High-power zoom lenses are fantastic devices that allow you to experiment with multiple focal lengths without changing lens. The Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC is one such device that provides a superb focal range of 18-200mm. This allows you to cover many different photography styles including wide-angle landscape, and even macro photography.
If you want a multi-purpose lens for convenience, the Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC could be an excellent option. It is highly affordable and one of the cheapest high-power zoom lenses we have seen. Moreover, as you will see in this Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC review, it offers excellent quality and flexibility.
First, let’s consider the main features and specification of this multi-range zoom lens. The Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC is an entry-level lens that offers great quality, and excellent flexibility.
It is not part of the Tamron Super Performance range like the Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di MACRO 1:1 VC USD, therefore it does not benefit from some of the additional protective features and lens coatings. Nonetheless, as you will see it is still a great quality device. The basic specifications are listed below:
- Weight: 400g
- Max Length: 94.1mm
- Viewing Angle: 75゜33′ – 7゜59′
- Maximum Aperture: f/3.5
- Minimum Aperture: f/22
- Image Stabilization: Yes (Vibration Control)
- Lens Hood: Yes
We must draw attention to the weight – at just 400g, this lens is exceptionally light. Usually, zoom lenses with this focal range are much heavier. Tamron indeed promotes this lens as the world’s lightest lens in the 18-200mm category.
The Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC looks fantastic and is a stylish lens. It has a sleek black design and benefits from a vertical textured grip so that you can easily twist the zoom and cycle through the different focal lengths.
Furthermore, it has a locking feature so that you can lock the lens in place at a certain focal length. This is useful when you are concentrating on a particular scene or object in the distance.
It is made from durable materials and although it does not offer the same quality as the Tamron Super Performance range, it is still robust. The exterior has an advanced mechanical design that uses durable resin materials. Moreover, the lens feels well balanced and has a secure connective plate to quickly secure it to your Canon, Nikon, or Sony DSLR.
The lens does have a moisture-resistant coating that makes it perfect for outdoor usage – you don’t have to worry about a light rain shower, for example. (It won’t stand up to heavy rainfall though.)
So how does this lens perform? It offers great quality photos at all focal lengths. You may notice minor distortion at the extreme zoom lengths, but the overall quality is sharp and clear. Furthermore, the excellent aperture range provides great flexibility. In addition to this, the lens has two important features – high-performance auto focus and vibration control:
Auto Focus – The autofocus system in the Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC has been greatly improved. It has an optimal DC motor that provides extremely quiet operations, but also accurate and quick focusing. This is important for zoom lenses when you can quickly move out of focus via the slightest movement.
Vibration Control – Tamron’s vibration control feature is essentially a form of image stabilization. This feature keeps your focus smooth and secure and reduces the effect of vibrations on your images. We feel this is again an important feature for larger zoom lenses – any minor vibration can make a huge difference in the quality of your images.
We also like the circular diaphragm of the lens which allows you to create some beautiful bokeh effects at the maximum zoom ranges.
Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC vs. Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
Now that you have a clearer understanding of what this lens has to offer, lets see how it compares to a similar model on the market. An ideal comparison is with the Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS. The lenses are like-for-like in terms of specifications and basic zoom levels.
The similarities are numerous. Firstly, both lenses have some form of built-in image stabilization – we feel this is a must for zoom lenses. Furthermore, both have a decent aperture range although the Canon model offers a slightly better aperture of f/5.6 when the lens is fully extended.
The main difference is price. The Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC is by far the cheaper option without losing too much quality. If you want the Canon EF-S 18-200mm, you must be prepared to pay nearly three times as much. We have created a basic comparison table below to show the specs of these multi-zoom lenses:
|Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC||Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS|
It is also clear that a major difference is size and weight. The Canon lens weighs nearly 200g heavier than the Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC – this is quite a difference and much lighter than most popular telephoto zoom lenses too.
The Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC is certainly a lighter model that is easier to carry and transport. For a travel lens, this could be the deciding factor.
Should You Buy the Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC?
This depends entirely on your requirements and style of photography. The Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC is a top lens for travel and general use when exploring. Instead of carrying several interchangeable lenses, this multi-purpose lens offers an excellent alternative.
It can be used for a variety of different compositions without having to change the lens. The convenience it provides is unrivaled. However, for studio work and professional photography, the overall image quality of this lens does not add up.
Consider your own situation. For those who want an affordable no-hassle lens to take with them on outings and for travelling, this is a solid option.