Monthly Archives: July 2014

Tamron 150-600mm f5.0-6.3 Lens Test: Part 2


In Part 2 of my review of the Tamron 150-600 f5.0-6.3 lens, I show the results of the controlled test I used to compare the Tamron lens to the Sigma 300-800, and Nikon 200-400 lenses. I used a 1951 USAF resolution chart test that I purchased from Edmund Scientific about 20 years ago. A check of their website revealed that they are still selling them. Some of the charts are quite expensive. I recommend the Resolving Power Chart for $35 at

or the Pocket 1951 USAF Optical Test Pattern for $6.00 at

Continue reading »

Posted in Photography Technique Tagged |

Tamron 150-600 f5.0-6.3 Lens Test: Part 1


Update—23 May 2017: There are better long telephoto zoom lenses available now than this Tamron 150-600. The choices include the newer  2nd generation Tamron 150-600mm f5- 6.3 G2, the Sigma 150-600mm f5-6.3 Contemporary, the Sigma 150-600mm f5-6.3 Sport, and the Nikon 200-500 f5.6. I personally would recommend any of the 150-600 zooms over the Nikon 200-500 simply because of the extra 100mm of zoom length. If there is one thing I have learned in the past 20 years of bird photography, it is that there is no substitute for reach; an extra 100mm of focal length is a big advantage.

Photographer Brad Hill extensively evaluated many of these long telephoto zooms in a series of blog posts between March and December 2015.  Here is a link to his blog. You’ll have to scroll back through the blog to find the posts on these lenses. The best performer in his opinion was the Sigma 150-600mm Sport. Based partly on his review, I sold my Tamron last year and bought the Sigma 150-600mm Sport.  It is extremely well built, quite sharp, and overall I have been very pleased with the lens. However I must admit that if I had read this review prior to my purchase, I may have opted for the lighter, less expensive Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary.





Although I received my Nikon mount Tamron 150-600 several weeks ago, I didn’t get to really test it out well until this past weekend. I decided to do field and resolution chart tests comparing the Tamron to my Sigma 300-800 f5.6 lens and Nikon 200-400 f4.0, ver 1 lens (with and without the TC14EII teleconverter). The camera used was a Nikon D800. All lenses had had their AF calibrated using Michael Tapes’ LensAlign. The field test consisted of photographing a Great Crested Flycatcher nest while the chart test utilized the 1951 USAF  resolution chart pattern. I post full frame and 100% crop images of the field test as well as 200% crops of the resolution chart images; so you’ll be able to judge lens quality for yourself. Bottom line: I was very impressed with Tamron 150-600mm lens. And surprisingly, I found myself retesting the 200-400 with the 1.4X teleconverter to try to determine why it was the poorest performer. Continue reading »

Posted in Photography Technique Tagged |