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

Tamron 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD Handling and Features

Tamron 18 400mm On Canon 1200d With Hood

Intended for APS-C format in Canon and Nikon fits, the 35mm-format equivalent focal lengths are 29-640mm (Canon) and 27-600mm (Nikon) respectively. Considering the range, this is a very compact lens, weighing in at just 705g. A bayonet fit petal lens hood is provided. The filter thread is a reasonable 72mm.

Immediately behind the front rim of the lens, we find the manual focusing ring. There is no option for manual adjustments if using AF. Closer in to the camera body is a wide zoom ring, focal lengths being clearly marked on the lens barrel. The tension of this ring is just about right, but there is no smoothness to it, the resistance being somewhat uneven as we zoom through the range.

Closer to the camera three switches are located around the barrel. The lock switch enables the lens to be fixed at the 18mm setting, to avoid lens creep whilst carrying. There is no particular tendency for the lens to creep, but with wear maybe the lock will come to be needed. The AF/MF switch is self-explanatory. There is also a VC (Vibration Compensation) switch and this gives around 4 stops advantage. The image does lock when viewed, the VC adding a short delay before the shutter releases. Coupled with quite pedestrian AF, it does mean that rapid wildlife shooting could be difficult. Switching off VC would help in minimising this shutter lag.

Tamron 18 400mm On Canon 1200d At 400mm

Optical formula is 16 elements in 11 groups. There are LD (Low Dispersion), ASL (Hybrid Aspherical) and moulded glass aspherical elements. The diaphragm consists of 7 circular blades. In the Nikon version, there is an electromagnetic diaphragm, compatible with more recent DSLRs.

Focusing is down to 0.45m (1.5 feet), a maximum magnification of 1:2.9, not a macro distance but still usefully close. The lens has moisture resistance with several seals throughout the body.

Finally, there is compatibility with the Tamron TAP-in console for connecting the lens to a PC. This can provide upgrades, plus adjustments to the AF and VC.

The AF system is really quite slow, especially in Live View, so capturing wildlife may not be so easy. Otherwise, it balances nicely on the Canon EOS 1200D and operates efficiently enough. So let's now see how the performance holds up.

Tamron 18 400mm Rear Oblique View

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