This update to Tamron’s epic 15x superzoom is not only smaller and lighter, but it now includes a Piezo Drive motor for faster and silent AF. Mat Gallagher takes a look at the new features and finds out if it really is the ultimate travel lens
As every photographer knows, prime lenses provide the best optical quality. A zoom lens has benefits, but the greater the zoom range the more compromises that have to be made on image quality.
The reason for choosing a superzoom is practicality – and for this single compact-lens solution there must be some concessions. The Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD is not only the longest-range superzoom lens of its kind, but also the smallest.
The Piezo Drive motor has allowed for faster and silent focusing, although not to the speed of some USM models.
Handling has also been improved from the original version, and it has the same great stabilisation.
Our favourite feature, though, is close focusing. The image quality is not outstanding, although when used at mid-aperture sharp results are possible, and by avoiding the extremities of the lens images are kept relatively distortion-free.