Tamron AF 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Review

June 20, 2014 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Tamron AF 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD exceeded our expectations, which weren't particuarly high given the massive focal range that's on offer. Its sharpness, while not on a par with the best lenses we have reviewed, is actually pretty good considering what the lens is trying to achieve. 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.

The Tamron AF 16-300mm also handled chromatic aberrations well, with only limited purple fringing appearing along contrasty edges. In terms of optical performance, there are really only two areas of concern - corner shading, especially wide open at 16mm and 300mm, and geometric distortion, particularly barrelling at 16mm).

Mechanically, the Tamron AF 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD lens is as good as you could expect based on the reasonable 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 and there's even a rubber gasket around the lens mount for a degree of weather protection.

So, who is the Tamron AF 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD lens for? Any crop-sensor DSLR camera user who does not like to change lenses or simply likes the experience of going swiftly from wide angle to long telephoto, and who doesn't mind making an inevitable compromise when it comes to overall image quality. As an all-in-one lens that covers everything from wide-angle to extreme close-ups, with the added bonus of macro shooting too, the Tamron AF 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD is certainly an appealing proposition.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 4
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 3.5
Value for money 3.5