Tamron 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD – UK Exclusive Review

June 23, 2017

Overall Rating:


Tamron 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD



Price as Reviewed:


AP was the first UK outlet to get hands-on with Tamron’s new superzoom, which covers an astonishing zoom range and benefits from a light and compact form factor. Michael Topham tests the first working sample

Tamron 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD review: Introduction

Superzoom lenses have been, and always will be, a popular choice for many photographers. They’re often the first lens people look at after growing out of a standard kit lens and are typically defined by a moderate wideangle start and a reasonably long telephoto finish, differentiating from standard zooms which end at a short telephoto length and tele-zooms which start and end entirely in the telephoto range.

The strong interest from those who want to enjoy wideangle to ultra-telephoto photography using a single lens has seen many lens manufacturers develop their line-ups – the most recent being Tamron which has just announced the world’s first ultra-telephoto all-in-one zoom lens for APS-C DSLR cameras, which covers an astonishing focal length range of 18-400mm.

Tamron 18-400mm on Nikon D5600

The lens was paired up with the Nikon D5600 for the purpose of this review

Unlike your average superzoom that typically offers a focal length of 18mm at the wide end to anything from 125mm to 270mm at its longest telephoto zoom setting, the lens we’re focusing on here brags a 22.2x zoom ratio and boasts an effective range that’s equivalent to 27-600mm in 35mm terms when the 1.5x crop factor is considered. On Canon APS-C DSLRs, which enforce a 1.6x multiplication factor, it’s equivalent to a slightly longer 29-640mm zoom.

Ever since Tamron launched its first superzoom in the form of the AF 28-200mm f/3.8-5.6 Aspherical lens in 1992, we’ve seen the manufacturer strive to develop a stronghold in this zoom category. This latest all-in-one zoom exemplifies how far lens design has come in 25 years, but can a lens that attempts to be successful across such a broad focal range produce acceptable results and a level of performance that meets our expectations? With one of the world’s first working samples in our possession, we gave it a thorough test to find out how it performs.

Click here to see the Tamron 18-400 f/3.5-6.3 image sample gallery

  • Price: £649
  • Filter diameter: 72mm
  • Lens elements: 16
  • Lens groups: 11
  • Maximum aperture: f/3.5-6.3
  • Minimum aperture: f/22-40
  • Minimum focusing distance: 0.45m
  • Dimensions: 79x118mm (DxL)
  • Weight: 705g
  • Lens mounts: Canon, Nikon
  • Included accessories: Petal lens hood, lens caps

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