Tamron 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di III VC NEX Lens

Tamron 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di III VC Handling and Features

Tamron 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di III VC
Tamron 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di III VC

Two finishes are available to choose from and we are reviewing a silver finished version of the lens here. A black finish is also available. Although much of the lens is constructed from plastics, it has a high quality feel to it, thanks to a metal coating and lens mount, which make the lens feel very solid and precise in use. Weighing 460g and being 96.7 cm long this lens is noticeably larger than the 18-55mm lens supplied as a kit with Sony NEX cameras. This results in a lens-heavy combination, which can be difficult to hold steady when zooming as the camera body tends to twist with the motion of the zoom mechanism. A locking switch is provided on the zoom to keep the lens from extending accidentally during transport.

Tamron 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di III VC on Sony NEX-3
Tamron 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di III VC on Sony NEX-3

As focusing is performed internally the 62mm filter thread does not rotate, which makes this lens ideal for use with graduated and polarising filters. Focus speeds are reasonably quick throughout the zoom range, although it does tend to hunt around a little at telephoto focal lengths on the Sony NEX-3 used for testing. The manual focus ring offers a decent amount of resistance, which makes applying fine adjustments fairly straightforward.

The minimum focus distance of 45cm makes is fairly typical for a lens in this focal range, but is plenty close enough for frame-filling images at 200mm. The vibration compensation system allows sharp images to be taken with a degree of consistency at 1/40sec and about half the time at 1/20sec, which is roughly four stops slower than the usual rule of thumb would dictate possible. The stabilisation system also helps to steady the on screen image, which can help with composing images at telephoto focal lengths.

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