Saturday, May 17, 2014

Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD

Photo Examples:

Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD

Today I received the ever elusive lens; Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD for Nikon. I have watched video after video, and read review after review and found that there is a lack of photo examples using this lens. I have created a photo album on my Flickr page dedicated to pictures taken with this lens and will be updated as images are posted. Here is the link: Link to Tamron 150-600mm Album on Flickr

First off, I want to mention that I used this on a Nikon D7000 and a cheap shoulder strap that I purchased from Best Buy (I can't find my Black Rapid strap). I decided to not go out with a tripod this time around and later will go through how that went. So on this trial run I had the following equipment:
  • Nikon D7000
  • Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD
  • Generic Shoulder Strap
Jumping right into the's pretty big. My previous lens was a 70-300mm lens and was easily a handheld lens, and jumping to this lens was a challenge on the field. To date this will be my biggest lens weighing in at 4.3 lbs (68.8 oz) with the tripod mount attached. It is 10.1 inches long and about 14 inches fully zoomed in at 600mm. What does this all mean? It's still be shot being just hand held and is a 4x zoom lens. 

With Lens Hood
This image shows you the scale of the lens with the lens hood on, next to a double AA battery. It extends about another 4 inches when you zoom out to 600mm, so the lens hood is a great thing to always use so you don't hit the glass when you zoom in. 
Lens Hood and Ring Mount Off

Due to the size I will be purchasing a bag for it to be stored in since it did not come with one. 

The other image shows the lens hood, and ring mount, removed. 

To prep for shooting wildlife, I set my camera to manual and set to auto ISO with a max setting of 800. This allows the camera to adjust the ISO without me needing to change the shutter or f stop on the fly, helping me to not miss the photograph. My default shutter speed was set to 1/1000 due to the crop sensor making the 600mm actually act as 900mm. I didn't want to play with the VC right away, so I disabled that on the lens right away. 

Right away, I could only feel a slight increase of weight on the shoulder with this lens, but not as bad as I thought I would. Again, it's only 4.3 lbs so it's not as heavy as the large 600mm f/4 lenses. Within seconds I was able to snap a shot. 

1/1000 sec at f / 6.3, ISO 800 @ 600mm cropped
 As you might be able to see, it is a bit soft but it still was able to get great detail. Look at the foot, you can see the water coming off of his foot. I had numerous other shots of song birds as I walked out to a stationary blind, but nothing to interesting. A few minutes in the blind an opportunity came.

1/1000 sec at f / 6.3, ISO 320 @ 600mm cropped

1/1000 sec at f / 6.3, ISO 200 @ 600mm cropped
There wasn't to much action near the small lake, it was also a heavy overcast, so I decided to call it the day. As I drove out of the park I looked at one of their ponds and noticed a lot of dead cattails with a few birds on them. So I hopped out and was able to get close enough for some great images. The first image came out of the camera very close to the way it is shown here, I only added some slight reverse vignette and of course color saturation (since I shoot in RAW).
1/1000 sec at f / 6.3, ISO 800 @ 600mm No cropping done

1/1000 sec at f / 6.3, ISO 800 @ 600mm No cropping done

 Summary, I really enjoyed this lens. The images were a bit soft all around but it was an overcast day and wasn't able to shoot at a great ISO, so after the slight cropping and noise reduction the images got even softer. The bottom two images are the only non-cropped images and as you can see they are pretty sharp on the bird. Also, my arm never got tired and there was a few times that I held up the lens for 1-2 minutes. There was also some times that I felt I could have gotten better images if I had VC and/or a tripod. So please continue to return to my blog or check out my Flickr page to see updates.

I also did get one image out of the day that I posted on my web gallery for sale. Check it out!