Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di VC PZD Review

October 24, 2014 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di VC PZD is a love it or loathe it kind of lens. On the one hand, pixel peepers will have something of a field day when scrutinising images at 100% magnification, as there some quite obvious issues with the image quality. On the other, it's very liberating to shoot with one compact, lightweight lens that offers a broad enough focal range to cover the majority of subjects that you'll encounter, even in low-light situations thanks to the effective vibration compensation system.

Its sharpness is pretty good considering what the lens is trying to achieve, particularly at the wider-angle settings. It never hurts to stop the lens down, but the usable aperture range is actually quite broad at most focal lengths. This means that in the sharpness department, you're not paying too high a price for the convenience of having a single lens to cover such a vast range of focal lengths. although the 300mm focal length proved to be a little too ambitious throughout most of the aperture range.

The Tamron AF 28-300mm didn't handle chromatic aberrations that well, with some quite obvious purple fringing appearing along contrasty edges. Corner shading was also an area of concern, especially wide open at 28mm and 300mm, and geometric distortion wasn't great either, particularly very obvious barrelling at 28mm.

Mechanically, the Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di VC PZD lens is as good as you could expect based on the affordable asking price. The zooming action is smooth without the zoom ring being too loose, manual focus is easy, and the auto-focus motor is virtually silent. Vibration Compensation thankfully works well, allowing you to take hand-held shots at shutter speeds that would be critically slow for the focal length used. Build quality is on a par with other Tamron lenses that we've reviewed and there's even a rubber gasket around the lens mount for a degree of weather protection.

As an all-in-one lens for full-frame shooters that covers everything from wide-angle to extreme close-ups, the Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di VC PZD is certainly an appealing proposition, both on paper and in practice. Sure, image quality under really close inspection is something of a mixed bag, but what you lose in that respect, you gain in sheer versatility.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 4
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 3
Value for money 4