Having recently purchased a new Canon EOS Elan 7e, with the standard 38-90 Canon USM lens, I wanted more. I had sold off my older Canon gear, which included 4 lenses and a 2X Tamron teleConverter, as well as an excellent Tamron short zoom lens.
I did quite a lot of research on zoom lenses in the 70-300 range, and came to a natural conclusion that the Tamron was the one to check out.
I have used SLR cameras for over 30 years, and wouldn't be without one, in spite of the recent spate of digital cameras, and point and shoot models.
For those of us used to heavy metal cameras and lenses, it's a leap of faith to buy the newest generation consumer grade equipment. Those making their living with a camera will buy equipment that is beyond the needs and means of most of us, and will get more weight and durability.
When I picked up the Tamron lens I immediately noticed the metal mount, nice hood and quality feel.
Don't compare this lens to the older model, which didn't offer a macro feature, and had trouble holding focus. This new generation lens is quite an improvement in many ways. Optically it's the equal of any lens in this class, excluding the pro level lenses of course. Mechanically I have had no trouble with manual focus, macro use or auto focus using eye control.
I like it's weight; not too heavy, but with a substantial feeling. It focuses quickly and accurately, and yields very nice pictures. Try some faster film, such as 400 or 800 ASA and you will love this lens. Using a tele at the longer focal lengths almost requires a sturdy tripod. Camera shake, which is inevitable, will be noticeable on your pictures unless you stabilize the camera somehow.
The range, from a nice portrait length, to super tele is wonderful, easily replacing 3 lenses for me. It came with Tamron's 1.2 teleconverter, free, which was quite a bonus. I paid $229 for it, and have seen it advertised for less on a number of internet sites, but not much less. You should not have to pay anywhere near $300 for it, in spite of the average price listed here in epinions.
A couple of sources for good reviews are http://www.camerareview.com/ and
http://www.outdoorphotographer.com/content/articles/index.html as well as
I think that not only is the lens a very good value, but it's versatile and well made. Tamron makes some of the highest quality lenses available, and provides a 6 year warranty to prove it. I'm sure that this lens will last as my other Tamron lenses have.
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