Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD - £495
When we've previously used the Tamron 18-270mm VC, we liked it a lot, but had two reservations: the standard micro-motor autofocus system was noisy and the zoom ring felt jerky. Both of those issues have been resolved with the introduction of a PZD (Piezo Drive) autofocus motor and a smoother-acting zoom ring.
However, the new Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD definitely isn't just the old model with a new AF system – it's a completely new lens. The 4-stop VC (Vibration Correction) system is significantly smaller, yet proved equally excellent in our tests.
The optics are also redesigned, the result being that the lens is much smaller and lighter than the old model, or the Sigma 18-250mm OS. Even the filter thread has shrunk, from 72mm to 62mm.
Contrast proved very impressive, and sharpness was well maintained into the corners of the frame. Colour fringing was minimal at the centre of the image, but quite noticeable towards the corners. The class-leading 15x zoom range is great to have, but comes with a fair bit of barrel distortion at the widest-angle zoom setting.
18mm sample image from the Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD
270mm sample image from the Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD