Tamron 18-270mm Super Zoom PZD

Tamron 18-270mm

I don't know how Tamron has done it, but they made a great thing even better. There's a 'new' version of the 18-270mm Super Zoom lens. This lens might hold the record of longest zoom in a single lens, and this all includes Image Stabilization or as Tamron puts it VC - Vibration Compensation. I admit Tamron's VC is very very effective and much quieter than most of my Canon IS lenses.

This is a highly recommended lens by me when i'm looking to travel light on vacations. I get the best wide and super duper zoom features in a single lens (NOTE: not for full frame cameras). Below is a snapshot of my 60D with the original version of the Tamron 18-270mm.


So what's great about the new version? New motors make the lens more silent and faster. Smaller too. Yes, as if they couldn't make a 270mm Lens any smaller, they've managed to cut down the whole package another 24%. Obviously this all translates to being even lighter than the original version too. I know, you're curious about Video quality. I loaned my original version out to a friend and had a hard time getting it back, he loved it so much. Here's a sample video below shot during his trip to China on the 'older' 18-270mm @24fps.

The Video above is a good example of how far this lens zooms out to, so that you can grab a few 'stolen shots' or use it for 'stealthy street photography' without your subjects even knowing. Now you're wondering about Photography. What is the difference in zoom from 18-270mm? Here's two examples I shot in a Museum, one at 18mm on a Canon 7D and the other at 270mm (handheld too - love the VC).

Above: Image shot on Canon 7D at 18mm

Above: Image shot on Canon 7D at 270mm

Overall this lens won't give you the most incredible shallow DOF as a single Prime lens would, but once you have it in your hands, it's hard to let go. The convenience of carrying a single lens with the amount of zoom range and very effective Image Stabilization makes this one of my favorites. And for the first time, this new lens version is now available in a Sony mount (not just Canon / Nikon).

Tamron 18-270mm
find-price-button Tamron 18-270mm Super Zoom with Vibration Compensation (a.k.a Image Stabilization)

24 thoughts on “Tamron 18-270mm Super Zoom PZD

  1. W Wurth

    I have used this lens for 18 month and apart from a heavy spot in the zooming mechanism which we are warned about through reviews and severe drooping of the lens, I can not fault this lens much. The optical side is good. I have made many photo's that would nomally require a lens change. Sometimes a long shot with not enough light require manual focus. However now the suspect heavy spot has become a problem and the mechanism is stuck at about 30mm. The zoom goes now from 18 to 30mm
    My 1 year warranty will do me no good so I will have to have this lens repaired at my own expense. Ok, silly me, I recommend that if you buy this lens make sure you pay for 5 year warranty.

    W Wurth

  2. Aaron

    I was able to get my hands on both the older and the newer (pzd) version. The newer (pzd) is superb compared to the older version.
    Newer version (pros):
    -much lighter, smaller than the older version
    -faster auto focus for photos
    -zoom and focus ring is much more fluid than older version

    -a bit soft when zoomed in all the way (this happens to both lens)
    -pricier. Both lens have rebate going on and the older one has a better rebate (older: $150 ends July 30) (newer: $50, ends 6/20)

  3. Hello, i own a tamron 18-250mm and i must say it's very practical lens.
    It is a di2 range, meaning only for APS-c sensor, so i really don't understand why they don't advertise 27-432mm. It is confusing, because it's not so wide you know.

    When you buy a TZ7, it's clearly advertised 25mm wide lens, not 4.1mm !!!

    On my 417mm one, the zoom is really not fluid, a pity in video mode.
    Bought it second hand for 150€, the autofocus motor broken, but it was warranty 2 years in France...


  4. Swester

    Hmmm....it seems like there are some major quality control issues with this lens:


    Tons of reviews mention that the autofocus breaks after only a few months and that the overall image quality leaves a lot to be desired. I'd be very, very hesitant about picking up one of these Tamrons, especially at $600. Maybe if it were closer to $400 or $500 I'd consider it.

  5. Emm

    Post author

    @aaron - It will mount on a full frame, but you would still see the barrel inside.

  6. I shot this documentary film in Haiti on the Tamron 18-270mm lens: https://www.vimeo.com/17296540 (some footage is from a Panasonic HVX170, majority from a Canon 7D with the Tamron lens)

    Great zoom range and great image stabilization as long as you keep the frame steady and not pan or tilt too much.

    Using this "super-zoom" lens keeps your sensor clean since you don't have to change lenses in dusty places.

    Great over-all documentary film lens.

    Compact zoom lens.

    Image stabilization doesn't work well for panning or tilting. It jumps the image. Once you go wider, the image stabilization works better and its not noticeable.

    The lens is not weather sealed and you will get dust between the lens elements if you work in dusty places (like Haiti).

    Zoom and focus rings go the opposite of all other lenses on the marked!

  7. I bought the lens the Newer lends in February. It has been a great lens. I started with FD lens but it was lame switching out lens. This is an all around good lens. I use on 550d. the only thing i noticed on tripod depending on focal length is that the lens might move a bit. i am sure there is a technical term. slippage? dont know. i would recommend from beginner to pro.

  8. Emm

    Post author

    @Aaron - The Canon EF-S might be a bit sharper at the 200mm, but it's because it doesn't have the same range. The 55-200mm doesn't give you the wide angle like an 18mm lens. The Tamron is really the only lens that can cover all that range. Imagine using the Tamron with the T3i's 3x-10x zoom features too, that would be crazy.

  9. Emm

    Post author

    @Aaron - I don't have the new one (yet). I have the old one, and it's a great lens. I'm very interested in the newer one mainly because of the size and weight. Either one is a good deal.

  10. Aaron

    Hi Emm,
    Is me again. Seems like you have used both the old and the new version (PZD). Besides their weight (got the info from B&H chat: old 19.36oz and PZD 15.87oz) and their filter thread (old/new: 72mm/62mm, do you see anything that's very different between the two in terms of quality?

    Because there is a rebate going on with the old one and I think it is a steal.

  11. Aaron

    Hi Emm,
    Thx for all the recommendation.
    Do you know how this Tamron lens compares to Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 overall and at around 105-200mm range?

  12. leigh griffiths

    thanks emm. yeah i really loved using the 24-105. i guessed it would be hard to better it in that style lens. i'll keep saving.

  13. Emm

    Post author

    @DWM - The focus ring feels ok with the old version, I haven't tested this new one yet.

  14. Emm

    Post author

    @leigh griffiths - The Canon 24-105mm F/4 is a better lens. It's much more weather proof and can maintain F/4 throughout. Image stabilization is louder on the 24-105mm than on the Tamron. Of course the 24-105mm is more expensive too.

  15. leigh griffiths

    very interested. been looking at the Canon EF 24-105mm as a "run 'n' gun" type lens. would the Tamron be a better buy than the Canon?
    Also I've had a little bit of experience with the Canon and the image stabilizer was incredible. does anyone know what the image stabilizers are like on the Tamrons?

  16. DWM

    Can you tell me how the focus ring feels? I'd like to replace my canon 18-200 because the focus ring is so sloppy.

  17. Thanks for this Emm i had the older 18-250 back in my photography days when i used to shoot on pentax and i loved it was my walking around lens and went all over the world with me, Was never the fastest lens in my bag but for on the street work it can not be topped.

    Really tempted to pick one of these up for my Canon days


  18. Emm

    Post author

    @apostolos - Only if you're shooting at 270mm (440mm on a crop cam). How often does anyone carry a 270mm lens? If you want faster stick to the wider ranges. The stock 18-55mm already terminates to F/5.6 at just 55mm. Tamron has done an awesome job with a single lens that has 18-270mm with image stabilaztion.

  19. Emm

    Post author

    @Austin - Macro on any lens just means it can do 1:1 lifesize image capturing detail from edge to edge. With my Tamron you have to zoom in to achieve macro. With my Canon 100mm I have to place the lens fairly close.

  20. Austin

    Been looking for a lens for photography and run and gun filming and I think I found a winner. Now just got to start saving up. amateur question but whats the difference between the macro lens and the ones that dont say macro lenses on the link?

  21. Awesome thanks for the review Emm. Any idea on the lens' macro capabilities? I know the previous iteration has pretty decent macro.

  22. Matt

    I'm a videographer, not a cinematographer, so having a run 'n' gun type lens was the first glass I went shopping for when I got my 7D. I bought the Sigma 18-250.

    Primes are awesome and I love using them when I have the time or have a low-light situation, but usually for the gigs I do I'm trying to get tons of coverage in a scant few hours --so I stay away from lens swapping. One really needs variable focal lengths instantly to grab potential images for sequencing montage.

    A good example in the China video posted here is the shopkeeper sweeping the front steps. Two very different shots but grabbed from the same shooting point.

    These zoom lenses are what ya need if you're trying to shoehorn a DSLR into doing video work.

    And why not? A DSLR isn't the perfect device for shooting face paced video, but with a little practice it can be very productive. Especially with the right lens.

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