Tamron AF 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Review

April 2nd, 2011 173 Comments   Posted in SLR Lenses

Tamron’s newest and most powerful “All-in-One” lenses, the 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD is the worlds lightest and most compact 15x optical zoom lens for dSLR cameras. Significantly smaller and lighter than their previous 18-270mm lens, it was designed specifically for use with ASP-C sized sensors and if used on a full-sized sensor, vignetting will be noticeable. Tamron has chosen this lens as one of its first to include the new Piezo Drive motor. This allows for faster and quieter autofocus, which is great for candid and nature photography.

This is a well built, light and very compact lens, making it easy to pack into a bag and a pleasure to use while out walking around. It has a 35mm equivalent of 28 – 419mm. Also included on the lens is Tamron’s VC (Vibration Compensation) to fight camera shake. It is available for both Canon and Nikon mounts but not Sony at this time. Along with this lens you will also get a flower-shaped lens hood and 6-Year Limited warranty.

Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM

June 6th, 2009 28 Comments   Posted in SLR Lenses

Specification

  • Focal length 10-20mm
  • Aperture f/4-5.6
  • Angle of view 102.4-63.8°
  • Filter size/type 77mm
  • Construction Elements/groups 14 elements in 10 groups
  • Focusing type Internal HSM
  • Closest focus 0.24m
  • Weight 0.470kg
  • Dimensions (Dia x length) 83.5x81mm
  • Mounts available Sigma, Canon, Nikon(D)
  • Tripod bush No
  • Price (SRP) £369.99

Build and handling
This lens is designated to, and joins Sigma’s EX range. It therefore comes with the three year UK warranty and is shipped with a lens hood in a zip-topped pouch of the type that now sports a belt loop. The finish is the hardy matt black that we’ve praised before. Canon and Sigma mounts sport the usual AF/MF switch while the Nikon hasn’t. Both are straight in front of the mount. The remainder of the barrel is split approximately into thirds, the first and last third being occupied by zoom ring and focus ring. The zoom ring is marked at 10, 12,14, 17 and 20mm. Zooming extends the lens length by barely 5mm, so a zoom lock would be fairly superfluous!

Focus is achieved with a silent HSM motor, which does not have to move the elements very far, and therefore is almost instant. The front element does not rotate during use, making filters easy to use.

Sigma have done a good job here, with the lens sporting a 77mm filter thread, not a huge size for an optic this wide. And the front element does not protrude, so that close fitting filters can be used.

We tried a Cokin Z-Pro system on the lens and found that, fitted normally, there was no vignetting if the holder was oriented in the same way as the hood is fitted. However, it did vignette at 10mm with the holder in a normal position when taking landscape shots. (Disappears between 11 and 12mm) With the holder reversed, leaving just the single slot, this problem was overcome. Sigma does state in their multi-language leaflet that only one filter should be used and thicker ones ‘may’ cause vignetting.

Optical Performance
This lens is sharp! At 20mm, resolution tests showed it matched, and at one point even slightly out performed the venerable Canon 17-40mm L.

At 15mm it’s a little soft at the edges, although still nice in the centre, but by the time it gets down to the 10mm mark the edges have improved again. In fact, at the wide end, the overall performance was the best in the range. The lens has obviously been optimised for the shorter focal length as there was no distortion there, whereas the 20mm end did have a little pin-cushioning.

Chromatic aberrations have been very well controlled with the employment of three SLD (Special Low Dispersion) elements, one moulded aspherical and two hybrid aspherical elements. Although not completely eliminated, they did not show up significantly.

The lens is designated as a DC, meaning that it’s designed exclusively for dSLR cameras with a crop factor of 1.5x or greater. However, we did try it on a Canon 1D, which has a crop factor of 1.3x and found that, without filters, it could be used from 11mm upwards without vignetting. (From Photodo.com)

Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM