Did you know that you can purchase a range of affordable Tamron zoom lenses? When choosing a zoom lens, you must consider the purpose. Do you want an affordable zoom lens for wildlife and sports photography? If so, a telephoto zoom lens is ideal. Maybe you want to create sweeping landscape shots? If so, a wide-angle zoom lens could be a better choice.
Whatever you require, we have found four good lenses that suit a myriad of photographic purposes. These Tamron zoom lenses under $500 are excellent budget options that don’t compromise on quality.
1. Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD (Overall Winner)
The Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD is a great quality lens and our top choice for Tamron zoom lenses under $500. It is a popular choice and often included in best budget lists due to its cheap price, great features, and excellent versatility.
As a Super Performance (SP) lens, it benefits from various quality improvements compared to basic Tamron lenses such as Vibration compensation and Tamron’s USD autofocusing motor. These features combined allow you to easily create clear and sharp photos.
The focal distance of 70-300mm makes this a top telephoto lens. It is compatible with Canon, Nikon, and Sony full-frame DSLR cameras, or with APS-C cameras using an adapter. It is relatively lightweight and compact considering its purpose.
If you want a versatile, affordable zoom lens under $500, the Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD is certainly the top choice available.
If you want an affordable wide-angle zoom lens, the Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD is one of the best Tamron lenses available. It offers super wide-angle photography capabilities for APS-C cropped DSLR cameras.
The focal distance of 10-24mm allows you to capture amazing detail for a relatively cheap price. At 10mm, you can almost create fisheye photography effects or panoramic landscape shots with great detail. When using this lens on an APS-C camera, remember that the effective focal distance is 14mm – 34mm.
This budget lens under $500 also has a decent maximum aperture range. At 10mm you can shoot at f/3.5, whilst at 24mm, you can shoot at a maximum of f/4.5. This means you have good control over the depth of field and background.
This lens also features Vibration Compensation that compensates for up to four stops of camera shake and improves stability when the lens is used handheld. It has a High/Low torque-modulated drive (HLD) autofocusing system, giving it a fast and accurate autofocus.
This affordable specialist Tamron lens is available for Olympus and Panasonic Micro Four Thirds cameras like the Panasonic G85. It is a versatile lens with a variable focal distance of 14-150mm. At 14mm, you have a good wide-angle lens whilst at 150mm, you have telephoto capabilities.
It has a decent maximum aperture range of f/3.5-5.8 which means that you can take good quality photos with excellent control over lighting and depth of field. The maximum aperture is particularly important when shooting at telephoto zoom distances.
The main downside of this cheap budget lens is the lack of vibration compensation. As it is an older lens, it doesn’t have some of the modern features associated with newer models, so you must be incredibly careful when using the lens or use it with a tripod.
In addition, the lens does not have an advanced autofocus system like HLD, OSD, or USM. The autofocusing is OK, but it is not the best compared to other Tamron lenses. However, as a cheap kit lens for your Panasonic or Olympus camera, this is one of the best Tamron zoom lenses under $500.
4. Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC (Budget Winner)
Our best budget option is the affordable Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC. This lens is available for Nikon, Canon, and Sony APS-C cameras, so the focal distance is actually 25mm – 280mm when compensating for the crop sensor.
The variable focal distance means you can comfortably use this lens as a kit lens. At 18mm you can capture quality wide-angle shots, alternatively, you can shoot at 200mm for wildlife and sports photography.
This is complemented by the maximum aperture of f/3.5-6.3 which adds to the functionality of this affordable lens. Also, it has Vibration Compensation technology and corrects for up to four stops of camera shake. This is vital when using the lens at its maximum focal distance of 200mm.
The main downside is that it doesn’t have an advanced autofocus system. Other more expensive Tamron lenses have these features, but this is one compromise you have to make for the cheap price. Regardless, this remains one of the best budget Tamron zoom lenses under $500.
Use the Best Tamron Zoom Lenses Under $500 Today
Lenses aren’t always expensive. It is possible to find a bargain and pick up a zoom lens under $500. Any of the lenses listed above will help improve your photography and give you greater creative freedom, and due to their budget price, you don’t have to spend a fortune.
If you want a zoom lens to enhance your DSLR camera, anyone of these Tamron zoom lenses under $500 is a solid choice. Always consider your purpose first and think about what type of photography you want to create. Also, ensure you have a firm understanding of the different Tamron features like Vibration Compensation, and USD autofocusing.