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An Exploration of Two Terrific Tamron Lenses: 17-70mmF2.8 & 18-300mmF3.5-6.3

· 27.September.2023

by Bobbi Lane

A few years ago, Fujifilm allowed third-party manufacturers to make lenses for the Fujifilm X Mount. I’ve previously reviewed two different TTArtisan lenses in Gear Talk – one good, one not so good. Both Tamron and Sigma have been making excellent quality lenses for quite a while but just recently for Fujifilm. This article is about two terrific Tamron lenses: the 17-70mmF2.8 and the 18-300mmF3.5-6.3. This first instalment is about my experience shooting with them and examining the quality. Part two (coming next month) will be a direct comparison of the Tamron lenses to several of the Fujinon lenses.

Andrew Martin is one of the sales reps for Tamron and we had the chance to spend some time together this past March at the Florida Camera Club Conference. He showed me the lenses and told me about their features, and I was duly impressed. I was able to borrow both lenses at another April Florida show, the Florida Birding and Photo Festival in St. Augustine. That was the perfect location for testing since I was teaching classes in portraiture, flowers with flash and photographing horses on the beach at dawn. I also shot with it for our Neighborhoods of New York photo tour and our Tuscany photo tour in May. (More images and details to come in part two.)

The 17-70mm really grabbed my attention as it’s a great focal length for general purposes and portraits. It’s a fixed f/2.8, a full stop faster than Fujinon 16-80mmF4. That’s a huge difference when shooting portraits to get great background bokeh. Quite honestly, I’m not a huge fan of the 18-80mm, unless I’m shooting close or portraits. It’s just not that sharp at infinity. Fujinon’s 18-135mm is a great focal length, but it’s a variable f-stop lens. The Tamron‘s fixed fast aperture is exciting and more useful.

The 18-300mm is an amazing lens; it’s not that big considering its zoom range and it’s terrific for an all-around walking about or travel lens. They bill it as the ‘all-in-one-zoom’ since the range of focal lengths plus the close focus makes it perfect for travel and general shooting. One of its great features is the close focusing at about six inches at its widest (this refers to the distance from the focal plane of the subject to the image sensor, but the front of the lens can be closer than an inch!) and 39 inches at 300mm. Okay, that’s extremely impressive!

You will find the remaining part of this article in FUJILOVE MAGAZINE.

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