Sailboat Over Sharavathi at 150mm

Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens Review

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

As you can see from my gear list I am big sucker for lenses. When Tamron announced its SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD lens for approx 1069$ price tag, I fell for it and ordered one for myself. Fortunately due to my dealer’s enormous influence on the supplier (which is what really works in India) I got the lens from the very first lot of lenses which were supplied to India. So here is my quick and dirty review.

Sailboat Over Sharavathi at 150mm
Sailboat Over Sharavathi at 150mm

With this lens my favorite lens Canon Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L II IS USM has a competition now. I used to use my 300mm along with 1.4x as well as 2X TC’s to gain the elusive 600mm focal length. With handy zoom like Tamron I can achieve 150mm to 350mm as well as 600mm focal length at the blink of the eye as you can see the composition of the sail boat in the Sharavathi River here. Unfortunately noon light was not favorable for me.

Sailboat Over Sharavathi at 600mm
Sailboat Over Sharavathi at 600mm

Here is how Tamron explains it’s lens in their promotional literature.

The Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens is a telephoto-zoom lens designed for both full-frame and APS-C-sized image sensors. Its 4x zoom design covers standard telephoto to super telephoto perspectives. Benefiting this range is VC (Vibration Compensation) image stabilization, which helps to minimize the appearance of camera shake. A USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive) autofocus motor and a full-time manual focus mechanism enables manual fine-tuning of focus at any point. The optical design integrates three low dispersion (LD) elements within its construction to minimize optical aberrations throughout the zoom range, particularly at the longer focal length positions. Individual elements also feature an eBAND (Extended Bandwidth & Angular Dependency) coating, as well as a conventional BBAR (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection) coating, in order to reduce lens flare and ghosting to produce more contrast-rich and color-neutral imagery.

Sailboat Over Sharavathi at 350mm
Sailboat Over Sharavathi at 350mm

Wow, all those are impressive words. Let us see how much of that proves true real world usage of this lens. After shooting more than a week with this lens, I feel Tamron in fact has created a remarkable low cost alternative for super tele zoom. It is an excellent telephoto zoom lens that reaches 600mm focal length which is much longer than what most people currently own (most of my friends have 70-300 or 100-400mm) at a very reasonable price point. My test was conducted on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III camera. On a crop sensor bodies you can expect a field of view similar to 240-960mm due to 1.6x crop factor. Full frame body will probably give you an apparent sharper copy as against the cropped body. Depth of field will be smaller at comparative apertures on a full frame sensor when compared to a cropped body. To know more about Full frame vs cropped check my blog here

Inquisitive Squirrel
Inquisitive Squirrel

Tamron has struck an excellent balance between size, weight, and optics. Tamron weighs 1951g. Canon 100-400L weighs right under 1400 grams, the 70-200mm f/2.8LII weighs about 1500 grams, while my 300mm f/2.8L II weighs 2350g. The front element is 95mm and can take such a big filter if you can get one. That is almost a kilo less than my constant companion for 600 mm focal length – 300mm f/2.8 with 2.0x Extender. At 150mm it is around 26cm in length. It comes with a flimsy but functional plastic hood which is around 10.5cm. Thus when the lens is compact it will be around 37cm long. While the inner barrel does extend during zooming, it does so smoothly and without any hint of wobble growing another 8cm as it reaches to 45cm length at 600mm focal length. The lens construction is pretty good quality. The barrel has a nice texture to it, and the focus and zoom rings are made of nicely ribbed rubber. It has a a very elegant brushed aluminum ring, which I am seeing for the first time on a Tamron lens which earlier used to sport golden ring. Tripod collar is very nicely done. Its foot is larger than I have on Canon EF300mm f/2.8 and pretty comfortable to hand hold.

Brahminy Kite at f/6.3 is still sharp
Brahminy Kite at f/6.3 is still sharp

The lens features three switches on the left hand of the barrel. The top switch is a focus limiter with two positions, Full and 15m to Infinity. This is useful for a distant subject longer than 15 meters as well as Birds in Flight. The second switch is the AF/MF switch, which is less important as the lens allows full time manual override. The third switch is an on/off for the VC. On top right of the barrel is a zoom lock switch to stop the zoom creep. The focus ring is the closest to the camera body like many of the recent lenses and moves very smoothly at all times. The zoom ring is about 5.7cm wide. The zoom action is smooth and nicely damped. Zoom rotation direction unfortunately is opposite from Canon style as it follows the Nikon version.

Brahminy Kite at f/6.3 100% crop
Brahminy Kite at f/6.3 100% crop

Lens has an excellent minimum focus distance of 2.7m, which gives it a greater maximum magnification factor (1:5) allowing a great deal of closeup to your subject. The zoom seems to be par-focal (focus remains same throughout the zoom range), though I missed seeing it in the specification. The front element does not rotate. So if you can procure 95mm filters (which might be costlier than the lens 😉 ) you can use them.

The lens is a little soft at f/6.3, sharpens a lot at f/7.1, and is very sharp at f/8 and f/11. The lens is incredibly sharp throughout almost all the focal lengths. I can see a slight drop at 600mm focal length as compared to 500mm which I feel is the sharpest point on this lens.

Brahminy Kite at f/8
Brahminy Kite at f/8

Tamron’s Ultrasonic Silent Drive (USD) focus motor is far better than micro motors that Tamron used to use, which were very noisy and fairly slow. With 20 elements in 13 groups inside this big lens, USD does a remarkable job silently. Most photographers asked me about the focus speed and accuracy. It is extremely fast. I compared SP 150-600mm F5-6.3 Di VC USD at 600mm with EF300mm F2.8L IS II + 2.0xExtender III. I shot these two lenses side by side comparing focus speed going from one extreme to the other. The Tamron is almost neck and neck with the Canon. Very impressively it focused quickly (less than a second). The lens focused extremely quickly at the smaller adjustments. Tamron finds focus and locks without final hesitation. I also did not see any hunting with the lens. It locks on quickly and accurately.

Focus speed with Canon EOS 5D Mark III Test Results –

  • SP 150-600mm F5-6.3 Di VC USD : 0.97 – 0.86 – 0.94 average 0.92
  • EF300mm F2.8L IS II + 2.0xExtender III : 0.98 – 0.99 – 1.00 Average 0.99
Indian Palm Bob - Indian Palm Bob - Closeup Comparison with Tamron-150-600
Indian Palm Bob – Indian Palm Bob – Closeup Comparison with Tamron-150-600

Here I have compared the closeup of Tamron along with 300mm + 2X TC on a Indian Palm Bob butterfly. The picture above is using Tamron & the one below using 300mm + 2X TC. As you can see there is hardly any difference between the two images. Both were shot from 2.7meters which is the minimum focusing distance for both the lenses. So despite the huge (8times) price difference between both lenses the result is surprisingly similar. 300mm f/2.8 quality drops considerably with 2X TC.

Indian Palm Bob - Closeup Comparison with 300mm f/2.8 + 2XTC
Indian Palm Bob – Closeup Comparison with 300mm f/2.8 + 2XTC

Chromatic aberrations are very well controlled. Vibration Compensation used in the lens was quite exceptional. I found that that I had an exceptionally high keeper rate with most subjects starting at 1/320th second, but obviously fast moving subjects (bird in flight) will require even faster shutter speeds. I tried few shots at 1/60 which came out pretty sharp at 600mm focal length. But if you want your pictures to be tack sharp try 1/320 or higher shutter speed.

Magpie Robin at 600mm
Magpie Robin at 600mm

All the photos in this review are taken handheld. The lens is incredibly sharp throughout almost all the focal lengths. This lens delivers an image quality far above its price point. Lens is f/5 wide open from 150-225mm, f/5.6 from 226-410mm, and f/6.3 from 411-600mm.

Magpie Robin at 600mm
Magpie Robin at 600mm

Color rendition is excellent. It has nine curved aperture blades and it produces very nice bokeh. The transition zone is smooth (important with a smaller aperture zoom), and bokeh highlights are nicely round and remain so even stopped down by several stops. Flare resistance is also very strong thanks to Tamron’s new eBand coating. I found strong resistance to both flare and ghosting. Contrast also remained strong.

Magpie Robin at 600mm
Magpie Robin at 600mm

OK, enough of praising the lens. Review is incomplete without the negative points. So here we go. I did not like the hood. It was looking very flimsy and plasticky. It might get cracked easily. Tamron does not provide any carry strap or a case along with this lens. It alos comes with only 2 years warranty like rest of the camera manufacturers in India. In USA you get 6 years warranty and that makes me jealous. It would be wise invest in a good lens case or a nice bag to protect this lens while carrying. Availability of the lens seems to another hurdle as all the lenses which came to India are sold out and there is a long booking period for those awaiting for this lens. 95mm filter thread needs a very costly filters if you plan to buy and use one. Apart from these few points I cannot think of any other negatives which is really great.

Magpie Robin at 600mm
Magpie Robin at 600mm

So what is my verdict. It is a truly fantastic price/value lens with a great optical quality throughout almost all the focal range. Very useful 150-600 zoom range with excellent Image stabilization. Pretty fast focus speed and accuracy. Low CA and strong resistance to flare, lovely color rendition and a smooth bokeh. Excellent minimal focusing distance.

Carpenter Bee in flight
Carpenter Bee in flight

If you compare with its alternatives like 100-400L, 150-500 Sigma or 50-500 Sigma this lens represents such a tremendous value. Even if you compare 400mm f/5.6 or 300mm f/4 with tele converter this lens score high against those lenses even though I have not pitted this lens against any of those lenses. It will not be as sharp as prime lenses like 300mm f/2.8, 400mm f/2.8 or 500mm f/4. But those lenses are in a different league and much different price point. I suspect Tamron is selling this lens at a loss to drive brand recognition. I personally believe it’s hell of a lens for anyone who can’t afford expensive Super tele lenses. It perfectly works as backup lens for these super tele primes. It would also be a great single lens solution to carry on a wildlife safari.

Blyth's Reed Warbler
Blyth’s Reed Warbler

Since this was a quick and dirty review, I am sure you would like to read more detailed review of others regarding this lens. So here are the other great reviewers who have reviewed this Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD lens

  1. Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Review by Dustin Abbott
  2. Tamron 150-600 Telezoom Shootout by Roger Cicala
  3. Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Review by Four Oaks Photography
  4. Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens Review by ePhotozine
  5. Field Testing the Bigron – a.k.a the Tamron 150-600mm f/5-f/6.3 Di VC USD unveiled by Sumeet Moghe
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/7.1 | Camera : Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Taken : 12 February, 2014 | Flash fired : no | Focal length : 150mm | ISO : 100 | Location : 14° 16.503′ 0″ N 74° 26.6197′ 0″ E | Shutter speed : 1/500s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/7.1 | Camera : Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Taken : 12 February, 2014 | Flash fired : no | Focal length : 600mm | ISO : 100 | Location : 14° 16.503′ 0″ N 74° 26.6197′ 0″ E | Shutter speed : 1/500s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/7.1 | Camera : Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Taken : 12 February, 2014 | Flash fired : no | Focal length : 350mm | ISO : 100 | Location : 14° 16.503′ 0″ N 74° 26.6197′ 0″ E | Shutter speed : 1/640s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/6.3 | Camera : Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Taken : 13 February, 2014 | Flash fired : no | Focal length : 600mm | ISO : 2500 | Location : 15° 29.9433′ 0″ N 73° 49.2605′ 0″ E | Shutter speed : 1/250s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/6.3 | Camera : Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Taken : 14 February, 2014 | Flash fired : no | Focal length : 600mm | ISO : 160 | Location : 13° 58.774′ 0″ N 74° 33.8277′ 0″ E | Shutter speed : 1/400s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/6.3 | Camera : Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Taken : 14 February, 2014 | Flash fired : no | Focal length : 600mm | ISO : 160 | Location : 13° 58.774′ 0″ N 74° 33.8277′ 0″ E | Shutter speed : 1/400s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/8 | Camera : Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Taken : 14 February, 2014 | Flash fired : no | Focal length : 600mm | ISO : 100 | Location : 13° 58.774′ 0″ N 74° 33.8277′ 0″ E | Shutter speed : 1/400s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/10 | Camera : Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Taken : 16 February, 2014 | Flash fired : no | Focal length : 600mm | ISO : 640 | Location : 13° 4.0311′ 0″ N 74° 59.7279′ 0″ E | Shutter speed : 1/500s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/10 | Camera : Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Taken : 16 February, 2014 | Flash fired : no | Focal length : 600mm | ISO : 500 | Location : 13° 4.0311′ 0″ N 74° 59.7279′ 0″ E | Shutter speed : 1/500s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/6.3 | Camera : Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Taken : 16 February, 2014 | Flash fired : no | Focal length : 600mm | ISO : 4000 | Location : 13° 4.0311′ 0″ N 74° 59.7279′ 0″ E | Shutter speed : 1/500s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/7.1 | Camera : Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Taken : 16 February, 2014 | Flash fired : no | Focal length : 600mm | ISO : 3200 | Location : 13° 4.0311′ 0″ N 74° 59.7279′ 0″ E | Shutter speed : 1/500s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/6.3 | Camera : Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Taken : 16 February, 2014 | Flash fired : no | Focal length : 600mm | ISO : 4000 | Location : 13° 4.0311′ 0″ N 74° 59.7279′ 0″ E | Shutter speed : 1/500s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/7.1 | Camera : Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Taken : 16 February, 2014 | Exposure bias : +1EV | Flash fired : no | Focal length : 600mm | ISO : 8000 | Location : 13° 4.0311′ 0″ N 74° 59.7279′ 0″ E | Shutter speed : 1/500s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/7.1 | Camera : Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Taken : 16 February, 2014 | Flash fired : no | Focal length : 600mm | ISO : 100 | Location : 13° 4.0311′ 0″ N 74° 59.7279′ 0″ E | Shutter speed : 1/500s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/7.1 | Camera : Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Taken : 16 February, 2014 | Flash fired : no | Focal length : 600mm | ISO : 200 | Location : 13° 4.0311′ 0″ N 74° 59.7279′ 0″ E | Shutter speed : 1/500s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.

58 thoughts on “Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens Review

  1. ಸುಂದರ ಚಿತ್ರಗಳನ್ನಷ್ಟು ನೋಡಿ ಕುಶಿಪಟ್ಟರೂ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯ ಓದಿದಾಗ ಹತ್ತಿ ತೂಗುವಲ್ಲಿ ನೊಣಕ್ಕೇನು ಕೆಲಸ ಗಾದೆ ನೆನೆಸಿಕೊಂಡೆ 🙂

  2. Doc!
    Excellent review as always. Review has answered all my queries. It is good to see third party manufacturers like Sigma( 35mm ) & now Tamron listening to the customers need and introducing products at affordable price range whereas Canon/Nikon or going the opposite direction.

  3. very nice review . will the result be same with canon 500d?
    i was using sigma 150 -500 (sold now) which was not that compatible with my body

  4. Krishna.. great review and a beautiful images. I also shot wildlife, and definitly im going to buy this great lens but i have some question for you: How does the tamron at 300and400mm compare to the canon 300 f4 and 400mm f5.6 in terms of autofocus? …I have nikon, but i dont know if its worth considering besides the tamron, also getting a 300 f4 or 400f5.6 lens for lowlight situations?… thanks

  5. Dear Alex Calderon,
    Stand alone performance of 300/f4 is on par with 150-600 Tamron at 300mm. 400 f/5.6 is faster than than Tamron in auto focus performance. I have not tested Nikon lenses, but I feel the chances are 300 f/4 Nikon will have the same speed as Tamron. Many reviews which compared Canon & Nikon 300 f/4 say they were neck to neck in auto focus & performance. f/4 will give you a stop advantage over Tamron.

  6. Full frame always performs better as compared to cropped frame. This is universal truth. Cropped frame is favored by birders for the tele capacity only and nothing else. DXO when checking looked at the Sharpness. The 5D mark III scores 17, and 7D scores 10. If you compare 5Dmark III sensor to 7D sensor that is how both stand up even without the lens. So this difference will be always there and will always be similar with any other lens. Unfortunately I did not see DXO mark testing any other lens this way. I would take all these tests which DXO does with a pinch of salt as a single lens test and results cannot be extrapolated to whole population of Tamron 150-600 lenses.

  7. Thanks Doc..makes sense, looking forward for some sample pics of this lens with 7D. How do u rate it in comparison with Sigma 150-500 ?

  8. How beautifully you have arrived….lovely but one thing i would like to know is about the individual performance of the lens, how it is? is it good…is it worth paying?
    Whether with even models like D3200 (nikon) can also capture such a kind of beauties? i would like to know…please feed me back….
    But any how finally – “CLASS SNAPS”

  9. Dear S GURURAJ,
    Notion than lower end DSLR are inferior to higher end is just a marketing technique,by manufacturing companies and nothing else. D3200 is equally capable as that of D800 or Even Latest D4S. Camera is just a tool. If you have excellent lens in hand, body is immaterial. From price vs performances point of view this lens excels. Not to say that this is the best lens around. 500 f/4 lens will beat this flat. That will cost nearly 8 times this lens. So if you want a 600mm in a budget you can go for it. Problem now faced by everyone in India is it is back ordered for at least 3 months 🙁

  10. How would you justify the India price of Rs. 89,990 as against US price of $ 1069? Isn’t the Sigma 150-500 a much better deal considering it is cheaper than the Tamron by nearly Rs. 35,000 if I want to sacrifice the extra 100mm reach?
    Thanks for the review !!!

  11. Dear Y K Roy,
    Every lens which is imported from USA legally has 10% import duty. On top of that there is CVD, Special CVD, Education cess etc. So if you calulate this is what you get for $1069 will cost INR85948.36 as of today (I added 0 shipping & insurance cost) . I got the lens in India with 2 year warranty at 78,000.

    You can try calculation here –http://www.dutycalculator.com/new-import-duty-and-tax-calculation/

    Total customs value (CIF): INR66042.82 This is the amount that customs values your import at
    – Duty: INR6670.32
    – Landing Charges: INR660.43
    – Countervailing Duty: INR8804.83
    – CESS: INR464.25
    – Additional Countervailing Duty: INR3305.71
    Total import duty & taxes due: INR19905.54 This is the amount that needs to be paid to customs
    Total landed cost: INR85948.36 This is the total cost of importing, including product, shipping, insurance and import duty & taxes

    By the way why all these taxes. Don’t ask Tamron, ask Our finance minister :). Even though MRP is 89,999. Isn’t that cheap? Sigma 150-500 is cheap. It has no image stabilization built in and the sharpness is awfully bad. Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM is a better buy at 62K. What sigma fails is the focusing issue. It keeps hunting forever, unlike Tamron which is as quick as my 300+2xTC.

    Hope you are satisfied with answer. If you have any doubt, please contact me.

  12. Thanks Deepak, for pointing out this. This is scary. So does it really prove a thumb rule that the body and lens should be or ” must be” from the same manufacturer. ?

    Regards

    Som

  13. Deepak, DXO pro did test on 7D and this lens. This lens is compatible with 7D. Unlike other manufacturers (sigma) who reverse engineer lens to body connection, Tamron seems to have licensed the technology from Canon. It might be glitch in those few lenses. Atleast on 5D m3 I did not see ant such issues. Cropped body will have issues in low light especially at 600mm when the f/6.3 creeps in. Remember Canon lenses with max aperture of f/5.6 or above fail to focus on 7D (not on 5Dm3 & 1DX). Let us hope these are few bad lenses and not a generalized issue.

  14. Dear Somnath,
    Not necessarily. But these Camera manufacturers are so cunning, that they keep changing specs in each new model to stop 3rd party manufacturers scoring over them. 🙂 How else can thy sell their exorbitant lenses 😛

  15. Hello Krishna,
    Excellent and informative review, and some of the best images I’ve seen to back-up your claims about the lens. I also have the Canon 5dIII and shoot a lot of birds in flight using AI Servo focusing. Can you tell me if you tested using this or had any issues with center point focusing or tracking when using AI Servo? I’ve read a few things that some users had issues. Thanks again!

  16. Doc,
    I am sold. Now where in India may I buy this lens? It seems to be sold out just about everywhere. If it aint asking too much, would it be feasible for you to put me in touch with your supplier? I am in India for 4 weeks and would like to use these lens for my travels…esp wildlife safaris & aerial photography.
    Think you could help?
    I would be based in Pune & travelling to Delhi, Bhopal, Nepal, Kerela….so can certainly make the rip where I can get the the lens 🙂 IT ROCKS.

  17. Sarah, Nice to hear that you liked my review. Unfortunately the lens is back ordered and there is a long waiting list. My dealer said around 3 months waiting for the lens. So I need to disappoint you about the availability. I was lucky enough to get my hands on as I booked it in last December itself. Try local dealers at Pune (Try Camshot, Pune) where you may be able to get easier than Bangalore where there is quite a heavy booking for this lens.

  18. Dear Kevin Giannini,
    I tested it using AI Servo on 5Dmark III. Only center focus works well. Tracking is good enough, but sometimes the lens misses the shot completely. I did the test after I wrote the review. That is why I did not mention it in the review. There were few other reviewers who found BIF focus was disappointing. I have earlier used 400mm f/5.6 for BIF and I still use my 300mm f/2.8 with TC. Compared those two lenses, 150-600 is slower to catch focus when the subject is moving as in BIF. But once focused it latches on and continues to focus well. I need more testing on this front to give a proper verdict. My guess is it is not as good as 400 f/5.6 but almost similar to 100-400.

  19. Dear Mr. Mohan,

    I appreciate a your -rather- detailed review. Though popular amongst budget enthusiasts, the Bigron still is a rarity and none of my fellow users have the same (and hence I myself cannot test it). I will be grateful, if you can answer the following two questions for me (one can be answered from your past experiences, however, the second may require you to fit your lens on a cropped sensor body)-
    1) Generally, what is the effect of larger telephotos (say 400mm++) on cropped sensor cameras. I have been told that boosting iso can result in significantly increased noise? why?
    2) If you can take a photo at 600mm with the Bigron on your full frame camera and try to emulate the same ‘frame’ on a cropped sensor camera (like 550/600d) by choosing a 375mm on the lens, which will be effectively around 600mm, on a cropped sensor camera and let me have a look at both the images, I shall be eternally grateful.

    I understand that you are under no obligation to do so. I just thought ‘what if’ you can?

    Best,

    Sam

  20. Kindly ignore the grammatical errors that have inadvertently crept in. Seems my fat fingers and a touch screen don’t get along too well.

  21. Dear Samridh,
    I think you have a mistaken idea about lens and sensor. Noise is not related to any lens. It is universal and is the side effect of manufacturers cramming megapixels into our sensors. Full frame sensors have less pixel density, so will give a lesser noise at higher ISO. That noise is universal and not at all related to the lens you use. So the answer of the first question is regardless the lens you use over ISO800 onwards you will start noticing noise in cropped body and over ISO 3200 in full frame.

    I have answered second question in my blog – http://www.drkrishi.com/crop-factor
    That will answer your question partially. The image magnification of 600mm on a full frame & 375mm on a crop frame will be identical. Depth of field, background bokeh will all be different. 375mm will have a larger DOF, less creamier bokeh. Noise will be depending on the ISO you use.
    Hope this will solve your curiosity.

    If you want to learn more about photography join us on our free photo-critic forum on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/mangfoto/

  22. Thank you krishna,

    I always thought that noise is an attribute of puffing up the iso. The raison de etre of my question was that many internet reviews of this particular lens said that noise will be pronounced for cropped sensor ones. Perhaps what they meant (and what i failed to understand) was that since the lens does not have a high aperture boosting iso (on an aps-c) may lead to ‘pronounced’ noise.

    Your review is comprehensive and your willingness to help community members like me is heartening.

    Thank you for the help,

    Best,

    Samridh

  23. Dear Dr Krishi

    Wonderful feedback on the lens and appreciate your effort on this. I am myself planning to buy tamron 150-600mm lens for my Nikon D90. I currently have a 18-105mm and 70-300mm nikkor lenses. I do photography just as a hoppy and take around three trips in a year to do so. However I am planning to take this more seriously and start devoting more time on this.After reading your review I was wondering if you could guide me whether this lens will give adequate results with the D90 or do i need to upgrade the body also. I your answer is yes then also guide whether I should go for APS C sensor only or full frame.
    Look forward for your advice.
    Thanks again for the detailed review
    Vikas

  24. Vikas Gupta, Nikon D90 is fully compatible with the Nikon mount version of Tamron 150-600mm lens. It can successfully replace you 70-300mm with a better range too (though it is not as compact as the 70-300). If you plan to go for Fx sensor you need to pay quite a bit. If you have a budget, only then you can opt for that.

  25. Dear Samridh,
    Thanks for giving me a great idea. I will be posting about Noise as my topic in my next blog. It will tell you why your conception of noise is misplaced. It is nothing to do with lens, but with sensor. What they really mean is that lens is not a fast lens (f/2.8 and such wider aperture are considered as fast lenses) When the aperture is as low as f/6.3 at its widest. You need to boost the ISO to get adequate shutter speed to hold the lens. The effect of higher ISO for capture will be more pronounced as noise in a small sensor packed with lots of mega pixels as compared to large sensor lesser pixel. density.
    Wait for my next blog on next Friday 🙂

  26. Dear Krishna,
    U hv done a fantastic review of this budget lense & a big thanks for that… I’m already tempted to buy 1 for my Nikon D7100… Do u know any reliable dealer for this lense in Mumbai ? if yes, pls let me know… Thanks in advance… Anjan.

  27. Hi Krishan,

    Fabulous comparison and review. Can you please share the list of compatible camera’s with this lense.

    Thanks,
    Amit

  28. Fanrastic review!! Thank you very much.
    I have the Sigma 50-500 OS. Do you recommend jump to the Tamron 150-600 for bird photography? I have a Canon 6D as unique camera, and after reading yor review I am thinking seriously about it…

  29. Dear Tomas,
    This lens is sharper and faster focusing than 50-500 OS. It will also give you 600mm range. So if you can get buyer for 50-500 OS, you can shift to 150-600.

  30. Hi Krishna,

    I love to take bird photographs. I have planned to upgrade my lens. I have 2 options,
    Option1: Nikon 300mm prime f4 and a kenko 2.0x teleconverter
    Option2: Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD

    Which option I should go for ?
    Thanks,
    Amit

  31. Dear Amit Gajare,
    Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD is a better buy. Please note that Nikon version will be available only after May 15th. If you can wait till then then, it might be a better buy. let me explain why. Nikon 300mm prime f4 per se is a great lens. It is sharp, fast & bright. With Kenko 2.0x TC it becomes slow and auto focus is almost unusable. Viewfinder will also be pretty dark as the maximum aperture will be 2 stops more than f/4 thus becoming 600mm f/8. Unless you have a very bright light, this combo is unusable. It may be a good combo to shoot cricket match which takes place during bright sunlight, but not for birds which are active during early morning & late evening.

  32. Hi Krishna,
    Just want to know will this lens work on my nikkon D3000 as i can’t upgrade the body due to financial constraint, but need one good leans for my birding hobby.

  33. Nikon version of 150-600 will be out in Mid May. What I tested was the Canon version which was released earlier. Other than the mount I don’t see there will be any difference between the two. It will be compatible with D3000 as it has the autofocus motor inside the lens.

  34. Hi Krishna,

    Thnx a lot for quick revert on my drought, Can u recommended this Nikon version of 150-600 for birding or Nikkon 300 Fixed 4.0 with 1.5 X Converter will be the fine combination as currently i use Nikkon 70-300 G which is ok ok lens can’t capture stunning images like u had captured.

  35. Is it possible to get the lens in Mumbai in the next couple of days through your dealer. I plan to go to Kanha on 10th May and would like to use this lens during my trip.

  36. Dear Charudutta Bhide, Nikon mount is not released yet, so until May 15th you won’t be able to source it even from Tamron. 🙂 You may need to wait at least 2-3 months as Nikon mount booking seems to be piling up.

  37. “Cropped body will have issues in low light especially at 600mm when the f/6.3 creeps in.” i was planing to get this for a 60d does this mean it wont auto focus at 600mm??

  38. It will auto focus well on 60D. Only in very Low light focusing problem exists. That is common with every one of f/5.6 and above lenses. Don’t worry much about it.

  39. Still in back order – I have been on waiting list in USA, Germany and Denmark since February… I know they have to cover supply and demand beyond the first 10.000 lenses – but REALLY 6 month and still nothing ?

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