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Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro review

Light in weight and price for a full-frame telephoto zoom lens

Build quality and handling

Tamron af 70 300mm f 4 5 6 di ld macro review

Surprisingly lightweight for a full-frame camera lens, the Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro weighs just 435g. The downside is that it also feels a bit flimsy and plasticky.

At 77-117mm, it's also fairly compact, although the length stretches to 214mm with the lens hood fitted, at the closest normal focus setting and maximum telephoto zoom. The overall length extends further, to 237mm at the 0.5x macro setting.

Handling is hampered by a slightly stiff and jerky zoom ring, but at least there's no zoom creep. By contrast, the focus ring is very smooth and effective. There's also a handy focus distance scale printed around the rear edge of the focus ring, and a macro magnification scale at the front edge.

Performance

Tamron af 70 300mm f 4 5 6 di ld macro review

A capable performer throughout the 70-200mm zoom range, the Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro loses the plot a bit as you get towards its maximum 300mm focal length. Sharpness drops off, compounded by a lack of stabilisation for handheld shooting.

The net result is that getting consistently sharp long shots is always a challenge. Sharp macro shots are equally tricky, because resolution drops massively if you choose a very small aperture to try to increase depth of field.

Based on a standard electric motor, autofocus proved painfully slow in our tests, especially at long focal lengths, where it was particularly ponderous as well as being prone to hunting back and forth when trying to lock onto targets. Colour fringing was also more noticeable than with many competing lenses, especially towards the edges and corners of the frame.

Sample image:

Tamron af 70 300mm f 4 5 6 di ld macro review

Taken at 300mm, f/5.6

See full-res image

Tech Specs

Product TypeLens
Maximum Focal Length300 mm
Minimum Focal Length70 mm
Lens Mount TypeNikon F
Maximum Aperture Wide4
Maximum Aperture Tele5.6
Brand NameTamron
Filter Attachment Diameter62 mm
Lens TypeTelephoto Zoom
Application/UsageCamera
Minimum Focus Distance950 mm
Diameter76.6 mm
Depth116.5 mm
CompatibilityNikon DSLR Cameras
Magnification0.50x
ManufacturerTamron Co., Ltd
Product ModelA17
Product NameA17 AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro Telephoto Zoom Lens
Manufacturer Part NumberAF017NII-700
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.tamron.com
Marketing Information

With this 70-300mm telephoto zoom lens, flipping a macro switch in the focal length range of 180mm to 300mm obtains a maximum magnification ratio of 1:2 at a minimum focus distance as short as 37.4", enabling close-up shots of flowers, insects, and other objects that normally require the use of a specially designed macro lens. Moreover, this is a zoom lens that casually offers the distant capture and foreshortening effect pleasures of the 300mm ultra-telephoto world.

Weight (Approximate)435 g