an APS-C camera.

-Test shots

Full FrameAPS-C    tested with 5D Mark II
Corner Shadow

Crops (100%)

Corner

Center

Best case: no difference in brightness

Test shot (downsized)

Corner

Center

Best case: perfectly even brightness

Result-Chart

Best case: no color gradient

EV

0

-1

-2

-3

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-5

PAGE 1

Handling

PAGE 2

Image Quality

PAGE 3

Conclusion

 

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