Product Review: Tamron 18-270mm Di II VC PZD

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Wouldn’t it be great if you could capture the photographs you wanted without having to carry around a camera bag full of lenses? Well, Tamron, a Japanese Optics Manufacturer, has spent the past 20 years working to make that a reality. Tamron makes lenses of almost every size, focal length and category, but they are best known as the pioneer of the all-in-one zoom lens. Their new 18-270mm PZD lens is the world’s lightest and most compact 15X zoom.
The Tamron 18-270mm PZD lens is designed specifically for crop sensor Digital SLR’s and gives users a 28-419mm zoom range (35mm equivalent). The lens exterior is made of hardened plastic, keeping the weight down to an impressive 15.9 ounces. When zoomed to the 18mm mark, the lens is only 3.8 inches long. Tamron improved on their previous 18-270mm model by adding an ultrasonic piezo drive (PZD) auto-focus motor that provides faster and quieter autofocus operation. It also features an enhanced image stabilization mode (VC) that allows you to capture sharp images at shutter speeds as slow as 1/25th of a second. It is a variable aperture lens that ranges from f/3.5 at 18mm to f/6.3 at 270mm. While there is some barrel distortion visible at the wide-end, which is typical for lens with such a large focal range, the image quality is very good. For a lens that could realistically replace two or three lenses that you have in your camera bag, I think the Tamron 18-270mm PZD is a solid performer.
I see the Tamron 18-270mm PZD being a great lens for travel photography or for anyone needing a versatile one-lens kit that can handle nearly any photographic scenario without having to swap-out lenses. The Tamron 18-270mm PZD is currently available in the Canon EOS and Nikon F mount and sells for $649.99. It comes with a petal style lens hood and is covered by a six-year Tamron USA warranty. ♦
—Jon Lawton is a sales associate at Hunt’s Photo and Video in Melrose, Mass. Contact him at or 800-221-183

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