Sample Image Gallery: Tamron 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di VC III Zoom Lens

Tamron's all-in-one zoom with optical image stabilization comes to the Sony E-mount.

We don’t have an e-mount adapter for the table we use for full-on lens tests, but when Tamron’s all-in-one zoom came through our offices, we certainly thought it deserved some attention. I attached it to the NEX-C3 and brought it with me for a short trip to Berlin, Germany. It was the only camera I brought with me, as I wanted to use this lens the way someone who bought it likely would. Here are some sample images shot with it, along with some impressions. The images are presented without any editing unless it’s noted. I tried to keep editing to an absolute minimum, though, so you can see what the images look like right out of the camera. They were all shot in JPEG Fine. A protester waves a flag from the back of a vanbeing used to house a loudspeaker. This was shot very near the widest end of the lens, which required me to get very close to the subject. You can see a bit of chromatic aberration in the high-contrast area between the flag and the sky, but it’s not bad. The subject is nice and sharp despite shooting from the hip. ISO: 200 **Shutter Speed: 1/160 ** Aperture: F/5.6 Focal Length: 19.1mm
One of the things that most impressed me about this lens was the built-in Vibration Compensation. The lens is so big when compared to the camera that it’s a bit difficult to manage, but the VC works hard to keep things steady. This was shot all the way out at 200mm with a 1/30sec exposure time. At the pixel level, you can see a tiny bit of motion blur, but it’s still a usable image. It helps make up for the relatively slow F/6.3 maximum aperture at 200mm. ISO: 1600 Shutter Speed: 1/30 sec. Aperture: F/6.3 Focal Length: 200mm
This shot was, again, taken at the maximum 200mm focal length. As you can see, there’s minimal distortion at this point. ISO: 640 Shutter Speed: 1/320 sec. Aperture: F/6.3 Focal Length: 200mm
You can see a bit of vignetting here at 41.4mm, but there’s relatively little distortion despite all of the straight lines in the frame. Even at 100%, the image looks sharp and there’s only one area in the bars at the top of the tower where the purple fringing becomes very evident. ISO: 200 Shutter Speed: 1/800 sec. Aperture: F/5.6 Focal Length: 41.4mm
With a maximum aperture of F/6.3 at the long end, the bokeh isn’t exactly abundant, but with enough separation between subject and background, you can get nice smooth blur. ISO: 400 Shutter Speed: 1/320 sec. Aperture: F/6.3 Focal Length: 180.8mm
I mentioned the effectiveness of the Vibration Compensation before, but it’s also evident here in a hand-held HDR. It helped that I was at 18mm, but I managed multiple shots without a tripod despite my not-so-steady hands. The wide-angle distortion is evident in this shot, though.
18mm should look very familiar to anyone who has spent a lot of time shooting with a kit lens. Again, you can see some of the distortion. ISO: 200 Shutter Speed: 1/320 sec. Aperture: F/5.6 Focal Length: 18mm
One of my biggest complaints about this lens was the hood. When you have it on backwards for storage, it gets very much in the way of the zoom ring. It also doesn’t attach as firmly as I’d like. I found myself leaving it in the bag. As a result, some images with tricky lighting conditions (and even some without) had a bit of flare or glare. ISO: 800 Shutter Speed: 1/320 sec. Aperture: F/6.3 Focal Length: 200mm
The 200mm focal length on a crop body is a full-frame equivalent of a 300mm lens, so it has plenty of reach. It does stick out rather far when fully-zoomed, though. The next image shows the same scene zoomed all the way out. Again, the high-contrast areas between the sky and the building show noticeable purple fringing. ISO: 200 Shutter Speed: 1/320 sec. Aperture: F/6.3 Focal Length: 200mm
Here’s the same exact scene shot at the widest setting of 18mm. Like I said, it’s a serious zoom range. ISO: 200 Shutter Speed: 1/250 sec. Aperture: F/7.1 Focal Length: 18mm
Here’s a slightly different view of the same building taken with a middle focal range of 62mm. Nice bright colors and sharp details. It did an especially good job with the gold letters. ISO: 200 Shutter Speed: 1/250 sec Aperture: F/9 Focal Length: 62mm
Here’s another hand-held HDR that came out impressively sharp thanks to the VC. This one was at 38mm.
This was taken at 123mm and the maximum aperture was already reduced to F/6.3. As you can see, the image would’ve been a bit more effective had the depth of field been shallower. That’s often one of the downsides with a lens like this, though. ISO: 400 Shutter Speed: 1/200 sec Aperture: F/6.3 Focal Length: 123mm
Despite the high-contrast lighting, this is the lens operating under optimal circumstances. Bright conditions let me stop down to F/8 and getting close to the statue let me use a focal length in the middle of the range. The results are very solid. Lots of detail and surprisingly little fringing. Not a lot of glare because at this point I was using the hood. ISO: 200 Shutter Speed: 1/320 sec. Aperture: F/8 Focal Length: 87mm
This is the same monument from the other side, only this time I challenged the lens a little more. The hood was removed and I was zoomed all the way out to 18mm. As you can see, the sun at the edge of the frame was causing the lens to flare, but it’s definitely not enough to ruin the image. There is noticeably more fringing here now, though, which doesn’t come as much of a surprise. The vignetting is also more apparent, but easy to fix in post. ISO: 200 Shutter Speed: 1/1000 sec. Aperture: F/8 Focal Length: 18mm
In a shot like this, the wide-angle distortion isn’t a problem. Actually, it’s welcome. It focuses nice and close when zoomed out this far. This image is also extremely sharp at the center, even showing the fine detail in the leather under the goggles. ISO: 200 Shutter Speed: 1/200 sec. Aperture: F/6.3 Focal Length: 18mm
A cluster of hats provide a good scene for comparing fine detail. ISO: 200 Shutter Speed: 1/200 sec Aperture: F/6.3 Focal Length: 114mm
AF performance was about average for a lens like this. It would hunt in lower light, but performed just fine in the bright scenes. I was neither disappointed or extremely impressed. This image ended up a bit flat right out of the camera, but it’s a good neutral starting point for post-processing. Again, this was shot without the hood on. ISO: 200 Shutter Speed: 1/500 sec. Aperture: F/10 Focal Length: 73mm