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Old May 11, 2008, 11:25 PM   #1
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I was up at The Camera Shop in Muskegon MI yesterday http://justtamron.com and had the opportunity to take a few pictures of a lens cap off my Nikon 55-200 VR zoom by 2 lenses made by Tamron. I had owned an 18-250 Tamron lens for about 6 days and returned it to the camera store I bought it from (in Kalamazoo, not one in Muskegon) and exchanged it for the 55-200 VR Nikon.

While I had the 18-250 Tamron I had a chance to do test shots at similar focal length and camera settings to compare to the few shots I had made at the Kalamazoo camera store with my Nikon D80 and the Nikon 55-200 VR. I could not replicate the fine detail in the lens I had bought (18-250 Tamron) with the picture taken of a lens cap made with the Nikon lens. Then to top it all off, I tried my older Tamron 28-200 Di I zoom lens (made for either 35mm film or digital *has larger image circle), and was shocked to see that this older lens MATCHED the finesse of the Nikon lens for detail and crispness. So I returned the 18-250 back to the store and exchanged for the Nikon 55-200VR lens.

Now, yesterday, I shot at the camera store in Muskegon, the Nikon lens cap using 2 different Tamron lenses. First lens was the Tamron 18-200 Di II lens and second was the new Tamron 28-300 VC with the similar "Vibration Compensation" as with the Nikon lens (and others). The reason I did this is I believe that lenses are ALL individuals. You might try 5 different 18-200 lenses in a similar controlled test and there will be a chance that one is exemplary and one is mediocre.

The crops show the chromatic aberration of the Tamron 18-200 lens and the lack of chromatic aberration on the Tamron 28-200 VC lens. I included a "resized" full frame picture of each to show the overall. I also included heavy crops of just the finger, showing fingerprint detail. The Tamron 28-300 VC was a very clear winner.

Just thought I'd post these here for observations. Either lens would work great in normal 4X6, 5X7 or 8X10 printed pictures, but if you crop heavily and then go 8X10 or larger I believe that you will see a degradation of quality on the Tamron 18-200 lens over the 28-300 VC lens.
Tamron picture full frame 18-200 at 200mm f 6.3







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Tamron picture full frame 28-300VC at 185mm f 6.3







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18-200 crop of the word "Nikon"






28-300 crop of the word "Nikon"






close up crop of the finger/fingerprint from 18-200 Tamron lens:






close up crop of the finger/fingerprint from 28-300 VC Tamron lens:





The fingerprint really shows the capabilities of this lens and the sharpness.




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Old May 12, 2008, 8:01 AM   #2
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Yes, the new 28-300mm does seem to be a higher quality lens (probably helped by the lack of need to go as wide as 18mm, plus Tamron's 28-300mm lenses are designed for use with a larger 35mm sensor and you're using more of the sweet spot of the lens in a camera with a smaller APS-C sensor).

If you haven't seen it yet, pophoto gave it a glowing review (but, keep in mind that they rarely give a product a bad review):

http://www.popphoto.com/cameralenses...-di-vc-af.html

Thanks for the real world samples (especially showing CA differences). Some of that appears to be exposure differences though (the letters on the appear to be overexposed a bit in the 18-200mm sample, possibly due to the way the light was reflecting on them, exagerrating the fringing)

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Old May 12, 2008, 9:07 AM   #3
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How do the minimum focal distances compare umong the lenses tested? It looks like the real difference is a focus problem. One hand on the cap and the other on the camera may also lead to focus problems. I just can'tkeep everything steadyunless I have two hands on the camera and even then atclose range it's a crap shoot.
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Old May 12, 2008, 9:38 AM   #4
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Hi ReneB3! The purpose of the shots was to emulate what I had taken on a Nikon 55-200 VR lens and it cannot focus any closer than about 5 feet. The "hand" in the pictures is of "Jim", who works there and was kind enough to hold the lens. So, the shot was about 5 feet away, and I used both hands to hold the camera.



The close focus distance of these 2 Tamron lenses are very good!

What led me to this was after getting a 18-250 Tamron and having it outdone by doing similar photo shoot (distance, aperture, flash, ISO, etc) and having my old lens perform better than the newe Di II lens. You should see the Nikon picture! But, it is not the range that this 28-300 VC Tamron is, either.


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Old May 13, 2008, 2:03 PM   #5
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Here is the shot that started it all. It was done with a Nikon D80 camera and Nikon 55-200 VR lens. I've downsized it quite a bit, and the fine resolution of the fingerprints may not show up here as well as it does on my monitor. What haunted me about this picture was that I "thought" it was from the Tamron 18-250 lens, until I found out that the Nikon can only focus down to around 5 feet +- which would mean that "I" was not holding the lens, but that my wife was and that I was about 5 feet away. To get the similar size, did not translate out to 5 feet at 190mm with the Tamron 18-250. Digging deeper into the exif revealed that this was not the Tamron lens, and my new, more expensive lens, came painfully short on the Quality end.





Notice the excellent detail and the fingerprints? The closest thing to do this was my old lens (PAID FOR!) and this new Tamron 28-300 VC that I did tests on. BTW, you should see a comparison of Lines of Resolution on this lens here the 28-300VC: http://tinyurl.com/3udqyv(pop-photo site) and the 18-200 Tamron here: http://tinyurl.com/3u5fg3 (Pop-photo site) Both have the SQF (Subjective Quality Factor) included, but compare both at 200mm in the blow up of 16x20 image. Even at 300 mm, which the 18-200 mm lens can't get are pretty decent.


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