2012.2 - Photo Jottings


Tamron NEX 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 review

The Tamron 18-200mm e-mount lens review is finally done.  The skies have been mostly cloudy here lately, so it took some time to get all the test shots I needed.

This lens has optical characteristics that are very similar to the Sony 18-200mm NEX, also reviewed here.  Which one is better?  Let’s put it this way; optically they’re about the same, but if a smaller and lighter package is important to you, try the Tamron; however, if you like taking sweep panoramas, get the Sony version.  Tamron screwed up something in the lens protocol, and the panoramas are improperly exposed, blurry and badly stitched as a result.  Tamron claims they’re working on a fix, so we’ll see.

The good news is that the lens compensations adjustments in select NEX cameras correct the Tamron for CA, distortion and light fall-off or ‘shading’ as Sony calls it.  It’s probably using the same corrections as the Sony 18-200mm.

The Tamron 18-200mm is optimized for sharpness at F/5.6-6.3, which is fairly impressive, and seems to be better than the Sony at the long end around F/6.3.  At the wide end, (18-50mm), both lenses are very sharp across the frame, but both seem to lose contrast as you zoom out to 200mm, especially off-center.  I don’t have the Sony NEX 18-200mm anymore, so I didn’t compare the two directly. 

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